Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Is Home Day, Again

Twelve Fridays ago our family was itching to go home. On that day, we were in Los Angeles, exactly two miles from our front door, at CHLA. We wanted to bring Pablo home. We wanted our family to be complete, under one roof, under the roof of the house where we live. Our little boy had somewhere to go. He had to leave us and it was clear that he was going alone and we had to love him and hold him and simply BE with him until he left. There was no way that was going to happen at a building two miles from our house. A departure so significant should happen in the most sacred space available. For us, that space was our home. The comfort and safety we all felt when we carried Pablo in the front door—I can feel it as I type this. It was so real.

Today, we are in Los Angeles, exactly 13 miles from our front door, at a hotel. It's been eight Fridays since we last slept in our own beds. We were on vacation for three weeks, and discovered bed bugs in our bed within minutes of being back—bugs that had been there since before Pablo passed away. We had no idea. We thought Jo Ann had broken out in stress-induced hives. We were wrong. The marks on her arms were bed bug bites. Normally, when I'm faced with facts this shocking—eight weeks, bed bugs—I say something along the lines of, 'What the f***'s up with that?'

We are so ready to be back to normal.

Normal is achievable only if all the residents of our home are invited to be there. Bugs and raccoons and other living things are not invited. To make that widely known, a gross-looking green tent was thrown over our house last Saturday. Then the fumigation dudes pumped an insane amount of gas into the tent. Three times what they use for termites. This was our attempt to get back to normal. To let the bugs know they were uninvited.

That's not all we've done. We are getting a new bed. Not an easy decision. But one that had to be made. After eight weeks of messing around in the extermination process, we can't take any chances that even one bed bug egg is left in our bed. I have wanted to hold onto our bed at all costs. I've been making the case for keeping it. Last week, I caved. Yes, that bed is where Pablo slept. That bed is where Pablo's physical life ended. Those things are true. After 12 weeks, Jo Ann, Grady and I are becoming more clear. We can feel Pablo with us, around us, within us. That takes away a lot of power from objects like our bed. Besides, a big ol' bed isn't exactly the most romantic reminder of our little boy. Photos, toys, his clothes—our memories!—are much better mementos.

Between now and 5 p.m., our house will be transformed back into a home. Another new start in what is turning out to be an extended series of new starts. We accept or we crumble. That's the way it works. So we accept. This is the next indicated step.

Will post pics tomorrow.


Jane said...

heart wrenching and heart warming at the same time.

thank you.

Elizabeth said...

No words -- just rest to you and peace to your family.

jen berry said...

thinking of you. love isn't always in the material items. they come and go. but i cannot imagine how difficult it is to let go of them.