My Attempt at Springtime

The weather report promised that today (Friday) would be a beautiful day here in southeastern North Carolina. It was to be sunny with temps in the low 70s after a whole week of ugly, cloudy and cool weather. I thought on Friday I would actually go outside and sit on my swing like I’ve always liked to do and just enjoy the outdoors.

So here it is, that Friday that was so wonderfully advertised, was in fact, what they said it would be. I usually stay cooped up in the house since Kaitlyn died with the exception of sometimes going out with my oldest daughter to do things, groceries, mom’s, etc. So I knew I had to go out there, it would do me good, though I knew of so many reasons why it may not do me good, I took the chance anyway.

I went out there and I saw the only remaining functional thing that I had left that was our dog’s that we had not given away yet. Savannah was our chocolate Labrador retriever that was almost 5 years old and we loved her so much. She had an invisible underground fence that worked really well until she met this bulldog that wondered into our yard and then she felt compelled to break free, even with the shock of escape, to go gallivanting with this dog. She was spayed but, she was so social I guess she wanted to play with a friend. She was hit and killed by a car 1-19-14 on Kaitlyn’s birthday.

So we gave away the 4 cases of canned dog food we had just bought, her collars we had that had not been used yet, the physical fence where her doghouse was, (we kept the door open) and other things to my sister. But I was going to give my oldest daughter Stephanie the Dogloo Dog house. It’s just not made its way there yet.

I went out there and there it sat. I looked in and inside was still the hay she laid on that still held the shape of her body. I put my hand inside and felt the areas that she laid every night for 5 years.

Then I walked over to the far edge of our yard where she was buried and I put the toy she loved for years (the only toy in the world that she could not destroy) that we played fetch with twice a day, and put it back in the upright position between two stones and I sat there and cried like a baby.

My birdfeeders had just run out of seed, so I went to get my bucket of seed. In the garage where the seed is kept, remains the pot of flowers that I had bought for Kaitlyn for her room the last time she came home for Easter last year just before she died. They are all dead of course, but I just can’t throw them away. Close by is her cat carrier with the little cute towel and a cloth of some type that she put in there for her cat, just like she left it. Then I walked back outside and filled the feeders up, then I sat on the swing. I looked to my left and in my mind I saw my beautiful dog sitting there on the swing with me as she often did once she was tired (which didn’t last long) and I remembered her beautiful brown coat, her brown nose, her velvety snout, her silky ears and the way her fur felt when I rubbed her. I remembered the way she used to do her mouth and make that little noise that is difficult to explain when she got so sleepy when being petted.

I looked up at the roof on our house and remembered 21 years ago when I had just graduated nursing school and we had a new roof put on. My life was wide open with a wonderful career I had worked so hard for right before me. I think of all the years since that time and wondered whether my nursing career turned out to be what I thought it would be and I knew my answer. I also realized it’s time to re-roof our house.

I looked in the backyard and in my mind I saw my 2 small daughters’ swing set complete with sliding board. I see the little brown headed girl and the bright blonde headed girl swinging and playing and having the best of times. I remember the little kiddie pool we had with the little slide built in and the fun they had in it as I sat outside with my cassette player playing Miriah Carey. I see Kaitlyn with our multitude of outdoor cats and kittens that had accumulated in our yard over the years and remember how she had named each one. No ordinary names either because Kaitlyn did nothing that was ordinary. I remember she expected me to remember all their names as well, just as she did.

I see my two girls playing in the yard and I thank God that I did not know what would happen to my youngest blonde headed girl. But then I think if I knew what could have happened, maybe I could have prevented it somehow.

I saw my girls running around, mostly in pigtails or ponytails and I watched my Kaitlyn disappear.

