I’ve cried four times since Dalan’s accident.
The first time was right after I saw him in the hospital. I went outside to cry and have a cigarette. While crouched down on the sidewalk smoking and sobbing, a security guard for the hospital approached me and said, “I’m sorry for your loss but you can’t smoke here.”
Looking up at him, I choked out, “Where can I smoke then?”
Pointing, he answered, “Down there by the bridge.”
Through a sea of tears, I looked where he was pointing and about three blocks down the street, I saw the bridge and almost started laughing. I didn’t though; nothing was humorous that day. However, why anyone would think it was a bright idea to send distraught smokers to a bridge is still beyond my comprehension.
The second time I cried was when I had to put Kommit down. As any dog-lover knows, our four-legged babies become a huge part of our families and when they die, it’s absolutely heart breaking.
The third time was a week ago Sunday. After seven weeks of maintaining my strength for everyone else due to my son’s tragedy, not working for two months, dealing with incompetent billing departments, the death of my pet, the car troubles, college funds, and other payments out my butt, I completely broke down and had me one hell of a crying jag.
My husband must’ve heard me wailing, but when he found me, I wasn’t breathing. I couldn’t catch my breath! I was sitting on the floor, so he grabbed me by my arm pits, picked me up and shook me, which helped because I was able to take a big gulp of air.
Then he asked, “What’s wrong with you?”
Even though I wanted to pinch his head off, I decided to borrow my friend Bill’s phrase and find my husband charming.
The fourth time was this past Saturday, because I was hit with yet another freaken car problem and the stress was just too much to bear. I do hate to cry, but for Pete’s sake, I’m only human and after eight weeks of one damn thing after another, it’s only natural that my body would want to break down (guess it wanted to imitate the damn vehicle).
To top it all off, I’ve encountered some people who are actually...let’s say charming, to my plight and think I’m over-reacting. Granted, I’m a reformed drama queen, but that doesn’t refute the fact that I’ve changed and people shouldn’t perceive a tear drop as an Oscar winning performance, especially considering the last time I cried prior to all of this was over two freaken years ago.
Furthermore, throughout this entire ordeal I have been the epitome of optimism, graciousness, civility and composure. In addition to that, I’ve tried to down-play it all with we’re fine, everything will work out and it could always be worse. When all I really want to do is scream: STOP THE WORLD I WANT TO GET OFF!
I only yelled once, though, and that was at an asshat woman who was tailgating me.
I should be the biggest bitch on this side of the Mason-Dixon Line screaming that the mortar misfired and cut my son’s fingers off in the first place.
I should be screaming that the incompetent asshats at the billing departments billed MY insurance rather than the Army and I’m now stuck with fixing their mistake because if I don’t, my son is left with thousands of dollars in co-pays.
I should be screaming that our asshat politicians write the most asinine legislation and military families, like mine, are actually responsible for certain bills, even though the military requests them.
I should be screaming that the service center that checked the air conditioner in my son’s Jeep back in March neglected to tell me that the clutch could cease and the vehicle would stop running, even though I asked them a bazillion damn questions but none of their answers resulted in the vehicle could stop running.
I should be screaming when people tell me my son is lucky because he didn’t lose his entire hand or ALL of his fingers. I think he would’ve been LUCKIER had he not been on THAT mortar to begin with and still had all ten of his fingers.
Yes, I KNOW he’s fortunate, damn it, but it’s easy to SAY he’s lucky and it could’ve been worse when it’s NOT your child—when YOU aren’t the one watching YOUR child stumble and fumble with the simpliest tasks, like holding a pencil or buttoning a shirt or trying to hold a box of cereal.
You wouldn’t think he’s all that lucky then.
You would curse all that’s holy and all that isn’t because you can’t make it all better like you used to when he was a little boy.
You would also know that he has to learn how to function all over again—on his own, and you would feel like a useless, helpless lug who isn’t doing right by her child (no, not logical, but sometimes emotions win out).
You would also learn real quick-like that no amount of money, no degree or fancy title and no entity will ever make it right.
But if you could, you would sell your soul to Satan to give your child back what he lost.
And to hell with the people who think that’s drama. Because if your child is whole, you have no idea what it’s like, so don’t judge, and hope you never find out.