a letter for your birthday

A letter for your birthday –

I'm grateful that I planned your trip home with the thought that you could be with your family today.  Birthdays seem to be something your parents enjoyed with you around, so I hope your mother cooks your favorite meal and your dad reads you all the good sports articles.

I hope Theo crawls in your lap to kiss you (side benefit in knowing it will piss off your mom) and that you enjoy having him play in the snow and watch the horses.

I know you're mad and sad and that your birthday is right before Christmas and so that makes this time of year tough.  I know you don't understand, and I wish I knew how to make you understand.

I miss you, but I know, more than I've known anything in a long time, that this is the right move.  That in the long run, we'll both be better off.  That I'm already happier, and that at some point, you will be too.

But you're not now, and that's hard, and I'm sorry.

I hope you find a way to have a happy birthday, without me.

fear and reluctance

I do wonder sometimes what it’s like to live with no fear.  Or be as close to fearless as some people I know.

Some fear is healthy I suppose.  But I’ll never be the kind of person to run into a burning building, like my grandfather did on his mail route so many years ago.  I’ll never swim with sharks or jump out of an airplane.

I’ve lived with a lot of fear the last few years.
Some fears are a little bit irrational, like my extreme fear of spiders (don’t even like typing the word)
Some are perfectly justified, like worrying that the chemo wouldn’t work, or that the cancer comes back.

There’s a lot of fear in the idea of a new relationship. Or, thinking about being alone forever.

Fear, for me, causes hesitation; reluctance.  This in turn has a tendency to piss me off.  I’ve been able to dismiss most of them, but some remain.  I’m working on it, though, because I don’t like being conquered by the fear or even deferring to it.

Counting down…

We’re getting closer to Christmas, but there’s so much change this year, I can’t really find myself in the typical spirit.  It’s the 19th and I haven’t even bought one present.

I want to feel a little festive, but I’m just not feeling it right now.  Usually for me, the weekend before Christmas is tons of fun.  I think it’s just going to be quiet and different and I have to deal with that.

Then and now

On December 14th, 2001, I got engaged.

Over the summer, my former therapist asked me why I got married.  My first answer – because he asked.  It's both the truth and it's the way it looks now, after time and perspective have altered my memories.

My father recently confessed he thought I didn't seem as excited as other brides.  My mother, that perhaps she should have urged me to wait and be sure. 

Who'd have thought that by the same date seven years later, I'd be getting divorced?  Certainly not me, and it's doubtful anyone could have actually predicted it. 

I wonder where I'll be seven years from now…

holiday plans

My flight home is booked.

This year feels weird to me.  I’m in a new place.

The last few years, I’ve not kept up with traditions.  Last year, for much of the holiday season, I was separated physically from my soon to be ex-husband, and packing up boxes and such.  Seemed senseless to do the decorating and baking and what not.

The year before that, I just didn’t feel like having Christmas.  I was too sick and tired to entertain the usual crowd at our annual party and couldn’t see how putting up the tree would help me. I was the only one to see the decorations and I just couldn’t care.

Advertising and such would have you believe that Christmas is a time for peace and joy and faith and happiness, though the last few years I haven’t felt much of any of that.

2005  – when I had a cancelled cycle of fertility treatments just before Christmas and was forced to coast on fertility meds until they would work their way out of my system.

2006 –  holding in the secret of my illness, and feeling unbearably stressed.

2007  – just felt hollow…  and here we are in 2008.

Part of me wanted to spend the holiday where I am.  Avoidance and all that. But, I know I should go home, and I think in the long run, I’ll be glad I went. (Besides, I hate to cross my mother who had issued the “you WILL be home for Christmas” statement in a frightening tone.)  The tradition of breakfast with my immediate family on Christmas morning is one I’ve never broken, and there’s enough change this year to make me cling to this one usual thing.

I’ve tried after some prompting, to think of other things, other traditions I have kept up – but mostly they’re kind of silly to most.  Without fail, I watch It’s a Wonderful Life, and not the TV version with too many commercials.  And once each December, I load up on gas and hot chocolate and find the holiday radio station (each year it seems more and more do this) and drive around looking at the Christmas lights.  Usually I snag people to go with me, because I’m obnoxious like that, but maybe this year I’ll go alone.

So, this year again I might not have a tree, and there will be no party, and my baking will be limited and the presents will be fewer.

But, I will be home for Christmas.

I’ve booked a ticket.  I’m leaving Christmas eve.

only seven?

I’ve been tagged – thanks to monstermash

Anyone who knows me knows there’s a plethora of weird things to choose from, so picking seven shouldn’t be too hard.

Black pens are a must – I can even bring myself to use a color if it’s craft related, but I have a deep rooted hatred for blue pens.

I have a wandering ovary – it moves pretty far and fast I’m told, and has gotten stuck a few times before.

I never know what to call my eye color.  I call them greenish gray but they have just enough blue that that sometimes seems inaccurate.  And my pupils are always dilated, and not round.  And they reflect light at certain angles because of the intra-ocular artificial lenses.

I like doing little random things for people I care about, and have sent and dropped off presents, cards and such without notes.  Only about half the time do I ever even hear the recipient talk about them.  I do the same things for random people – hiding toys in the mulch at the playground, paying the toll of the car beyond me etc.  It leaves me feeling better about the world.

I hate crying.  I don’t remember crying a lot as a little girl, but somewhere around puberty – it became just too easy for the tears to fall.  It isn’t a problem with other people, and I would never tell someone not to cry.  I won’t think you’re weak if you do, I’ll think it’s cathartic.  But for me, I hate the weak feeling those tears produce.  I’ve learned to toughen up and cry now only when I absolutely cannot hold it in any longer.  Separate from my family, I can count the number of people who have witnessed me crying as an adult on one hand.

I’m convinced I have a look-alike out there.  My mom is adopted and her mother had other children.  I’m going to assume those children did as well, and so I have relatives whom I might resemble.  I think this because often people come up to me thinking I’m someone else, and then telling me I look just like so and so.  And looks wise, I don’t look like anyone I know (in my eyes) so I find this strange.

I dream a lot, but mostly the dreams seem to replay themselves.  And the dreams are often just jumbled up repeats of whatever has been going on in my life.  Nightmares recur too – and often just the same few themes on repeat.  My mind is like watching repeated TV shows or movies when it dreams.  Maybe you’ve seen it before, it seems familiar and you can’t remember.  It’s weird.

Just like me.

confession

My first holy confession – I was in the second grade.  I chose Father Jennings because he was very hard of hearing.  I figured, based on comments from previous kids in class, that no matter what I said, I’d receive 3 “hail Marys” and an “our father”.  They were correct.  Over the next several years, I found myself making sure I had things to confess to – over-inflating mistakes so they seemed severe enough.  I was not a child to disobey often.  My worst offense was a smart mouth and there was an occasional white lie. “No, of course I didn’t push my sister!”

In reality, I’ve rarely confessed, it is easier to keep it in than to give the information away.

But, I’m ready to confess now, and since you’ve read so many of my confessions before, I figure, what’s one more?

I have a date.

Shocked? I doubt it, there’s been enough foreshadowing here and there.  Still, it’s different to admit it.  But, I thought you’d want to know.