Sunday, September 26, 2010

Till Death...

There are miracles afoot. 

What does that mean exactly? simply means that when something beautiful comes out of something that seems looks like a miracle to me.  Right now...there are miracles afoot.

I've always had what anyone would consider to be a very honest and extremely loving marriage.  For just about 16 years, in spite of all the hardship, I would have been willing to bet that I knew just about everything about the man I was sharing my life with.  He's a very forthcoming man.  An open book. 

I just hadn't gotten to all the chapters yet. 

It makes sense to me that there were things going unmentioned.  I've been teetering in an apocalyptic place for years now.  Life and Death.  Death and Life.  Writing in pain.  Agony.  Unable to see....or hear.

But, in a marriage like ours, the truth will out.  It's too painful to keep parts of the self away from your best friend.  Much too painful.  Destructive.

For the past several years, I've been having a recurrent dream.  I am in a very large house, and I know my family is there somewhere.  I keep looking, but I can't find them anywhere.  I start running from room to room, faster and faster.  I can't find them anywhere.  I usually wake to that dream covered in sweat.  I used to tell my husband about that dream, and we would chalk it off to liking our small house.

But my dream was telling me something, and my husband knew it. 

There were rooms in my home I didn't know about.  Hidden from my view to protect me.  Hidden from my view in the hopes of avoiding more pain directed to me.  Because of a deep commitment to our love. 

How strange it is to find oneself caught in a lie.  In all honesty, a lie that should never have been told.  A lie that didn't need to be told.  Oh what a tangled web one weaves....

I look back at the past several years in which that lie lived all alone....hiding from me. 

I look back at the lie...and forward into the truth, and all I can do is take that lie in my arms...comfort it...hug it....tell it that it o.k. to be in the light...that I can love the truth...and in loving that truth, nurturing it and showing it that it doesn't need to become a lie to exist in the world.  .  .

In being able to take the hand of the husband I love and look him in the eyes...and know I see truth there...I have found a treasure trove of beauty that has been waiting to emerge. 

The truth will set you free. 

There isn't anything I can really come up with that can't be forgiven when holding the hand of the man I love.

I can see that lies were told.  In fear.  In desperation.  In hopes of the ridiculous transference of an inner child telling oneself that "mommy" will never understand.  Well....maybe MOMMY won't, but....I'm not mommy.  I'm his wife.  And I understand.  I have enough room for this in my pile of issues to integrate.  I have enough space in my heart to accept that no one is one. 

True, I thought my guy was "perfect".  He was afraid he had failed me. 

What he is finding instead is that I still find him to be perfect.   Perfect for me.  The perfect husband, lover, friend, partner....the perfect balanced man.  Whole.  For the first time. 

I can see all the rooms in my house now.  There is a sign over the door that reads "Open your heart and leave your worries behind.  Honesty lives here."

We've always told our children that telling the truth would never be punishable. 

My husband has told me the truth and in that truth, I have found a garden within my marriage that is bursting forth in full bloom.  And all the flowers are for us. 

I always knew my husband was my best friend....and now, he knows I'm his too.  He knows I'm strong enough to hear him.  Willing to love him in spite of...because of....everything.  

The truth can be painful because we think we know what "should" be...and when the truth differs from the frame of sends some into chaos mode.  Working through the pain and tears has been worth it. Finding balance and re-building trust is our tryst.  

We are worth it.

More than worth it.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


As a little girl I used to belt out the words to "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow..."

I wasn't just singing it, I really believed it would....or...hoped it would.

My childhood was nothing like the childhood my children have.  It was dark.  Lonely.  So, when I sang that song, it was a little like singing the blues. 

As life went on...I kept finding myself singing that song from time to time.  Always during hard times. 

I think tomorrow has come. 

They say it always gets darkest before the dawn.  The sun is rising....and it feels good on my skin.

On that note....the fact that tomorrow is today doesn't mean rain won't ever fall again....

but today....

It IS tomorrow.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Finding a Way...

Sorry for worrying you...

Sometimes life twists in unexpected ways, knocking you flat on your face...gasping for breath.

As a mom who has lost babies...had her eldest childs life altered painfully...I get loss.  I get it. 

