Archive for the ‘Loss’ Category

Memories from another life.

August 30, 2012

I woke up one morning recently with “Somebody that I used to know” already stuck in my head. I got ready for work while humming a few bars. In between cake orders I would sing a few lines. I would think of various memes on the internet with Gotye’s face on it and chuckle. And then I started to think about all the somebodies that I used to know. And I realized there are a lot more of them than I’d thought. Myself included.

Sometimes I’ll talk about things that happened when I was a teenager or younger and it always feels like I’m talking about somebody else. I’m not sure if this is a common feeling. I used to be so haunted and now I can’t even remember what my ghosts look like. You’re going to have to bear with me here, I have a point and I’m trying to make it but lately when I try to tie my various selves together, I don’t get the paper doll chain that I’d like to have. I usually end up with a pretty jumbled mess. I can’t decide what this means. Maybe it means that I just no longer know the person that I used to be. I feel so far removed from incidents, encounters, and occurrences of the past that most of the time I wonder if they ever really happened or if it was all a dream.

I remember a girl secretly holding hands with a boy in the back of a van. I remember a kiss that changed everything. It was late, in the girls living room, I’m pretty sure she was wearing pajamas. I remember a girl being secretly in love with a boy. I remember a girl being afraid to sleep in her own home. I remember a girl who stood in front of her mother to protect her from her stepfather. But I don’t remember being this girl. And it’s so strange. Some days this girl found it hard to even get out of bed for fear of what the day could bring. Some days that girl would go home from school early because she just couldn’t. On at least one occasion, the girl didn’t go to her after-school job because for whatever reason she just couldn’t stop crying. I remember a girl having a full blown panic attack while in the company of her friends. But I don’t remember being this girl. This girl? this frail pigeon of a person? She’s somebody that I used to know.

I don’t think about her very much anymore. She’s fading into nothing but words, photos, and memories. I’m sure I should be scared to lose her. She’s as much a part of me as anything else. But oh, how she reminds me of all that I wish I could forget. I look at her pictures, I remember her thoughts, I read her words, and I find it hard to believe that they were all once my own. I keep certain artifacts around for the sake of posterity. The Livejournal account, for one. I went back some time ago and read the remaining entries. So many had been deleted for various reasons. I realized it then, that I didn’t know the person who had written these words anymore. I felt such a disconnect, because I remember feeling the things I was writing about at the time, but I still couldn’t make a linear path.

I’m slowly realizing that I can’t keep trying to reopen closed chapters of my life. These chapters are centered around people who were once so important but are now strangers to me. The boy I held hands with in the van. The other boy that kissed me when I was in my pajamas. The man that kept me awake and the same man I protected my mother from. High school. Anxiety. Pain. Tears. I might still talk about these things, these people, these chapters, but I’m not that girl anymore. That girl is someone I used to know.

This entry has been surprisingly hard to write. I’ve been tossing around the general idea of it for a couple of weeks, but I’m finding it increasingly difficult to translate into comprehensive text. I guess sometimes it’s hard to put your ghosts to rest. And I suppose not everything has changed.

But I look at my life now, and everything is so vivid. So clear. So certain. I know which direction I’m going. I look toward the future and I know that it exists. I don’t dwell on the small things anymore. I know what it means to be happy. I’m not going through the motions. I’m the perfect counter to the girl I used to know. In fact, I now often forget that the girl and I are the very same person. She lives in the back of my mind, and in the small chambers of my heart. And I’m sure that who I am now and who I was then will meet in the chambers of the heart of the person I have yet to become.

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HIMM, part nine.

April 1, 2010

Robert and I spent the next two days having quality time with each other. The second night I stayed, I decided I would sleep in the guest room so that we could both get some sleep so we wouldn’t just stay up all night. On my last night, I stayed with him again. We got some sleep but not a lot. This is one of my favorite memories. I remember distinctly, it was my last day there. It was very early in the morning. Maybe 6am. We sat on the edge of the bed beside each other, I had the blanket clutched over my chest. I was cold. The sun was peeking in through the cracks in the horizontal blinds on the window. Rob had music playing in the background. I leaned over and I kissed him. And everything was so perfect. Even though my hair was messy. But we had to cut it short. I had to pack my bags and get ready to leave him again.

