Gravity Happens

This was my Christmas tree in 2012. My last one with my family intact.

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It was a monster of a bush. Took up nearly half the width of my living room.

One morning, I woke up to the fact that it fell during the night and several of my glass ornaments were crushed under the weight.

My husband was actually waiting for me to come down the stairs to find the mess…he rushed over to the stairs and stood next to me, placing his arm around my back and his hand on my hip to support me. It was a spontaneous act on his part and one that I continue to play in my head over and over and over.

I saw a glimpse of the man I married that day. I miss him. But that’s not new news to any of you.

Many of the broken ornaments were irreplaceable. Some from my Grandmother…they spent their life before coming to me on her tree. Some from when we were newly married and just starting our own traditions. Some from when my children were babies…marking the milestones of their births and first Christmases. Some were gifts of love from my husband and some were gifts of love from me to my husband.

Looking at the shards of glass all over my carpeting was breathtaking in its painfulness. These were mementos of a life that was quickly slipping away through my fingers. One of the only tangible items left that the life I spent half of my time on the planet building actually happened and meant something to someone other than me at some point in time. All gone. In the blink of an eye.

I had held onto these precious pieces of glass for years and lovingly stored them. They had made it through several moves and years of toddlers and dogs brushing up against them. They were gently placed at the top of the tree each year to keep them out of harms way.

All for nothing as it turns out. They no longer exist.

Much like my former life.

It doesn’t actually matter how much we prepare, or how much we insulate, or how careful we are with anything. Gravity happens and precious items become casualties of the fall. As much as I love those ornaments and the memories they represent, and as much as I miss them…I will put up a Christmas tree when the time comes this year. I will decorate my tree with the ornaments I have left. I will gather new ones and create memories so that I can cherish them. I will not forget the old ones, and I will feel sad at not having them any longer; however, I will not fear gravity. I will not become a slave to trying to protect myself from pain.

I will move forward.

This is how I will rebuild my life.

And I will continue to clean up the shards of glass every time gravity gets in my way.

Even without that arm to support me.

Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret.

I’m not even going to tell you about the jokes I had to put up with when that book was on the reading list in school.

But, it is a question I’ve been asking a lot lately.

I’ve been searching, and searching, and searching for that voice of truth. Or peace. Or at the very least, any voice that says no you’re not going mad and I have a plan for even this to work out for the good…

***chirp…chirp***

I’m sure that there is something I’m supposed to be seeing, or hearing, or finding, or, or, or…

But life won’t shut up long enough for me to find out what. I am trying so hard not to let the fear overcome me. But I am afraid. This is hard. And I still couldn’t even tell you what I did wrong. Other than the fact that I thought I was happy…we were happy. Not perfect. I never said perfect. But I loved my life.

I know I’m going to be okay. Everyone says I will be, so it must be so…

But when?

Does the gaping hole go away?

Does the grief go away?

Does my constant companion, fear, move out after the dust settles?

Will I ever figure out why?

Does it help if I do?

Are these normal questions?

Why is it every time I feel like I’m moving forward I end up in the same spot?

Will I ever not think of my life now as the life “after”?

Ive begun reading Ayn Rand. I’ve tried emotions…maybe it’s time to let logic in.

Lessons in Reality

What is real?

What is imagined?

I suppose that is truly up to who is asking the question.

Things that I thought were real in my life were apparently a fantasy in my mind.

Like my happy marriage.

Or the solid relationship I enjoyed.

Or the love I thought I was giving and receiving.

All of those things I thought were real.

I really would have bet my life on it.

In fact, I clearly did bet my life on it.

But, it turns out…I clearly have an excellent imagination.

And the truth of every situation resides where reality and imagination collide.

truth

My desire going forward is that I figure the truth out sooner rather than later…that I am able to guard my heart from ever feeling this kind of pain again without allowing myself to shut down to love completely.

I hope that is possible.

{Wo}man’s Best Friend

Do you have a dog?

I do.

And he’s amazing.

He’s the most loyal and loving creature in the world.

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He’s seven. I’ve had him since he was six weeks old. He’s starting to get a little grey around the mouth…but then, aren’t we all getting a little grey?

He’s a great listener. He’s a wonderful protector. He knows how to keep a secret.

And he cries with me when I cry. In fact, he gets himself worked up to the point where he whines and runs around until I stop.

I think he does that on purpose.

To get me to stop.

Because he loves me and can’t stand to see my pain.

After I stop, he’ll come over and rest his head on my leg and stare at me. His huge brown eyes are full of such love and concern. I often wonder what he would say to me if he could talk.

And then I realize that he says more to me with his actions than words ever could.

It’s interesting to me that my dog can show me such love when others can’t or won’t. I am truly thankful to have such a friend in my corner.