But, even while "getting it"...I didn't expect to lose my understandings of who I was...where I was standing...and how life could be so utterly...NOT...what you thought it might be.  

All in all....things are weaving themselves into possibly better 

All in all...maybe things have to be what they are, so that they can become what they will be. 

I honestly feel that I can't speak.

I can't really even begin to tell the tale. 

Let's just say that it's knocked my socks off...

blew me into an upside down world...

and taught me how to see something in a new light.

A more honest light.

And...maybe, even a more beautiful, whole light. hurt while it was happening. 

More painful than...anything...ANYTHING....I've been through.


But...not as lengthy.  More of an acute pain, rather than the chronic one of loss and loss and loss and loss......


It shocks us into action. 

It forces us to pay attention.

It clears the way....

for holding hands again. 

I'm o.k.

More importantly...."we" are o.k. once more.

more than o.k.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Upside down

Sometimes you think you know something...

and then it all turns out to be lie.

Sometimes you think you understand something...

and then you are shown that you understand nothing. trust.

and find out you are a fool.

A complete fool. 



With no options

With no chance to heal


there are no answers.  For anything in your life. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Yesterday was my little "Bear's" 7th birthday...

I spent the morning rushing around to get all the odds and ends to make his day super special.  I kept thinking about "just one more thing", because I wanted to make sure it was a real par-TAY!  He's my seven year old baby.  The big brother who never got to be a big brother.  My baby.

I kept rushing around trying not to think about all he has gone through in the past 3 years.'s there.  Always there.

Three years ago my little Bear turned five.  Such a big boy...we had a huge pirate party, complete with treasure hunt, pirate flags, treasure chest and an authentic looking map that I had designed with canvass, tea, coffee, and meticulous burn marks that mapped our entire domain.  I had labeled my eldest son's room as "The dwelling of the Kracken..."  In my defense...he was going through a  I can't say it was a phase, because he was always the way he was.  That goes along with being bi-polar.  We were just starting to realize the fact that he was dealing with more than "normal boy behavior."  Or rather...his therapists were finally starting to realize it.  sigh.  In any case, it was not a surprise that I would have labeled his room as a dwelling of an unpredictable was just...the way it was.  I have always tried to be humorous about that which was difficult.  A defense mechanism.  Trying to make light out of darkness.  That was before I knew how much could be taken from me.  From all of us.

We went through the motions of the party, laughter, in a black sun-dress...which was odd because, at the time, I never...ever...wore black.  ever.  My friends noticed it.  I remember looking at the clock wondering why my eldest wasn't home.  Thinking it was typical selfish behavior.  He knew it was his brothers birthday...and yet....he wasn't home.  I figured he had blown it off after work.  It never crossed my mind that maybe there was another reason he was missing.

The party ended.  It had been perfect...even perfect in the moments where my friends had gathered in a circle in my living room talking about Sanderson...and his absence.  His gymnastics coach commented on how irradic his behavior had been lately.  We talked about the likelyhood of bi-polar disorder...I remember him sighing and saying "What's it going to take to wake him up?"  We all nodded...

It wasn't that he was "bad".  He wasn't doing anything "bad".  He was kilter...mean.  And...honestly, it really sucked to be around him 80% of the time.  Hard for a mom to admit, but really true.  I would ask to have it all back....if only....if only.....

We went on a walk after the party ended.  When we returned I noticed my son's bike was still not home.  I heard the phone ringing inside...

What followed was the blurry feeling of understanding that something is terribly terribly wrong.  The nauseous sensation of realizing that your child is near death.   That you may never talk to him again.

He lay there in the hospital with half his face scraped from the cruel pavement.  No helmet.  No helmet.  No protection from hard pavement.  No way to understand anything.  Gaping wounds all over his face...all over his skull....where his brain lay bleeding within.  The words "stabilized" mean little to someone who understands the critical nature of serious brain damage.  They mean even less when a catatonic boy lays on a bed breathing only because a machine makes it possible. 

He lay for days between life and death.  Death.  I looked at the brain scans over and over.  Something I used to enjoy for fun...analyzing brain scans...of other people. was my son.  MY son.  And, his brain....didn't look the way it should have looked.  Damaged.  Badly.

