Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hello Darkness My Old Friend

It's 4:30 a.m.

I sit in my kitchen eating a banana and sipping on warm milk, what I use to do when I was pregnant.  I was told this combination was good for helping you get back to sleep, and so they were right. Whoever they were.

I've been awake since 3 a.m. and have finally given in to this past routine. But at this point, there is really no point in going back to bed.

The wee hours of the morning can be cruel to ones mind, as well as ones body.  It's a lonely time, no matter how many people you have in your home.  As I laid awake in my bed, the thoughts that went through my mind amazed me, only to wonder why our thought process is so different when darkness falls.

The first thing I thought about was praying, so that's what I did.  I had to thank the Lord for all the blessings he has bestowed on my family, as well as myself, amongst many other things.  I know the Lord will get me through the toughest times and I am thankful I hold him in my heart, he is there for me always and I can turn to him whenever.

Then I thought about my mother. She has never slept well and is often awake for hours at a time or she wakes every hour, on the hour to run to the potty.  Am I following in her footsteps? I hope not.  I can't imagine what it is like for her to wake at night only to find an empty bed with the American Flag placed on the pillow where my fathers head should lay.  She no longer has my father there to calm her nerves when night lays it's blanket of anxiety on her.  I remember my father-in-law telling me, after my mother-in-law died, that night is the hardest time for him.  Why do we dwell on certain thoughts at night when they don't even cross our mind during the day?

Then I flip the page and I started to think about my father's grave.  How I need to remember to grab the grass clippers from the shed and take them with me so I can take care of the 'unruly' grass around the slab of concrete before the headstone gets placed.  I laid there thinking about all the rain that just pounded the ground, saturating my father and how it makes him feel. During the tropical storm on Sunday I only thought about the ground being so saturated that I'd need to turn off the sprinkler system so not to waste water.

I laid there and listened to my husbands breathing.  This rhythm lulls him into a deeper sleep, annoying me, only wanting to wake him, to ask him a question that really needs no answer.  I started counting his breaths which only made me more alert to other noises in the house.  I remembered the colicky cries of my son when he was 3 months old and how loud it seemed at 1 a.m.  I thought about the time our neighbors got in an argument at midnight. How the slamming of the car door, the yelling and shouting, the screeching of tires is so unnerving to one when woken up out of a sound sleep. During the daylight hours, one wouldn't even notice this domestic dispute.  Or when the phone rings at 2 a.m., only to find a person on the other end saying, "Oh, I'm sorry I must have the wrong number". During the day our minds wouldn't think anything of it, but at night when that phone rings, the first thing we think of is unpleasantness.  Our minds immediately think of bad news and trouble.  Is it the quiet that is cruel to us, the darkness, or just our minds.

I laid there worrying about my boys going into 8th grade. I laid there and thought about the wedding I would like to attend, for my nephew, but know I won't because my sister-in-law can't stand the sight of me.  I laid there and thought about the baby shower card I need to make, do I purchase a gift or give money.  It's no wonder I can't sleep.  My mind just doesn't stop.

For whatever it's worth, our minds are wired for a.m. and for p.m.  There is really nothing we can do about it. I just might have to take my husbands suggestion and take more yoga and meditation classes with him. They are obviously helping him, because with all that is on his mind I believe he has found the secret of getting a good night sleep.

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