Friday, November 7, 2008

A Rainy Day in Kentucky

So, this is not going to be a happy, fun post, because it is raining outside and I feel that every once in a while I am entitled to feel a little rainy inside too. I'll be better once Brig gets back from travel today and I can take the nap I've been craving all week, but for now, I am going to be a little down and you, my lucky blog readers, are going to get to hear all about it.

This morning was Spencer's eye appointment in Nicholasville, a good half hour drive from our home. Spencer has Strabismus and is seen by a specialist about once every six months. With the help of bifocals and some real diligence on our part, he has managed to avoid the more unpleasant therapies related with his eye disorder. We haven't had to patch. There hasn't been any mention of surgery. We just get a new prescription every six months, sign our weekly salary over to the glasses store and come out with a shiny new pair of bifocals that will be completely destroyed in 3 days flat. Hooray for the insurance plans on kid's glasses.

Anyway, the eye doctor informed us today that we were going to need to take further steps. He has started by covering his "good eye" lense with contact paper in hopes of strengthening his bad eye. We are also back to appointments every other month. I don't know where this is going to lead eventually, but I am an ace-number-one worrier and my imagination has already taken over. Spencer is being a good sport about the whole thing and did inform me that he felt his right eye "already getting stronger" on the car ride home.

It was at the end of this appointment that I felt like the universe was playing a little unfair. I was already feeling pretty down when I went out to make Spencer's next appointment and the receptionist looked up and said, "Is January 7th a good day for you? That'll be a Wednesday." I just about lost it right there and then. January 7th would have been my sister's 36th birthday. She was always funny about her birthday because she felt that it was never celebrated enough since everyone was always celebrated-out by the time January 7th came along. I suddenlty felt a terrible wave of guilt, because I've just been going on with life and I've been shutting out reality, because if I think about things too much, it hurts too bad and I'm so tired.

So, this morning, after dropping off Spencer at school and putting Michael down for a nap, I allowed myself an indulgence and I let my tears flow. I cried because she is gone and I couldn't stop it and I don't think I ever really understood her and I'm so sorry. I cried because I can't help anything now. I had grandiose ideas at one point of how helpful I was going to be to her grieving husband and young son and, really, I'm just not. I'm barely holding myself together. I cried because it all still seems so wrong. I'm not so sure that I will ever completely come to terms with the fact that my sister took her own life. And in a way, that makes me feel broken...and I don't want to be broken. But, I don't know if just pretending it isn't what it is is even worse.

So, that's where I'm at. I'll cry a little longer and then I'll go pick up my kids from school and I'll work on lesson plans and get everything ready for the primary brunch tomorrow and I'll just keep on going and living because that's the only thing I know how to do. And, I hope, that with time, these rainy days won't be so hard.


~Mountain Lover~ said...

Hi Kara, My name is Sara and I don't know if you know of me or that my sister took her own life nearly six years ago. And I apologize if I'm being overly presumptuous in commenting on your blog. particularly because it's quite lengthy.

Though we lead completely different lives, I just felt a sense of familiarity when I read your post. I felt compelled to say something poetic and comforting, but I've got nothing. It sucks- the guilt, the what-ifs, the not understanding why she did it or who she was. The void that she left behind. How some people are just plain awkward around you now, and you feel the need to make them less awkward. The dates that creep up and bite you in the rear . . . the holidays.

Give yourself space to grieve and have your rainy days. Be forgiving of yourself for not keeping those grandiose ideas. You're grieving too.

It does get easier- I know that doesn't mean much right now, but maybe the knowledge that one day you'll see how far you've come and memories of her will make you smile again, will bring a small bit of comfort.

Kara said...

Hi Sara. I knew that you had lost your sister, but didn't realize that she had taken her own life. I just barely (technologically competent as I am) figured out where your blog was and spent some serious time on it. Yes, we do lead different lives, but the familiarity of emotion was there for me as well as I read through several of your posts.

It's a terrible place to have a meeting of minds, but it is even a worse place to feel alone. I completely relate with the scatterbrained world that follows and the different worlds that are before and after. I will also be thinking of you as I grieve on January 7th knowing that date is a hard one for you as well.

So, thank you for commenting on my blog. I so appreciate knowing that someone is out there that understands.

Kimbooly said...


I wasn't even aware that your sister committed suicide (do you even say that? or do you say, took his/her own life?).

What a horrible, tragic thing to happen to her and to the family that is left wondering if they said or did something different, if it would have made a difference. Just like Sara said, all the "what if" questions.

But the bottom line is, you have to do the best you can do, when you can do it, and not beat yourself up about it when you can't do better.

Much love from here in California. I feel like anything I say may sound trite, so, if it is, know it's said with sincerity.

Christina Munyan said...

Hey Kara,

As soon as you said the date, I knew what this post was going to be about. How is Jeff hanging in there? I tried writing him on facebook, but he hasn't responded yet.

Kara, I think that we all had ideas of things that we wanted to do to help that little family, but in reality, there is only so much that you can do when they are so far away, and the economy is crashing. It makes it difficult to travel short distances let alone states.

Don't be too hard on yourself. Jeff knows that we love him and will always be there is he truly asks for our help.

Coopers said...

I wish I could help you feel better. We all have family "stuff" that makes us cry and wonder "why". My dad died last year, lots of unresolved stuff there. I had 2 cousins take their own life. It's sad, it's confusing, and it's painful.
It's good that you can blog about it, cry through it, and have family and friends that you can lean on. My heart goes out to you. If you need a shoulder to cry on or a babysitter so you can escape for date know who to call!

Liz said...

One of my very good friends had to deal with the pain of her own mother committing suicide about five years ago. I never knew what to say to my friend or really how to cope with it myself - I had met her mother a few times and she always seemed so happy, but she had been dealing with cancer and a lot of pain for a number of years before she decided to take her own life.

I'm so sorry that you've had to experience this. I think one of my most difficult struggles in life has been knowing a murderer and a child molester (thankfully not affecting my own children) and trying to forgive these people.

Wish I could hang out with you and the kids for an afternoon...


Penny said...


On the morning of Terissa's 16th Birthday Rock, Andrew, Michelle, Greg, Harmony and I went and kidnapped her and took her to breakfast before school. In her pj's we all sat together laughing and eating breakfast at Denny's in Provo near BYU. She arrived at school later that morning to see her locker decorated with balloons and crate paper. We made her wear a Birthday Girl crown all day at school. They sang Happy Birthday to her in all of her classes. At lunch we had a cake with candles that she blew out while the lunch room sang to her. That day was filled with surprises and well wishes for the up coming year.

Tree was an amazing friend who's life was filled with equally amazing moments. Always remember those moments and remember that we have a loving, wise and merciful Lord who holds her in His arms and is healing her heart.