Tuesday, October 10, 2006

And there she goes...

I tell people that if they knew me 20 years ago, they wouldn't have liked me. That statement makes two assumptions- that people like me now, and that they give a shit.
If you had walked into my house 10 years ago you would have seen a mess, I didn't care if it was clean and was quite happy to chat with friends over coffee and have a hodge podge life.
Then we decided to try for another child. We ended up on fertility drugs (these do not make you sane, take my word for it) but no baby. The doctor told me we would never get pregnant again. I cried for a month. Then I had a dream that my father was in a sarcophagus bathed in red light and I was holding a child. Two weeks later we found out I was pregnant and about 6 weeks later my father died. That was, hands down, the roughest time of my life. I remember finding myself washing the walls in the corner of my parents kitchen, not really knowing how I got there. Pete was 6 weeks preemie and needed surgery to survive. She spent 7 weeks in the hospital. This really changed my life. I started to value things/people differently. Those of you who have had a child or loved one almost die know what I'm talking about. The importance I had placed on things and the value that I had assigned myself changed. I found I wanted more order in my life. I also believed in myself more. Why? Because I gave the care to Pete that kept her alive. I gave her her meds, took her vital signs, pumped the milk that sustained her. Took care of her jujenostomy bag, kept up with her weight and progress. Potent, that. A real kick in the ass to get me started. Then I met a woman who had more experiences by that time that most people have in their life- gulf war vet, hematologist, airplane disaster coordinator, rock climber, mother of 5, created beauty wherever she went, funny and irreverent. Damn. I thought, hey, I could do some of that. For the first time in my life, I started trying new things. Painting, decorating, being brave. Some people said I was too busy. Some people said they wanted the old Holder back. Some people said- you go girl. I became a power unto my self. Didn't need anyone. Fuck you. I was strong and invincible. What's that they say about pride? Yeah. I had a plan. Life spiraled out of control. The, my mother died, and I was alone.

I remember this really old cartoon I saw once in black and white. The guy was saying "I don't wanna be happy, I wanna be sad." Some happy elves covered him in color or something and he ended up saying, "I wanna be happy, I don't wanna be sad." That's me some days- I want to be happy, but a curtain, no a heavy atmosphere, of sadness envelopes me, and I'm just ceratin that I am unworthy. And then I'm lost for a few days.

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