We did our best to stay cheery despite the clock ticking away our last hours together. We went for lunch before we made the drive to the airport. We checked in, checked my baggage, and waited for our time to run out. I made him promise me that he wouldn’t cry. I couldn’t promise him the same thing. I knew better. But I wanted to stay happy for as long as possible. At this point, we didn’t know when we would see each other again. Our best guess was when he was on summer vacation which would be about 2 months. It sounded like forever. Finally the time came. I had to go. I had to kiss him goodbye. I had to walk away from him and he had to walk away from me. As I passed through security, I imagined dropping everything on the floor and running back to him. But I didn’t. I went though the detector, walked to my gate, and waited to board the plane. I reached in my purse for my new ipod. I’d put music on it already at Robert’s house. I put the buds in my ears and put it on shuffle. I made the mistake of turning it over. There staring back at me was the engraving. I wanted to cry. I didn’t. I held my breath and swallowed the lump in my throat. I focused on the pattern in the carpet on the floor. When I boarded the plane, I had the entire row to myself. The plane took off. I started to fly away from the man I wanted to give myself to in every possible way.

The movie started. They started serving drinks. I was trying to hold myself together. I promised myself I could cry all I wanted once I got home. My ipod began to play a song called “Stay” by Michelle Featherstone. I turned my face to the window and started to cry. I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I felt completely ripped apart. Only hours ago I was in the happiest place of my life and now I don’t even know if I’ll ever have that feeling again. Two months is a long time when you can’t imagine spending one minute away from someone. That’s what it came down to. I’d finally experienced real happiness, love, and respect, and I didn’t know what was going to happen next. What if I never see him again? What if he meets someone in my absence? I would let him go. At this point my ipod had played nothing but love songs of both happy and sad natures. I don’t know if anybody noticed me or what they were thinking when they noticed some teenager crying uncontrollably. And at this point, I don’t even care.

We landed in Calgary where I would go through customs and change planes. I only had an hour between flights to begin with and my first flight was 15 minutes late. This left me with almost no time. I ran all the way to customs, choking back tears. When it was my turn to go to the agent window, I was still crying. I couldn’t even speak. What could I possibly say? “Oh I’m sorry, I just have a broken heart right now.” “Oh yeah, I just left my boyfriend behind in Houston, do me a favor and don’t tell your US counterparts that it’s my real reason for travel?” I think I stammered out something about just being stressed out because my flights were so close together. I made it to my flight and continued to cry. I still can’t believe how much I cried that day. Every time I made another step away from Robert was another lump pushing up my throat.

I got to the Saskatoon airport and found myself once again waiting for someone to pick me up. Thankfully someone arrived this time. I sat in silence the whole way home. I was afraid that speaking would lead to more crying. I got home, put my suitcase in my room, and called Robert to let him know I was home. Hearing his voice was so wonderful and horrible at the same time. He told me that he broke his promise. I forgave him. I didn’t want to tell him anything on my end yet. I felt like I still had more crying to do and I didn’t want him to have to listen to it. I hung up the phone and went upstairs to have a shower. When I got in the shower and the water started rushing over me, I finally let myself break down. No more stifling for the sake of others around me. Nothing else more important left to interfere with my grieving. At first I braced myself against the wall and let the emotions flow out of me, but it became clear that wasn’t quite enough. I sat down on the floor of the shower and hugged my knees. I cried until the water ran cold. I cried until all my energy had drained out of my tear ducts. I turned off the water.

I could barely walk down the stairs to my room. My whole body was giving up. I collapsed into my bed and even though I anticipated more tears, none came.

Time.

November 21, 2009

I’ve spent the last few days a little “self-involved”. My mind has wandered near and far and up and down the recesses of my memories. For a few weeks now, I’d been dreading November 18th (this past wednesday) as it would be the day I would surely find out my father has cancer. I knew the phone call was coming. I couldn’t take it. When I came down with the stomach flu in the wee hours of the morning on the 18th, I was sure it was a sign of one of the worst days I’ll have had in a long time.

I spent all morning in bed. All afternoon on the sofa. I didn’t want to lie down anymore. I logged on to the computer where Yahoo! informed me that today, November 18th, was Mickey Mouse’s 81st birthday. My heart sank deep into the empty pit of my stomach as I realized. I realized that today, November 18th, was the 17th anniversary of my grandfather’s death after a long battle with cancer. I clasped one hand to my mouth and the other to my heart and I begged and pleaded with God to let the date be a coincidence. My father and I have a rocky past. It’s the same story as many children of divorce. My parents divorced when I was younger than James is now. I was the only child. I never really got the chance to know my father, and as the years went on, sometimes I didn’t want to.

