I’ll join your circle

The days are long anymore. And even though I find that I have the want to go back to the old normal, I often get stuck in this perpetual motion that actually takes me nowhere. It’s as though I am walking on a treadmill. Getting nowhere but wishing I was at my goal. I don’t like it. It is getting less sad though. As I slowly introduce some life back into my lungs, I am finding it easier to let go of the evil that is no longer welcome in my head. I slipped once. A jolly middle finger at the devil. I can’t even deny it felt good. Awesome really. It felt human. Because I am human and I am still here.

Spring is always busy. We added a boy to the baseball schedule which ended up working out fine because Davis’ team doesn’t start until mid-May. Devlynn’s wrapping up lacrosse already too. It’s been a blurry few months. I am not even sure I’ve withheld the memory to say I was here even though I have the scars to prove I was. Trying to figure out the end of year gifts and coaches appreciation is proving hard in my head but it will get done. I always get it done. The reality is it’s always been me keeping things afloat. I’m grateful now for a teammate though instead of just an investor.

I dyed my hair blue. My poor white sheets are blue though. And I think I will literally have to recolor weekly to keep it where I want it. A dear friend got me a gift card to a hair salon and I may have them bleach it for me, just to make it easier to keep up on the color. I like it. It feels like me. I like not feeling so plain. I wish I could see the beautiful people keep telling me I am.

This weekend I went to a Moon Circle. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t even sure what it was but I am so eager to say “yes” these days, that I just blindly went. It was one of the better decisions I have made in the past few months. I felt uneasy turning into the driveway; so much so I turned around. But once I got there, I knew I was supposed to be there. It was an awakening. I’m excited to see where it takes me. I pulled these Goddess cards that told my story. I received a much-needed gift and I emotionally vomited on this new friend. It was like the secret flooded out onto the earth and the pain started to slip away. It was like I knew that this was just a temporary uncomfortable. That this awful wouldn’t be there forever and was actually on the way out. Out of sight, out of mind. The world is too big a place to keep running into that which is ruining your peace. I’m taking my peace back.

Healing is a funny thing. It ebbs and flows like the waves of the ocean. Coming in often softly and with a sweet and soothing sound. And sometimes that same healing pulls away briefly…. I like to think to create a bigger wave of rejuvenation.  Sometimes when it pulls away, I get dark but I am trying to remember that the wave of health will always return. It always returns. I see it all around me. In the shapes of my children tucked into their own beds. In the warmth of my own bed, filled with comfort and love again. In the white sheets, now tinted blue, that I wash every couple of days because I love how it feels and smells to go to sleep in fresh sheets or to read enveloped in a place that no one can ever steal the peace from again. I see the healing in the smiles that greet me each day and the silly text messages and in the in hand holding. I see it in the flowers on my loved trees and in the warm and wonderful messages, I received daily. I see the healing when I don’t feel like I am mourning all of a sudden but starting new instead. Like a rebirth. We’re constantly rebirthing, aren’t we?

I don’t know that I will ever understand why these things happen. I can’t waste the time to try to figure it out anymore. I guess all I can do is appreciate that even though it took a tragedy and, holy hell, a lot of pain, that it helped me to start rediscovering myself. I won’t pretend that it’s over or that I’m at peace with any of this. I am not there yet. Not even close but I want to start to appreciate the journey. I want to know myself again and stop getting lost in the “what ifs”.

Even if that means the occasional middle finger.

The last day I carried you

The day your brother broke his leg I knew of you. When they wanted me to go back and get X-rays, I knew of you. Struggling with the idea of you, I hadn’t told your father and when they needed another x-ray, I stared into his eyes, hoping he could read my mind. I think he knew about you too but didn’t actually know you, yet.

That week I stood at the dining room table and the word “Zika” came out of someone’s mouth. Your sister had just come home from Belize. I felt my stomach dip. I wonder if that was my first sign you wouldn’t make it to today.

We left for the beach that weekend. I carried your brother, your cousin. I walked up and down the beach and back and forth, collecting shells and memories. I felt the gush. Running back to our vacation house to check, I found the red. I tried to hide it from your dad. He knew though, that something wasn’t right. And I told him and I said goodbye to you. Sandra tried to tell me that not all bleeding meant a loss, but I knew you were gone. The guilt of my sadness had taken you. Six kids are too many. We’re not in a good place. How will I do this? But you were gone. I laid in the bathtub, alone, bleeding the pieces of my heart that I didn’t know I wanted until they were all gone.

You were gone.

You’d have been due today but you’d have been born next week. I always have babies that are late. Had babies.

I had babies.

