Thursday, June 28, 2012


Yesterday I walked down the row in the cemetery in which my grandma lays and I approached her headstone with little emotion or feeling. I wiped the freshly cut grass off the headstone that was blocking some of the writing and I wondered when my grandpa’s side would be filled in. On the stone they have a sketch of their home and property from the lake and it looks like they used my drawing of the property as their outline for the etching. I am not sure how I feel about that.

I still couldn’t talk to Todd; I couldn’t fix the light I placed from being crooked. Too many emotions right now wrapped up in certain people. 

I was able to stand at the cross that marks the grave of a friend I briefly dated when I was oh so young. Someone placed an angel statue next to the cross that marks his resting place and the angel was covered in grass. I had to pick her up and wipe her clean and pull the long grass surrounding his marker and the angel away, then returning the freshened up angel to the place where she was set by someone who cared enough to get it. It was hard to stand over his grave and clean it up, knowing that only a few feet below me was his burnt body from the flames that killed him. 

I care. I care to a fault at times. I care to my own detriment. I hate that about me. I hate feeling responsible, especially for the dead. Each one of them is like my own child. It’s like I have adopted these graves to clean because I don’t have markers of my own to visit and care for. My babies are lost now and forever with no place to mourn except in my head. 

As a mother this has been a very hard couple of weeks for me. My cousin crashed his plane 2 weeks ago on Saturday and amazingly lived. He scalped himself, broke his neck, burnt his feet in fuel, and somehow still managed to get out of the plane and onto the pontoon. He has no memory of what happened before or after. Not until he was in the hospital.

It devastates me because as a mother I can’t imagine getting that news over the radio. Not knowing where my child is and then hearing that he has been located and is alive. The long ride to the hospital and then the longer ride to the city, six hours wondering and worried if your child is still alive, if he will be paralyzed or not, if he will heal, as a mother I cannot imagine the anguish, the fear and the prayers that would have been going through my mind on that journey, as a mother I cannot imagine feeling so out of control.

I have been strong since I found out, until yesterday that is. Now the planes flying over my house give me nightmares and visions of the crash and feelings of trepidation and panic that my cousin must have been experiencing as he realized he was going down. The thought of swimming or even seeing the lake makes me sick, the one place I have always felt safe and secure is the water and now I look at it like a jail cell that has no air. I wonder if he struggled to get out of the plane or if he jumped before impact. I wonder if he was trapped under water. I am thinking about everyone who I have heard of around here who has drowned and the ultimate panic you must feel as you know that you cannot breathe and if you don’t breach the surface soon you never will. I think about the burns on my cousins’ feet and the irony that he was burnt by fuel because he was in the water. Water is supposed to protect us from flames and heat and burns, yet his feet sat in the fuel that floated atop the water burning him regardless of the water surrounding his crash site. 

I personally need answers; I need to know how this happened and why. I need to know so things can go back to normal, so I can trust the planes overhead not to fall out of the sky and hurt anyone else, so I can feel safe in the water instead of fearing what it contains and how dangerous it truly is.

I don’t know how to move on and heal when I don’t know what it is I am moving on from. I wasn’t close to him; if I was I likely would be less traumatized. It’s the not knowing that hurts and cuts so deep. 

He has been released from the hospital for a week already and although he has a long journey to heal ahead of him I am sure he is healing. I don’t understand why I get stuck in these places, with these thoughts, unable to move forward and heal and grieve. This is just another thing that leaves me locked in the shackles that bind me to the place in my mind that ensures that I am never safe.

I wonder how you fall out of the sky and have the dumb luck to be found and rescued before you have even been reported as missing. Right now I wonder a lot of things. I wish I could attribute good fortune to the hand of god but it’s hard to say it was god who protected him when it is the same god that allowed his plane to fall in the first place.

My glass is perpetually half empty.

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