I go back into the house because I had enough of spring and the thought of it not doing me any good happened to be right. I watched my Kaitlyn disappear. I can watch her disappear inside my house just as well as outside… so I walk back in.

spring

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About gatito2

My name is Rhonda. I'm a registered nurse, for the last 20 years, that has not been able to work since the day I learned of my daughter's death by suicide 4-12-13. (She actually died 4-11-13 and her body was not found until the 12th) Me and my husband have been married for 32 years and he's a wonderful man. We grieve in different ways. He works, I write. This is my journey through this horrible land of losing a child..
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14 Responses to My Attempt at Springtime

  1. Anonymous. says:

    So many warm memories echo in the spaces where you once spent time with your loved ones. I know you felt that it did no good, but I’d like to hope that something about being out in today’s spring weather – the air, the sun, the breeze- did something, even if it’s hard to see or feel now. I’m actually reminded of something you once shared which Kaitlyn wrote- about living and loving anyway, regardless of the potential for pain or loss. In a way, that’s what you did today in getting out there and reflecting on these memories, and it’s a sort of a testament to the way your beautiful daughter lived her life. You are never as alone as you might feel sometimes.

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  2. Wow! You are so good at capturing your feelings in your writing. Can’t wait to read your book.

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  3. jmgoyder says:

    No adequate words.

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  4. gatito2 says:

    Thank you. I hope the book is good. I’m a bit nervous about it.

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  5. gatito2 says:

    Believe it or not, sometimes I don’t even have the words for how i feel.

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  6. gatito2 says:

    Thank you so much for that. You always know the right things to say. When I was growing up, I was rather a tomboy. In the summer I went outside barefoot with my friend and didn’t come home until lunch, then I was off again. We played in the woods, dug holes, built tree houses so I do love the outside. I don’t climb trees anymore 🙂 but I do love to travel and go outside. Hopefully my enjoyment of it will start to not be tainted with pain one day. And yes, Kailtyn was very, very wise for her youth. She always was, which surprises me all the more that she could take her life. But nothing makes sense about that.

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  7. The thing to remember – and to give yourself credit for – is that you tried. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. But, you had an idea, you had the hope that it would be a positive experience for you, and you took the steps to try. Whether you know it or not, all of those are successful steps. Don’t give up trying.

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  8. gatito2 says:

    Thank you. I will try so hard to remember that.

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  9. My counselor told me that it was important to get 5 minutes of sunshine ON MY FOREHEAD every day when I first started this horrid journey of grief. Sometimes that is all I would do, go sit on my back porch for 5 minutes, pull my bangs back, and look up at the sky for 5 dang minutes.

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  10. Anonymous. says:

    Thank you for your reply- I hope that for you, too, that you will be able to enjoy the outdoors more as days go by. While I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Kaitlyn,through your writing I can appreciate a bit of the disconnect you must feel between the way she lived and the fact of her passing. You do an excellent job of reminding us that Kaitlyn was affected by situations beyond her immediate control. It’s so very true that we wouldn’t wonder why a bright, lovely person had a heart attack, or succumbed to cancer. But the mind feels like such a part of who we are, that its hard to think of the brain as another organ. Probably, for those affected too, it’s hard to consider the brain as another organ at risk for maladies- you’re doing valuable work in educating the public and reminding us of this simple but vital fact.

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  11. gatito2 says:

    Yes, I’ve heard that sunshine is good for the mood. I’ve never heard tell of someone saying to get it on your forehead for at least 5 minutes though.

    Another reason I find spring so hard to take right now is that Kaitlyn died last year in the spring…4-11-13. I hate to even see something bloom right now.

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  12. Amanda says:

    I heard this song yesterday afternoon as my husband and I were driving into the city and wept for you and Kaitlyn. Though time will never bring back your beloved daughter, time will surely march on. And in doing so, I pray that there will come a springtime for you where peace will once again bloom in your heart.
    http://viewpure.com/GtnoKuAK32Q

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  13. gatito2 says:

    Thank you so much. That is pretty.

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  14. gatito2 says:

    I’ve always loved Carly Simon.

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