Category Archives: Introspective

After-party.

I cried myself to sleep the night I turned 28. I had opted to work and since my birthday generally falls close to (or on) Thanksgiving – I think this is the first time I’ve ever worked on my birthday. Katelyn opened my presents while I was getting ready. I cried on the way to work. I missed my dog. I was sad for my friend and his family. It did not start out well.

I holed up in my office and got a lot of work done. It was quiet. No one around the office knew or remembered it was my birthday.

I met my mom and my grandmother for lunch. We had cake and candles that night. Katelyn, of course, blew them all out.

Once you become a mom – your birthday is no longer your birthday. I definitely had a “it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to” experience. It wasn’t fun and I wasn’t proud of it.

And then something happened.

Yesterday I woke up with a renewed sense of self. It felt almost like the sweet fresh promise of New Year’s Day.

I am 28.

My life has not gone how I had planned. But I have everything I need.

I felt recharged and fearless. There is a lot to take on in this world and I still have time and the energy for it. I spent two hours this morning cleaning my office. Eventually we will move and I will leave it all behind. That, dear readers, will be a good day.

Today I’m feeling a little less optimistic. But there are 10 days off looming ahead for Christmas and I am so, so ready for them.

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Twenty.Eight

I haven’t blogged in awhile. I suppose I can use the excuse that life got in the way.

November is the biggest month for me at work due to National Adoption Awareness month and National Adoption Day. What that means is that I work longer hours, work harder, and have more paperwork than the average bear. And then when it’s over, it’s just over.

I’m two days away from my birthday and although I didn’t expect it to be a “tough” year – today is proving otherwise. I feel like I am barreling ahead into my 30s and it’s making me feel almost claustrophobic.

28. 28. 28.

It seems like such a weird number. Last year, my best friend’s dad died on my birthday. I feel like it will never be the same. So with that weight on my chest with it being the first anniversary of his passing and the fact that I’m getting older and I’m just not where I thought I would be at this time – I want to run. Run far, far away.

When I was 18 or so I had this timeline concocted about what my life was going to be like. I was going to graduate college around 22 (accomplished that at least!) get my masters, travel a lot, get married around 27 and have a baby at 30 after I had time to get my career established. My superprise baby at 24 definitely through a wrench in it. A professor once told me that a timeline serves one purpose with that being it sets you up for failure. Life finds a way to get in the way – every time.

I do need to clarify that I would never trade my daughter for anything – but some days I do wonder what life would look like had it gone differently. Her dad is a wonderful guy but we feel more like roommates most of the time. He makes me laugh hysterically and he is so good to her but the “fireworks” are gone. Maybe that’s normal at this point in a relationship. We’ve been engaged for years but cannot commit to a date or even begin to plan a wedding because we say life gets in the way. Maybe that’s just an excuse.

I feel like an asshole for feeling ungrateful. We are very blessed. We have our own home, salaries that support us, great friends and extended family. But it’s just not what I though my life would be like at 28.

I’m okay with the discord I’m feeling. I was so hopeful at 27 until that earth shattering phone call came. I know it will pass. I’ll work on my birthday and it will be the same routine it always is that night. And Wednesday will feel like any other Wednesday. And I’ll go on. We’ll go on.

I just need to find that spark again. Figure out who I am. And where I need to be.

 

 

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Journey.

Grief is an interesting journey. I don’t handle change well.

After a few “good” weeks in which the pain I felt over losing Penny has been manageable with few tears – it all came crashing down Tuesday night. I started sobbing and couldn’t stop it.

I’m grieivng more profoundly for the loss of my dog than I have humans that I’ve loved. The first person that I had a relationship with that died was my great aunt Helen when I was 11. I remember feeling that sick sweaty going to pass out feeling when we went to view her body. I spent what felt like an eternity in that room with my mom staring at her body convinced she was breathing.

I lost my great grandmother, whom I was very attached to a couple of years later. The loss of my dad’s mother whom I didn’t have much a relationship followed the next year. A man I knew in college who spent about 6 months asking me out shot himself while his girlfriend was 7 months pregnant. It was a tragedy and very hard to comprehend. We ended up being good friends despite my refusals. I was dating someone at the time or I might have considered it.

There have been losses in between but the most earth shattering was the loss of my grandfather in 2007.

Growing up I was incredibly close to him. At times we lived with them or very near them so he played a huge role in my life. I respected him and loved him. At times due to his alcoholism I hated him. He was a good man. He had dealt with cancer off and on but the last time when I saw him in September I just knew. His doctors had told my family 6 months to a year. But I knew. I found out I was pregnant with Katelyn 8 days before he died. I was so happy he knew about her and told my mom several times the day before he passed that he was going to be a great grandfather again. Sam is the only guy I’ve ever dated that he really liked and that always meant a lot to me too.

