I Remember 

I remember…

I remember Senior year in High School & wanting that Toyota pick up so badly. And my Dad sitting me down at the patio table in the backyard one Sunday morning explaining to me all of the reasons why I could not afford it and thinking then that my heart was broken.
I remember driving home after my first year of college having left my roommate to drive the opposite direction – crying & singing along to the mixed tape that we had made in duplicate so that we would be listening to the same songs on the way home and thinking after all that we had been through and survived our first year as college students how it was that I could possibly make it through the summer without her and thinking then that my heart was broken,
I remember coming home to the first place I ever shared with a boyfriend after spending the night with girlfriends to find him with another girl in our home. I remember him introducing me as his “roommate” and after somehow standing my ground and putting them both in their place, I remember hiding in the bathroom as he gathered his things, silently crying and thinking then that my heart was broken
I remember, years later when another boyfriend who I learned too late was strung out on drugs disappeared. I stayed up all night, driving around,  calling friends and racing home to see if they had just been a misunderstanding – only to find the house exactly the way I had left it. In the wee early morning, I packed my things and drove 50 miles back home to my mothers house. I stayed in bed for weeks crying – refusing to eat or talk with friends. And I remember then thinking my heart was broken.
I remember the day my Grandfather died. How I spoke to him the night before, promising to bring him a crossword puzzle when I visited the next day. I remember the sound of his voice clear as day, “Hello, sweetheart” as he answered the phone in his hospital room.  And I remember my Father calling early the next morning to tell me his Dad had passed away in the night. I remember the sound of my Father inhaling a cigarette and picturing him sitting on his back patio all alone on that cool spring morning.  I remember the funeral. Sitting between my father and my husband, feeling my strong, bold, Father shaking beside me.  I remember feeling sad that my Grandfather was no longer with us, but even more sad that my Father had lost HIS Father. And I remember thinking then that my heart was broken.
I remember the day I brought my sweet puppy Maggie home. How small she was, how from the very beginning she was my best friend like we’d known each other our whole lives and like she wasn’t a dog yet just another person. I remember how smart she was how she always knew when I was sad and how she would cuddle up in a ball right alongside me. I remember she loved to go on car rides and to visit friends. And I remember the night that we went to bed just as always. But in the middle of that night she had her first seizure of six that by middle of the following day she would be gone forever. With no explanation. I remember I lay on the couch, sobbing in wretched pain for days. And I remember feeling then that my heart was broken. 
I remember the day my RE called for the last time. To tell me our final embryo transfer was not successful and based on what we knew, I would never be able to achieve pregnancy.  I remember how kind, but matter-of-fact she sounded.  And how I couldn’t speak at all in return.  Not a word.  
And I KNOW my heart was completely, irrevocably broken.  For I have felt nothing since but anger, sadness and despair. Things I know do not come from a heart, but the empty space which remains. 
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The best thing that’s happened to me….

  …in at LEAST 3 months was the Taco Bell drive thru getting my order wrong today and after correcting it, still only charging me $3.67 for an $8 meal.  

Sad? Yep. 

At least no one can say I’m not showing gratitude for all the “positive things I still have in my life!” Because basically getting away with stealing a meal at Taco Bell eliminates all the bad shit I’ve been feeling FOR SURE! 

At least irony was not lost by the Mr. Smart E. Pants sauce packet…

“It” Happened

Well……it happened.  You know, “IT.”  

