The Once and Future Home

You know how there's always some asshole that insists on taking someone else's tragedy and making it all about themselves? Yeah, that's me with Hurricane Harvey. I've been a walking mess (more than usual) despite having zero skin in the game. I know families who were affected, but I do not personally know anyone who died, nor, of course, did I personally lose my home. But I'm acting like I did, crying nonstop, having more panic attacks than usual, being just torn to pieces thinking of all these thousands of people who are displaced. I know some of them are mothers who lost every physical thing they had of their deceased children, who will forever have to deal with people saying, "It's just stuff". I know some of them lost their pets. I know many of them lost the carpet they watched their children learning to crawl on. I know many of them lost all their journals, their yearbooks, their pictures from before the digital age. I know exactly how they feel and I cannot stop feeling it.

Pretty much

Pretty much

My therapist says that I was so deep in grieving Atticus that I am only now beginning to process losing my home. Which is a charitable interpretation, since I think I've been dealing with it for quite some time, what with all the insurance bullshit and constantly having to look at the contents lists and look through pictures and such. So I don't know, maybe this is just a fun new aspect of my PTSD. I feel extremely guilty for feeling this way, but that doesn't actually change anything.

But oh you guys, what about all the tube-fed children and adults? What are they eating now? How are they eating it? I heard an interview on NPR a while ago with a medical worker who was saying the hospitals were all very well supplied and had everything they need and I was thinking, "Oh like hell you do." Because even when we'd take Atticus to the children's hospital, they would always tell us to bring our own emergency g-tube kit, since the hospital rarely had extenders. And I once had to take him in when he'd pulled his tube out and I couldn't reinsert it (he pulled it out all the time, but only once could I not get it in--he'd pulled it out before a nap and I didn't notice until afterwards) and they didn't even have an actual g-tube button in his size. So I don't believe them and donated as much money as I could to Little Lobbyists and wished that I had a stack of extra supplies to give as well. (And of course, for the millionth billionth time, that Atticus was still alive to need those supplies.)

Anyway, my therapist suggested writing (like she often does) as a way to process this. So I'm trying to write without judgement about the house. Just the house, not the things and not Paka and Sasquatch and not Atticus. Just the house.

Originally, the room I still think of as Atticus's room was David's "office". When we found out I was having twins, that was the room that needed to be converted to the nursery because it would hold two cribs.

I highly doubt there was ever a time both cribs were simultaneously used.

I highly doubt there was ever a time both cribs were simultaneously used.

I spent SO much time sitting in this chair. I'd envisioned rocking my babies to sleep in it, but really it was my pumping chair. I'd often have Damien in a bouncy seat while I was pumping, because his reflex was so bad that sleeping him flat was a nightmare for us all. That blanket you see was the blanket my mom crocheted for me.

I spent SO much time sitting in this chair. I'd envisioned rocking my babies to sleep in it, but really it was my pumping chair. I'd often have Damien in a bouncy seat while I was pumping, because his reflex was so bad that sleeping him flat was a nightmare for us all. That blanket you see was the blanket my mom crocheted for me.

I'm not quite sure why there's a box of disposable diapers there since we used cloth, but this was the changing table. I think it was like this until Atticus was 4.

I'm not quite sure why there's a box of disposable diapers there since we used cloth, but this was the changing table. I think it was like this until Atticus was 4.

That was my old dresser.

That was my old dresser.

Not that the twins used their cribs, of course. Things rarely go how we envision. I had a cosleeper attached to the bed that Atticus slept in when he wasn't at the hospital, fitted with a ramp thing to help with his reflex, and Damien slept in our bed. Of course, most of the time they slept in our arms. Or in bouncy seats or with me wearing them. When I was pregnant with Everett, we transitioned Atticus to a crib, and Damien to the guest bedroom/David's other office. There was a double bed in there and David or I would sleep with him. When Everett was born, he occasionally napped in the second crib, but really he took over the cosleeper and our arms.

So it was Atticus's room. I bought him a fountain for Christmas that he absolutely loved, and he got a new medical bed in the fall of 2016. He'd use his room as a retreat when things got to overwhelming.

Atticus in his bed <3

Atticus in his bed <3

We moved Everett in to Damien's room, and they got a bunk bed, a zillion toys and books, and eventually a hamster.

Damien and Everett got bunk beds.

Damien and Everett got bunk beds.

And here is what their rooms look like now:

Atticus's room

Atticus's room

Damien and Everett's room

Damien and Everett's room

I'm clearly failing this assignment. I can't write about just the house.

I'll try again tomorrow.