Sorry For the Word Vomit…

I know it’s been awhile and I know I said I was going to stop apologizing when I missed a Wednesday or Sunday post, and I am… (yes, I do know it’s Thursday) I just don’t want anyone to think I forgot about them or this blog.

We moved three weeks ago. (A BIG, HUGE thanks to my friend John and Tetris!) I think by today, we could have the last of the boxes from the garage come inside and find their place, so that’s exciting.

That’s not entirely the reason I haven’t written though. It’s a big part of it… there is more though.

I did get offered the PCA job and yesterday finished with the paperwork and fingerprinting. I’m hopeful about starting training soon.

Babymaking is… getting a lot less fun. A lot more stress and I wonder if it’s the right thing to do anymore. I want to leave it up to God. I keep telling myself I am leaving it up to God but somehow, I keep managing to wrestle it away from him and stress over it some more.

September is right around the corner, which means many things. School is about to start. My fingers are crossed that Tayla will not struggle as she has in the past. At least, not in the same way. September 29th will be my grandma’s birthday and Noah’s due date. And the 11th, of course, is Natalie’s birthday. My eyes are stinging and my throat is closing up as I write.

I’ve been going through a lot of stuff, with the move. I have three jewelry boxes which I find pretty amusing since I don’t really wear a lot of jewelry but in one of the boxes with the bracelet she gave me for being her maid of honor. I remember shopping for her wedding dress with her… the one time she told me I was right (she should’ve gone with the ivory colored dress, the one that made her look like a princess).

The toast she made at my wedding as my maid of honor. The singing, the dancing, the hot tub. Somehow it reminded me of sneaking out on the golf course to go drinking. When she threw that party, had fliers made up and then had no idea how she got busted…

The times she took me along to some event with her friends, forcing me to have fun… ever the older sister in spirit…

And now, I feel so empty and hollow.

How can that be? I have a husband, a daughter, wonderful family and friends, yet the absence of this one particular person… makes me feel utterly alone.

I keep telling myself that once her birthday is over, it’ll get better… but after September, it will be my birthday and then after Halloween, it’ll be all about Christmas and I don’t know if I can handle that right now. I guess I don’t have to. I’ll try sticking to one day at a time.

But maybe not this day… it’s hard to reassure myself that things in my life will be okay when the world around us is in such utter chaos. I don’t have the energy to get into politics but I think we can all agree, we as a nation, are not where we’d like to be and the world right now is a scary place.

On that lovely note, I think I’ll take a nap and hope things look better when I open my eyes again.

Thanks for letting me ramble!

Peace.

Struggling & Surviving

I know it’s been awhile. While I don’t like that it’s been so long, I am doing my best. I’m not going to make promises to do better because… I don’t want to set myself up for failure. If I can do better, I will.

I don’t even remember where I left off…

We did find a place to live, it’s in Burnsville. I’m so happy to be going back to that city. Even though I don’t care much for the name… BURNS-VILLE? Who came up with that? How? WHY? Ok, I couldn’t take it anymore. I did some research and if you can believe Wikipedia, “The name Burnsville is attributed to an early Irish settler and land owner, William Byrne. His surname was recorded as “Burns” and was never corrected”. Hmm. The city council must’ve been Irish too…

Anyway, we’re moving into a townhouse. It’s close to just about everywhere we go. I’m really excited. I think moving day will be July 28th. Now, if I could find the energy to start packing up boxes…

Work has been slow (and partially nonexistent when my car was out of commission). So, at the request of a friend, I applied for another job (to do in addition to, not instead of). Not many hours, which is ok with me. I’m still doing physical therapy for my back and am not 100% yet. It is a PCA job and while it’s nothing I’ve done before, the fact that my friend thought I would be good at it, really means a lot to me and makes me want to do my best.

Still, making ends meet is difficult. I know it is for most people. So what else can I do?

I can write.

I subscribe to a lot of writing newsletters, calls for submissions, writing groups etc. And I’ve found many writing projects, all of which pay. There is at least one a month, to keep me busy until November.