I’ll have no more. Parts of me are okay with that. Most of the parts. Then, as I wash and fold the tiniest of clothing to send to baby Ritter, I weep, mourning you. You were my baby. A piece of my heart and a face I will never see.

I’ve posted little secrets about today, passively and quietly on Facebook. Hoping someone would recognize my sadness and mourning. Afraid to tell people of your loss, I wanted someone to tell me it was okay. I have been fortunate to have had a few people who did. I wanted someone to hold me though and drink in my sadness so it wouldn’t hurt so bad. Because it felt crazy to be so sad when I have five little things to be so happy for.

I’d posted on my large families board, one said: “oh it’s your age”, another reminded me we didn’t have to be done. I knew we were though. He didn’t want. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t even imagine the comments I’d of received had we announced another one. “You don’t have to be done,” but I am. I have to be now. So much has stolen that choice from me now. So many people and so many things. 40 is coming. I am finally getting to the days I can watch the game and hang out with the adult people. I have to be done now. There is too much at stake.

I’m lucky to have Ritter now. Lucky to be able to breathe in his new. Holding him is like holding my own. And he knows my heart because he’s kind and an old soul. I’m lucky to have him.

Today though, I am going to feel sad. I am going to cry for you and remember the last day I held you. Making wet footprints, collecting the shells as though they were memories. Kissing baby heads and being a happy family that week. All that happy, I remember….

 

And there are good days

There are good days and there are bad days, and this is one of them. -Lawrence Welk

Kevin said he was going to do yard work today. At 4:30 am when I woke and peered out the bathroom window I thought, “ya right, it’s gonna rain”, in a sort of disappointed voice inside my head. I love when he does the yard work. The smell and sounds remind me of home, even though I am still not totally sure where home is these days. I like to watch the littles chase after him with their bubble mowers and dirty faces and we eat lunch on the porch, watching tiny-giant ants looking for lunch bits we’ve left behind. I’ve missed these days. Where we connected. We are connected now.

There are bad days. Sunday was a bad day. It will not rest well with my soul for a while I fear. Sunday turned into a Monday and then Tuesday, the longest, most painful day of the week. I made a mistake. I cried. I yelled a little and I drank a half a bottle of wine. And then it was Wednesday and I got sucked into the abyss of bad days. I won’t let that happen again. Today, I cleared my browser history. I turned my phone upside down. I promised myself I wouldn’t look. I wouldn’t respond. And I won’t. Therapist Erin told me to get a sticker to put on whatever radiates the sadness I’d fallen prey to. So that I remember to take a deep breath. I’ll walk my beautiful children to the Dollar Tree and purchase those round smiley face stickers I’d bought once before to praise the potty. I will put one on my phone. I will put one on my PC and I will remember to put one on social media. I will not cry today. I will not cry for any other reason than that I want to. Today will not be a bad day. I am promising myself there will be fewer. I will write when I want. I will likely feel afraid again and shut it all down but I will talk myself into coming back, perhaps minutes later,  and maybe only after reading the ass kicking texts from girlfriends, or in this case Beckyfriends. Those will be the good bad days.

This is not a bad day though. This is a good day. Today, I whispered to a tiny soul that mama needed to breathe. I smelled his tiny sweet head and kissed his tiny ears. And mama got a shower and I got to feel the bliss of true and kind love. I got to feel his tiny breath against my neck and feel his tiny heart beat against my own. And I knew, just then, the pain of what was coming would be okay. Endurable forgettable. He walked with me and smelled lilacs, maybe for his first time and we talked to dogs and birds and butterflies with his cousins inside my hands and holding onto my heart.

This is not a bad day. I found new music, the creativity to paint and start a long put off project for someone I really like and want to make this for. I put the flannel in the wash which  says my soul is ready to sew again. I opened the windows and let in the sounds. I opened emails, just in time to find an invite from someone I wanted to be friends and who might just wanna be friends with me. And my soul took a breath. And my heart said to me, “this is not a bad day”. I signed up for something new and scary and fresh. I responded to a few texts. I made a promise to have coffee. I commited to cake pops. I am finding myself inside the hurricane. Inside the rubble. I’m feeding the birds and they’re feeding me. I am finding myself above the lies.

I made an appointment to start my sleeve. Five bunnies, one little boy. A baseball, a mouse, a camera and sharp sewing scissors. Left arm. Not right. Right is for Gram. She’s been gone awhile now. I am remembering that I know all the goods as well as the bad and that it takes bravery to have chosen this path. This good day is telling me I am not the monster.

This is a good day and I am not a monster. This is a good day and I did not do anything to deserve this. This is a good day.