Archive for December, 2009

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Am I worth it?

December 31, 2009

I am the center of attention. I dance in the aisle at the grocery store. I strike up conversations with the bank teller. I have 400 friends on facebook. I can carry on an intelligent conversation in most areas and keep up to date with political issues. I smile a lot. I’m an eternal optimist, I believe the glass is half full. I am a hopeless romantic and cry at sappy movies.

These are things I know for sure about myself.

But am I worth loving? Am I ever going to be truely loved for who I am? Me?

If we were to meet on the street I would be able to give you the right answer. Yes, unequivically. I am a strong, beautiful woman. I am a great mother, who helps with homework and packs lunches. I am good at my job and keeping others around me happy. I can stand on the podium with my father and shake hands with complete strangers. I am a good student, daughter, friend.

But at night. When I’m lying in my bed and there is no one to put on a smile for. I’m not so sure of myself.

It all comes down to one man. A man who promised to love me and then took it back. In two years I have come so far, seeing our years together for what they were, a lie. He lied to me, even worse I lied to myself, until I didn’t even recognise the truth anymore. I didn’t recognise myself. I have spent two years looking, finding, rekindling the old me.

But now I have come to the point where it is time to open my heart and let someone new in. A man. The man. See me. For who I really am.

What if he doesn’t love me? What if he gets past my defenses and decides that I am not worth love.

I know all the right answers. I know what I’m supposed to say. I know what so many of you are screaming at me right now.

But none of that. Nothing you say will matter. Until the night I can lay quietly, alone and know that I am worth love.

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The gift

December 26, 2009

On Black Friday I woke early to walk the aisles and pick up the deals that give the day it’s name. The easy choices came first, the toys for my girls, the items on their lists.

Several hours later I stood in front of the display. I never made a conscious decision, yet there I stood. As if led by my heart. The idea had come to me several months earlier for his birthday but like so often in our relationship the timing had been wrong. This time I picked them up. This time I wouldn’t walk away. This time I would put the gift in his hands. I wasn’t sure when or how but this time I was taking the leap. Once I started I couldn’t seem to stop and over the next month there were several things for him that made their way into my Christmas stash.

Then came the snow. And an admission.

He had not been given a gift in 3 years. His family is small and they don’t exchange gifts among the adults. So for the last 3 years his birthday and Christmas have come and gone without a present to unwrap. My life suddenly looked pampered. With a large, close knit family, the idea that there wouldn’t be a single gift with my name on it was unimagineable.

Our anticipation had been building all week. Finally on Christmas Eve it was time. He opened each one with the same anticipation as my children, exclaimed over each one and eagerly turned to the next. I saved the best for last, the gift that had started it all.

When you care enough about a person to recognise something they lack, without them putting it on a list. When you go to the store and walk along the aisles until you have chosen the item in the right size, color. When you wrap it, tie the bow, an anticipation builds. Seeing him open it and his reaction were everything I had imagined. The gift had made him smile.

In the next days and months, when we have left the snow days and the holidays behind us, he will think of me, every night when he lays his head on his pillow. He will be reminded that there is a woman who cared enough to give him a gift. And that is the real gift.

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Childless Christmas

December 23, 2009

Splitting the holidays. Every couple does it differently. Since we both have family out of town we agreed early on to alternate Thanksgiving – the whole thing – so we could travel. Whoever doesn’t get Thanksgiving gets the first half of the kids Christmas holiday, through December 26th. This year I got Thanksgiving. 

After nearly three years of child exchange I am finding my attitude towards time without the kids has changed over time. I used to dread the Friday nights the kids would climb into their father’s car and drive away. Then eventually I began looking forward to it but feeling guilty that I was happy my kids were gone. Now I have settled into a comfortable middle ground where I miss the kids when they are gone but I also enjoy the break.

This holiday season passed in a blur. I filled it with as many fun events for the kids as I could. My girlfriend and I had our traditional cookie weekend. We drove around and saw Christmas lights. We had friends over for movie night. We went to the tree farm and cut down our own tree and then decorated it and the house.

