Despite what I was going through, there were still events that couldn’t be missed. My oldest son was graduating from college. It was a December graduation and I was determined to attend. I am not sure how I appeared on the outside. Inside I was trying to just walk through the moment. Hold it together Carolynn. Smile. Ask questions. Look engaged. So. Much. Work. When I would sit in a group, I was always moving, nervously rocking my legs. There was no stillness anywhere in my being. And when I could hold it together no longer I would dismiss myself into the bathroom or some place where I could be alone and cry. Not a gentle tear, but a sobbing, ugly cry. It released some of the pain. But I would resurface and as often as possible be present. I wanted to be the mom that was there for them. To celebrate their successes and walk along their journey.
When my daughter got into the college of her choice I was determined to make the day about her. I suggested we meet Dad for lunch and surprise him. I had secretly wrapped college swag for each of them as a way of telling dad the news and celebrating my daughter. Another daughter graduated from nursing school. We made the 6 hour drive down which was grueling and attended this proud moment with the entire family. I have very little memory of this, sadly. My husband and I decided to fly back home because I could not handle being in a car again for the drive back home. Something as simple as this took everything in me. Sadly, panic and fear reigned and kicking them off their throne was not an easy task. But I was determined to push my limits and sometimes I succeeded.