I feel like I had delayed grief when he died. Around the time of his funeral my hyperemesis morning sickness kicked in and I spent most of my days (and nights!) throwing up. I lost almost 30 pounds in my first trimester and I ended up so focused on trying to have a healthy baby that the sadness I felt at his passing was put on the back burner. In retrospect it was a good thing. I wish he would have had the chance to meet Katelyn. She would have had him wrapped around her finger and would have easily earned the title of “greatest” great grand baby  He joked with the rest of them at different times that they were the “greatest” and I know she would have been the favorite – because of course I’m the favorite grandchild…

The loss of Penny is different. I suppose it is harder to let go of someone that is with you every second you are home versus a family member that you love from a distance. It’s really shown me how profound her role was in my life. She and Miles saw me through some very rough patches and at one point probably saved my life. That’s a story I’ll save for another day. I’m appreciating Miles more. Although I had him before Penny I feel like I was bonded more to her. Perhaps it was because she was more of a snuggler and more in tune with my feelings and he’s always been my rough and tumble boy dog. But lately, he needs to snuggle as much as I need to snuggle. He will be 9 on October 15th. I am dreading it. It’s his first birthday without Penny.

I’m dreading the first snow too. She loved to run around like crazy in fresh snow and would sneak out on the deck to eat it. I’m dreading Christmas and pulling out her stocking. In many ways, I feel like I’ve lost a child. I was able to take her ashes out of that horribly offensive gift bag and they are sitting on the mantle now. The box she came in is cherry wood and actually really beautiful. I had shopped for urns before she was returned and found a few I liked but for now I feel at peace with what she’s in. We hadn’t planned on showing Katelyn her ashes because I wasn’t sure she could really grasp what it meant but she begged one night. I decided it was better for us to share them with her than her sneak in and open the box herself. I have never seen cremation ashes so my heart was in my throat when we all sat down to open the box.

They were beautiful. I don’t know if it’s true of all ashes, but hers almost have a rusty tint like her fur. I was just so glad to have my girl home no matter how she came home. Some day I think I’ll take them to our favorite spot in Lubbock and let her be totally free.

Lately I’ve found myself looking more at dogs available for adoption and not feeling revolted at the thought of bringing one home. Some day I know we’ll have another dog. No dog will ever replace Penny but I know she would be happy we saved a life like we saved hers.

And Miles needs a friend.

The past two days have been better and I’m thankful. This grief journey is exhausting. And enlightening. The one thing I do know is that when Penny found us, she took a big piece of my heart. And now that she’s gone, she’s left me with a big piece of hers and I am forever grateful for that.

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Thinking Positive.

A new journey to a more positive, pleasant me.

Things I’m going to start working on:

  • Appreciation
  • Dedication
  • Motivation
  • Decision Making

Because of recent events in my life I’ve really struggled with seeing the big picture. I’ve been stuck behind the what ifs, why nots, why mes.

I don’t like it. I’ve been scouring the internet and surveying friends and it always comes back to the same answer.

And the quickest way to change it is – yes, you guessed – with me.

So. Starting today.. tonight.

I’m going to appreciate what I have. Piles of laundry on the floor be damned, I’m going to be grateful that I have clothes. Stressful job? At least I have one.

Some days I want to move so badly I can taste the dirty Lubbock air. We’ve worked hard to get the house ready but not as quickly as I would have liked. Time to regroup and refocus. We need a list and list we shall have.

Which brings me to motivation. Not much more motivating than getting out of here needed!

And decisions need to be made. Important decisions. Will one of us move first? Can I survive staying at the in-laws temporarily? Will I transfer or take the money and run?

Mind is swirling. I have to take action. All of this sitting back and being careful is driving me crazy.

Time to think positive, be grateful, pray for clarity and see where it leads us.

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Hope.

I woke up feeling hopeful this morning which was a really nice change from the past few weeks. Though I should clarify I initially woke up thinking of all of the crap I will have to do tomorrow when I get back to work. But that subsided and peace set in.

These 5 days off have been nothing short of a miracle. Being an emotional mess while trying to do an emotionally challenging job is not a good mix.

I typically don’t see myself as the stay at home mom type – probably because I never did it. But we baked banana nut bread this morning and it all felt very domestic.

