Friday, May 29, 2009

Light Peeks Through the Clouds

In the wake of my accident, a few people told me the same thing: a car wreck can throw you off, make you feel out-of-sorts. Hearing others say that relieved me, because that's exactly how I felt. Even by day three after the accident, I still felt off, still worried about what lay ahead, still thinking about Max and all the could-have-been's had even just one detail of that accident been different.

At the same time, I was bothered by how depressed I felt. I mean, it was a car accident that in the great scheme of things was not so bad. Everyone survived. Damage was bad, but not heinous.

But there were some specific things that bothered me: I didn't know what the deal with my car was, if it was a total loss or not; I had also received a call from the other guy's liability person, and the way she spoke to me totally irritated me and made me anxious because it was vague and negative and not at all helpful. I've also had a lot on my mind regarding Max. So, it was just a big mash-up of crappy feelings.

The thing is, I also felt like I couldn't just sit there and let all this stuff eat at me. I felt like I needed to do something. So I wrote out a list of the things I had in mind about Max, and let his father know we had to have a parenting meeting to discuss these things (we subsequently had the meeting and it went well, very productive). Then I got a call from my liability guy, and that was where things began to really get better.

He was such a nice guy. The first thing he said to me was, "This is in my hands now; I can imagine you're worried and stressed, but let it go if you can. I'm going to take care of you." And with that, he broke me. It wasn't just that it was good to finally have someone nice on the phone, someone who was empathetic. It was this: "I'm going to take care of you." No one has said that to me, in any way, regarding any particular problem or situation, in.... I don't know. I have no memory of anyone saying that to me. And something about that one sentence reached that part of me that I keep pushed back and under lock and key, and it killed me. Certainly, people - my parents and sisters especially - have taken care of me in untold ways. But for so long in my life, no one has taken care of this central part of me - the part that gets very anxious, that worries, that aches so easily. No one has taken care of, or helped me take care of, my soul.

And I mean, it's not like my insurance liability guy was offering to do that, but just that he said those words, that he kept referring to "our" case and what "we" were going to do, it was enough to make me feel some part of me crumble and acknowledge, yes, I need you to take care of this, of me; I need to face at least this thing as a "we" and not just "me".

By the end of the day, I felt so much better. Then yesterday, I learned that my car was fixable, not a total loss, and that I would soon have her back. Funny how I never felt that I cared all that much for her until this accident, when I realized that I loved this car for how reliable and user-friendly it is. Knowing that she'll be back home soon, it makes me feel good.

So, I see this - maybe, maybe, maybe, the worst of all this is past. There has been a strange mix of occurrences that all came together in such an odd, emotionally draining way. I'm really just hoping that these painful, rough days have really begun to give way to some light.

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Posted by Tere @ 5/29/2009   | | | links to this post

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Where Am I Now?

Of all the posts for me to pre-write in anticipation of a particular date, this was not the one to do that with.

Early last week, I began to write this kind-of abbreviated year-in-review to share today, the one-year anniversary of the day I told everyone my marriage had ended. (I definitely have a thing with milestone dates.) But by Wednesday, my week had spiraled into crapville, and everything I'd written just a couple days before seemed irrelevant. From Wednesday on, my week has been one bad thing after the other. Between learning something that hurt my feelings pretty badly to being involved in a pretty ugly car accident, it's been rough.

Reading the few paragraphs I wrote before two pretty big things happened to me, I don't know how to pick up from there. In fact, I don't think I can, and will have to return to those thoughts at a later date.

I look at the last year of my life and feel so many emotions, some of them conflicting, that making sense of it all is basically pointless. They say the first two years after a marriage ends are the hardest, and this first year has been rough. Overall, it's been less disastrous than I feared, especially compared the horror stories I've heard or knew of. But still, it's been rough. It hasn't just been about learning to adjust to this new life, and finding what I hope is the best arrangement for Max. It's really been the emotional toll this whole experience has taken on me. To go from feeling like your relationship, while challenging, is inches from the potential you know is there and you're doing every possible thing to be a good partner and make things work to realizing that you can do no more, that everything has reached an impossible point and the situation becomes intractable is all just very devastating. To feel rejected, unloved; to watch love and hope and companionship and shared laughter give way to mistrust, accusations, coldness and indifference - it's all done quite a number on me.

