Life and living

Given the amount of adversity I’ve overcome over the years, I would have thought I’d be better at taking on the newly acquired challenges I faced between Feb 2010 and Nov 11, but death is nothing you are ever prepared for.  Death has a way of reminding you that you aren’t in control of much and that the clichéd expression; “life’s too short”, becomes the neon sign flashing in your small window of life.  It opens your eyes to what you’ve done, what you said you’d do, and most poignantly; what you haven’t done.  It becomes that defining moment where you start to calculate and evaluate the purpose of your being here.  You become reflective and the sum of yourself and those you call friends, family, etc, gets thrown in a sieve and you start to tap it to see what or who stays and what or whom comes out and when you look at the results; sadly there’s not as much left as you thought.  Trust me, that is a decidedly sobering moment.

 When the man I’d planned a child with, died 28 March 10 at the tender age of 46, the world as I knew it changed effective immediately; and not just for me, but for our daughter too.  Lil Lady is an only child to both of us and has always been the love of our lives and the one thing we treasured the most.  Basically, she has been our greatest achievement of all.  While we didn’t last as a couple, we lasted as friends and co-parents; giving the best of ourselves to and for her.  Knowing that that the triangular bond we shared was now missing a piece was something neither of us could have imagined would happen so suddenly.  Life as we knew it was no more.  There would be no more hearing his Harley roaring down the street as he left for his runs.  There would be no more shared events for or with our daughter.  There would be no inside jokes; those are most precious with us.  There would be nothing but memories.  Memories are the gift of reliving a moment and while they’re warming and precious, they still are nothing like actually having that person around.  You suddenly realize that there is so much more to life that needs to be explored, created, and most of all LIVED.  There are no do-overs, no second chances, and what was left unsaid; remains unsaid.  All of the woulda, coulda, shoulda’s become the sad reminder of not being open or keeping it real.  The lost loved one can’t hear what should have been said in life; hence, the importance of being vocal now while you have the chance.  I’ll admit to being guilty of “all the things left unsaid”, and that’s a post for another day, but trust me when I tell you, that’s a heavy burden to carry.  The weight of silence is backbreaking.

 

More than a year later, I’m still grieving and it still hurts like hell.  It hasn’t gotten easier because I didn’t have time to grieve when he passed.  I was too busy tending Lil Lady, helping with his estate, and trying to find reemployment amidst all the other daily requirements I had.  There was no time to fall apart, have a lasting moment, or even wrap my head around what had happened. 

For 2012, it’s my plan to work through my grief, come to terms with the loss, and be thankful for his presence in our lives from the time of conception to the time of his untimely passing.  I will as I’ve done over the years always see him for the caring and sweet person he was and most of all for being in his daughter’s life.  As I said, we didn’t make it as a couple, but we were committed to each other for our daughter and that’s the greatest reward there is.  Our fights were few, our good times varied, but our bond is eternal.  When I look at Lil Lady, I see him in her.  I see his features, parts of his personality, and most of the all; the greatest gift to my life.  He will live on through her and for that alone; I have to make it in this life.

 

That is all!

 

 

When the Bough Breaks

To say the past 22 months have been a walk uphill on a slippery slope would be an understatement.  Everything I knew to be steadfast, wholesome, trusting, supportive; to cite a few adjectives became a 360 degree spin on my worlds axis.  What I thought would be a temporary setback, turned into the mother of all emotional avalanches to which I sadly became buried, stifled, and for the first time in a long time, I was the hero that needed saving.  I held on for dear life to the shreds of my cape hoping that any residual strength, pride, and self-reliance would be found within the threads.  For a while, I was able to white knuckle it and not outwardly display the fear, pain, confusion, and disappointment I was eating like bitter snacks seemingly 24 hours a day.  Sleep became an enigma and I spent so much time awake or in a state of delirium that the haze and constant blur became the only state of being I knew and real happiness came in errant waves and were mostly short-lived.  Real feelings and emotions were filtered by the few moments where I could actually be myself and take the wretched mask off.  It was in those moments I felt human and raw and able to release the pressure valve for a while, but like before; it was short-lived.  I would soon have to put the mask back on, play the many roles required of me, and act as if all was right in my world.

This charade was not only exhausting, but depleting.  I became a shell of whom I used to be and I no one seemed to notice.  I was often complimented on my strength and my ability to stand firm on my turbulent ground, which was ironic and sadly it was the kind of performance worthy of an Oscar.  I think it was warmly received because no one really knew how to handle me and/or be able to guide me through the myriad of emotions and other things I was going through.  It was during that time that I realized the power in the saying goodbye; well, metaphorically at least.  I began to intentionally fall back from people.  I stopped calling, texting, emailing, and such in order to preserve what little of me was left to stop the constant regurgitation of my situation, what I doing about it, and how I was handling it.  I realized that it was mostly out of courtesy why I was being asked; instead out of the genuine want to help me.  Don’t get me wrong, I mean no disrespect or disparagement, but that’s how I saw it and it’s often how it was presented.  There were a few that made themselves available to me and forced me to keep it real and not hide behind the smile that could fool many.   The kindness of strangers became the comfort and companionship I needed and I held on to that as my life preserver.

Oddly and sadly, my previous adversities had already primed me for how well I can assume the leading lady role; though there was a marked change in the script, which I was ill-prepared for.  I’d never suffered through death, I’d never been unwillingly unemployed, I’d never seen the backs of friends turn so quickly and easily when I’d always had theirs, and I’d certainly never thought I’d be dangerously close to being destitute in more than a financial way.  When we think of being destitute, we think financially, but I’m hear to tell you that emotional destitution can be equally, if not more so frightening.  Money and material things often come and go; however, losing oneself is much harder to recover from.  I sat at the crossroads of “What the fuck? and Why the fuck? Is this happening” for a very long time with no real directional gauge available. The one thing I was able to count on with absolute abandon was faith and prayer and they were my constant companions and never left my side; though they couldn’t prevent the feeling of being lost.  I relied on them and they never let me down, but when you’re deep into the abyss of what you’re going through, it’s not always easy to feel their security.  I know God wouldn’t put me through more than what He thought I could handle and I, without a shadow of doubt, don’t fault Him for my circumstance; however, like I just said, when you’re in the abyss, darkness is the light in front of you.

I found many positives that complimented the negative situations exploding and manifesting around me and I’m thankful that I still had the presence of mind to realize that in spite of myself.  For 22 months, I had a hard time writing through my pain, which is odd given that writing has always been the one thing I could count on for comfort, release, and strength, but when you’re lost and broken, even the things that bring you joy are elusive.  I’ve bottled up things that should have been said; should have been released; and should have not lasted this long, but they have.  Maybe being on the cusp of a new year has finally allowed me the release I so badly need; maybe not, but whatever has prompted it, I welcome it.  I welcome and embrace the opportunity to write and purge myself of what has held me hostage for all this time.  It will not always be easy and it will; as I suspect, make me rather angry, but anger is good.  Anger will allow me to break the wall down.  Jesus got angry too and turned over the table at the temple, so if He can get mad in order to get his point across, then I can too.

I have made a promise to myself and a trusted, dear friend that I plan to honour.  I will be more vocal and I will not suppress or sequester my feelings.  It’s time for me to gain a new cape, but the right way and for the right reasons.

 

That is all!