Wednesday, June 29, 2022

125 weeks and 2.5 days

Dear Sonzee, 

I think I have mentioned before that some weeks fly by and others seem like they slowly drag by.  It isn't in the physical day-to-day sense, but more from the mental perspective.  I wrote you a week ago, but honestly, it feels like it has been so much longer.  If I had to assign a reason I am pretty sure it has to do with what the week was filled with.  This last week was so physically draining with our drive from Phoenix to New York and then getting set up in the house paired with visiting uncle, Hay-Hay, and your new cousin, and then the start of camps for your siblings.

During our drive to NY, we went into gas stations that had key chains.  While your siblings grabbed the ones they wanted I noticed a heart-shaped rock with the state name, perfection.  I knew this was perfect for you.  We didn't stop in every state, but we ended up with three states.  My new activity will be collecting heart-shaped rocks for you with every state on them!

We arrived in our home for the summer a week ago.  It was really an amazing trip, filled with a spontaneous stop in Casey, Illinois, where we saw some amazingly huge items (think the world's largest rocking chair, mailbox, taco, key, golf tee, etc.)

I spent Wednesday through Friday getting the house set up and buying all the things we needed for the house and last-minute items for your siblings for camp. On Friday was aba's birthday!  He turned 40!  Insane that he is now in his 40s and I am on his tail.  He was still in Arizona with Tzvi, so Morah Zupnick helped pull off some birthday specialness and I had cardmyyard attack the front yard with a huge sign (hahaha). 

On Sunday was meet baby Isla day!  It was amazing!  She is so adorable.  One of your siblings mentioned how you won't get to meet her and asked how she will know about you.  I said we would tell her.  I honestly hadn't given it that much thought because I didn't anticipate that she wouldn't learn about you or know you, but I have to admit it does suck we won't ever have a complete cousin picture.  There will always be you missing, and that will always be painful to see.  I stayed up with her and took night duty and she is such an amazing first baby, so chill.  We warned uncle the next one won't be the same (hehe). I couldn't get enough snuggles with her.  (so obviously I will be going back a lot this summer)

I went to get aba and Tzviki from the airport after the all-nighter and then we went back to uncle and Hay-Hay's. Eventually, we drove back up to VV and it was the last night before camp.  Yesterday we dropped off Noam at day camp and then drove to PA to drop off the elders.  I have been stalking their pictures since they left.  It is always a challenge for me to remind myself that it is just camp and (g-d willingly) they will be coming home at the end of the summer.  I talk myself down a lot when the initial panic begins to pop in and overall I am doing okay.  It is just hard.  You being gone is hard.  You never coming back is harder. The reality when it punches me is the hardest.  The permanence is like a punch to the gut that removes all the air from my lungs. 

It still sucks.

Anyway, baby girl, I will write more about VV soon! Missing you and loving you!

Until next time.

Love always, 
Ema



The Mighty Contributor

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

124 weeks and 1 day


Dear Sonzee,

This last week was filled with putting the last of the items away in the house and unpacking boxes.  We seem to have misplaced Mermie, but Aba assures me we put it somewhere safe - so we have to just remember where that may be.

Mrs. Penny and Seth came for a visit while Lily was in astronomy camp.  I always love their visits! They came for two days and slept over one night. The bathrooms are still ALMOST finished - this time by Sunday when aba and Tzvi leave they will be completed (we hope).

We finally celebrated Meena’s birthday with a pottery party, better late than never right?!

The week was filled with random pop ins of people and  I thoroughly enjoyed making multiple batches of cold brew and various teas for everyone. I LOVE our new house location! 

Shabbas had lots of friends over as well for all of us. I think we are all loving it. 

I spent last week finishing packing for camp and NY. Aba and I packed the car Friday and Saturday night. By Sunday we were ready to head on our way. The girls, Noam, and I met aba and Tzvi by you for a Father’s Day picture and then we left on our journey.

Tonight ends say 3 and tomorrow we will be in NY. It has been a fun and actually easy drive.  We picked up keychains for you every time we got for your siblings. They have states written on heart rocks and it’s so perfect for you!

Anyway baby girl. As always we miss and love you lots!!

Until next time.

Love always,
Ema 


The Mighty Contributor

Monday, June 13, 2022

122 and 123 weeks

Dear Sonzee, 

I begin with what seems to be my weekly apology for being late or missing a week.  After I finally located my computer at the end of last week I figured I might as well wait for today to combine the last two weeks.  Most of which has been filled with moving out of the apartment and into our new house. 

I am thrilled to be in a house.  Apartment living is just not for me.  I actually heard the music from wherever it was coming from into the boys' room in the apartment in Tzvi's room the first night I tucked him in.  It took me two days to stop the make-believe music.  Everyone has been settling in nicely.  Aba and I spent the last two weeks sleeping on either a couch or a trundle in each of your siblings' rooms because our room was a hot mess.  We finally put up all of our dressers and closet organizers, despite the bathroom still in full construction mode.  Neither ours nor Noam's bathrooms are completed yet, but will hopefully be by the end of this week. (I will say the couch is amazingly comfortable so I didn't complain)

We are working on each of your siblings doing their laundry since they now all have hampers they are hoarding their clothing in.  In the apartment, I just kept the washing machine open and they dumped their clothing inside.  While extremely efficient if I missed a day there was a backup and nagging over needing clothing, so to offset the complaints everyone can just be responsible for their own laundering.  I have to say, so far your 3 older siblings have been pretty awesome, and I switch their loads and tell them when they are ready for folding and putting away.  They have learned the detergents and items that go into the cycles. 