At one point in my teenage years, I learned he was divorcing the mother of my half-brother. It left me completely reeling. I was already on shaky ground myself and I couldn’t bear the thought of my half-brother being put through the same song and dance I had been. I did not speak to my father for over four years. The next time I would speak to him I would announce my engagement. I felt it was only fair. I’d made so many positive strides in my life and I’d become a strong and confident woman. I felt he deserved to know that. At this juncture, my relationship with my father is tepid. Maybe tepid is the wrong word for it. We don’t speak as often as most fathers and daughters, but we’re no michael and lindsay lohan. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel if he called and told me with a heavy heart that his test results were positive for cancer cells.

Clock watching serves very little purpose. It doesn’t make Time go by faster. Time will tick away at it’s regular pace and not give two hoots about you and your plans. Time takes no regard of your problems. I couldn’t wait. I called him 30 minutes after his scheduled appointment. “I’ll call you back.” Great. Now I’m mad at the clock for not ticking and the phone for not ringing. I’m even mad at his Dr. for not being prompt. My phone rings. Can I answer? Will I answer? I feel the lump building in my throat. I’m ready to cry. I’m a little surprised. I didn’t cry for days after I learned my grandmother died. I have to answer. I have to know.
“Hello?”
“I’m healthy!”
I cried a little bit anyway. I cried for myself, I cried for my father, I cried for my grandfather, I cried for Anissa, I cried for everyone who didn’t get the same news.

Is this our second chance? Will we take advantage?

Time will tell.

Maddie.

November 11, 2009

On April 8th of this year, I logged into twitter. I hadn’t been using it for very long, I didn’t follow many people. I followed some people I already knew through Livejournal and Facebook. On this day, Kimberly linked to a blog post from Matt Logelin about the sudden loss of a beautiful and vibrant little girl named Maddie. I couldn’t get very much information because Heather’s website completely crashed due to the high traffic. So I spent a little while trying to find what I could from other places. Not a lot of luck since I didn’t really know anybody involved. At all. I went back to Matt’s website and cried with each entry I read.

A few days later, I was finally able to find my way back to Heather’s blog. I was completely devastated. I couldn’t believe the transition. One entry is talking about taking Maddie to parks, the next talks about her passing. It took my breath away. It still does.

And I began to feel regret.

I regretted not knowing this beautiful baby girl while she was alive. I regretted that I had nothing to offer the Spohrs. I regretted every last minute with my son that I took for granted.

And now, on the eve of her second birthday, I find myself filled with an odd sense of calm. I do not doubt tomorrow will be a very hard day for many people, myself included. However, from what I’ve learned of Maddie, I do not believe she would want us to spend the day surrendering to remorse and regret.

At this time I’d like to say that I’m glad Heather has continued to blog about Maddie. It’s helped me learn more about Maddie. It makes me feel more connected with Heather. Heather consistently writes with a degree of honesty I can only hope to achieve some day.

Heather and Mike, I want you to know that you are not alone. Thousands of people will spend today noticing the purple that occurs in their lives. Thousands of people will remember Maddie today and every day for the rest of their lives. Maddie touched the lives and hearts of so many.

So today, I urge each and every person that reads this entry to donate to Friends of Maddie, so that lives can continue to be touched by this beautiful little angel. Friends of Maddie is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the families of premature and critically ill babies. With your support, Friends of Maddie can help provide strength and resources to families across the nation.

Maddie, I’m sorry I never got to know you, but you’ve touched my heart and I’ve been forever changed.

Happy Birthday Maddie. We love you.

How am I not myself?

October 30, 2009

I’ve recently been doing some reflecting on my true self and the relationship that connects to my internet persona. In the wake of what we now simply refer to as “the incident”, I’ve been pretty quiet. Mostly I’ve been trapped inside my head. Rewriting, revising, rehashing, repeating.  Do you ever walk up a flight of stairs and try to make another step upward and realize a stair step is not there? You fall forward unexpectedly and you hope like hell nobody saw you do it. This is how I have felt the last couple of weeks. Maybe this analogy doesn’t make any sense. It probably doesn’t. My point is, I want to be completely honest and completely up front with you.  I am still coping with the aftermath of my teenage years. Most days are good. Some days are bad. On bad days, I feel completely worthless and the self-deprecation is no longer in jest. On bad days I feel like I don’t deserve to be loved. On bad days I think James prefers his daddy over me…and that makes me a bad mother. On bad days, Mostly I just feel completely hollow.  On bad days I want nothing more than to sink into surrender and let the wave of negativity flood over me until I am soaking wet.

But I mostly have good days.