Katelyn did tell me she missed her friends today so I’m sure she’ll be ready to head back to school tomorrow. I am 50/50 on returning to work.

My phone has rang non-stop the past few days (as it does every day) and I had 88 e-mails in my inbox this morning. I think my next job will be as a Wal-Mart greeter. I can leave work at work. Or you know maybe crunching numbers so I don’t have to feel like lives are at stake every day.

Because they are – and that’s reality.

A friend and I went to see a tarot card reader when we were 17. A few of the things I remember: I have met my soul-mate (not true), I’m a nurturing person (mostly true) and that I would work with children (well at least that one was right.)

I applied for a job at Texas Tech for a new pilot program focusing on first generation and low-income incoming freshmen. It’s designed to catch these kids before college and show them that higher education is possible. I’m already dealing with several of these kiddos right now and I felt like I could really contribute to the cause when I read through the posting.

Sam and I went to a game this weekend. Our first Tech game since Katelyn was 6 weeks old and I literally fell asleep on his shoulder. It made me sad that I rushed through college. I was in and out in 4 years. Some days I wish I would have enjoyed it more. The last two years I was in school, I worked on game days because those were decent days to make money. I should have been tailgating and yelling my head off at the games. Being back on campus and seeing the spirit and infectious nature of college made me realize it probably wasn’t as bad as it felt then.

Regrets are fun!

I used to say I had no regrets. And really I don’t. Life has ended up pretty good for me even with all of the stupid decisions and mistakes along the way. I’ve been blessed even when I probably didn’t deserve it.

The next few months will be hectic at work preparing for the one big event we have each year. And after that I am hopeful we will be able to move on.

Hope is good and sometimes that’s all you need.

 

 

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Processing.

I think I’m going to write a book.

I’ve always loved to write and before I was mom and actually had free time (I mean really – what is free time?!) I wrote as an outlet.

I feel like the only way to get the yucky out is to literally get it out on paper. Or a screen.

I think it will be the most cathartic way to move on from the loss of Penny and the evolution of myself as a result.

Paw prints in Heaven – perhaps.

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It will be a good day.

My facebook status this morning – except I typed it three times for good measure.

And then I saw that it was National Positive Thinking day.

We woke up at 5 this morning to beautiful loud thunder. The whole house was up. It eventually started raining to which my little weather girl does not venture far from a window or sitting outside on the deck. We finally fell back asleep which led to a nightmare and oversleeping. Oops.

I had a dream that Katelyn died. It was horrible.

I’ve prayed so much that I would dream about Penny. And instead I’m dreaming about my human baby dying. I woke up and kissed her sweaty sleeping forehead.

I’ve got to get out of this. We have so much to be thankful for. We’ve grown up so much the past 5 years. We’ve become responsible adults.

Life is good.

Even on the bad days. Even on the sad days. Life is good.

We are a family (minus one.) And although my heart hurts, I know Penny was loved immensely. And she loved immensely in return.

Some day the aching will be less noticeable. Some day I will be able to look at pictures and smile without tears. Some day we will open our hearts and home to another dog who needs love. Some day I will see my girl again.

And until that day, life is good. I am okay. I am strong. I will be better.

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The last straw?

I’m seriously questioning a lot of things lately.

Let me sum up the past two weeks quickly:

Co-worker takes 3 week vacation. I get stuck taking care of her job. And mine.

Dog is sick. Have dog put to sleep. Immense guilt.

Other dog is sick. And hospitalized.

Bank account gets hacked. Card is declined at vet. Embarassment ensued. Thankful at 8 pm when I realize WHY the card got declined.

The very next day – I get a traffic ticket.

I sobbed. Over the ticket.

Thankfully, Miles is on the mend and got to come home. He’s still sicky but he’s working really hard at acting like himself.

And I am exhausted. I am burned out. I want to stomp and cry and hold my breath until I turn blue.

I could not wait for August to be over and September to creep in. Now September is shaping up to be as yucky as August.

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Just breathe.

Oh life. I feel like I’ve been knocked on my ass. Again.

Ever since my near head on collision experience I’ve been in a weird place. Between that and Penny getting sick – I’m depressed. I think. I don’t know if depression is what it really is. Angst maybe.

I feel like I should have answers to everything but find myself having a hard time catching my breath because I don’t know anything.

Overwhelmed.

Aside from occasionally wandering into a corner and barking Penny has been doing great the past few days. She’s running, going up and down the stairs on her own, loving on Miles and her people. I don’t know how long I have but I’m feeling blessed about each day.

I keep coming back to the same answer. Move.