In May, I answered a call for submissions from “Chicken Soup” for the _________’s Soul about stepping outside your comfort zone. Trying something new. So I wrote a piece called “Mic Drop”. They say the selection process is a very long one, so not sure if/when I’ll hear back on that. I was just happy to have written and submitted something.

For June, I submitted and essay and a poem to a woman who is putting together a book called “Celebrating Sisters”. If you follow me on FB, I’m sure you saw the call. I wanted to do it. I wanted it to be an uplifting story. I wanted to let people know that even though Natalie is gone from this earth, she is not gone from my life. In some ways, I feel our relationship has gotten deeper. Stronger maybe. I believe she is ALWAYS with me. That’s really what I need. Someone who is totally focused, 100% on ME. 😛

I shed a lot of tears. I listened to her music as I wrote. I went through pictures. I cursed her. I told her I loved her and still love her… it was exhausting.

For July, I’m attempting to write for “Nevertheless We Persisted” about a turning point in our life.

2016 was such a terrible year for me… and there were many gifts that came along with the grief. I’m going to write about that. It’s due July 7th, so wish me luck!

August is about Risk. September is about Setting Boundaries. October about Mother’s of Angels and November on Redemption.

So that’s what’s been going on over on this end…

What have y’all been up to?

Deja Vu in the Twilight Zone

Friday morning we got our lease renewal form along with a notice from our rental company that our rent is increasing to nearly $1600.oo.

“Do you want to move?” Don asked me.

“To be honest, I haven’t loved the drive… to everywhere.”

“I don’t want to move” he said.

“Nobody WANTS to move, it’s a pain in the ass. I don’t want to sign a lease that locks us in for another 13 months only to get evicted two months down the road if we can’t afford it…”

“I guess we’re fuckin’ moving.”

So, I guess we’re fuckin’ moving’ guys.

I have to say, that while I’ve been visiting my doctors more frequently to “prepare my body for pregnancy” and with the year anniversary of losing Nat right around the corner… I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed.

Moving in itself is a stressful, taxing experience. The hunt for a new place last year kept me up most nights. I don’t want to be in that rushed panic again, taking whatever we can find just so we have something.

Going through all of our stuff, again. Downsizing, again. Collecting boxes, recruiting people to help move, paying damage deposits, first month’s rent and last months rent.

Finding out if we need to change school districts, scrubbing this place down from top to bottom, admittedly that part shouldn’t be so bad.

Moving the cats! That was quite a production last year!

Not to mention baby fever. I couldn’t help it. I already bought a couple of unisex baby things… a preemie onesie that says “Hi, I’m new here” and a big bird baby bottle.

I scan everything that has a name on it and imagine trying it out on our new little one, adding a middle and last name of course. Wondering if it sounds cute now but will it suit an adult or will the kid hate us for being too “progressive” with the name?

I’d mentally turned the office/den area into a nursery.

Downloaded a pregnancy tracker.

Started working out (slowly).

My A1c dropped another 1.2% in three-four weeks since my last appointment.

Do I have the energy for this?

I’m thinking with all the medication I’ve gotten off in the past several months, lowering my glucose numbers and exercising, I will have more energy. I will have what I need.

Which brings us to the 19th.

I’ll be honest with you guys, the past few months? It’s been getting harder.

A year or so leading up to her death, I occasionally thought about what it would be like to lose Natalie.

I imagined I’d be devasted, of course… but this? I can’t believe that some days, I feel like I can’t go on without her.

There’s a video I have of her, sitting on her bed and playing her ukelele. She’s singing but the video is a side profile. Five and a half minutes I beg the recorded vision to turn her head and look at me. Please, let me see your beautiful face… Such long, pretty hair she had. Such a pure voice and expansive heart, ever growing with each new cause or request.

One of her big regrets in life was missing the baby shower for Tayla. She apologized again and again for not being there.

The night of the intervention, she took copies of Tayla’s 13-year pictures. I think we found them still in her purse.

I’m so angry and hurt and raw and overwhelmed.

I don’t know what to do.

Keep on, keeping on, I guess.

I’d wanted to blog about something coherent… something focused and useful but I guess what I need to let y’all know is that I’m in kind of a weird state of mind right now.

Here’s to waking up tomorrow in a better place!