On good days, I delight in the close relationship my son has with his father and I realize it doesn’t hinder his relationship with me. On good days my self deprecation is completely jovial.  On good days I want to get out of bed. On good days I seek out new friendships. On good days, I swim.

I am grateful that by remarkable chance or act of God, I met a wonderful man that would love me wholly. I am grateful for the life we have started together. I am grateful for every evening I crawl into bed and the scent of his skin calms me until I fall asleep. I am grateful for having met all of you. I have found kindred spirits. I have found people that accept me the way I am. I have found people that will be there to catch me when I fall at the top of the stairs.  You have all helped me more than you’ll ever know. I’ve addressed some of my issues. I’ve made personal and emotional growth. I’ve even gained the confidence I need to continue this new phase of my life.

For so long while I’ve lived in Texas, away from my family, my friends, my entire life. I’ve bemoaned that outside of Robert’s family and my co-workers, I don’t have any friends. I don’t feel that way any more. I feel so connected to all of you and I can only hope the feeling is mutual.  I can’t believe I am lucky enough to know you.

 

 

 

 

But on bad days…

No one is there at the top of the stairs.

Not that I like to say “I Told You So”

October 19, 2009

Okay. I’ll admit. I circled around wordpress every day since I posted that dumb little meme but I really felt like I had nothing to say. Nothing to talk about. Nothing that warranted me opening up this dumb text box and pouring my heart out.

But now I do.

Back to that in a minute. I really do want to apologize for leaving all three of my readers with nothing. No tidbits of information about my life, my son, my work day, my insanity. It’s all still here waiting for you. Once I get back into the swing of things. You see, I haven’t actually been at work since the 9th of october. That weekend, I was wrapped up in a baby shower cake for L’s eldest daughter. I wanted to slit my wrists but I decided against it if only because I could just picture my husband finding me on the kitchen floor and proclaiming “….and who…is going to clean this up?!” I jest. He would be sad to see me go. Sunday the 11th I attended a Canadian Thanksgiving celebration where I won a big bottle of Crown Royal Reserve. Yeah baby! Happy Thanksgiving to me!

Monday morning at 8:00am I went to the dentist and had all four of my wisdom teeth pulled. I opted only for local anesthetic so I was completely awake and aware of what was going on. My husband says that makes me a trooper. I just don’t like the mental fog of being put under.
“Is this real life?”
“why is this happening to me?”

For the record, the worst part of the whole ordeal was having gauze in my mouth for the rest of the day. It’s insult to injury, people!
I enjoyed the relief the vicodin brought me until tuesday morning when I woke up with a severe case of the spins. All I wanted to do was puke and pass out at the same time. Probably not good for being home alone with my son. I called the dentist (after hugging the toilet for 10 minutes) and asked, or rather, begged for them to tell me it was okay to try to switch to otc medication. It was, and after a little while, I felt much better.
Wednesday I tried out my first Zumba class and I had a great time.
I haven’t yet mentioned that on tuesday afternoon, the city started unannounced repairs on the sidewalk corners in front of my house. We live on a corner lot so the corner of the sidewalk is right outside our bedroom window. every morning at 7:00am they would wake me with jackhammers. How fitting. As if I didn’t already have a headache. Thursday was Robert’s birthday, Friday was our “birthday date” which naturally didn’t go according to plan. We stayed up late and I took comfort in the fact that I could sleep in on Saturday.
until some asshole showed up with his jackhammer at 7:00am. On saturday. FML.

But my vacation was good. I spent a week strengthening the relationship with my son and it paid off. Today was our last day before I go back to work. I was surprised to have today off as well but I was grateful. We went to a relative’s third birthday party. It was a pretty big party. They had it at the church hall. I had let James out of his stroller to explore a little bit. He started getting more and more brave. He wandered in the direction of the cake table and I knew I had to take action. I went and picked him up and brought him back to the table. I then tried to restrict how far he could go by the age old trick of hanging on to the waistband of his pants. Robert said “Let him go! Let him play!” I pointed to the cake table and said “The first place he will go is over there and stick his hands right in that cake” “No he won’t.” “Yes he will” “He wants to go play with the other kids.” “Okay.”
I stood from my chair as soon as I let go of James and chased him over to the cake table where I managed to grab his hands before he stuck his palms into the cake. I brought him back to his daddy and said “I told you. Pass me that napkin so I can wipe his hands. You’re on James duty now.”

Not that I like to say I told you so. Because I was still that crazy lady who let her kid poke his fingers in the cake.

Normalcy.

