As I sat down to write tonight, I learned the news that Cardinals outfielder Oscar Tavares died in a car accident. When you haven’t lost a child, you can try to imagine it. You can hurt for them. You can be try to be empathetic. But you cannot truly understand. Now I understand. And hearing the news that another life ended too soon, that another family has to travel this path, broke my heart again. I’ve had to protect myself from these stories lately. I don’t read the news nearly as often as I did before. I hid all the Trisomy 18 posts. It just hurts too much. My thoughts and prayers are with Oscar’s family tonight.
Writing has been healing to me throughout this journey. I started the original blog to keep everyone updated on Zoey’s condition. It was a way to give accurate information without repeating it constantly. But it grew from there and became a place for me to express how I was feeling as we dealt with the fear and uncertainty of her diagnosis. There’s a level of safety you can achieve when not looking at someone. If you’re judging my thoughts and decisions, I can’t see it on your face. If you’re giving me the “sad eyes”, I can’t see those either. And on the other side, the sweet comments that people leave help me feel loved, but I’m saved from needing to respond. After losing Zoey, I felt I needed to keep writing and found Project Heal. I was worried that my thoughts and writing would be very scattered so having the prompts each day has given me direction and allowed me to explore places I otherwise may not have given much thought.
I’ve also been running again. As you know if you’ve been following the blog, I am running the Disney Princess half marathon in February in honor of Zoey. I took more than a year off from running so it feels like I’m starting from scratch. And I’ve never been a “good” runner anyway– I’m slow, it hurts, etc… But that’s not why I do it. As soon as I started hitting the pavement again, I remembered why I put in all those miles before. It’s therapy with friends. The one who gets up early and meets me before work suffered great losses recently as well. I can talk with her and not worry that she’s going to have me committed. When I’m running alone like this weekend, it’s my time to process. It’s often where I write these blogs in my head. When it’s been hard and I feel myself getting weak, I say Zoey’s name. Sometimes repeatedly. She reminds me to keep going.
I imagine the tools I use to heal will change with time. I feel as long as I’m finding a little light everyday and I keep trying to make my way back to being joyful and content in this life, I’m “okay”.