Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Will You Be My Friend?

It is remarkable how few dishes get dirty when you don't cook!  It's the big bonus of the next two weeks.  Our move date has been up in the air until just yesterday, so the packing has turned into a big hurry up and wait.  And wait a little more.  With frozen pizzas and bagels.  The toaster is still out.  And so is the butter cow. 

With the move date up in the air, along with the closing date on the new house, packing while Hubs was out of town for a few weeks, and then for fun we threw in an out of town wedding, it has been a little extra crazy over here.  I've been trying to make up for it by eating Nutella.  This will not bode well for bathing suit season.  I'm thankful for the cool spring!  Seriously.  I ate an entire jumbo sized jar in two week by myself.  Not good.  And now I'm trying to use up the whipped cream...  This move is a doozy so far and we haven't even gotten to the three day drive with kids yet.  I can only laugh when I think about how much *fun* that will be. 

But I still have a few days of sanity left.  And I'm using them by fretting about making friends when we move.  This was never something I ever worried about ever.  But I'm worried this time.  I'm afraid of not being liked.  Of not being accepted.  Of Little Man not having friends all summer.  Of being alone and lonely.  I had this grand plan in my mind that we would get Little Man into a summer soccer or baseball team at our local park and he would make great friends on the team and I would get along with the Moms and it would all be happy, happy.  And easy.  But baseball is a spring sport there.  And soccer is a fall sport there.  There are no summer sports at the local parks and rec.  Sigh. 

You may think I'm silly for worrying about this.  And normally I would agree.  I've moved 13 times in the past 11 years.  I've made amazing friends along the journey.  But here's the thing.  When we lived on the lake last year, I didn't make one friend.  Not ONE.  The whole year we lived there, not one person wanted to be my friend.  I went out of my way to talk to people at the parks, at church, at the school.  I invited people over for play dates and tea and lunch.  No one accepted. Not one. Even the local PTA didn't return my phone calls or emails when I tried to volunteer.  It was awful.  I felt so lonely and rejected and sad.  And I'm so afraid of that happening again. 

It really hurts to be rejected like that. Especially when Hubs made a million friends right off the bat.  Everyone up there loved him.  And no one liked me.  Ah, it really stung!  Still does when I think about it. 

I've tried to make some peace with that time.  And looking back, now that I'm not there, I can appreciate that time to be alone and grieve and write and cook and prepare for Little Lady's arrival.  It really was a great year and I'd like to think that God set me aside to be alone for a reason.  I'd like to think it just wasn't because no one wanted to be my friend.

At the very least, I understand what it is like to be left out and alone and I try much harder now to be welcoming and inclusive when I see someone alone. Which is much more difficult for me than it ever used to be.  When Jameson was sick and died, I became much more of an introvert than the extrovert that I used to be.  And I think this is somewhat of a permanent change. 

So, yeah, I'm afraid that no one is going to want to be my friend when we move.  And I'm worried for my kids, too.  And because I love my kids, I will venture out of my comfort zone as the newbie and I will be the crazy mom at the park, practically handing out calling cards.  I wish adulthood were as simple as preschool and I could just ask people to be my friends.  But that seems awkward and desperate.  Which may look even worse.  How is it this complicated in my brain? 

Well, until then, I've got a little Nutella to scrape off the sides of the empty jar and a Little
Lady who is not napping and needs some loving.

Look for the lonely and be their friends.  

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Ladder Up

I went to lunch with some friends today.  It was such a wonderful experience to share our walks with each other and just be real.  In person.  In Christ.  An added bonus was a monster cappuccino.  Ooh la la, it was so good.  We talked about this blog and the last post in particular and my good friend encouraged me to share what it means when I write stuff down here. So here is goes. 

When I write, it forces me to be still and sort through my emotions, thoughts, craziness.  In order to actually put something down on paper, I have to figure it out a little bit first.  So there is this sifting process.  I sit and sift and sip coffee (the addiction is seriously out of control...) and abstract emotions that haunt me begin to solidify, hurts that really don't have a name start to gain definition, fears that are shapeless and looming large begin to come in focus and shrink.  I can SEE things just a little bit.  Enough to start sorting through them. 

That is when I start to write.  And I don't have a big process.  I sit down, drink coffee, and pray for the right words.  And then I just GO.  And it's a little like trying to untangle a big ball of Christmas lights.  Sometimes the words come slow for a while as I pick apart the knots, if you will; sometimes the knots just work themselves out and it unravels (in a good way) rather quickly.  And before long, I'm done and where there was this chaotic and horrible mess of junk in my brain and heart, there are now real ideas laid to paper.  And most of the time, all the angst and sadness and hurt that was rolling around inside is now gone.  I took it out of my brain and put it on the paper and now I feel great.  Okay, maybe not great, but better. 

The morning after I wrote the post "Off," I woke up feeling like sunshine.  I had been on the verge of tears for a whole week and then I wrote it all out of me.  I think ,sometimes, when people read what I'm writing, they really worry about me.  And I appreciate your concerns and prayers and love.  But I just want to share that usually when I write something that makes me sound like I'm absolutely stuck in the deepest and muddiest pit possible, by writing, its like I'm climbing the ladder out. So by the time you read it, I am in a much better place.  Its really amazing the way it works.  I wasn't joking when I wrote way back in the beginning that this is my therapy of choice. 