August 30, 2009

I don’t think my blog can be characterized as “well-written”. I find myself in literal anguish every time I have this screen open in front of me. Sometimes I’ll sit here until the wee hours of the morning rewriting and revising.  It’s frustrating because I feel like I have so much more I could be saying but I can’t get my words out. So this week I’m just going to write freely and without inhibition.

I’ve always been kind of an oddball. I’ve spent most of my life grappling with the definition of the word “Normal”. When I was much younger, I wore the idea of being “not normal” on my sleeve like a badge of honour. I was proud to not be normal. It defined me. It made me. My story was unlike anyone else’s story and nothing could take that away from me.  I wanted to let my freak flag fly.  But children can be cruel. And children started strangling and trampling any idea I had that being anything other than “normal” was okay.  I could no longer be myself. I didn’t want to be myself.  I wanted to be accepted. I wanted to be liked. I wanted to fit in. If I could just be normal, everything would be okay.

It was high school that really did it. You can’t be any sort of oddball in high school unless you are already well liked. I was doomed. I spent years fighting my way through, trying to cling to some shred of hope that one day the madness would stop. It’s only now that I realize, in retrospect, that by stifling my true self, I was doing more bad than good.  I was lucky enough to find a small band of people that I would mesh well with but I’m sorry to say I haven’t spoken to most of them in years.

My sophomore year of highschool is undoubtedly the worst year of my life. I never wanted to be at home because I did not feel safe. My stepfather had the entire household walking on eggshells all the waking hours of the day and afraid to sleep at night.  The weighted threats and the unyielding rage towards us meant I had to grow up really fast. I had to know phone numbers and where emergency contacts lived. I had a suitcase under my bed packed full of my clothes, my mother’s clothes, and my brother’s clothes. I had emergency cab fare hidden between my mattress and box-spring. I snooped around not out of childish curiousity but out of desire for safety. It goes without saying that as a 15 year old, I just didn’t want to be home all that much.  I was already spending a lot of my time online. I felt like I could be myself. It was my outlet. It was the small thing I could grasp onto where I could really be me.  I took some form of solace in the anonymity of it all. Until I was discovered by some of the other students from my high school. To make a long story short, I didn’t want to be at home, nor did I want to show my face at school. I spent a lot of time in bed listening to dark and depressing music.  I longed for normalcy.  I knew my classmates didn’t go home afraid for their lives and the lives of their family.  I knew my classmates weren’t kept up at night by every squeak of the floorboards. I knew my classmates didn’t think one passing thought of me outside the school environment. But I thought of them.  I thought of them with every passing moment under the covers in my bedroom. I thought of them each time I considered dragging a razor across my arms. I never did. I knew the battle a friend had gone through with that addiction and I didn’t want to have to deal with that too. I relinquished all of my control over the situation with my classmates. I didn’t want to fight them. I gave in. I surrendered. I wanted to save my efforts for where they really might count.

After a confrontation with my stepfather led to me having a complete emotional meltdown, I began to live with my grandma. I couldn’t help but feel like I was letting my mother down.  I began to see a counselor at the high school. Most of my friends were not aware of this. I went once every two weeks, sat down for 30 minutes, and talked. She didn’t say a thing. She didn’t need to. All I needed was someone to talk to. My friends couldn’t possibly understand what I was going through. My friends never stood in front of their mother to protect her from the 5 inch hunting knives in their stepfather’s back pocket. My friends didn’t know what it was like to get into physical fights in their own home with someone twice their size.  My mother finally got up the nerve to have my stepfather removed from the household.  We went to my grandmother’s house and the police escorted him to the hospital where he would be committed to the mental ward.  One with Schizophrenia Psychosis should never stop taking their medication. I don’t know how long he’d been off his medication but it was long enough for full blown hallucinations. You’d think in all that time he spent talking to “God”, “God” would have advised him against killing his family instead of encouraging it.  We were given a permanent restraining order which he honoured after he was out of the hospital. I am thankful for that. Regardless, we still slept lightly.  He attached a hose to the exhaust pipe of his car and pumped it through the back window late one evening. The police came to our doorstep at 1:00am and informed us of his death. Mom began to cry. I silently went back to my room, sat on the edge of my bed, and smiled.

That’s not normal.

Five Words.

August 15, 2009

Caitlin recently had a really cool entry at her blog entitled Words. She was given 5 words by a fellow blogger and the task was to describe what they meant to her. Well, if you haven’t already guessed, now she has given me five words! Maybe this will help some of you get to know me a little better.

