“Oh mirror in the sky, what is love. Can the child within my heart rise above? Can I sail through the changing ocean tides? Can I handle the seasons of my life? ….time makes ya bolder, children get older, I’m getting older too…”
Listened to this song the other day and it brought forth so many suppressed emotions from within me. This “season” of my life is a tough one. I nearly lost a child a couple of months ago. My child will never be the same person he was before he made the mistake that we all live with forever now. Kids don’t understand consequences. That their choices can literally cost them everything. We were just getting to a place where we were building our new normal as a family, and then my mom got sick. Her health went downhill so fast. She spent 4 weeks in the hospital. She was just released on Tuesday afternoon, but her life looks very different now. Which means, once again, my life was turned inside out as well. I’ve been put in this very difficult position of having to sort of “parent” my own parents. My dad has struggled terribly with all of this. I’ve tried to be strong for him and for my mom.
My relationship with Adam is solid. We are committed to one another. The tragedy we’ve dealt with, we’ve done it together. Poor Adam so badly wants to take my pain, but life doesn’t work like that. I’m married to an amazing man. I’m stubborn and I’ve retreated within myself over the last several weeks. I hadn’t even been able to write here about everything. I couldn’t acknowledge everything because I knew that I would completely fall apart if I spent any time allowing myself to feel. I’m starting to slowly give my own pent up feelings a voice. I didn’t intend this blog of mine to have “heavy” things like this written in it. It was supposed to be a lighthearted and fun blog where I could write about the kinkier, sillier side of my relationship. There hasn’t been a whole lot of that stuff in our marriage lately, though. I want to get back there so badly. I was wondering to myself if this is just life now. Is painful, life altering, shit going to keep coming at me regularly? I’m 35 years old. I think I’m honestly much more afraid of getting old than I am of dying. The older I get, the more people I find myself saying goodbye to. I miss the life I had five minutes before I got that phone call from my son’s school back in August. I haven’t felt “light” in such a long time.
I know this isn’t an upbeat, fun thing I’ve written here tonight. I suppose that’s part of the reason I haven’t been writing, too. I’m not a negative person. I’m not one of those people who seem almost giddy to have an excuse to be a grouch.
I don’t have a good way to end this post, so I’ll just leave it here and hopefully the coming days will bring me something good to write about 🙂
Friday afternoon, I got a phone call that changed my life forever. I’m not ready to write about the details, but it has to do with my son. He was immediately taken to the closest hospital and then transferred to a children’s hospital. I’d been having a great day. I got out my fall scented candles and started to change out my summertime decorations with fall ones. My house smelled like cinnamon apples and pumpkin spice. I was sitting in the kitchen talking with a friend when my phone rang. It was his school. I don’t even remember the drive to him. Seeing my little boy like he was, I just can’t write about it yet. He’s alive, he will recover, but our life is going to look different for a very long time while we help him to heal. He’s still in the hospital, but he’s in good spirits. I managed to keep it together all but once in front of him. The frustration, anger, and fear got to me as one of the doctors explained something I didn’t understand and I couldn’t stop the explosion of tears and the angry words that flew from my mouth. My sweet boy tried to comfort ME. He told me “it’s okay mama, I’ll be okay.” I love him so much my chest is literally aching as I’m writing this.
I’m sorry for the cliffhanger, I’ll try to give more information as I’m able to, but I can’t make words out of the emotions I’m feeling right now. One miracle I can share today, my cousin is going to be going into rehab on September 4th and has pulled through after we didn’t think he would make it several times over the last couple of weeks! I believe in the power of prayer y’all.
It’s been HOT and HUMID here the entire month of August so far. I love summertime, but this heat is taking a toll on all of us. Adam’s been coming home grumpy and I hate it. He doesn’t yell or anything like that, he’s just more distant and quiet. He isn’t as playful or sarcastic and silly. He’s exhausted and drained from yet another day spent out in this triple digit weather. I can’t blame him. I understand. I miss my husband, though. This week has been the worst. I’m also PMS’ing, so my hormones are wrecked. For all of these reasons, I’ve struggled to find anything creative or interesting to write about. I have a few saved drafts that I started when I had good ideas pop up, but not enough time to finish my thoughts. Maybe I can work on those?