The girl is supposed to be napping.  She skipped her morning nap because she's a sassy lass with attitude to the max.  And she napped for five minutes in the car on the way home from our lunch date and she thinks that will suffice.  As if.  So Little Lady is in her room playing with the one puzzle that is not boxed up; from the sound of it, she's chucking the pieces against the door, apparently practicing to be a major league pitcher someday. 

We are just a couple weeks away from leaving the safe harbor and venturing out into the big wide world.  We are all boxes and messes and dog hair and "creative" meals.  Two nights ago we had bacon and toast and strawberries for dinner.  That was it.  Nothing else.  Maybe creative isn't the most accurate word...  I can't say I love this time of the year.  The time when normal people Spring Clean and we crazies Spring Move.  The books are gone.  The art is gone.  The pictures of my Jameson are carefully wrapped in old newspaper and packed away.  It makes me sad when it is all ugly and bare.  But there is a ridiculously bright future waiting at the end of this tunnel, so I'll keep on going and packing and ignoring the dog hair and dust bunnies for a little bit longer. 

I have to write again soon because I need to work out some thoughts, but at the moment I can't.  Because the Sassy Lass who is way too much like me needs to get put back into her bed.  Skipping if. 

Happy Friday! 

Saturday, May 11, 2013


I am again leaking out with stories, feelings, thoughts and happenings for neglecting to write for an entire month.  My excuses are many: kids, research papers, final exams, work, graduation, birthdays, job-hunting, packing, insanity.  Okay, maybe the last one is just the end product of it all, but it seems close at hand right now.  Really, I say that in jest.  I am not going insane.  But I am off. 

Hubs graduated from medical school just over a week ago now.  And I have been on the verge of tears ever since I saw him walk on that stage and get hooded.  I'm so proud of him, proud of us.  I think back on this journey and am amazed at our endurance in this race.  Medical school is difficult for everyone, and when Jameson got sick, well, everything got harder.  Brushing teeth was sometimes a monumental task.  But Hubs did it.  We made it.  And here we stand, on this side of the finish line, and I'm a hot mess of tears and overwhelming sadness and loss. 

I think there are many reasons for this.  I think part of it is similar to the let down described by athletes after finally attaining the prize they've spent their lives working towards.  Yes, there is that satisfaction and pride in completing it, but there is also a "what now" kind of emptiness there.  Kind of.  It's not quite that dramatic, because we have plenty of answers for the what now question.  But there is this feeling of wow.  It's over.  And that is just... kinda there, as my dad would say. 

Part of it is Jameson.  Okay, let's just be real, Jameson is part of everything.  I am off on a tangent here, but I wrote about this in a class a few weeks ago- when he died, the entire orbit of my life has changed.  Everything falls into the Before Jameson died and the After Jameson died categories.  And whenever I'm sad, happy, grateful, angry-at-the-world, confused, etc, the first thing I wonder is how this fits into that context?  Am I more grateful because J died?  Am I sad today because of J?  So yes, part of it is Jameson, because he is a part of everything.  Every thought.  Every action.  Every prayer.  Every breath.  But in this instance, I'm thinking about how Jameson started this journey into medical school with us, but he's not here now.  His life was shorter than school. 


I suppose my melancholy could also have something to do with the fact that we are moving.  Yes, we chose a new adventure!  We have both dreamed of getting out to the West Coast for years.  We both fell madly in love with the Pacific Northwest on our three week camping trip two years ago.  And we are all ridiculously excited to get there, get settled, and explore!  But, choosing this dream also means that we chose to leave.  We chose to leave our home.  We chose to leave our friends.  We chose to leave our family.  Part of me wonders what the hell is wrong with me?  How can we leave family after all we've been through together?  But we are.  And it feels kinda crappy.  I feel kinda guilty.  Good byes are not fun. But I suppose I've had worse ones.


I'm also fairly certain that my emotional instability might have something to do with tomorrow.  Maybe.  Mother's Day.  Ahhhh.  This one cuts so deep.  And I'm too tired and crabby to be eloquent here.  This day will always be awesome because I am a MOM.  I birthed three children and I love them and this day is a celebration of that.  And I don't need all the crap the advertisers keep telling me I need.  I don't need flowers.  I don't need breakfast in bed.  I don't need time to myself at a salon or some fancy dinner or jewelry.  What I want most is to stand in a room with my babes and look at them and SEE them.  To stop.  And look.  And take in the wonder of it all.  They grew inside my body and they belong to me and I belong to them forever.  An nothing, not even death, can ever break that tie.  The love that flows between and mother and her children transcends everything.  And that is what makes this day awesome. 

But this day will always also suck.  For the rest of my life it will be a thorn in my side.  Because my son is dead.  And while the tie is there and the bond is permanent and the love still swells in my breast, he is gone.  For the rest of my life, he is gone. 


So I suppose it isn't a surprise that I'm struggling a bit at the moment.  I told Hubs the other day between crying jags that I feel like I unexpectedly tripped and am falling backwards into the black hole.  And he asked me what black hole?  And I said THE black hole.  And everything feels fresh and sad and new again, just it like did that first January.  And I'm not sure why it seems almost that bad right now.

So here I am, free falling, down, down, down.  Like in the dream where you hope you wake up before you hit bottom.  But I know I'll wake up soon.  It can't stay night forever.