Eisley

in early 2004, I stumbled across a small band out of Texas called Eisley. A band comprised of three sisters, a brother, and a good friend. The sister’s voices are melodic and ethereal. I find it very difficult to compare them to anyone, really.  At the time, the band was pretty small so their website was basically a message board with a few resources compiled on the side.  They’ve grown quite a bit since. Two full length albums released with Warner Brothers and working on the third.  I began to hang out in the aim chat room dedicated to the band. I wasn’t particularly outgoing so I only really spoke when spoken to.  I met a lot of really wonderful people through that site.  Including Robert. The first time Robert (who also lived in Texas) and I finally laid eyes on each other, it was at an Eisley show in Dallas.  I’d been in denial in the time leading up to that night of my feelings for Robert. I thought it was particularly stupid for me to harbor any feelings for someone who lived thousands of miles away.  But upon seeing him for the first time, touching him, smelling him, seeing the twinkle in his eyes when my particular brand of humor made him laugh out loud, I couldn’t deny anything. Not one thing. That summer, Robert took six weeks and came to visit me.  We took two weeks out of that time frame and followed Eisley around on the midwest portion of their tour. We caught shows in Minneapolis, Cleveland, and Toronto. Later that summer, when I disclosed on the message board that Robert and I had gotten engaged, their dad, Boyd (also their general manager) emailed me with a “Congratulations and I had a feeling about you two!” message. One evening, Robert and I were snuggling in bed.  He suggested we mail the Duprees a Thank You card. I then noted that we should thank whatever got us into Eisley to begin with. We kept going back and back and back until I finally suggested that we just thank God for each other instead and to spread the appropriate blessings.  In august of 2007, we went to an in-store appearance in Houston. As soon as Boyd saw me, even though he hadn’t seen me in years, he came right over to give us hugs. And then he noticed my belly and called everyone over. “Can you believe that they met through the forum? She’s from Canada and he’s from Texas and because of Eisley they are together and about to start their own family.”

Can you believe that because of a band Rolling Stone magazine once referred to as “Unicorn Barbie music” my life was completely and utterly altered?

You brought me back to that place in my heart I thought was gone.

Children

A few months ago, I was talking to an old classmate of mine. We went to school together starting from the fifth grade. He asked me what it was like to be “living the dream”. When I asked him what he was referring to, he explained that he remembered me saying, even in the sixth grade, that when I grew up I wanted to be a mom. He recalls me saying it with such sincerity and conviction that it wasn’t a cop out answer made possible by my gender. It struck me that there was never a point during my adolescence that I did not want to be a mother.  It was never my goal to become a mother as quickly as possible. I daydreamed of the picture perfect family. I did this even when my age was in the single digits. I would fantasize about living in a big house, with a beautiful dog, a big yard, and happiness.  It’s a little unnerving to reach the conclusion that I wanted to be a mother so I would finally have the happiness my young mind so desperately craved.  For a little while, I was gravely concerned I would not be able to bear children. I didn’t have my first period until I was 16. When I was 17, it just stopped for over two years. It had been irregular anyway but two years?! It returned exactly 36 hours after meeting Robert face to face for the first time. I remember being in my friend’s apartment (another person I met on Eisley.com)  and I went into the restroom early in the morning. Lo’ and behold. I was so immeasurably happy. I had a period. This means I ovulated. This means I’m not barren at the tender age of 19.  I celebrated by making everyone custom omelets.  I’m sure most people who weren’t aware of my particular circumstance confused my happiness for being generally twitterpated with Robert. (it was about 40/60, if you want to fight about it). About 4 months before James was conceived, Robert told me it was silly for us to use any kind of birth control. He didn’t suggest the notion out of desire for children. He suggested the notion because “my system is so screwed up, it would take forever for me to get pregnant anyway”. Ouch. He stuck his foot so far in his mouth he knows what the sweat of his knee tastes like. I forgave him but it sent me into a little bit of a depression. It revived all the old feelings of being a dud. 6 months later, I was complaining about a severe case of PMS to a good friend of mine. Upon listening to all the things I was complaining about, she suggested I take a pregnancy test.  I laughed out loud and told her I was absolutely not pregnant because every other time I’ve felt like this and took a test, I wasted a test.  After a week of persistence, I finally broke down and took one only because I happened to have one.  When it came up positive, I sat on the edge of the bathtub and stared at the test. “Robert?” I called out. “I just took a pregnancy test. It’s positive.” He burst into the room, took one look at the test, and said “That’s a generic brand test, right?”

Oh boy.