It makes me feel hopeful because there is a being with such an innocent purity in his approach toward love this world. He asks for nothing but my happiness and an occasional scratch behind the ears. It helps me to consider the possibility that there are people like that out there too. For me to love and to love me back.

Someday.

Not yet.

Certainly, not yet.

But maybe…someday.

Cupcakes ARE the Meaning of Life

In my life before I used to be very crafty. Not the beady-eye person looking to take advantage of you kind of crafty…the kind of crafty where I enjoyed creating things of beauty with my hands. I used to see potential in everything I touched. I enjoyed making something old useful and new again. Recreating was a part of my day.

I stopped that completely. It all seemed so pointless and silly to me. None of it worth anything. And I couldn’t figure out how something that had brought me joy for years, even before my marriage, could now feel so hallow to me.

But, I finally figured out why. And in fact, one of my good friends finally put into words yesterday what I couldn’t…If I laugh, or enjoy this now, that makes me feel like I’m saying the rest of it is okay…that it doesn’t matter any more what was done and that my life as I know it is over.

I wanted to scream YES!!! THAT’S EXACTLY IT!!

I also finally figured something else. I am not bringing my life back by denying myself joy. I am not bringing my husband back with anything I do. It’s not up to me.

What I am doing is denying myself my life by denying myself joy. Just because I laugh, or do something fun, or find something fulfilling, it doesn’t mean the rest of it is okay. It means that I am choosing to be kind to myself in spite of everything else. I am choosing strength and love over my situation. I am choosing to live rather than to curl up and take it. I am choosing to not hide my light and let myself shine.

So, yesterday I went with my daughters to a cupcake class that they had gotten me for Mother’s Day. Due to life and schedules, we had been unable to make it work until then. We had dinner. We laughed. And, we created.

This is the first thing I’ve created in a long, long time:20130313_204153

I created this out of airheads candy and a bit of white fondant and a plastic bag with no piping tip. Professional? No. My best work? Not even close. A huge accomplishment? Absolutely!!

And do you know what happened? I won the creativity contest and received another class as the prize.

And this morning, my son asked me to make him a cold lunch so he could bring it to school and show his friends (and eat it).

And, I had fun.

My problems are still my problems. I am still hurt. I still feel sad. I still long for my life back. The rest of it still isn’t “okay”.

But, I lived in that moment. And that truly was okay.

Today

Today is my wedding anniversary.

It’s most likely my last one…depending on how long the courts take.

In my mind I keep seeing that boy I ran down the aisle toward. I would run to that boy 1,000,000,000 more times.

The man standing in his place is not the boy I loved.

I wish I knew where he went. I miss him.

This is what I do know…

I can do this. I have to do this. Failure is not an option.

It’s actually the only thing I know anymore.

Love in Abundance

Left for me on my door step by a lovely friend…

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The inside is just as lovely. She let me know that I am going to write a new chapter for my life and gave me a spot to do so.

You know, even when love does not look the way you expect it to look, it’s still there. This experience has taught me to be open to all of it and to be more grateful for what I do have.

And I do have so many blessings.

People who leave me little gifts, people who make sure I have enough food for my kids, people who talk to me endlessly, people who text me to check in, people who email me to say hi, people who message me to support me, people who hug me, people who distract me, people who comment here, people who call, people who stop by, people who show me time and time again how much they care.

It’s so very easy to focus on the one thing you don’t have when it has been the focus of half your life. That’s what I’ve been doing. Because it hurts.

But you know what?

I look at that paragraph I just wrote and realize that I have gained so much. I have gained the ability to truly see people and to truly give and accept love in any form it chooses.

 

 

8,600 Pounds of Awesome

So, I think I’ve been pretty honest here about my life.

And, one of the things I’ve talked about is how much I love my job. And that is one of the great joys in my life. Because I truly believe that it is important to love what you do.

Today, I drove around 600 pounds of food to a local homeless shelter to deliver it. And I let a local animal rescue know that I secured over 8,000 pounds of kibble to donate to their dogs.

I work at an amazing place owned by people who understand that it is just as important to give as it is to receive.

And, I am lucky enough that they let me do the giving.

Because the joy radiating out of the people I get to give to is something that I so desperately need to see right now. And it feeds my soul. And it is wonderful to behold. Because it reminds me that there are always people who need something more than I do.

And it also gave me a chance to face my deepest fears.

Because as I was driving away from that shelter, all I kept hearing in my head over and over again was, “You could end up here with your children.” And I was able to replace that thought with, “Even if we do, we’ll be together. But I know I am loved, and there isn’t one person that loves me on this planet that would let that happen.”

Even in my time of fear, I am overcome by the love I am surrounded with. I am thankful for the job I have. I am thankful beyond measure.

So, I encourage you to find a job you love. Life is too short to do anything else.