Now my house is empty. The hussle and bustle is quiet and I miss them. They will not be here on Christmas Eve, the nervous energy that keeps them from falling asleep will be missing. No one will jump on me on Christmas morning begging to open their stocking.

My children will never again wake up on Christmas morning with both their parents. I wouldn’t go back. But just for a moment I mourn the loss for them. And miss them.

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Blizzard of ’09

December 20, 2009

You probably know that we have been blanketed by snow here on the east coast. The nearby city is practically shut down but out here in the country we just broke out our redneck boots and 4×4 trucks.

The view out of our back door...

There was fair warning the snow was coming. We knew we were going to be snowed in. I packed a book – several days of clothes – bath bubbles and headed for his house.

Yesterday I made stew that spent the day simmering. I soaked in the tub while he napped on the couch. We watched a movie together. I read my book while he played video games. We settled easily into comfortable silence….

18 inches are no match for the redneck boots!

Curled up with a good book, beside the man I cannot imagine life without. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

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Timing

December 16, 2009

Our timing has always been bad. The examples are endless. When things ended in June, as I cried my heart out to a girlfriend, the truth came down to this, I couldn’t even fault him. Our relationship was a victim of bad timing.

For months now we have not been able to let go, there is always a phone call, a meeting. One meal or one night.

And now, we have started talking again. Every day. I saw him hours ago, kissed his lips.

He is giving me everything he has to offer right now. But I’m not sure it’s enough. I know it’s selfish and probably crazy but I want more.

Tonight I was complaining to my friend and basically she said “you have to realise he cannot give you what he doesn’t have to give. Right now he cannot give you [that]. It isn’t his fault, it isn’t your fault, it just is, you do not get to be mad about it.”

She’s right. I know it but selfishly I want him to be ready. I want him to be healed and whole. And I want us, right now. I have alluded to changes he is making in his life. Believe me, they are big changes, life changes, they are not overnight changes, they are also the only way we can have a future together.

So we will spend Christmas together, I will wake up beside him, because neither of us can imagine it any other way. 

But I’m trying not to look any farther. I’m trying not to wonder what happens next. I’m trying not to think about it because if I’m honest I already know the answer.

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Is it me?

December 14, 2009

Ten days ago it started with a simple text message from him. He wasn’t feeling well, could I bring him some soup? I considered saying no, I considered ignoring him but then I remember I was done playing games with him. So I went, warming the soup in his kitchen when I got there. A kitchen I am completely comfortable in. Then we lay on his bed, cuddled together, watching country music videos. And I was in heaven. I had plans and they soon took me out into the night.

Usually after I see him I do not hear from him for several weeks. So when his text message arrived the next day I was stunned. Then Sunday my phone began to play his ring tone and my surprise was calculable, he invited me and my kids over for dinner. Monday night, when we walked into his house my oldest ran to him and threw her arms around his waist. He told me later he now knows what love looks like, seeing her face as she walked towards him.

For seven days straight we talked. Each time I figured that was the last time I would hear from him for weeks. And each time I would hang up I got a little more scared. What happened when he quit calling? It was going to break my heart. On Tuesday, when I hung up I literally started crying. I was getting used to having him in my life again and I was terrified of the heartbreak when he quit calling.

On Friday my phone was silent. He didn’t call he didn’t text. I tried hard not to freak out. On Saturday my phone went off, before I was even awake he was texting me. Again that night I was surprised when it was his name on my phone. On Sunday he called, the conversation was quick.

When we hung up my fears again began to take root.

How do you get past this worry and fear? How do you just enjoy the time without worrying what comes next? Because if I cannot learn to do that, this thing we have is never going to survive.

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Fail

December 8, 2009

Hunter: What’s today?

Me: December 7. “The day that will live in infamy!”

Hunter: (looking at me like I’m crazy) What?….  Oh, yeah, D-day.

Me: No, it’s Pearl Harbor Day.

Hunter: Same thing.

Me: (speechless)