Thankfully, I don't feel permanently damaged by this. I still struggle with some issues, but I don't feel unworthy of love or unable to love. I just feel extra-cautious. I have a clear image of the kind of man who even stands a chance with me (this here still remains true), but am neither looking for him right now, nor do I feel like I need him. I also think I have a decent understanding of the challenges that being a single mom bring to my also being a single woman, and well. Whatever. It is what it is, and I can't stress about it (I can, however, write about it, and I will, later).

I think one of the lingering issues (and I don't think there will be any resolution any time soon) has to do with the relationship between my ex and me. Even when things were at their most painful and tense between us, I had the hope (maybe even the assumption) that we would at some point in the future end up as friends, real friends. At least, I really wanted that. I wanted us to be one of those rare couples who find a way to keep whatever was good and functional about them in the forefront and who let whatever love they once felt for each other guide them into a new, positive place. Given our shared adoration of Max and our mutual desire to keep him as protected from all this as possible and to ensure a stable, secure, loving, enriching life for him, it just seemed to me that the only way we could do this was to get past our personal shit and build a new relationship as friends, the kinds who really support each other and share in each other's lives. Certainly, we have each expressed a desire and made a real effort this last year to jointly raise Max in a cooperative, tension-free, supportive environment.

Up until last week, I figured that getting to this place of real friendship would just take time. This last year has been mainly about survival and adjustment. There had been some positive steps even during this time. I had hoped that month by month and year by year, things would pick up. But with my ex now in a friendship with an ex friend of mine who turned out to be someone I think has very poor character and is overall someone people should be wary of, I think everything's changed. While it is certainly his right and his business to associate with whomever he pleases, and he owes me nothing over it, this particular situation has hurt me very deeply. It's revealed something to me that is painful and unpleasant and, frankly, ugly. Right now, this is still too fresh for me to know anything besides two things: this has seriously hurt me, and I can't do "real friends" with someone who would do something like this. Beyond that, I don't know. This is a work-in-progress. I know I can keep being as civil and cooperative as my parents raised me to be, so as far as parenting Max jointly is concerned, nothing will suffer there. In the end, that's all that matters.

This recent disappointment aside, things are good. Well, right now I'm completely stressed about my recent car accident (today was a bad, bad day, dealing with the tow yard and the insurance company and worrying about the financial impact this will have on me and all that), but once this mess is behind me, I know life will continue going, and going well.

It's only been recently that I've really felt like a new life has begun for me. I am taking the lessons I've learned, the changes I've been making, and the hopes I still hold dear, and I'm moving forward with my head high, my heart open - a good sense of humor to guide me through.

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Posted by Tere @ 5/26/2009   | | | links to this post

Monday, May 25, 2009

Crash

The time that my car spent tilted to the side on two wheels before settling back down was mere seconds, but inside my car, time froze. I shut my eyes as the car slammed into me, and at the same time wondered if this was it; and if it was it for me, then I was thankful my son was not with me at that moment to lose his life, too, or to be seriously injured. I wondered just how deeply the car shooting right at me would push into my passenger side.

As my car felt the impact, lifted and settled back down, I opened my eyes, watching everything loose in my car shift in my direction, and marveling at the feel of being suspended in the air even as my seatbelt pushed into my chest, my ribs and my hips. When it was over, I didn't know for sure if I was alive. I remember thinking, holy shit, I'm alive, but it was quickly followed with, am I sure?

Once I felt a little more certain I was indeed alive (and the four men at my window yelling at me, asking if I was o.k., really helped with that), I sat still, silent, wondering if I could or should move anything, feeling this incredible haze around me, my brain not knowing what to think first. I opened my door to assure the men I was o.k., even as I asked, "I'm alive, right?"

It was a good 10 minutes that I sat there, not knowing what to focus on, everything feeling so surreal, not even sure how much I should move lest something inside me burst or crack or something.

The guy who smashed into me came over as soon he hung up with police and rescue. He was shocked and incredibly apologetic, as I continued being slightly incoherent, gazing now at the CDs and chargers and parking stubs and sunglasses tangled underneath my feet, repeating over and over that I was o.k., but my neck hurt so much, and thinking then of my son, sound asleep with my mom watching him, and I once again uttered a prayerful "thank you" for the fact that he was not with me at that moment.