After a particularly difficult labor, James entered the world via emergency c-section. When they were examining my uterus to make sure there were no remains of the placenta, they discovered uterine fibroids. In a nutshell, I have benign tumors in my uterus that probably helped complicate the delivery, and should have complicated the pregnancy.  I have some serious issues with my old OBGYN. I liked her, I trusted her. She won’t talk to me. I don’t know how bad the fibroids are. I don’t know what kind they are. I don’t know where they are located.  But I’m starting to go with optimism. I got pregnant once against the odds, right? What’s to say I can’t do it again? I hope to give James a sibling at some point next year.  I want six kids. Rob wouldn’t mind stopping at James. I’m praying I can have my little girl, too. Think pink, everybody.  I could talk about this for hours so I’m just going to move on.

Diet

As long as I can remember, I’ve been overweight.  I was a girl that ate her feelings (and had a LOT of feelings).  I remember being a size 14 in the ninth grade.  My wedding dress was a size 24.  After James was born, I discovered something that nobody ever tells you about maternity leave. It is very, very, very boring.  My house was clean within days and I found myself with a lot of time and not much to do. So I baked. and cooked. and ate wheat thins while watching Dr Phil. Before I knew it, I gained 30 lbs. While on maternity leave.  My rock bottom moment occurred when I had to buy a maternity swimsuit 6 months postpartum. And had to buy shorts from the menswear department. Last july (2008)  girl at work had casually mentioned that she was going on a diet. I told her I would go on the diet with her. And that was it. I never followed any particular plan. I just basically started counting the calories of everything that went into my mouth. I weighed and measured everything.  I wrote everything down.  By the time Halloween rolled around, I had already lost 46 lbs and had made my way to onederland (when your weight starts with a one and not a two). The smallest I’d been in my entire adult life.  By Mother’s Day 2009 I’d officially lost 80 lbs. I am no longer overweight according to the charts at the doctors office. I am a size 8/10.  My waist to hip ratio is reflective of a healthy woman. I have an entirely new body that I don’t recognize at all. For the most part, I’ve been stalled out at 170 lbs (which is a gain of 5 over my low weight which reflects 75 lbs lost). I’ve been saying for a long time that it would be so cool to reach 145 lbs and be able to say I’d lost 100 lbs. And then I visited my mother. I love my mother. I love her dearly. I am very proud of her. But I was very alarmed by her size when I saw her. My mother stands 5’4 and weighs 108 lbs.  She is underweight.  It has scared the daylights out of me. I think I needed to see that to help me adjust my perspective. There is nothing wrong with being a size 8/10. I will admit I would like to begin toning and exercising more to trim my waistline a little more.  I think it will help when I want to start trying for another baby. I don’t know why.

Canada

This one is going to be a bit of a cop out.

Things I miss about living in Canada.

1)My family
2)Tim Horton’s
3)Snow at Christmas time.
4)East coast music on the radio.
5) various candy bars.

Blogging

When I was in the tenth grade I signed up for Livejournal. I didn’t write particularly well (I still don’t) but I thought it was neat having a place to talk about stuff in my life, even if the only people that read it were people that were involved in my life in another capacity anyway.  Eventually I started to meet people. For example, Caitlin. I met Caitlin through Livejournal and I was Maid of Honour in her wedding.  When I was pregnant, Robert suggested I start a pregnancy blog. I kept up with it briefly but between being pregnant (and therefore being exhausted) and working full time I quickly abandoned it.  On April 8th of this year I was linked to Matt and Maddy by a friend on Twitter.  Matt had posted about Maddie Spohr and though I wanted to find out more, her corner of the internet wasn’t working.  I spent some time perusing Matt’s site and spent the better part of the afternoon completely devastated. An emotional wreck.  I started to follow some of the blogs I discovered and began to wonder if perhaps I should revive my old blog.  I did but after I discovered I couldn’t edit it myself (it was hosted on Rob’s old domain so he had to do it himself) I decided to just start over with a new wordpress account of my own.  I feel like I have my own story that I want to tell but at the same time I am constantly writing it with an editing eye. After reading about so much tragedy and frustration and the trials that others have gone through, I feel like I have no business complaining about anything.  I don’t particularly want to write about my life before Robert. I don’t want to relive it. It wasn’t anything particularly heinous but I have no desire to go there. But my present is nearly everything I have ever wanted it to be. I have a stable marriage. A full time job I mostly like. A beautiful and healthy 18 month old son. An optimistic view of the future. All of these things have lead me to conclude that I really have no business trying to be a blogger.  I have myself convinced that it’s cruel of me to even try to talk about my problems that are so paltry and trivial when compared to the trials of others.  The whole idea is laughable and I know it.  If I begin to write about my son and having another baby, I’m suddenly so overcome with guilt that I usually just delete the whole thing. When it comes to guilt, I am easily manipulated. I always have been, and I may always be.  It’s something I have to work on, and that’s probably what I’m going to start blogging about. The internal conflict I always seem to be facing about whether or not I deserve the good things in my life. Finding and appreciating my own self worth.  Letting go.