Your areas have been set up, but I am still behind on putting up all of the pictures and new frames. I will probably have to push things off until we get back from summer because as of today camp packing is strictly underway. 

The last two weeks have been mainly ok in terms of settling in a house you never lived in.  We have set up your items strategically around the house but in an organic manner.  The idea is that you are everywhere, and we are doing our best to ensure that is the case.  It was so cute, as I walked by Noam's room this week he was putting out your picture on his dresser. I put your feeding pole and one of your bags hanging from it in the family room.  Your blankets are in a basket side table with pictures on top, but available for me to sit on the couch and snuggle with. (It almost takes me back to the hospital days since they are the ones I would get on the care cart, minus the fact that the couch here is so much more comfortable than the PCH benches or chairs).  I put your oxygen machine next to those side tables.  Your artwork is slowly making it up on the walls, and all the gifts of trees given in your honor and memory are in the kitchen, along with the picture that I took of your grave when a heart somehow appeared reflected in your rock basket when there was nothing around to do that. Your Rifton chair sits with the epilepsy bear PCH child life made for your siblings so they wouldn't be scared to see you with the EEG hat on, and we put some of your Sonzee items in that area. That kicking Daniel Tiger piano that you used to love and hit until the frog sang is tied to the footrest, and I put in new batteries so I could hear the frog sound if I am in the mood for it.

Your siblings have been swimming up a storm in the pool.  It was a major pull to this house, especially since it came with a diving board as well.  A part of me wishes we had your swim spa, the other part reminds me I couldn't bring myself to go inside it without you, and hadn't since you died. 

The downside of combining weeks is I forget a lot of the details I would have told you, hopefully, I will do better.

Anyway baby girl. I miss you lots and wish I could see you and peak in on whatever you are up to. Come and visit and let me know if you approve of where I put all of your things!

Until next time.

Love always, 
Ema

The Mighty Contributor

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

121 weeks and 1.5 days

Dear Sonzee, 

This last week has been really tough. I wish the grief could stay more even-keeled, but I guess that isn't how this all works.  This week, I spent a lot of time getting the new house ready for move-in day.  It won't be the perfect ribbon-cutting ceremony, but hopefully, by the time we leave for NY, it will be close to perfect.

There is a lot of weight that comes with opening boxes that say "room #1".  It was worse when I randomly picked a box, opened it, and didn't even consider it would have your stuff in it.  Since grief avoidance is my specialty, the minute I caught a glimpse of something of yours I immediately shut the box and moved on. (Well until the whole 1.5 days into week 122).

You'd think by now I would be able to look at your stuff without crumbling, but that's a huge nope.  Maybe it is because I haven't seen it in so long? Maybe it is because in 19th street I had to purposely open a door and go into your room willingly.  It only caught me off guard if the doors were left ajar, which wasn't often. Maybe it is just how this will go.  Aba seems to think eventually I will get used to it.  Today I disagree with that notion, I can't imagine (do I even want to?).  Will I eventually become numb?  Will it eventually be different?  For today it is hard to imagine coming home every day and having to see your stuff in my face without you there.  I can't lie, after I set a lot of it out I wanted to throw it all back into a box, but I am going to try and do the opposite and attempt to accept our reality.

This week I saw my first hummingbird at the new house. I recorded him/her for a good 2 minutes (until aba scared him/her away). I joked with him you clearly didn't want to see him that day, and he pointed out you visited him at least once since you died...so he won that convo hands down.

This last week from Saturday night until this morning Laeya and I went to Florida for a bat mitzvah. We saw savta and had a nice time.  We also drove to see Jenn (and Dalia) and Elle, and got to see Ronald pitch in a tournament (this way when he goes to the MLB we can say "we saw him when...".  I feel so lucky to have seen them both twice this year!

This week your oldest introduced me to this song called "glitter" by Patrick Droney and I can't make it through it without my eyes filling with tears. It is such a perfect song about grief and you. My heart continues to break more for her and all the grieving she does for you.  I know how suffocating it is for me, and it kills me that she feels a similar pain.

Anyway baby girl. I love and miss you!

Hope to see you soon.

Until next time. 

Love always, 
Ema

The Mighty Contributor

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

119 & 120 weeks and 2 days

Dear Sonzee, 

I am so beyond sorry that over 2 weeks have passed since my last letter to you.  In fact, it has been exactly 14 days since my previous blog post.  No excuses, just the days get away from me and the grief exhaustion weighs down the typical day-to-day life exhaustion and here we are...2 weeks since.

119 weeks was filled with so many work meetings and progress reporting. That paired with the typical chauffeur services for your siblings with all of their activities and attempting to get things done with the new house. It finished with me helping with sizing at the hockey rink for the older kids' hockey tryout weekend.

120 weeks wrapped up another year for me at FBC.  With that, your sisters and I went to NY for the weekend for Meira's bat mitzvah.  You were missed and mentioned a multitude of times.  It is always a great time in NY for me.  It was a beautiful Simcha and we all loved seeing our friends (and uncle and Hay Hay). I feel like I am living the luckiest life, having friends and family in NY that I get to see over the summer and during events, and then the same in Arizona.  We got home late Sunday night after a slight hold-up on the plane in JFK.  We did learn however that it is your brother with the bad flying luck, as everything went smoothly in the grand scheme of things. 

As I age my memory seems to be fading a bit so I think I touched on the most important aspects of the last 2 weeks.  Construction continues on and I dare say I see the end in sight. We miss you a lot and love you more!

Until next time.

Love always, 
Ema


The Mighty Contributor