The police officer - a nice young man from City of Miami PD - was a true professional. Even-tempered, patient, just going about his work in trying to sort things out and get our mangled vehicles off the roadway. Later on, when things had settled down and he was walking me through my next steps, he was nice enough to let me prattle on about how I didn't know if I should go to the ER, because I felt fine, but Natascha Richardson had also felt fine, and she died, and I didn't want to die, and I had a small son, and I just wanted to be home with him, and I almost didn't go out tonight, but it was a dear friend's birthday, and it was an early night anyway, and I just wanted to go to bed and hold on tight to my son.

My son. As soon as I walked away from the police officer, I remembered the last words my son had said to me before I'd walked out the door. Max has been going through a phase (and I'm not sure if it's due to the divorce, or something most kids his age go through, or both), where he doesn't want me to leave without him. If I drop him off at my mom's so I can run an errand, or because I have a late meeting or work function, he expresses some displeasure. When I return, and every time I pick him up at school, he always says, "You came back!" I'm doing a lot of drilling lately, telling him, dead serious, "Mommy always comes back. Do you understand that?" And he nods and all is well. Until the next time, when we go over the entire thing again.

But Saturday night, what he said to me as I hugged him goodbye, was something I had never heard him say: "I'm never going to see you again." He said it three times, and each time I reassured him that he would, that Mommy would be back soon, that Mommy always comes back.

I remembered this exchange as the full weight of what I'd been through a mere two hours before began to hit me. "I'm never going to see you again." That car coming out of seemingly nowhere, going so fast, hurling into mine. Those minutes where time froze and I wondered if I was indeed alive, and if I was, if I could even move. "I'm never going to see you again."

I got home later and made my way to bed, where my son peacefully slept. Exhausted, frightened, worried and already stressed over the crappy weeks that lay ahead, I wrapped my arms around he who owns my heart, and I began to weep. I sobbed long and hard, until sleep mercifully washed over me.

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Posted by Tere @ 5/25/2009   | | | links to this post

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Watch the Last Wall Collapse

Even before I get into any of this - as I've sat these last days thinking and feeling like pure shit - I know that this post will most likely cause a problem in my life. This is one of those times where I feel like writing out my pain and sadness is almost not worth it for the hell that will rain down on me. And if I were just angry, or in a bitchy mood, or feeling passive-aggressive, I would agree with that and not write. There has been plenty about my life, especially in the last year, that I have not written about here because I understood the deeper (meaner, pettier, and other ugly things) reasons that would have motivated me to write in the first place.

But this is not the case now. There's no anger or bitchiness or passive-aggressiveness. There is just the deep, deep hurt I feel, and a sense of betrayal so shocking and get-the-wind-knocked-out-of-you intense that I feel physically ill. This is a kind of hurt (funny to notice my hands trembling as I write) that feels different from the other kinds I've felt, and it's made worse by the knowledge that there's not a thing I can do about it except let it run its course. The pain I feel is less about the situation itself and more about what it says about the person in question. Worse still, the person in question is my ex-husband. So yeah, writing this feels like I'm walking in a mine field, and the bombs are starting to explode.

The situation itself involves, painfully enough, the "Eva" of these posts from two years ago. Why I didn't see this coming, I'll never know, but the short version of this drama is that she and my ex are now friends and have at least somewhat hung out. I know no details, nor do I care for them (this not, however, a dating/romance thing, as that might have crossed your mind, as it did mine).

All I know is that finding this out pretty much made me want to vomit. Her, of all people to befriend. Her, when he knew how much she'd hurt me, how many small betrayals I went through with her, how much I'd stressed and agonized over our friendship and its disintegration. Her, when he criticized her so much and told me quite a few times that she was X, Y, Z (none of it flattering). How do you speak so badly of someone, how do you know the kind of hurt they brought another (not just "another" - someone who once meant everything to you and whom you regularly tell you want to be friends with), and then just chum up with them? What kind of person does this?

A person who does this is no friend of mine, that's for sure.