If you want your own set of five words, Comment and I will assign them to you.

Friends of Maddie.

July 16, 2009

A little over three months ago, I learned about the sudden loss of a beautiful and vibrant little girl. It changed my life forever. It still takes my breath away. It still gives me pause. I think and pray for her family on a daily basis. I find myself drawn to the colour purple. I count each moment I have with my own child as a blessing. I don’t take the smallest thing for granted.

I want to be a friend of Maddie. I want YOU to be a Friend of Maddie.

Maddie’s family and friends have created a non-profit organization in Maddie’s honour to provide support to families with children in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for long term care. Friends of Maddie support the families of critically ill babies by easing the transition into NICU life and providing an ally until the end of their child’s hospital stay. By supporting Friends of Maddie, you can help to ensure that these families don’t go through the most emotionally draining and overwhelming periods of their lives alone.

To celebrate the launch of Friends of Maddie, Intel has donated two Netbooks to give away as raffle prizes. Each $5 donation gets you one entry to win a brand new Netbook. Donate now for your chance to not only win a Netbook, but to help a family in need.

The Spohr’s have changed my life. I’m grateful for the chance to pay it forward.

Veronica

July 11, 2009

Today I spent the better part of the afternoon thinking about someone I’ve never even met. I do this often. I think about people I’ve read about on the internet, I think about celebrities, I think about distant relatives I’ve heard wild stories about. Today though, I thought about Veronica, Robert’s late sister.

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I’ve been thinking all day about the things I could write about her. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to share in her life as she passed 3 years before Robert and I met.  I almost find myself unworthy to blog about her since I have no memories to share, no inside jokes to explain. I remember the first time Robert explained to me the details of her passing. I wasn’t prepared for the answer I got.  A lump forms in my throat every time somebody asks me about her.  I begin to whisper and sometimes can’t even bring myself to finish the statement.  At work, not that long ago,  an odd thing happened.  I was discussing with a co-worker one day about taking flowers to the cemetery  and she asked me all of the whys. Why do you need to take flowers? Why did she pass away? When I finally broke down and shared the information, she said to me, “I remember when that happened.”

It struck me in a way I hadn’t considered before. Well of COURSE people are going to remember this. Why am I afraid to share this knowledge?

I’ll be perfectly honest with you. Robert and I have been married for almost four years and sometimes I still can’t help but feel somewhat seperated from the rest of his family. I love them all so very much and I long to feel like part of the family. It’s as much my fault as it is anyone else’s. Robert and I have many things in common. One of those things being that we are both very shy and very reserved. Rob doesn’t appear this way when he’s around his family but that’s understandable.  Oftentimes when we are having a family get-together, I feel overwhelmed by how many people are around me and as a result I worry that people think I’m being a snob.  This is why I feel like I shouldn’t share this kind of information.  Rob assures me I’m full of crap.

Veronica Lynn Martinez left this world far too early. Today would have been her 39th birthday. She has been gone for 8 years now. Her life ended at the hands of another human being. There is no way to sugar coat that.

This evening, we gathered at the cemetery. Flowers and trinkets were laid upon her headstone. We wrote down memories of her and tied them to balloons and released them into the clear blue sky.  I didn’t have memories to share so I wrote down my lament about never having the chance to meet her and that I’m sure James and I would have loved her. When we released the balloons, ours promptly got stuck in a tree.  I can’t help but admit that it upset me more than it probably should have.

When we lived at the apartment a few years ago, I wasn’t working yet. I would be home alone with the TV. Sometimes I would sit on the balcony and read. Sometimes I would watch daytime tv no matter how awful it was. Sometimes I would go across the street to the park and watch the ducks. There was a bench in the park that was near a stone bearing Veronica’s name. When I was feeling particularly lonely (which was often) I would sit on the bench and start whispering to her. I could tell her anything. It brought me comfort. I don’t think I ever told this to anyone before. I guess I was worried it would seem silly, or that it would be frowned upon.  In the end, I guess I really do worry too much.

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We love you Veronica. We miss you with each passing day.