- Published on Wednesday, 07 September 2011 06:10
Last night I went to bed thinking, "I just need a good solid sleep. I have to work a full day tomorrow and then I'm taking my son to a movie so we can have some one-on-one time. If I get some sleep I'll be good." At around 3am our toddler showed up in the bed, covered in vomit.
We cleaned him up and he went back to sleep, nestled beside his father. I couldn't sleep after that. I tossed and turned and finally got up to work at 5:30am. I might as well catch up on a few emails, right?
As I looked down at my computer, at the date, it hit me...September 7th. My anniversary with Brian. My first husband. Today would be our anniversary and tomorrow would be his birthday. It's interesting, really, because just yesterday I told my husband to turn my Crackers, Cheese and Pickles book into an ebook. I've been holding off for over a year but the timing is finally right. Rick is turning my story into an ebook after many requests from my friends and readers - they have been asking me to do this for quite some time.
Sometimes I look at my own reflection in the mirror or car and I wonder, "How did you get here? How is it possible that you lived through what you've lived through and you don't hate life?" I'm tired. I'll give you that. Some days I sit down and sigh, hard, feeling as though I've lived the lives of a thousand people. I'm in my mid 30's but I feel much older in my soul. When I am old, though, people will come to hear my stories, I imagine. I love storytelling so I'll have to practice up in the meantime.
I married Brian after meeting over produce. You'll have to read my book to find out more! I couldn't watch him die and so I left. I didn't stop loving him, mind you, but I left.
A while later I was pregnant with my first son - now age twelve. I married his daddy and soon after that, Brian was dead. The drug use had finally caught up with his body and he sat inside his truck, hunched over, with two photographs of me beside him. I wasn't allowed to attend his funeral which, to this day, is a sorrow that runs through the depths of my being.
After my second divorce I was a single mother for 3.5 years. I went to college, applied for scholarships (I won them both), worked as a nanny and I prayed. I prayed that I'd get through, that I'd be a good mom and that some day I'd feel as though my pain had been worth the bumpy ride.
When I married Rick, our daughter came along right away. We didn't think Rick could have children and I was content thinking that it would be the three of us together playing chess and reading on the couch. Nope! Our feisty daughter popped onto the scene and turned everything upside down. I then told my husband that I really wanted one more bubba because some day, I want a house filled with noise during the holidays. I want pies and turkey and ham and grand-kids running through the house yelling, "Sorry grandma! We'll go outside!" So...we decided to have Jack Jack - our big 'ol big hearted love bug.
I settled into the idea that everything was good and planned: I had my super smart 12 year old who will some day make a splash on the world if he sets his mind to it. I have my 4 year old daughter who knows what she wants, won't settle for less and can talk anyone under the table. I have my 2 year old Bubba who will love the heck out of any girl fortunate enough to end up with him. I have two businesses to run and my husband has another. Together, we work from home sitting a few feet apart. We now have a live-in nanny, also, and I felt as though everything was 'just right.'
A few weeks ago we went on a weekend trip and... came home with more than we planned for.
It took me a few days to move past the idea that my plans have now changed. I had to wonder if I'll make it through this, you know? I have so many wounds from years past and they affect me. Am I strong enough to be the mother of four children?
When I was young I used to watch a lady in our church who had four daughters. She was tall and lovely and always well kept. She seemed so strong and capable and I wondered if I'd be like her some day. It wasn't until high school that my mom told me the lady's husband was very ill. She had been taking care of four kids, and a sick husband, for many years. Soon after...he died.
I suppose we never know our own strength until we have no choice but to tap into the reservoir.
I still miss my friend Brian and now and again, I walk to the phone to call him. Then my heart sinks a little, I remember...he's gone...and then I remind myself of everything I have now. What I have now is pretty darn amazing. Three healthy and funny children, my own businesses that are booming and growing by the loyal support of so many, a great nanny, wonderful clients and a husband who has now given me a fourth child to love - and even more noise and pies that will fill my future holidays.
Maybe everything I've been through has made me the person, and mother, I am. Maybe I wouldn't change a thing. Even if I could.