I am so ready for a fresh start. Lubbock isn’t really a fresh start since we’ve been there before. Except this time it will be different. Long gone is the drunk college girl.

I’m ready to get out of this house. I’m ready to toss boxes of stuff that we no longer use. I’m ready to leave the stress behind. My day to day is so emotionally draining that I feel like it will take years to come out of this haze. I know moving won’t magically fix everything but I feel like it would be a good start.

Sam and I are like passing strangers here. He works so much, I work so much. We co-parent in the best way we can. Some days I look at him and my heart feels so overwhelmed that I’ve managed to get this lucky. Other days I resent him more than anyone I’ve ever met. I guess that’s non-marriage for you. Truthfully, my world would crumble without him. I really hope he knows that.

I’m just ready for a do-over. Or a start over. I’m tired of the same stresses over and over again. I’m tired of putting everyone else’s children above my own. I want to go to sleep at night not worrying about whatever work is left for the next day. I want to take a deep breath and not have a lump in my throat.

So, moving. Quitting. Resigning. I’m not quite sure what will come first at this point. I do know something has got to give though. Before I totally lose myself.

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Near death.

I am not good at emotions most of the time. I used to write when I was feeling more of them than I could handle and that is why I’m writing today.

When I was little, I got really sick. I wound up having to be airlifted to a large hospital a long way from home. I flat-lined 3 times on the flight and was in a coma for several days. I woke up. I was lucky. A few days after I was taken off life support and awake, I had a nurse tell me that I was lucky because another boy had died from what I had a few weeks before. That still sticks with me. For a long time I dealt with survivor’s guilt. I couldn’t understand why God let me live but took another life in the same way. People would tell me “Oh God isn’t through with you” or other sentiments and it never took that sting away. I was at an age when I was probably just starting to understand the finality of death when it happened. And after that I was never afraid to die. When I was in a coma, I saw things. I was in a beautiful place with animals that talked and fields and fields of flowers. A counselor once told me that I had a “near death experience.” While I was wherever I was, a Pegasus would come and I would ride it. It would fly to a bright light and I would pull back on it’s mane telling it to stop, I wasn’t ready. Then I was convinced I had been somewhere not of this Earth and that I fought hard because I wasn’t ready to die. I thought that the bright light was “the gate” and I wasn’t ready to go.

As I got older and learned about our cruel world my faith in God has been shaken. As I tried to find my path as an adult, I often feel like I’m not doing enough.

And today in a blink of an eye my faith has been restored to the point it was when I woke up from that coma and knew God existed and was looking out for me.

I had a doctor’s appointment this morning. I was running late and sat at red light after red light frustrated. Our area is overcrowded and there are fatal wrecks almost daily, so I do my best to drive cautiously and pay attention at all times.

About half way to my doctor’s office, I got into the passing lane to accommodate cars getting on to the highway. There was a car ahead of me that just didn’t look right. A few seconds later I realized it didn’t look right because it was coming at me.  I was able to get over in the right lane. A few seconds later, the car coming the wrong way flew past me in the middle of both lanes. I had to swerve off of the road to avoid being hit. Cars in front of me had also done the same. I was able to get a decent look at the driver. I thought it was an elderly man. Short grey hair and glasses barely looking over the steering wheel. There was a handicap sign hanging from the rear view mirror. I immediately called 911. The dispatcher asked where exactly the car was and explained they had received a few calls and that law enforcement was on the way. I pulled myself together and went on my way. I felt so helpless in that moment. I was lucky. I had seen the car. I was able to avoid it.

About 3 miles later I began to hear the sirens. Ambulances, first responders, police cars flying down the road. I knew in that moment that another driver had not been so lucky. A co-worker had called while I was on the phone with 911. I called her back from my doctor’s office parking lot. She started trying to find information online because I was sure someone had been killed.

News reports began to trickle online. Double fatality.

When I came back by the accident I had to pull over and throw up. The car that was hit was destroyed. The front end was completely obliterated. I knew then had I been the car hit, I would have died.

The elderly driver ended up rolling and was also killed. I made it home and I’m sitting here in a haze.

I had I not got stuck at those red lights, I may have met this car sooner. Had I been 5 minutes later, same thing. Something or someone was really looking out for me today. In the moment that I jerked my car out of the way I immediately saw my daughter’s face. No talking animals and flowers this time. Just my sweet baby girl. I don’t know how well she would fare without her momma.

I am so blessed today. Blessed to be alive. I am blessed every day. My faith in God is always there but today I feel like I need to re-group and re-focus. My work here is not done yet. And I hope it’s not done for a long, long time.

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