They say I have PTSD from that event.  Nightmares, hyper-vigilance...random crying.  

It's been three years.

I looked up as I set up the party and wondered WHY I had thought to choose a pirate balloon as the main centerpiece.  It hadn't been conscious.  It was just as random as the fact that the balloon clerk had given me a purple and yellow star balloon as well to bob around in the balloon bouquet I ordered for Bears birthday.


I decorated around those balloons, suddenly noticing that there was a strong sense of de'ja vu happening.  I unraveled the streamers...rainbow streamers....and I thought about the little golden haired boy that used to tell us his favorite color was "rainbow".  My eldest much...HIM.

The Pirate balloon....and three years ago.  We didn't have a theme this year....but there it was, just the same.

Purple and Golden Stars....WHY had she chosen those colors out of all the colors she had to choose from.  But it was perfect that they were there.  Sweet Simon and Alexander.  You should have been here this year.

Last year, Bear's birthday was marked with tears of loss.  Loss for the babies that we wanted so much...for the path that we wanted to be on instead of the one we were on.  Loss of his excitement to be a big brother after being the "little bear" for so long.  A silent birthday...with forced smiles.  A lost birthday celebration.  One in which he still didn't learn to ride a bike...he didn't even WANT to ride a bike due to the fear instilled by his oldest brothers accident.  One in which, I wore the same black dress...because I could only wear black...without them.  without my babies that should have been.  Black.....

So, you can see why I wanted THIS year to be different...and yet...there were all these memories...such sad memories.

I made the cake, shaped like a requested.  Chocolate filled with caramel and cream frosting.  perfect.  Delightful....and promising to be one of the most delectable I've ever made.  Bears eyes shone with joy.  His cake...was perfect.  Mommy was BACK. 

Framed with rainbow streamers, aforementioned...and piles of presents.  Too many presents.  Trying to make up for trauma.  Trying to tell the little boy with the newly broken arm from a recently silly fall that life was going to be better....much much better.  Happier.  Safer.   That not every year would have trauma.  Loss.  Pain.  Tears.

I could hear kids on the Bear laughing from the outskirts.  He wasn't allowed on the tramp due to his broken humerus.  But, he was having fun watching the antics of the other kids.  Too many kids.  I knew it was too many kids....but...I didn't get out there fast enough.  A little boy broke through where the springs were supposed to hold him....and was brought inside by his sister.  Blood streaming everywhere.  From nose...head...the corner of his eye.  Head wounds bleed.   a lot.  They often look worse than they are...but they are also sometimes worse than they look.

A blue homeopathic kit.  A red first aid kit.  Flashing hands.  Blood.  Homeopathic Arnica and Aconite.  Compresses.  Gauze Pads.  LOTS of gauze pads.  Tea tree ointment.  More homeopathics.  I looked at his wide eyed mom..." you have insurance?  He needs to go to the ER.  Now."  I showed her the deep gaping wound on his head.  She paled.  More Aconite...for her.  More Arnica....for him.  I didn't suspect a concussion...but the wound was too big and too deep to ignore.  The little boys was calming down.  The homeopathy was working.  More Aconite.  More Arnica. 

I was shaking.

Too much blood.  Too similar to my own beautiful sons face...gaping wounds on pale skin.  A forever scar.

The party continued.  I listened as people took turns hugging me and telling me I should have been a doctor.

yeah.  In another lifetime...I would have been.  But now....

The children continued to play...but not on the trampoline.  It's coming down. It's banned.  If it's springs are's no longer safe.  Even with a safety net 10 feet tall.  Not safe. Our children. They are never safe. Not really. 

I hugged my eldest goodbye.  All grown up.  I rarely see him. His scars, so small and insignificant...the reminder of the damage within...the only visable remnant of that nightmarish time three years ago.  The moods are still there...but at least we know what they are now.  Now that it's too late. As he waved goodbye I looked up at the rainbow streamers and thought of the little boy who loved rainbow more than any other color; I wondered where life was taking him.