So my first thought was, he owes me nothing. I mean, really, that he'd be "loyal" to his ex-wife? I understand that on the surface, I'm silly to think that he would be like, well, she hurt Tere and is a shady person, so I'm going to avoid her.

But as my emotions settled, as I began to wade through to the root of this devastation I felt, I realized that my feelings of hurt and betrayal caused by my ex are not simply about the choice he has made. It is more precisely about what his choice says about him as a person.

Maybe it's not fair to compare him to me, but it would have never even crossed my mind to befriend someone who'd hurt him. If I knew they'd been friends since childhood, once as close as brothers, and I'd witnessed some of what he'd gone through with the person, if I'd lived through the ending of it all with him, if I held my own unfavorable opinions about the person - I wouldn't have a single reason to be that person's friend. And despite the fact that we are not together, that there is so much pain and crap between us, I suppose that yes, I would have considered it some kind of betrayal or crappiness on my part to be "disloyal" to him in that way. And I would never consider doing certain things to him or hurting him in certain ways because even through all we've been through (and even that, that "we" went through all this pain and sadness and awfulness, not just me), he remained someone who mattered to me, someone that I still considered "not like everyone else".

(I suppose there is also the fact that even if I didn't have any real strong feelings for or against someone, but I had been privy to some of the questionable things they'd done, I am just one to stay the hell away.)

I guess I thought there were just some things that were beneath him, some places he would never go, and that included something like this. This incident is just the final thing among some others that makes me realize that. A line's been crossed, and I feel like I can't ignore it or dismiss it or make any kind of excuse for it, as I have for other things. This is much deeper than the obvious of my ex and my ex-best friend paling around, and how wrong that seems to me. This sends me a clear message, and in these days I have finally realized what it is I can expect from him, and what he's capable of.

Whatever "connection" I thought we had that existed above and beyond what we've been through, and whatever I had hoped we could eventually be when we'd survived this painful period - I was simply wrong about it all (and yes, I feel naive and stupid and humiliated) . For me, anyway, the veil has been lifted, and I won't ever see him the same way again.

I think of this quote by Benjamin Franklin: "That which hurts also instructs." That's how I feel. As much as this experience has hurt me, it has taught me something important. In a strange way, I needed it. I know I will always look back at this - far more than at any of the other things I've recently been through - as the moment where everything changed. And so, I sure hope this friendship with "Eva" is worth a great deal to him - because it cost him mine.

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In case anyone has the idea (or really, the reaction) of posting a comment that in essence insults or trashes my ex, I'm going to ask that you don't. I am not looking for that, and I would be very upset over it (and I will delete any comment that is out of line). This whole thing is painful enough for me, and comments like that won't make me feel better. Thanks for understanding.

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Posted by Tere @ 5/23/2009   | | | links to this post

Thursday, May 21, 2009

This Crap is SO Par for the Course

I had this whole post just about done that got a little into the lack of bullshit in my life lately. It was a nice little thing, full of me feeling grateful for the quiet seas, patting myself on the back some for the progress I've made in all aspects of my life, but especially in pulling myself out of the crapitude I've been swimming under for what seems like so long now.

It was a happy little post, with me feeling kinda embarrassed that I had nothing new or major or juicy to report. I think I fretted a little because I tend to like a little excitement in my life and didn't think that a lack of bullshit/drama should also mean a lack of some excitement.

I ended it, as I tend to end everything that shows even a glimmer of hope, with my worry that such quiet would not last long, because it just never seems to. And such a fact made me sad. I mean, I make a conscious effort to keep the bullshit away: I swallow an awful lot of crap, keep to myself, and use techniques I've learned to better understand what I feel and why, and then follow some healthy steps towards dealing with it. With all this therapy/healthy mind, healthy soul mumbo jumbo, you'd think I'd be good, right? But I have no control over random things that happen that seem to blow up into A BIG DEAL when in reality they are not, or over the way others tend to create chaos out of nothing because without it they can't function.

So. I'm always cautious about the good, the quiet, the peace. I always feel keenly that where I and my actions end, someone else can come in and rock my damn boat and, in essence, ruin everything (cause a shipwreck, if you will).

