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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Love.

I don't know a lot of things in this life, especially anything having to do with numbers. Or science. Or how to change a tire. I'm a constant procrastinator. Laundry and I are enemies. I forget anything that is not written down. I would literally be lost without my GPS.

I could actually write for days about all of the things I don't know. And I would still be forgetting things (see above). But instead I'll focus on this one thing that I do know a little something about: love. No, no. Not romantic love. I still have much to learn about that one.

I'm talking about the real deal, soul filled, how am I this lucky to have you in life type of love. No romance, no strings, no need for an IOU or you need to pay me back eventually... no. It is the I see you and I hold you in my soul type of sisterhood love. No guilt. No glitz. Just the grit and glory type. That is my favorite type of love.

As many of you know, my husband and I separated a few months ago. Our first date was on the first of July in the year 2000 when we were twenty years old. I am grateful for the life that we have built together, and all that he still does for me and for our children. He is and was the love story of my lifetime.

How we came to this point of our new redefined normal is a story that may or may not be told in due time. Not today. Definitely not today.

Today is the story of how my dear friends and family have shown me an arms wide open type of love in this space of time and healing. I know that I am not the only one going through this space. I also know that you may know someone going through the hard and you don't know what to do. This is what my people have done. They are my village. They are my salvation.

They have poured me red wine, fed me cheese, bought me a machine to make my own espresso, taken me dancing, invited my four children and I into their homes for sleepovers, organized trips out of the category of "someday" and into the "right now."
They have listened without judgement, hugged me without being the first one to let go, made me laugh and reminded me that that counts as an ab workout. They have not only told me that I can stand on my own two heels but they have helped lay out the stepping stones on how I can and will be able to do it. They reminded me that if I need a hand in mine that theirs will be there.

Growing up, I had my father and two older brothers. And then I had Stephen. When you like to think of yourself as an independent woman but you have had a man to depend on for 37 years and you now have four children that you have stayed at home with for twelve years, it can be daunting, challenging, overwhelming at times, to think of turning the page and writing yourself a new chapter.

It is all of those little things of the every day that we question.

What day is trash day? Where are the snow shovels? Why do we live somewhere where it snows? Why are kids sneakers so expensive when their feet are so small? Why do they grow so fast? Why do only the lightbulbs go out that I'm too short to replace? Does that cough sound like croup? How do I get everyone to where they need to be? Are brownies, soup and sandwiches a legit dinner? Why are pickle jars so damn hard to open? What is the Netflix password? Why is a king bed necessary when I am sleeping alone?

And that was just one hour of one day.

My car battery died on the eve of New Years Eve when my family was leaving my house and my newly separated husband's family was on their way, ensuring that 2016 would continue to be a revolving door of every emotion until its final minutes were up. Thankfully, my amazing brother-in-laws arrived and showed me how to jump my battery. Two days later my mom sent me one of the most thoughtful gifts that I have ever received: a device that will jump your car battery without the dependence of another car. Or another human. She said, "I hope that you never need this. But just in case. Now you can do it, without anyone's help." Thank you Mom. Your foundation of roots and wings are boundless. And beautiful.

When you know that there are people in this world that fiercely believe in you, you not only keep stepping one heel in front of the other, but you show them that you can rise. You wake up early, you stay up too late, you work and create in any window of time that you can and you let them see all of your sides, the joy, the vulnerable, the hopeful, the strong.

Sunday is our trash day. The snow shovels are behind the shed. Those kids do grow up so fast. And my 9-year old showed me how to work Netflix and I discovered that my intuition on the kids illnesses is usually right. On Sunday it was twelve degrees and snow and ice encrusted our long driveway, with the exception of the tire tracks I made to avoid using the before mentioned snow shovels. My daughters helped me drag our trashcans to the top of the driveway, small boots followed the path of the tire tracks. We had grilled cheese, campbells and brownies for dinner and no one seemed to mind. The pickles can wait. And my sons did the dishes.

They didn't complain. This day they didn't complain. They have before and I know they will again. But this day, somehow, they didn't.
They showed their grace, even though it is hard.
They see me standing, even though it is hard.
They see me grateful, even though that part is easy.
I see them.
And my arms are open.

In this redefined normal we are not alone. It is okay.
One person is enough to fill a bed.

Thank you village. Thank you.
I see you. Thank you for seeing me.
We are enough.

Here's to the next chapter.
In love and endless gratitude...















1 comment:

  1. Here's what I don't understand; why was reconciliation never on the table? There should always be hope that reconciliation could happen. Reconciliation requires deep self examination, an ability to acknowledge both when one has been wronged and when one has done wrong and in the willingness to behave and communicate in new ways. Reconciliation is not a synonym for the silencing of dissent. Real reconciliation can only occur after the precondition of truth has been met, and sometimes the truth is unpleasant to confront. Forgiveness should be approached at the right time, it is a choice and not necessarily the best medicine for all people all the time. Forgiveness can be a powerful healing process that can mend broken hearts and repair broken relationships. This has been even more difficult because you have always shown us great respect and continue to be one of our children and the mother of four of our grandchildren. I'm so very sad that the bonds that drew you and Steve together in the beginning can't be put back together and I guess I'm still hoping beyond hope that they can.

    Jack Thomas

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