Thursday, August 25, 2011

Selective Memory

I'm starting to find that my memories of Vincent are increasingly divided into three categories: things I remember and recall on a daily basis, things I have already forgotten, and things I remember (and don't want to forget) yet the recalling process is painful because of the very nature of the memories.

Nine months ago this week, Vincent died.  His last few days, weeks even, are burned into my mind, easy to visualize, precious, yet painful.  I don't enjoy recalling these memories very often, I have a file of pictures on my desktop entitled "pictures to never look at" and yet sometimes I wake up in the morning and throughout the day have mini flash-backs of those very moments.
Last time to play outside
Those are also the days I cry constantly and stay in bed.  Don't get me wrong, I never want to forget any of these memories.  But recalling them regularly is painful, costly, exhausting.

Then there are things I can recall easily on a daily basis:  Vincent nursing, playing and taking baths with his brother, going to the park, watching Sesame Street, everyone eating dinner and going to the beach.
First year photo shoot by Luminosity
Sprinkled in here are memories of diagnosis, hospital stays, medical complications.  (Like that d*&% feeding pump!!)  Most of the time I can remember these easily and bring them to mind without great pain, without that sinking, suffocating feeling of overwhelming grief.

And then there are things I have simply forgotten, memories that are lost somewhere in my mind due to exhaustion, inattentiveness.  For years now I've read blogs written by moms of multiple kids, and somehow they seem to manage their farming, crafting, nursing, and mothering pretty well.  I, however, was one of those moms that felt very overwhelmed with having two children under the age of two.  Both children were in diapers, needed more attention than I could give and had difficulty eating (Vincent had GERD).  My husband was gone 3-4 nights out of the week attending grad school, and I was working as well, largely from home.  It wasn't until Vincent turned one year old that I felt I really had a handle on it, raising these two kids, crafting, cooking dinners, cleaning the house, and staying on top of work.  Vincent's first year was a blur for me of busyness, exhaustion, and overwhelming stress.

And then he was diagnosed with cancer, right after his first birthday.

There is so much I'd like to remember from that priceless year we all shared.  I'd love to be able to recall just one week of how we spent our time, loved each other, how we made it to the end of the day in one piece.  I'd love to remember that one Christmas together, that Easter season, any day trips we took.

There is so much I don't remember.

For now I'll keep recalling any memories I do have, painful or not, overwhelming or mundane.  I'll nurture them in my heart like my love for Vincent, ever flourishing.


Anonymous said...

Rebecca, I'm so sorry for the loss of your precious memories. I was sitting here thinking that the photo of your family is so beautiful...and then the reality of your lives forever altered sinks in...that photo is a memory for you...I hope it is a good one.

Praying for you today...I don't think most of us can comprehend waking up or not wanting to wake up...crying daily...embracing the sorrow of such loss. I wish I could give you a great big (((HUG))) and cry with you today.

Dan Stringer said...

Just when I had forgotten about that dastardly feeding pump! Those were some exhausting days. We tried everything we could, especially you.

So much of it remains a blur, but I think there will be more clarity in the years ahead. Hopefully the best memories will rise to the surface.

Lee Pin said...

Becky, thanks for sharing so opening with us..we love you. ,<< hugs >>

Deanna said...

Thinking about you and praying for you. I pray your precious memories stay strong and the painful memories lose some of the sharpness of the pain.

Terri White said...

Every second of that baby's life is precious - as you said, for different reasons.

Sending healing thoughts your way today and every day.

Kristin said...

I love your honesty. Thank you for sharing your soul so openly.
I am praying for you, that the best memories are the ones quickest to your mind, and for strength to do all the things you must.