And this is why today's post is not about my uneventful, bullshit-free life lately (all bad aquatic metaphors remain, though!). Instead, there's this: inevitably, some unnecessary drama pops up that manages to ruin my day, end my peace-and-quiet streak and make me realize all over again that I may never know anything else but this.

Damn, that depresses the hell out of me. Someone, please get me off this effing boat.

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Posted by Tere @ 5/21/2009   | | | links to this post

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

She Said/She Said: Who's the Third Wheel Now?

This is the first of a new series of posts that Balou and I will be doing together. While we have a lot in common and do a lot of things together, we recently realized that we bring very different perspectives into our friendship and shared experiences. So we thought it'd be fun to take on specific topics together and write about them from our own points of view.

For the first time in eons, the third wheel is me. Pretty much everywhere I go, no matter which group of friends I'm with (or my family, as everyone is married), I have become the one who's alone, unaccompanied by a date. Socially speaking, I have to say that I feel downright odd about being the single one.

It's not that my friends or family do anything to make me feel badly, it's just that I haven't been this person in so long that I don't know what to do. I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb. There is a new weight to deciding what to wear and how I should present myself. There are times when my hand feels empty, as if another's hand should be there, holding mine. There are moments when I want to lean in and whisper something personal to someone, only to realize I've got no one to whisper to.

There is mingled with these new thoughts and feelings the remains of the damage I've been dealing with. I'm not completely over the ways in which my ex-husband's issues affected me. Even as I am out with dear friends, enjoying myself tremendously, I feel very self-conscious, as if every man that looks at me sees me as he saw me, and all they can see is everything that's wrong with me: that I might be talking too loud and fast; that my body is not completely toned; that my outfit is too tacky for their taste. And the question I inevitably ask myself, when the night is over and I'm winding down, is - so who the hell will ever see anything of value, anything worth wanting, in me?

And believe me, this is not coming from a place of pity or self-doubt. I know what's good about me, why any guy would be lucky to have my love and have me as their partner. But the disconnect most definitely exists between how I see me and how I think others (men) see me. And in being single at a time in my life when I am more mature, more grounded, more confident and secure, but also at a time when I didn't think I would be, and didn't even want to be, well - I'm just not quite sure what to make of it. I'm not sure what to do, how to fit this into my life.

I know a lot about this is tied to how new it all is for me. I'm still sorting and absorbing and adjusting even as I'm living it. And there is too the way I sometimes feel that this new singledom is like a giant flashing neon sign above my head, which annoys me. I know it's an interesting topic and all, but man. I'm not interested in talking about it with others, because what exactly am I supposed to say about it? (apparently, plenty; we'll revisit this in another post.)

Right now, I am feeling good about myself and what life is like now, and I don't feel like I need a guy around. Yes, I enjoy being in a relationship, I feel like I'm a really good partner, and I have days where I feel lonely and wish I had a guy who was kind and loving and funny and smart. But none of that feels incredibly strong right now, not enough to change anything or do anything differently (and I wonder, how would one even go about such a thing, and why? more fodder for a later discussion).

So, yeah. Looks like I am indeed the third wheel. And I'm o.k. with that.

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What's Balou's take on this topic over at Searching For Normalcy? Go see for yourself!

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Posted by Tere @ 5/19/2009   | | | links to this post

Friday, May 15, 2009

Yes, Mommy IS Happy

This little man of mine, it seems like his heart is so much larger than I ever imagined it could be.

I see him. I see the way he is with others. I see a boy who is friendly, who shares whatever he has; a boy who is always smiling, chatting, with a light and laughter in his eyes that thrills me even as it breaks my heart. I worry that someone or some thing will take that light away. I worry it will be me who does it. I worry a lot about this boy, even as I also try to keep that worry down to a realistic minimum.

But the truth about this boy is that he is this sturdy, strong soul that keeps surprising me, keeps me on my toes, keeps revealing to me the joy to be found in each and every day.

It isn't just that we love each other and have a tight bond. It is that, at age 3, he blows me away when he wakes up in the morning, hugs me, and sighs, "I'm so happy." It's that he will then ask me, "Mommy, are you happy, too?"

What do I do with this heart that is so big it makes its owner burst out, "I'm SO HAPPY to see you!" whenever he catches a glimpse of me? Or, "Mami, I love you soooo much" - just like that, out of the blue, with no explanations?

