I haven’t written for several days because, if I’m honest, I was kind of out, I don’t know…maybe pouting a little bit. To be sure, there’s plenty to be pulled down by. I still have a threatening time bomb blood clot in my heart, I’m still pretty tired and weak, the stress of running and building a business remotely is still hanging over me, and to top it off, Tom and the kids pulled out of town to head back to Montana two days ago. The moment I woke up on the day they left, tears stung my eyes and my chest ached. Saying goodbye was heart wrenching and I watched their tail lights until they were out of sight. Since then, I’ve been in a depressed funk, alternately holding back tears (and failing miserably) and watching terrible reality television and eating cookie dough. My days are mostly spent wishing the hours would pass sooner so I can be with them again.
The problem is that without them, nothing is normal. Before they left, almost everything about my life looked different than it did a year ago. My career, my body, my health, my freedom, my plans- it’s all different. But here they were with me, our little family unit. The same personalities and love and bonds twirling around the house, riding highs and lows together. The same little hands in my hands. The same heavy and sweetly-smelling heads on my shoulder. The same laughs and giggles and snuggles and shrieks.
They filled the space.
And now it’s quiet.
And the quiet hurts.
And of course there is the sadness over the things I will miss while I’m gone. There will be a thousand little and big moments that I won’t get to be a part of, and as their Mom, that’s tough. Elle will start Kindergarten and I hate that I won’t be able to look her in the eyes and remind her how awesome and brave and kind she is. I hate how I won’t be able to try to soothe some anxiety out of her with a big hug and a solid high-five. How I won’t be able, in that moment, to whisper in her ear that I am so proud of her and that I think she is ah-may-zing. I won’t be able to make her smile and send her off with the confidence she deserves as she bravely starts this new chapter in her life. Gah, my heart hurts just thinking about it.
As hard as that is though, part of me has also started to worry that I am not finding as much gratitude as I should in the world right now. I started to wonder if I was focusing on the wrong things, worried that I was slipping into a mindset that preferred the seductive comfort of self-pity. You know, sometimes it’s hard to parse out what is legitimate depression and grief over sad or difficult circumstances, and what is self-pity and/or obnoxiously instigating your own suffering. I don’t like living in the former let alone how I cannot abide by the latter.
But then a package came, and with it, clarity. It’s in Bozeman but Tom sent me pictures of the contents. It’s a complete care package from many of my classmates from high school. It has custom made tee shirts, a bag, a wreck-it journal, socks, mouthwash and countless other things. There is so much thought and time and care that went into that package. None of it is lost on me. And really, I can’t believe it. I would never in a thousand years have dreamed that my high school mates would either remember me, or currently think of me, as someone who was worthy of such effort. My parents’ divorce set me back several paces in high school and I was a suffering, hurting person. It isn’t in my constitution to be unkind to anyone, and I certainly don’t think I was back then, but I think it’s fair to say I was far from my best. On account of our youth and my suffering I honestly thought people I knew back then didn’t care much for me. But I was wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
Now, I have a package that came from the most unexpected place during one of my most painful times. Maybe I was feeling sorry for myself. I had forgotten to believe in hope. I had failed to focus on the staggering love and support out there. I was starting to withdraw and tried to tune out these days to just hope they passed quickly when I now realize I can still be tuned in, trying to connect, and looking for the good. I can reconnect with the feeling of gratitude that so easily and immediately filled my heart when I saw what my friends had done for me. The love and support of these friends, many of them have known me since Elementary School, has righted me and put wind back in my sails. I feel a little bit restored to my old self- someone of fierce optimism, spirit and fight.
So with their vote of confidence, I’m pushing forward renewed in energy and spirit. I have missed the faith and hope that had been trampled down by circumstances. I missed feeling like good things could still happen to me. Things got so bad, that I wasn’t sure what my future would look like and sometimes it is very hard to see beyond the here and now. Thank you for giving me such thoughtful and sweet gifts, for helping me remember to dream about a better future and easier times. If I were there with you, I’d put on some Green Day and my new Rayder shirt and we’d talk about the times of our lives and the adventures that are yet to come. So much love to you all.
Give ‘Em Hell and Go Rayders!