Thursday, March 28, 2013

A year out

Today is one year from when I last saw Corey alive.  I still have the same regrets.  I still have the pain in my heart that is indescribable.  It is a pain that makes a person wonder if life is really worth living.  Of course it is worth living especially when you have a husband and 3 other children along with family and friends.  So with that I have had to figure out how to live in the pain because one thing that is certain, the pain doesn't go away.

There are days when I think the pain isn't as intense and days that it may not feel as intense. I have learned to not let that fool me because even though it may not be at the fore front it may knock me out for the count if a memory comes to mind or a person walks by that reminds me of Corey. I heard it once described as waves of an ocean.  You can see them and feel them in short burst but at times they are intense enough to knock the wind out of you.  These waves supposedly get further and further apart in this grief journey.  I have to have faith that this is true but I haven't fully experienced it yet.  My grief still feels like I am standing in the middle of the ocean instead of at the edges.

I really can not say that the fog of denial has fully lifted because there are still days that I wonder what he is doing or when he will come home.  Some days I let myself ponder in these thoughts.  He must be hanging out with a various group of friends.  He is 19 so he will be around when he needs something.  It feels good sometimes to just let my mind wonder and imagine what could or would be happening.  I do not know if this ever stops.  Maybe one day I won't let my mind continue in the story line but for now it gives me comfort.

Then there are days that the reality of cold cruel death stare me in the face.  These are days that I am stifled in life.  I can't get out of bed.  I might not shower or even eat.  I don't answer the phone or text.  I am just overwhelmed with pain.  These days I can't think of anyone but myself and the child I carried inside me and then went through hours of labor to birth.  I forget that there are others in pain who may be struggling, whose life Corey touched.  In these moments of pain no one else can possibly relate.  It just hurts.

There are days that I am in intense pain but it is different than what I have described above it is a sympathetic or empathetic pain.  It is the pain that is ever present in the eyes, words and actions of my other children and my husband.  I see it in the eyes and words of our sisters and brothers, our parents, and grandparents.  I see it in the eyes and words of Corey's dearest friends. It is a pain I won't ever understand.  Pain that is all about knowing that my closest and his closest loved ones are hurting, hurting with the intensity that I hurt.  Oh how this breaks my heart all over again.  I can not imagine loosing a sibling, a grandson, a nephew, a best friend.
It gives me joy to know that he had so many important people in his life.

He made such a big impact on so many people.  I am certain it was in part due to his infectious smile and laugh.  He could make anyone laugh no matter the situation.  He had a dance he would do that would make the worst mood lighten.  He could also tell stories or jokes that fit any situation.  He was a well cultured well rounded young man and new how to play to that end. Because of some social issues he had, he didn't know when this was appropriate or not so he would literally make everyone laugh even if it wasn't "the right time."

My boy, my heart.  The kids have a saying "The struggle is real"  I could certainly echo that right now.  This day, this year mark.  This struggle is real.  More real than seems possible.  It hurts and it is real.

Princess Carrissa our favorite daughter turns 17

When I found out I was pregnant with our 3rd child it took us a little bit longer to get excited.  We already had 2 boys who were only 1 and 2.  The 1 year old still had multiple surgeries ahead of him.  We had no idea how we would handle another baby.  We had been using the latest form of birth control it was implanted into my arm right after the birth of our second child.  There were several complications very early. There were thought to be 2 babies, then what was thought to be a miscarriage.  This was a very difficult time.  When we went back to the doctor several weeks after this trauma to have test ran we found out there was still a baby and SHE had a heartbeat.  The doctors ran test and said she was a normal forming, healthy little girl.
We had decided that Gene could name the girls and I could name the boys.  We had been tossing around several names for this baby and could not make a decision we both agreed on.  One day we were shopping at a church rumage sale and a little girl came up to us and asked about our young boys.  This little girl was very pretty.  When she asked what the boys names were she volunteered her name, Carrissa.  When the child walked away Gene looked at me and smiled and said that's it that is what I want to name our baby.  We quickly agreed on the name Carrissa.
Several months later, we gave birth to a very healthy baby girl, Carrissa Elaine Whitten.  Born November 22, 1995.  She was the most beautiful little girl we had ever seen.  Her big brothers instantly fell in love.  Carrissa was a delight.  She had a big smile and big brown eyes.  She was a joy.  Eleven short months later we gave birth to her best friend Isaac.  So she is the 3rd of 4 children and our only girl.  She has enjoyed this position from the start.  She loved baby dolls and dresses.  She also had a very special bond with mommy and daddy and each of her brothers adored her.  

Carrissa loved dresses, baby dolls and having her hair done.  She also liked to be a little helper, taking great care for her brothers and making certain they did not get into trouble.  Right before Carrissa turned 2 we moved our young family to Lincoln, Illinios and both Gene and I attended Lincoln Christian University.  We moved into Married Student Housing where there were a lot of other young families.
As a toddler, Carrissa loved tea parties, lady bugs and her brothers.
As Carrissa grew into a little girl she wanted some separation from the world of boys.  She joined girl scouts and played softball and was very good in school.  During her teen years Carrissa has found a love for serving and worshiping at church in various areas.   She has enjoyed student athletic training and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She also enjoys throwing the discus for the track team.  Carrissa is a very strong young woman in heart mind soul and spirit along with physically.  She can certainly hold her own with anyone she meets if she needs to.  Most people that meet Carrissa love her.  She is very easy to get along with and has an amazing worldview.  We are VERY proud of this young lady.