My sister had errands and appointments yesterday that my two-year-old nephew was not able to attend with her. So he was hanging out with Uncle and Auntie…. We were also doing errands but just normal stuff that he could go along with.  It was my amazing Father In Law’s birthday yesterday and we were hosting the family over for a BBQ dinner.  So our errands included things like picking up a new patio set we’d purchased and a Costco run for groceries.  Which is where “IT” happened.
I get to spend a lot of time with my nephew. His mama is at a point in her career where she must allot so many hours to finalize licensure and his daddy is a farmer, which means long & unpredictable hours.  They are also a very social couple. I swear they must get invited to 5 or six weddings a year!  They are great parents, but the busy schedules mean I (along with Daddy’s big family) get to hang with “Squish” pretty regularly.
I mention this only to validate my understanding of how “it” could happen any ‘ol time.  And though I can’t imagine “it” wouldn’t hurt too much less then….”it” took my breath away when “it” happened yesterday.  
I had picked Squish up fairly early in the morning and about the time we finished up our first errand, we were smack dab in the middle of his morning nap time.  I felt awful, but we had some drive time, so he snoozed for about 40 minutes.  
When we arrived at Costco, he was still sleepy but after rousing him and getting into the warehouse, he perked up and chatted with us, himself and every single food sample rep who told him how handsome he was & handed him a plain cracker or chip.
By the time we were ready to check out, our cart was over full (I knew this based not on my visual inspection of the cart, but by the way my husband was scowling about how much THIS trip to Costco was going to cost).  Also because I was holding an increasingly whiny Squish when we loaded the conveyor belt & paid. 
The checker asked if we wanted to add a donation amount to our total for a local Children’s Hospital. My husband begrudgingly obliged and they gave us the little tag to write our name on. My husband suggested we list Squish’s name, so I did.
The clerk handed the receipt to my husband, told us to have a great day, looked me square in the eye and said “and you have a very happy Mother’s Day tomorrow.”
“IT.”
The air left my lungs. 
I froze.  
My hearing & vision left.  It was like someone hit a “pause” button on my internal DVR. 
My husband nudged me and the vision and hearing returned. Squish was still straddling my hip and though  normally, I would’ve gone into the whole “oh, he’s not my son, he’s my nephew….” explanation, I couldn’t get words to form. I mumbled what I think was a “thank you” and we made our way to the door, my husband never making eye contact with me.  
Before we reached the “receipt scan” line, I uncomfortably shifted Squish to my other hip, suddenly very much aware of his weight.  I put one foot in front the other and as I begged my legs not to buckle from underneath me, I pulled my sunglasses from the top of my head and put them on my eyes to cover what I knew was there.  Shear shock.  Complete horror. Welled-up salt water. 
We loaded the groceries and Squish into my vehicle (we’d brought two to accommodate the patio furniture).  It wasn’t until then my husband asked if I was okay…..which served as the unlock mechanism for the tears to fall.  “I’m fine.” I responded.  He kissed my forehead and we parted ways.  
I know this kills my husband, too.  He can’t fix it. He hates seeing me so upset.  But I also know its hard for him.  I would never ask and he’d never say, but I’m willing to bet he had a little breakdown himself after we parted ways. 
Cool thing about a two year old? You can pretty easily hide a breakdown from them. Sitting in the car together.  In a parking lot.  In broad daylight. 
It wasn’t Squish’s fault. It wasn’t the clerks fault.  How easily would anyone have assumed he was my child.  That sleepy, whiny toddler who was wrapped around my neck and who might resemble me a little since he’s my only sister’s – who sorta looks like me – kid.
Today marks the first Mothers Day I know I’ll never be celebrated as one.  The prior year Mothers Days were tough – very tough – but back then there was still a chance. We were still trying. Now we know that it will not happen. 
And it’s been awful.  
I almost snuck through without “it” happening and I can’t help but think how stupid it was of me to be out and about with Squish and not even consider what could’ve happened. 
I hate this. I hate this. I hate this. 

Not exactly the island I meant I wanted to go to…..

I’ve been bugging my husband for a couple of years for tropical getaway.  The kind with cabana boys and private beach-front patios.  Zip-lining and a pool bar.  I think I’ve used every excuse….his birthday, my birthday….tax refunds…..our anniversary, my birthday again.  He really hasn’t budged.  Not that he wouldn’t go at all, he’d just rather do something else.  

So I can’t help but point out the irony that I’m here.  On an isolated island of “blah” and irritable sadness.  I feel like somewhere along the line, I ended up with a one way ticket to crap island and that there isn’t a boat rental joint in sight.

I know Mothers Day isn’t helping.  Two of the hardest weeks of the year (for me) are the week before and the week after Mothers Day.  The week before is listening to the commercials, seeing the jewelry sales in the mall and hearing all about everyone’s plans to honor the women who are Mothers in their lives.  The week after…well, it’s basically the same.

Not only am I not a Mother, but I also happen to have a Mother who, years ago I thought was a strong, independent lady who could always be counted on but who now enjoys a little too much wine with her wine, is pretty much an absent Granny to my nephew and though I truly love her – she is my Mom for Christs’ sake – she really can’t be counted on for much of anything.

Picture me in the over-priced greeting card isle at Target trying to not loose my cool while choosing Mothers Day cards for all the women in my life who get to be Moms….and for that lady who brought me into this world but can’t remember where I currently live.  Picture me fighting the tears and gulping down crazy laughter (the creepy/psycho sounding kind) as I read the cards and think to myself how none of these say what I need them to say…..and so I’ll have to go back.  Seeing as how I barely made it out of the store this time without a super security dude run in (crazy lady lost her mind again on isle 12!)

And so I’m back on my island.  Hiding out under my palm leaves of self-pity. 

Who cares about tropical getaways anyway? I’m German/Irish with a history of early melanoma and an extra 20 pounds of fertility treatment drug weight. I’m never going to lay on the beach drinking Mai-Tai’s in a bikini.