Christmas In Hell

Today was the end of another chapter. We finished cleaning out the townhouse we’d spent the past five years in. Checked the mailbox one last time. Turned in the keys and left the garage door opener behind.

It wasn’t too emotional but it wasn’t completely emotionless, either.

I think I wrote not too long ago about how moving from Burnsville would be difficult because it was the last home we had or will have that Natalie visited. That we will have memories of. That she will have, in jest, said “What happened? Did ya fire the maid?”

I was lucky enough to have people help me and that Don did the majority of the work in the townhouse. It was just too painful for me to be there.

I did go today though. This morning to help get the last load of stuff out and the wind chime caught my eye. It was hung in an odd spot. Somewhere between the living room and the staircase, in other words, nowhere near wind. I’d never really paid much attention to it before. I asked Don to grab it and what I’d always assumed was a generic garden scene painted on the base of the chime, was anything but. The tag hung low and I grabbed it as it swung toward me. This piece of art was called “Noah’s Ark”. It had a circle of pairs of animals, walking together toward the biblical boat and there was a quote that said “God keeps his promises”.

I didn’t know what to make of it. I felt sad and angry but also, as taken care of. Special because I am getting signs almost everyday that my sister and my son are with God, they are taken care of and so am I.

Tonight, while putting things away, organizing and getting settled, I’d asked Don to look at the TV/VHS player to see if he could figure out how to get sound. He jiggled a few wires and like magic, the past came to life on the big screen.

A video from when I was about five and Natalie was three, animated. We’d gotten a playhouse from Santa. I watched us, reliving that Christmas and felt overcome with feelings of love and loss. The video play for about a half an hour and if I’m remembering right, dad was trying out his video camera and checking out all the special effects. The result was, at times, Natalie would walk through the living room and be transparent. It was a little eerie but I couldn’t get enough. My heart broke again when, near the end of the tape, you can hear dad’s voice “Say goodbye Natalie, wave bye-bye. See you next Christmas” and those tiny fingers closing and opening in a fist with her grin that was all teeth faded to black.

 

Sunday Update

Hello all-

I don’t have much to say tonight, nothing really thought out or prepared but I guess I usually don’t. I think it feels different because there’s sort of a lack of focus. There’s a lot going on, what with spending hours deliberating on whether or not to take a shower (not today) and getting ready for the move on Wednesday (which consists of me mentally packing).

Daily and Weekly posts are happening, for now. The word of the day prompt is me writing raw. I don’t put too much thought into it ahead of time, it’s mainly my initial reaction to whatever the word has to be. As time goes on, I’m sure there will be pieces that I can develop into longer, better pieces but for now, I just want to get into the habit of writing everyday. And twice on Sunday. And Wednesday. 🙂

I’m working on another endeavor though too. It will be a thorough look into addiction and the desperate places people have fallen into, consigned there, mostly by the doctors who were supposed to help them. I’m going to write about the heroin epidemic in general and get personal. I want to find out how and why this is happening, in addition to figuring out what I can do to help. This is a big undertaking as the use is so very widespread.

Saturday we signed our new lease. We’re moving the big stuff on Wednesday, yay! Back into an apartment. Leaving the townhouse life, which at first I was bummed about. I’m 38 years old. I think it’s time I had a house. Then again, I don’t like to be all that responsible. I guess I mean, I have enough responsibility right now to last me a long time and apartment living does have it’s benefits. I’m hoping sleeping will be one of them!

School is out on Thursday! Oh shit… well, there is a lot of stuff to do around the new place…

Work is going well. I still like my job. Working three days a week, it’s good for me.

My health is… ok. Had my blood sugars under control for a little while, then pregnancy and loss fucked them up. Got back into a good “normal” range and then Natalie passed. I’ve been afraid to check them because stress affects them so greatly. I am taking my insulin and other meds though. The psoriatic arthritis is acting up, again because of the stress but I’m managing.

People keep asking how I’m sleeping. If I’m sleeping. How can I sleep? Honestly? I was medicating for the first week to week and a half. I had to. I take prescription Xanax at bedtime but I try often not to… just because it’s one more pill and who knows how many more chemicals? I had exactly a week of dreamless sleep. On the eighth night, I had a dream, I know I blogged about it. Since then it’s been like I’m just trying to dial in the right bedtime. The later I stay up, the fewer times I wake up during the night. It looked like 1:30am was a good time. I’d sleep all the way through until 7:00. Last night sucked. I woke up at 2:30 am and haven’t slept since. It’ll be an early one tonight.