This is what people must mean when they say children are so much more honest and braver than we adults could ever hope to be. I stand, almost every day, in front of a little being that challenges me to be just as honest and brave, to throw my head back and open my arms and say it just like that: "I love you," "I'm happy," and say it often.

Even when things are dark between us, when he is the trantrummy terror and I am the mean mommy, he is the one who will implore me, "Don't be mad at me!!"; who will say, "I'm crying because you're not happy." And when I explain that I am mad at that moment but that I love him very much, what I get is a tear-stained face pressed up against mine, dirty arms around my neck, and a muffled voice saying, "I love you too, mommy. You're my best friend."

When have I ever taken that kind of risk? And yet he takes it on a regular basis. He stands to get rejected every time - by my anger, my impatience, my being in a hurry, my desire to teach a lesson, my own fears and insecurities - but that never stops him.

How do I mother him, and mother him as my heart wants to, without taking the same kind of risk? It's impossible. So the debt of gratitude is to him, for making me just a bit braver, a bit more honest, a bit more open.

Time will alter the way he expresses himself and experience may take some of this uninhibited sunshine away. So the thing to do now is to embrace this, to stay open to it, to let it transform me however it will.

And so always, no matter what the circumstance, I always stop and look into those soulful eyes. I hug him, I hold him tight. And I tell him, "I am so happy."

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Posted by Tere @ 5/15/2009   | | | links to this post

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Well, Yeah, I AM the Best Local Blog!

In the parenting/family category, natch.

At least, the folks over at Nickelodeon's Parents' Picks seem to think enough of this lil' ol' blog to select it as a contender in the "Best Local Blog" category.

I'm not exactly a competitive person, but hey, I'll cry like a little girl if I end up last, so how about y'all show me some much-needed love and vote for me?

I mean, come on, people. Do I have to remind you of the kind of year I've had? Remember, "life goes kablooey"? Tere's all alone? Tere's now a single mom trying to manage her career, run her home, and raise that adorable child of hers right?

Exactly how pitiful do I need to get here to get you to make clicky clicky and vote for me?

So, yeah. Be a pal and do it, o.k.?

*pout*

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Posted by Tere @ 5/13/2009   | | | links to this post

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Sweetest Thing

Mother's Day in these parts was rough, inasmuch as Max has been sick, and so he was quite the pain in the butt in the morning when his father dropped him off. For two solid hours, he writhed on the floor, kicking and screaming about every single thing ("I want my SHHOOOOOOOEE!"; "No! Don't give me my shoe!"; "I want to CRY!"; "Mommy, why am I crying??"). Hey, I'd been warned he'd barely slept...

By the time we got out of the house, I was miserable and ready to call it a day (at 9 a.m.!). Thank goodness, then, that this child of mine fell fast asleep in the car and had a 30-minute nap. He was, more or less, a complete joy for the rest of the day.

On Friday, after an unintentionally hilarious performance of a poem and song, I finally got my necklace. Behold:


Yeah. I know. Not a necklace. The other moms had necklaces, though, so you know what I'm thinking? The length of my "necklace" indicates the point at which he got bored with the whole thing, so I ended up with a bracelet.

And of course, I love it. The happiness on his face and pride in his voice as he gave it to me and shouted, "I made this for you!!!" was the best thing ever. I hope I accumulate years' worth of crafted gifts and handmade jewelry, 'cause this? Is awesome.

I figured that'd be it for me and Mother's Day, but also knew Ben would get me a card in Max's name, which I looked forward to. So imagine how floored I was when they pulled this out of the car and handed it to me on Sunday morning:


It is absolutely beautiful. Ben told me Max had picked a number of the pictures out (confirmed with him hopping in the background, yelling, "I made this for you!!"). A gift like this was beyond anything I imagined ever getting, and, needless to say, I have been very deeply touched by it. I don't think I can find the words to adequately express what this means to me, or everything running through me.

For once, I won't try, and will just bask in the sweetness and beauty of this.

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Posted by Tere @ 5/11/2009   | | | links to this post

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Spoiler Alert (Updated)

I'm due to have a Mother's Day breakfast with my son at his school this Friday. I figured we'd eat some treats, the kids get to be with mom, and that's that.