Bear and I settled on the couch to look at his loot.  Too many presents.  Will every other birthday seem skimpy after this assortment?  He seemed most happy with a green noise maker that emits various cartoon sounds upon pressing a button.  He especially enjoyed the sound of something falling with a pronounced "splat" sound giggling each time it was pressed. 

I asked him if he'd had a good birthday.  "Yeah...but it seems like my birthdays are kinda dramatic lately."

Oh baby....they really have been.  It seems like life in general has been pretty dramatic lately.
If only I could change that.  Put in an order for less drama....that's what I want.  less drama.  less trauma. less...blood. 

In all honesty...I'd like a bit of boredom.  I'm just fine with the idea of abundance, joy, and laughter being what my life is made of...I don't feel guilty for wanting the remainder of my existence to be happy...but I know that life just isn't like that.  At least...I don't think it is.
Somehow, I doubt boredom is in the cards for us.  It seems like something is always stirring the pot.  Making us stronger? weaker? stronger? weaker? 

Whatever it is doing, one thing is certain.  We live in interesting times.  This is a day many say they will never forget.  Sept. 11th.  A day to remember as if other losses on other days are less significant.  For is a lifetime to remember for a multitude of reasons.  I put on that black dress today.  One of many that I wear often.  Black soothes me...reminds me that it's o.k. to mourn loss in life.  So many losses.  So many tears.
I will never forget.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

"What the Hell are you Guys Thinking???"

The doors open...

But it doesn't seem like anyone is coming to visit.  Yet.

Instead, I'm walking by myself in this body next to a flowing river of reminders and contradictions.

This was a hectic week.  The kind of week that would make any sane person wonder why we have opened that door again.  "What the HELL are you guys thinking???"  My lovely 14 year old began school after a lifetime of being home schooled.  Chinese, Drama, Choir, Biology, English, P.E. and Math now house 8 hours of his day...and then, if this week is any indication of the future, 6 more hours of homework each night.  He's doing beautifully...thumbs up to the power of homeschooling with free-styled enthusiasm.  He hasn't missed a beat.

But I sure miss him...

I miss his constant musical presence, his funny jokes, his help...his BE-ingness.

Our younger kiddos miss him too.  But, they are finding a new rhythm with each other without their older brother paving the way.  And, it's all good...I'm pleased with what I see.  I'm pleased with who they are. 

I'm taking two classes at the University.  I take Ferdinand with me...and I admit that I am awfully glad I do.  He just sleeps the whole time...but I can reach down and snuggle with his fur as needed.  (often)  My profs are so enchanted with his loveliness that they never even questioned his giant presence in the room--because I do so need him.  "What the HELL are you guys thinking???"   I have a great sociology major coming to the house while I am gone to teach the boys Italian and Piano...she also cleans the house.  It's wonderful really.  She's much energy...

The boys are also learning bass, keyboards, drums and guitar in band format with a music recorder...he's a little odd...but he's doing a wonderful job.  And, of course, Ham still plays bagpipes with the Celtic Dragons.
They are continuing Aikido as well.  And Ty still does his band...and works more than full time as a wondrous therapist for so many down trodden heartbroken life-broken people. 

My computer broke last week...not just glitching but...DIED.  I had to buy a new one.  Not "wanted" to buy...but HAD to buy.  Several deadlines for writing work demanded it.  It's funny...I never dreamed I would be so dependent on a computer for anything important, but as a freelance's my job.  And we depend on my ability to work, hence I depend...deeply...on my computer.   So...I got a new one.  Just in time to realize that now that my 14 year old is in high school, he ALSO needs a computer.  He spent 6 hours on this one for his homework on Thursday.  Needless to say I didn't get much work done as a result.  Yeah...the kids need their own computer.  Computers are expensive.  "What the HELL are you guys thinking???"    

Our busy week also enlightened me to the fact that this family of almost 16 years that has happily existed with ONE car suddenly needs...TWO.  Not wants....NEEDS.   "What the HELL are you guys thinking???

The time frame of vehicle need demands it.  The time frame of action needs prohibit the bus.  or bike.  or...feet.
Oh...and I got pulled over on the way home today from a Chinese restaurant because I didn't fully stop at a completely abandoned intersection.  And my wallet was at home.  shiiiiiiiiiiiiitttt.  Luckily...the police officer was a nice young man and didn't ticket me.  He could see my husband with a full latte' and four kids in the back looking ever so sweet with our darling sheepie. the addition to me driving without my license...I had not put the insurance card in our new car.  Because...I forgot.  shiiiiiiiiitttttt. 

