Today I attended my first serious business meeting in almost three months. I have really neglected my business. Fortunately there was the Christmas recess, so it was not too bad. The series of very important meetings scheduled for the week of the 13th of January was pushed back to the first week in February once I realized that Vic was dying.
I dreaded seeing my (all male) colleagues today. I have known some of them for 25 years and they all knew of Vic’s precarious health.
I sat in my car outside the building and took deep breaths. These guys have never known me to show emotion. I have been stoic throughout Vic’s illness, many operations and setbacks. I was petrified that I would not be able to contain my grief!
Lots of hugs and pats on the back dispersed with the sympathies…a hushed silence followed me into the boardroom. With a couple of minutes to spare before the start of the meeting the guys decided to go smoke.
“It must be a relief for you to not have the responsibility of a sick child any more…” the one said through a cloud of smoke…..
“Yes” said another. “It has been many years”….
I did not have to dignify the insensitive remarks with a response as one of the female directors came out and hugged me. “I have no words for you” she said.
We went into the board room and took our seats. Being our first meeting of the year the normal New Year pleasantries was exchanged. I coped beautifully.
The meeting began and as soon as I started speaking I could hear a quiver in my voice! I was mortified! I shut up as quickly as possible and spent a couple of minutes trying to compose myself without drawing any attention to myself. Breathe in through my abdomen …exhale! Breathe in – exhale… My hands were shaking so I clutched my pen tightly! I put my hands on the boardroom table to steady them.
For years I have NEVER switched off my cell phone in case Vic needed me. If I was away from home (or even when I was home) I would fall asleep in with my phone in my hand. 24/7 my phone was on.
In a way it was liberating switching my phone off when the meeting started.
When I got home this afternoon I sat reading through my old BBM messages from Vic.
“Can I phone you Mommy?”
“Mommy may I have morphine? I am so sore!”
“When will you be home Mommy?”
Tonight the boys went to their dad for dinner. Danie and I popped in at a friend whose daughter-in-law was paralysed in a motorbike accident on the 8th of December. Her three beautiful granddaughters seem a little bewildered. Their mommy is in rehab and their daddy is staying with her 24/7. My friend became a substitute mommy for the girls. I have become a substitute mom to the boys again.
It was strange going to dinner – just the two of us.
Last night I covered schoolbooks… tomorrow morning I will take Jon-Daniel to the orthodontist to have his braces removed. Vic desperately wanted to live for the “event”. I hope she will be there in spirit. Tomorrow afternoon Jared and I will go and make an appointment for our motorbike learner licenses!
I am battling to contain my grief. I am trying to find the time to research “teenage grief”. How do we know how to treat grieving teenage boys? What if we make mistakes? What if we fail Vic and her boys? I fear I am not spending enough time with the boys.
Life is a mess.
I miss you angel child!