Monday, November 3, 2008
I'm talking about taking that brief moment to look around and be in the moment. To take a mental note. A snapshot.
I had one of those moments Friday night and I've been pondering it ever since.
It was Halloween night and the kids and I were chillin' at home. They've decided they're much too old for trick-or-treating, and there weren't any parties going on that night, so we stayed in. We'd been looking forward to it for a few weeks because our very favorite TV reality show, Ghost Hunters, was running a 7-hour live marathon that night! We bought Subway sandwiches, sugar cookies in ghost and pumpkin and bat shapes to frost ourselves, and settled in for about 7 hours of being scared.
During about hour 5, Alex and I were cuddled up on the couch, with the lights on now because it was getting too scary for the lights to be out, and we had all just jumped at something that had grabbed either Grant or Jason on the show, and we were giggling and talking about it when the light bulb went off.
Having my husband gone for a whole year and being a single mom is perhaps one of the most difficult things I'll do during my whole life. But it occured to me that although he's gone, I am learning more about my kids than I would have if he were here. I am everything to them right now. I'm sure they're learning stuff about me too, although they don't know it. LOL
I've only been in the kids' lives for 2 1/2 years. I haven't known them since they were babies. But in those 2 years, I've become their mother, not just "dad's new wife". And especially now, when they can't ask Dad if they can go here or get that, and they have to depend on me for everything, I'm learning so much about who they are, and seeing how much they're growing and maturing.
I'd never consider Alvin's time away from us as a blessing. But this is giving me a chance to build a closer relationship with my kids, and perhaps cement in their minds my role in their lives. And perhaps when they're grown and have teens of their own, they'll look back and have their own "A-ha!" moment.
For now, though, it's enough for me that they hug me every day and say they love me. They ask me if I'm okay. They don't squable, well, much anyway, when I ask them to do their chores. Their parent-teacher conferences on Friday were AWESOME, and their teachers couldn't say enough about their attitudes and how hard they work. I was so proud of them, and they were proud of themselves too.
So there was a lot that went into my A-ha. I'm learning, growing, and I think I'm doing a pretty good job.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I haven’t spoken to you in 24 hours now. It may seem crazy to be counting the hours, but I can’t help it. I’m worried. I haven’t slept since Sunday night. I am afraid to sleep. The thought of slipping into dreams, and then that’s the moment that you call or get online and I miss you is just frightening to me.
The past two months were not reality where this deployment is concerned. Yes, I’ve been without you, and that is horrible, but I’ve been able to talk to you throughout the day, text message you and get responses. It’s been as though you’ve been on a long business trip.
And now it’s hitting me that this is real. For 10 long months I’ll be without you. I won’t be able to pick up the phone and call you whenever I want to. I won’t hear your voice first thing in the morning and your voice won’t be the last thing I hear at night.
But worst of all will be the constant fear and worry for your safety. You are in a war zone. People over there wish you harm.
I know you’re a strong, well-trained soldier who serves with other strong men and that you will all look out for each other and keep each other safe so you will come home to me in one piece, alive and well. I know in my heart that the Lord will keep you all safe.
Because He didn’t just bring you into my life to take you back out again so quickly.
Things at home are fine. The kids are happy and going about their days cheerfully. They miss you. Every day when they come home from school they ask me if I’ve talked to you. And today, for the first time since August 21st, I had to say no. David looked at me with surprise in his big brown eyes, and I hugged him close and said, “It’s okay. He’s okay.”
You are so precious to us.
So now it’s been 25 hours. I pray that you are safe. I pray that you’re being well taken care of.
Most of all, I pray that I hear your voice very soon.
I love you, my sweet man.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Years ago, in what seems like a different life, I went through infertility treatments. It was exhausting, depressing, embarrassing, and all the other “ing” words I can think of. The hormones made my body feel like I was going through menopause. Hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia.
But the worst part was the failure. Literal and emotional. As a woman, it’s my job to have babies. I know it sounds archaic, but really, it is. And I want them. I will be a good mom. I had the best role model ever, there’s no way I can fail.
I realized after those treatments failed that they failed for a reason. The man I was trying to start a new life with was not the right one. Our marriage had been failing for years, and maybe the idea of having a baby made me unconsciously think that the relationship would fix itself if a baby came. I know that’s wrong. If a girlfriend had said the same thing to me, I would have told her that adding a baby to an already ill marriage would only make things worse.
And God knew that I could not be attached to my ex-husband for the rest of my life.
And so now here I am. Married to The Man. The love of my life. He’s an awesome dad, we’re deeply in love, and desperately want to add to our family.
And I’m terrified.
Alvin and I have been “trying” for a baby for over a year. And it hasn’t worked. So now I’m faced with the fact that when my husband returns home next year I’m going to have to undergo infertility treatment again. Hormones and shots and embarrassing ultrasounds. Counting and praying and hoping and disappointment.
But this I know: there will be a baby at the other end of the journey. Because this is the right time, the right man. The right family. And we deserve this.
I admit, I’m so jealous. I am. I am so jealous of women who seem to get pregnant so easily. I’m angry at those who get pregnant and are angry or disappointed. They just don’t know how blessed they are. And, who am I kidding, I’m just plain green with envy of anyone who is pregnant or holding their little one to their heart.
I’m happy for them. I smile and hug, get excited for them. I hold their babies and cuddle them close. It’s the oddest emotion to be so elated for someone I love, and jealous of them at the same time.
