I planned out today’s title as I was either trying to go to sleep, or at 5:30 this morning as I was trying to go back to sleep. I no longer remember which it was. First, let me bore you with a little grammar…
A) Something that happened regularly in the past but no longer happens. Ex: I used to drink coffee.
B) Something that was true but no longer is. Ex: There used to be a U-Totem store.
C) Something is normal, not unusual. Ex: I am used to that noise.
D) The process of something becoming normal for us. Ex: I quickly got used to Joe’s accent.
This was on my mind, because for the past 3-4 days I have had relatively “cry free” days. And yesterday I faced the reason why. I am getting used to Erin not being here. And I am not looking at her pictures, or in her room, like I used to. And when I get flashbacks, like I used to, I push them out of my mind. I will never get used to flashbacks. The moments they show seem to be random with one thing in common – they all are of the time spent in the hospital for the most part.
So I used to be able to hug Erin every morning. She used to be alive. I am now getting used to her not being here. And lastly, I will never get used to the fact that she is never coming back. Being a grammar nerd, a grieving mother, and having a cynical attitude at the present time led me to add “Used To” to my already sizable repertoire of “Never.”
When I went to bed last night, though, I keenly felt the longing for Erin, but was able to put it away enough to go to sleep. I woke purposely at 5:30, hoping to see the blood moon (it was too cloudy), but then the longing was so bad that I could hardly stand it. I honestly don’t know how I managed to go back to sleep.
Even though the reality has set in, I still expect to see Erin all the time. I realize that I won’t see her, and that is hard. You may be thinking “well that’s a no brainer” but it’s a level of difficulty that I can’t describe fully. If it ever happens to you, you will understand. But until it does, there’s just no way that you can.
I used to write about other topics. If you peruse this website, I wrote articles to help people in one way or another. Sometimes it was lessons learned from my own hardships (boy, if I thought I had hardship then, I was wrong!). Sometimes it was “how to” type articles. I never shared Erin too much, mainly because of predators and I didn’t want to expose her to an online world of who knows who.
I used to complain a lot at home. I never have enough time to myself I would say. Y’all never leave me alone I would say. I never get to eat while my food is warm, blah blah blah. Well, what I wouldn’t give to eat cold food with Erin at the table, or to be “bothered” all day long. My perspective has changed. I used to be irritated, but I was mistaken and wrong.
Life used to hold promise, hope, and joy. It really doesn’t anymore. I apologize to Erin all the time now. I tell her, honey I know that you don’t want me to be sad, and I am trying to make the best out of this so that your life wasn’t for nothing. I’m trying to find the gift. I hope she hears me, because the truth is that I am trying – desperately trying – but I am failing miserably. I used to be happy. I am not anymore. If you see me smiling, it’s probably to make you feel comfortable. It isn’t because I am feeling better.
One day I will be able to interact with others and they will never know that I used to be a complete mess on the outside. I may appear “flat” or “dead” on the outside to them, or maybe just reserved and polite. It will simply be that I have gotten used to this whole shitty thing. I will still be crying and emotional on the inside. I will just be Used To.