Monday, October 30, 2006

Panic Attacks and Remembrances Part 1

They've been brewing for a couple of weeks now, but today I had a real life panic attack. I'd thought it was lack of sleep or wierd chick hormonal issues or maybe just a reaction to some medication. But it wasn't. Those things cleared up and then bam! Today.

I know it was a panic attack because not only was I hyperventilating and unable to function, but I was completely irrational.

Inside Tricia's head...I can't move to Northern California, I'll never be able to get a job. No one will hire me, not even a temp agency for $12/hour. I have a baby. How do I explain that to an employer. No one hires single moms and that's what I am. Plus, what about the freak factor. I'm a widow. No one will like me in northern California. No one likes me now, but they feel too sorry for me to cut me off. Etc, etc.

On top of all that nonsense, I developed excruciating pain in my left heel and diagnosed myself with metastatic breast cancer. Then I crawled into bed and listened to The Weakerthans over and over again until I could compose myself.

What a complete mess!!!

Truly, i am so embarrassed.

But I am better now. And realizing (hoping) that maybe some of it was really hormonal. And maybe one night's sleep does not a well rested person make. And even if it takes me a year to find a job, I'll be ok. And even if no one likes me, I can make new friends.

Maybe I'm not completely better, but you should have seen me this afternoon.

Anyways, I stumbled across the remembrances file in my email and realized that I had never kept my promise to share them with the rest of you. In fact, I hadn't even finished reading them myself. So, I am going to start tonight, one at a time. Thank you to everyone who has done this thus far. I know that they will someday mean a lot to Iain and they already mean a lot to me.

Iain, take a look at these three stylin' images... No, these beaming hipsters aren’t models from a 1958 LIFE magazine photo spread. The two swingin' sophisticates you see before you happen to be your parents, circa 2004. And this photo perfectly captures their whimsical side.Your dad was the consummate host: witty, urban, ready with a bon mot, and highly adept at the shaker and the strainer. He could small talk about the best way to decanter wine and a second later, delve into a conversation on Dorothy L. Sayer's idea to educate small children in Latin. A dapper "Man About Town" with depth. Equally at home in theology and Monty Python.And a true friend who brought joy to our lives.This is just one of the ways we'll be remembering your dad. Stay tuned for the others!

Love,Autumn & JC Cornwell

In addition to these photos, JC and Autumn also sent this photo of Iain and Daddy when Iain was just one day old. Thought I'd share it as well.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Long time, no write

Where to begin?

And now I feel guilty. Isn't that silly? To feel guilty about not writing to an internet audience. I suppose what I really feel guilty about is not having captured this last month, not having captured the ups and downs, highs and lows of this crazy time. I have been at both my lowest and my most optimistic, but I haven't stayed at either for long enough to capture them.

"after the fact" is never the same.

So I will probably never get around to writing about these things, but in case Iain asks me someday, I want to remember...

Going back to the hospital where Dalton died and giving a gift to the nurse who cared for us.
Visiting Dalton's friends in Benicia and Petaluma and wondering why we never made the time to do it together.
Discovering that I did not die with Dalton on May 26, 2006.
Wishing sometimes that I had.
Lying down next to the grave of my husband.
And my mother.
And my father.
Getting to the gym five times in a week.
Going apple picking in Oak Glen
Having little Dalton give me a hug and say, "I miss you mommy Tricia. Daddy's in the hospital."
The dodgers winning the wild card and then throwing it away to the Mets.
Being up and down and all over the place in my thought, action, and dreams.

I am in counseling now. I spend $150 per hour for someone to listen to me perform my own psychoanalysis and occasionally ask an introspective question. She's very into dreams; believes they are truly gateways into our innermost psyche. That would be fabulous if I were someone who regularly remembered her dreams, but I'm not. Really, I never have been, but Iain kind of sealed the deal. How much of your dream are you really going to remember when the first thing you hear is a toddler screaming, "Out, mama. Out!" Nevertheless, I have assured Dr. D that I would place a notepad beside the bed just in case.

Just in case happened this week and of course, there was no notepad. I had two, yes two, dreams. The first was good. The second, not so good.

In the first dream, Dalton and I were having our usual fun, flirty, Saturday night at home. It was so real that I woke up thinking that I had finally been able to get through the nightmare about cancer and get back to real life. It happened at the end of a very rough day. Dr. D said it was compensatory, that I really needed it, so my inner self gave me what I needed.

In the second dream though, things were not so happy. There had been a murder, a stabbing, and Dalton and I were trying to solve it. Everything was either white or green-gray, like a scene out of Clockwork Orange. And here's the wierd part. Dalton was very distant. I was aware that he loved me, but that he was intentionally holding back. There was somethig he wouldn't tell me. Or couldn't help me with. And I felt alone. Very, very alone.

Dr. D's question to me was, "So which part of yourself do you feel has been murdered.?"

You're kidding, right.

All of me.

I have no clue who I am without this man. I don't even know who I want to be. It changes minute to minute. So most of the time I just am. And I really don't want to be someone who just is.

So I spend my time dwelling on who I should be. How can I fix this? What should I do? Where should I live? What should I study? How should I parent? What should I believe? When should I date? Who should I date? What cause should I devote my life to? Etc, etc.

It is tiresome, but so much easier than accepting my current circumstances. That is something that I cannot seem to do. And I continue to fight against.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

October 11, 2005 and October 12, 2004

One year ago today, we learned that Dalton had advanced esophageal cancer. Two years ago tomorrow, my mom collapsed from kidney failure while getting ready to go baby shopping. She never recovered. This is a sucky week. Don't be suprised if I am MIA.