Apparently, the kids have also been working on something special for their moms. As confirmed yesterday, when my little blabbermouth yells from the backseat of the car: "Mommy! I made you a necklace! It's in school! I want to give it to you!"

Damn. And I love surprise presents so much. Oh, well.

Can't wait to see what his masterpiece looks like!

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Update:

Boy, it just keeps piling up! Standing in the kitchen now, he walks up to me and recites me a poem, something about "angels," "company," and "mother dear." A poem, I suspect, that the kids will be reciting to us moms on Friday.

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Posted by Tere @ 5/06/2009   | | | links to this post

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Good Things

Things me that make me happy lately:

1. The way my Maxi's face lights up when he sees me, and a smile breaks on that impish face, and he gives me a big, hard hug and says, "I'm so glad to see you!" (or, "I love you!", or "I'm so happy!")

2. My two little gardenia plants. I planted them last year and they're blooming right now. I walked by, caught the familiar yummy scent, looked down, and was shocked to find five flowers. I had noticed some buds, but these seemed to have just popped open over night.

3. My mango tree, so weighed down by more mangoes than I've ever seen (just picked the first two ripe mangoes of the season off the tree!). I really, really hope they all ripen.

4. The fact that I tried on an old two-piece bathing suit for the first time since 2004, and not only did it fit, it looked just fine! I can't believe I look so normal and non-hideous in a two-piece. I still have a ways to go before I get to where I need to be, but wow, that was a total boost! I may actually wear it in public some time this year...

5. The recent beautiful weather. I love how it's super sunny and warm (hot, really), but there's also a breeze. I've been spending a lot of time outdoors (better do it now, since it will soon be too hot and stuffy to spend more than 10 minutes outside), and the breeze has made it all - the beach, the water park, the racquetball court - so much more enjoyable.

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Posted by Tere @ 5/05/2009   | | | links to this post

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Willing

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. - (Joseph Campbell)

This post you're reading right now, I began it last November. I started with Campbell's quote and got as far as three paragraphs when it became too painful to continue, and I abandoned it to my pretty large draft pile.

In November, I wrote that my problem was that I was not yet willing to let go of the life I'd planned. This is what I wrote back then:

"Grieving for my grandmother has brought with it this intense, painful grief for the marriage I lost and the life I had so carefully planned for.

I had nothing written in stone; I only had the visions of what to me would be a happy life: Sunday morning breakfast, reading the paper together while our children indulged in cartoons; long days of hard work capped off with satisfying conversations and lots of laughter, maybe some wine, great sex and definitely the feeling that things were good in our world; a life that would have its share of pain and hardship that we would willingly confront and overcome together.

I am right at this moment stuck at the "willing" part. I'm not; and I don't know why."


I think I know "why" now: because I didn't want to let go. Letting go of so many years is just plain hard and scary. And I could not force myself to do it until I had fully grieved and was ready to do it.

Between then and now, I have found the willingness. I indulged in every emotion that hit me (tortured myself with them at times), did not fight anything I thought or felt. I let it all sink in, swirl around me, some things settling, others floating away. I just let it all be, hoping that the willingness would come in time.

And it did.

Now, I am willing. Willing to let go of the life I planned, the one I always felt was inches away, and embrace this one. Willing to accept all that has happened, and accept that it all happened for reasons I may never understand, or even agree with, but happened it did, and it's my job to make sure I don't repeat certain mistakes and behaviors and stay committed to the personal changes I've made.

Willing to believe that the things I want, I can still have; that I deserve to have them. Willing to move forward (wanting to move forward), believing that a life of beauty and fulfillment and real happiness is right there for me to dive into.

Willing. I never thought I would be. My pain and my sadness will be a part of me for a long time to come; they color the way I see the world and the way I live my life. But they are not the whole of me, and like so much of what this last year has been to me - the questions, the analyzing, the devastation, the gut-wrenching truths I've had to face - it is time to put it all away and close the book.

This is it for me.

And I am willing.


(Something about writing the last post made me think of this, and I felt it was finally time to publish this.)

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Posted by Tere @ 5/02/2009   | | | links to this post