This busy life.... 
  "What the HELL are you guys thinking???"
It's halted my ability to get to hot yoga.
  "What the HELL are you guys thinking???"
And for anyone who has been reading know that is bad news.

Real bad news.

We are talking....BAD.

I keep thinking if I just work a little harder, move a little faster, reach a little further...that I'll find a way.
  "What the HELL are you guys thinking???"
But I wrote everything on the calender.

And with one family car.

It can't happen.  It won't happen. are expensive.  "What the HELL are you guys thinking???"

So...whether it was my jolting hormones, the disappointment of seeing my period arrive after being so hopeful in spite of my best efforts to "play it calm and carefree", or the high pressured week...I lost my cool.  Again. 

I could see that no matter how I juggled life long as we have one is impossible to take care of ME.   "What the HELL are you guys thinking???"  Now, I've been a mom for a loooong time.  20 and a half years.  I used to tell my friends that I didn't need "me time".

But times have changed.

I have changed.

It isn't that I want to get away from my children or my husband or my work.  It isn't that I don't enjoy my classes or my home.

It's just that I'm like a pressure cooker now.  My eldest son suffering a life altering brain injury followed by losing Simon and Alexander in such a grizzly way....oh god...a three year period of emotional trauma...and  I can feel my nervous system sizzling in the aftermath.   "What the HELL are you guys thinking???"   It begins when I skip a day of hot yoga.  The little groan within.  It gets stifled with the promise of "tomorrow".  But...when tomorrow becomes another tomorrow and another tomorrow....and another....and another.......and then, becomes the realization that it might week.  next month.  and then....becomes...."I don't know when", well...that's when the temperature gets turned up.   

I can literally feel my neurons screaming.

And that little voice that never used to be part of who I was screams "WHAT ABOUT ME???"

Oh the shame.  To "need" anything just for pleasure.  A complete luxury really.  To "want".

But, to be really honest...the only fair comparison is this:  If you had spent a year in utter misery...feeling a dark cloud around the core of your being...wishing you could fling yourself out of a glass window, chop off your hair, or tattoo the word "PAIN" on your forehead just so people would GET it....and then, you found a magic pill that lightened the pain...calmed the hurt....gave you back your breath....well...if someone told you two months later, after you had re-discovered laughter and hope, that you couldn't have that pill for a few months....or maybe ever again...   "What the HELL are you guys thinking???"

well....that's what not having hot yoga is for me.  It's that magic pill that offered me my life again.  It calmed the storm...gave me back my hope.

But...I haven't taken that magic pill for a few weeks.  First due to a lovely  

I know I have to DEMAND it back. I know that.

Honestly, I am a mom.  I've been a mom since I was 15.  I'm used to waiting for "my time".  I'm used to putting everything else first.  Everyone else...first.

Ty understands that.  Sometimes he says that it can take a temper tantrum to really express the importance of something.  So that the people around you understand how very important something IS.  We always saw that if our kids had a rare tantrum...and we see in me.  

I got a fortune cookie tonight at a Chinese restaurant...It said: "Make sure the pace of life doesn't interrupt the ability to care for yourself."  
 "What the HELL are you guys thinking???"

Little purple and yellow shoes sit over looking footprints of tiny feet...the promise that the door is open.  That someone is welcome to walk through and claim those little shoes.

A loving the same pace of life alongside me.  .  . He knows we have to find a way to make hot yoga a regular part of our lives.  The nervous breakdowns insist upon that.  Sometimes a tantrum is the best way to express the dire needs we have in life.  Sometimes a fortune cookie makes it all clear.

And to those of you who read these words...thank you.  Thank you for witnessing my journey...for not making me walk alone in the night.  For understanding and sharing your own reflections on life.

Thank you.  Thank you for not asking me... "What the hell are you guys thinking?!"  I'm already asking myself that question...and the only answer I can come up with is that not being open to life...simply feels like death.