Adam is strong, smart, handsome, generous, and very rarely overtaken by his emotions. I can only think of one life event that brought him to tears in the 12 years we’ve been together. His dad had battled cancer when Adam was in college. He won that battle and remained cancer free right up to the five year mark, and then it came back. It came back with a vengeance. I remember the night his parents asked us all over and his dad rocked nervously in his favorite chair as he did his best to hold back the tears while he explained to us that the prognosis was not good. His dad was dying. Only five short months later, we sat around Adam’s dad in a hospital bed and watched him take his last breath. It was just after 5:00am when we left the hospital. After we got home, Adam went to take a shower and I knew he just needed to be alone for a few minutes. About half an hour later, he re-emerged with bloodshot eyes. It was obvious that he’d been crying. Now, I absolutely do not subscribe to the notion that boys/men should not show emotion. I think it’s unfortunate that we have spent so long teaching little boys that to cry is to show weakness and that it’s a “girly” thing to do. Having said that, I also know that men generally don’t share their feelings in the same way we women do. Men don’t think like we do. Adam is a man. He takes care of business. He is my knight in shining armor ever ready to slay the dragons and save me. Occasionally, even knights fall off their horses, though. Life is hard whether you’re a man, woman, both, or neither. As humans, we all have times in life where we need someone to comfort us and to help us back up after we’ve been knocked down. Even tough guys need help sometimes. I love Adam so deeply. I rely heavily on his ability to be the predictable and stable and responsible man he is. When I saw his heartbreak, his pain that morning, I went into “mama bear” mode. I was the protector. I was the rock for awhile. I laid in bed with Adam and ran my fingers through his hair while more silent tears fell. I understood the hurt and frustration that comes from not being able to fix it. Adam is the fixer, the protector, the calm in every storm. I am absolutely willing and able to step up and be those things for him in those moments when he needs me to. I can be strong and brave. I can hold back my own emotions so that I can be there for him when he needs me more than I need him. I can pick him back up, dust him off, and help him back onto his horse and then Adam can carry on being my knight in shining armor.
I wrote about my cousin who’s an alcoholic and in the hospital not doing well last week. He’s hung on through the week, but he’s a long way from being well yet. They’ve been taking him through detox and pumping his body full of antibiotics trying to kill the infection riddled throughout his body. He’s developed a high fever since last night and the doctors have decided they are going to do the lung surgery on him tomorrow morning. They feel they need to clean out his lungs and that’s where the infection is lingering now. It’s scary, because they initially have said that his body is too weak and sick so surgery wasn’t an option until he was stronger. He isn’t getting stronger, but at this point, they feel the risk of surgery is better than doing what they’ve been doing because he isn’t getting better. My mom has flown out there to be with her sister and my cousin (mom’s nephew). I’m so glad she’s able to be there for this because tomorrow and the following hours are going to determine his future, or whether he will have one. There’s a song by Brantley Gilbert called “Just as I am”. I asked my mom to play it for him because it happened to play this morning while I was cleaning with music playing and I was singing along when, all of the sudden, I sang the words “ya know most folks don’t understand, that I’m talking ’bout pouring out my best friend”, my voice cracked and the tears started to pour. I don’t want him to die, but I also don’t want him to live one more day as a drunk either. I want him to get sober and healthy. I want his son to know his dad as the man he is underneath the addiction. I don’t know if my cousin can do it, but I’m praying for God to give him strength to turn this around. I do believe miracles happen all around us everyday. None of us deserve the blessings we get, but we’re saved by grace anyway. He doesn’t deserve a miracle, but I’m asking for one anyway.
I always do my best to time supper so that it’s just about ready when Adam gets home from work. He can get home anytime between 5:30 to 8:00pm, so I’ve learned over the years how to time meals out just right so the food is hot and fresh for him and we can all eat together at the table. We had extra kids over, so the house was noisy and chaotic when Adam got home and I was getting all the kids plates of food dished out. We sat down, said our dinner prayer, and enjoyed our meal. Adam has this thing he’s always done when I’m rinsing the dishes at the sink he comes up behind me, pats my butt, and then reaches his arms around me and gives me a hug and a kiss and thanks me for a good supper. I chose that moment to announce that I had something I had to tell him. We also have a thing between us when it comes to sharing something that makes me nervous or that I know is likely to upset him. We shower together every evening, and that is when we talk about everything on our minds. There’s something about being naked in front of one another. We’re vulnerable and we can’t walk away if we get angry. We have had many a heated discussion standing in the shower together! I knew he wouldn’t be happy about the whole electric bill situation, but I also knew it wasn’t the kind of thing that would cause an argument or make him seriously angry with me.