I don’t want to bore you with anymore mundane details of my life… what’s going on in yours? Anything exciting? Want to share? Let me know in the comments below!

90% Is Showing Up

I was talking about me, not you. You can stick around if you want to but don’t expect anything brilliant… Seriously, you won’t miss anything if you don’t ready through this post and I’ll probably never even know you didn’t get through my entire near-incoherent ramblings… but if I do… Kidding. It’s late and I’m tired. And, I want to practice what I preach. Not that I go around preaching all the time to everyone anyway… Yep, this is how it’s going to be. See? Ya didn’t miss a thing.

Why am I writing when I think I have nothing to say? Because I am a writer. “A writer writes- Always”. Success and it’s weight/measure of worth is often a matter of opinion and an abstract concept. Tayla wants to be a writer but she is scared she won’t do it right, so she does nothing. It took me a good 20 years to realize there is no right or wrong way… I guess, if you want to get all technical, I suppose there is a wrong way but the wrong-est way to write, is not at all. Sure you’ll write badly. I just did. (Wrongest?) We can’t all write all right all the time (did I lose any of you there?) I tell her it takes practice. It’s a discipline (it’s a pain in the ass). Steven King talks about showing up. Even if you just sit at your desk. You’re only allowed to write or be still. Guess who learned she gets restless, real fast? It’s rare that I’ll write because I’m bored but it has happened. Twice.

I decided I wanted to blog on Wednesdays and Sundays. It’s getting close to Thursday, but I can still sneak this in under the wire.

With Noah on the way, our family was talking about when/if/where we should move. What are we looking for? I thought we needed another bedroom but that’s not it. Then I thought “maybe we don’t need another bedroom, just the space arranged differently”, but it wasn’t more space. I really want a second bathroom but I am willing to compromise on a single. What I will not compromise on is: hardwood floors. Sounds silly, doesn’t it? It does to me and I’m the one thinking it. I’m trying to rationalize it, understand it but- it. will. not. budge.

When we started our discussion, Don & I weren’t even light years near each other. He wants to stay in the suburbs, I want to move back to Minneapolis. He doesn’t care if we have a deck, patio or lawn- I NEED at least one of those. I’d like a yard (and maybe a dog!).He says we can afford this price bracket, I thought something a little different. Eventually, I started to cry. Not to win an argument but (and hopefully a lot of this is the hormones talking) because I felt trapped. We’re never going to move, we’re stuck here forever. I understood why he wanted to stay in the area, school, work, to piss me off… but I knew he didn’t understand why I wanted to leave.

Living in Minneapolis was one of the best experiences of my life. It was while living in Mpls. that I met Don and we moved into our first place together. It’s where we lived when our daughter was born. I remember spending hours in the bedroom window, listening to the street traffic, the drunks speaking several volumes above what they needed to be heard, all that music… I watched the lights. They skyline. That one building, I still don’t know which one it is but the top of it was rainbow colored and changed as if the wind were moving the lights along.

It’s the epitome of hip. (Shit. Did I just use the word hip in a non-medical way? Fuck.)

It’s great for people watching, story writing and cultivating an appreciation for what’s around you… I mean, that’s what it was for me. I felt alive! Vibrant! Empowered. I want Tayla to have that same experience. She’s all about it, btw.

And what does any of this have to do with the price of tea in China? Every place I lived in Minneapolis, had hardwood floors. Just by seeing hardwood floors or a couple of archways  brings me right back. I feel younger. Healthier. More creative. If I could find that in the suburbs, I could stay. I need that though. That connection is like my umbilical cord. One toward what I considered my best self. After realizing how much time I currently spend at home and knowing I’ll soon be here/there even more? I’d better LOVE it!

Hey, I did it! I did write a post today. Nice. If you’ve read this far, thanks! If I could ask a favor? Does anyone know what the other 10% of success is? And who has my cupcake?