My heart weeps for my child. My arms ache to hold my baby. I yearn to feel it grow inside me, to rock her to sleep, to watch my husband hold her and fall asleep with her sleeping on his chest, to watch my kids’ eyes smile with wonder as they touch her tiny hands and toes.
I want that. More than I ever have.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source - Share This
co-de·pen·dent or co·de·pen·dent (kō'dĭ-pěn'dənt) adj.
1. Mutually dependent.
2. Of or relating to a relationship in which one person is psychologically dependent in an unhealthy way on someone who is addicted to a drug or self-destructive behavior, such as chronic gambling.
n. One who is co-dependent or in a co-dependent relationship.
You know, society puts a negative connotation on the word “co-dependent”. When we hear that word, we automatically think of weakness, not being able to take care of oneself. And I guess if you fall into the “Of or relating to a relationship in which one person is psychologically dependent in an unhealthy way on someone who is addicted to a drug or self-destructive behavior, such as chronic gambling. “ portion of the definition it is a negative thing.
But what about the first one? The “mutually dependent” one? Is that such a bad thing?
With Alvin gone, and with both of us missing each other so badly right now, I’ve been thinking about this word because, truly, I have discovered that I am co-dependant regarding my husband. It bothered me for a while. It made me feel weak and made me wonder when I lost my independence.
Then it hit me. I don’t need emotional independence. I’m married to my soul mate, the love of my life, the one person on this planet that I trust implicitly and without question. Why shouldn’t I be dependent on him? And shouldn’t he be dependent on me?
I’m not talking about an unhealthy dependency of not being able to function without the other. But I am talking about needing him. Needing to tell him about my day, feel his arms around me, give me support when it feels like the world is falling apart, making me laugh. I need to support him during his times of trial, to hear about his day, to lie on his chest as we fall asleep, to be silly and tease him.
At the heart of it, it’s intimacy. It’s the intimate part of “us” that I’m so heart sick for. Hearing his voice throughout the day is great, and I look forward to it, but it doesn’t take the place of looking in his eyes as he’s talking to me, or holding his hand while we walk, or even just sitting next to him at our dinner table while our family says Grace and shares stories from our day.
I miss it all.
If that makes me co-dependent, so be it. Because I’m certainly not alone. Everyday my husband tells me that he misses me and needs me, that he loves me more than he can tell me and that I am his whole world.
Being co-dependent isn’t such a bad gig.
Monday, September 1, 2008
It’s been one year today since I became Mrs. Alvin J Proby, Jr. One year. But it feels like it was yesterday. I remember everything; feeling annoyed that everyone that morning was running late. Feeling anxious because traffic down to Ft Lewis was backed up and we were late getting to the church. Then the hustle and bustle of getting dressed, watching my girls get dressed, having people come in and out, letting me know what Alvin was up to and what was getting done.
Then putting my dress on and feeling like the most beautiful woman to ever wear a white dress. I’d love to just wear that dress around the house.
But when I saw him for the first time that day, everything in me went calm. It didn’t matter that we were late, or that my hair wasn’t exactly the way I wanted. All that mattered was that this man, this kind, amazing, wonderful man, wanted to marry me. Me.
When we stood there and said our vows, I knew that we were both speaking from our hearts.
“I love you. You are my best friend. I promise to encourage and inspire you, to laugh with you and to comfort you in times of sorrow and struggle. I promise to love you in good times and in bad, when life seems easy, and when it is hard, when our love is simple and when it is an effort, in times of deployment and non-deployment. I promise to cherish you and always hold you in the highest regard. These things I give to you today, and as long as we both shall live.”
I loved our vows because they were personal to us and our life, and because they are true. Every word. And “in times of deployment and non-deployment” is what we are living right now, one year after taking these vows before our loved ones and God. And amazingly, I love him more now than I did then, and I didn’t know that was possible. But I realize, our love will continue to grow. With time, as our family changes and grows, as we endure ups and downs, struggles, sorrows, triumphs, joys, our love will grow and change and mature. But one thing will never change. I love him, with all that I am.
Now and forever.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
I had a game plan for this summer.
While Alvin was in Yakima for training for a month, I planned to paint both the kids’ bedrooms. David wanted blue and Alex wanted green and pink. I thought it would be a great project while they were with their mom, so when they got home they’d have a brand new room. Well, that didn’t happen. I didn’t even buy the paint. So, I thought I’d do it after Alvin left for Wisconsin. I knew I wouldn’t do it while he was home.
Yeah, that hasn’t happened either, and school starts Wednesday.
I’d also planned on deep cleaning every room in the house, which I’d still like to do in the near future.
I was going to put a new screen door on Alex’s sliding glass door (or, really big window as far as she’s concerned!).
So, I’m disappointed in myself. I’ve been too obsessed with the fact that my husband’s gone to buckle down and work on any kind of project. Hell, I’d be happy laying on my bed all day watching bad movies on TV. Frankly, that embarrasses me. I should have my shit together by now. I’ve known since October of last year that this was coming. I guess I was in denial.
I’ll get it all done. I always do. It’s just more fun when I have my partner in crime to do it with me.
Everything’s more fun with him.
Monday, August 25, 2008
It seems that it hits me the hardest at night. The reality that he's not here, and won't be for a long time, sinks in. And my body just isn't willing to relax and fall into sleep without him. I have a feeling that this is when I'll do the most writing, when the kids are safely tucked in and snoring, the infomercials are flashing on my television and my cat is curled up in her sleepy spot at the foot of the bed, impervious to my restlessness.
I miss him, in a thousand different ways, but its now that it hurts the most. Like a toothache that I can't soothe, and there's nothing that can ease the pain of being without him.