A few hours later, I told Adam “let’s go take our shower.” He laughed and said I must be excited to get my spankin’ over with. He didn’t yet know what had happened, just that something had. It was finally time to fess up and I felt a little bit nervous all the sudden. I began with “you know how stressed out I was a few weeks ago? And you know I usually do a great job making sure I take care of things at home?” At that point, he probably thought I was about to drop a serious bomb on him because he looked really worried. I told him all about what had happened, but I wasn’t planning to mention the extra fees we had to pay until Adam asked about how much more it cost us. How did he know about that?! He had a serious look on his face at first, but then he grinned a slight little half grin that tells me he’s not too upset. He pulled me close to him and then brought his hand down hard on my behind. I yelped and he announced I had 5 more just like that coming. His hands can touch me in so many different ways. They’re gentle and reassuring. They give a great back massage. They hold me close and make me feel protected from the world. They can also feel hard as a block of wood. His hands were blocks of wood last night. When he finished, he asked me what I’d learned and y’know what I told him??? I told him I’d learned that he has shitty aim because he got my back twice! (He didn’t really get my back, but he typically spanks lower where I’ve got more padding.) This is the reason I titled this blog post, “Trouble squared”. I just had to say something snarky, which landed me in much deeper water. The truth is, Adam laughs at my silliness. He loves me and all my sassy southern ways. He isn’t trying to change me or anything. He has randomly slapped my behind probably 20 times over the last couple of days just to ask if his aim was better that time, but if I ever did or said something that made him truly angry with me, he would never lay a hand on me. This is our thing. Occasionally, there is a more serious message behind the discipline Adam is giving me. This time, the message was “please don’t screw up my credit because you haven’t paid a bill” and that IS something to take seriously. As for my sarcastic response, though, that did not mean that I wasn’t appreciating that I had done something stupid and this was on the more serious side of punishment rather than mostly playful. I did understand that and I did feel bad. Adam knew I felt terrible and that I don’t regularly ignore our bills. I say silly things to lighten the mood sometimes. I sometimes get sarcastic when I’m nervous. For Adam and I, my remark wasn’t meant or taken as blatant disrespect. I did get a much more sore rear end for it, but not because Adam was genuinely angry with me. I never have to be afraid to say something to him. I never have fear in those rare instances when he is truly angry. I know that he would never put his hands on me in anger, even with DD in our marriage. Once things have calmed down, discipline absolutely happens! But, I wanted to make it abundantly clear that he did not and would not spank me if he was really truly mad at something I’d done or said. My butt was sore the next morning, and again last night, but my spirit is not ever bruised or beaten by Adam.
Yesterday morning, about 8:00, our power cut off. I didn’t think too much of it at first because they’ve been blasting nearby and it’s been briefly cutting off and then back on again. After about 10 minutes had passed, I got more concerned. I called the electric company to report our outage and was notified via automated voice that the reason our lights were out was because the light bill wasn’t paid! I promptly pushed zero a bunch of times so I could reach an actual human because I knew I had mailed in a check toward the end of July and I was ready to let the incompetent fools have it. They don’t play around here. If your bill isn’t paid by the next months meter reading, they’ll cut ya off, so I’ve always made sure I got a check in on time. As I was waiting for the human I planned to give a piece of my mind, I opened my bill planner notebook to look up exactly when I’d mailed in the check. As I flipped through the pages, an envelope stamped and addressed to the power company fell out… I would have sworn I’d mailed that! I could’ve passed a lie detector I was so sure of it. Clearly, I had not, in fact, put a check in the mail. Mercifully, the elevator music playing through my phone was still going and nobody had answered my call yet. After a couple of minutes, a nice lady answered and I explained my situation. I was thoroughly embarrassed. We’ve never had a utility cut off for non payment before. I have always done a good job staying on top of our bills and payments. Adam also knows when everything is due and often double checks that everything’s taken care of each week. Our system always worked well, until yesterday. I paid the bill over the phone which cost an extra $2.50 for the convenience of using their automated phone pay system plus an extra $37 “reconnect fee”. This was an expensive mistake! I was dreading the evening when Adam would come home and I’d have to tell him. I briefly considered keeping my screw up a secret, but I’m a shitty liar and the guilt always gets to me anyway. It wasn’t punishment I was afraid of. I was ashamed and worried that Adam wouldn’t trust me to take care of our finances anymore. I knew that I had let him down, even if it wasn’t a purposeful mistake. Had I been paying attention, I get bank notifications for every debit and credit on our account and that check should’ve gone through within a couple days of mailing the check.
I have to take my daughter to her bus stop, and this blog is long enough already, so I’m going to end on a cliffhanger and I’ll post a part 2 later today. I called this blog “trouble squared” because had I not chosen to open my great big sassy mouth while Adam was lecturing me, I’d have gotten off relatively easy. Instead, I thought it was a good time to be a smart ass.