Going through a separation is difficult, even under the best of circumstances. Every day is a different type of challenge. Adding a child makes it even more so. We generally get along really well, but let’s face it…we are still two people trying to live under one roof in a failed marriage. Sometimes it gets tough.
I have my people – those who I turn to, venting my latest frustration or fear. Time and time again I hear how well I’m taking everything. How calm I am and how strong I must be. And to an extent I am strong through this – all things considered. But whenever I hear someone say this, my mind almost always jumps to a time where I felt my entire world actually cave in on me. I go back to that time when I felt so lost and alone and afraid of what was to come.
Five years today. That doesn’t seem right. It seems like it should be longer AND shorter. That doesn’t make sense, and yet there are those who know exactly what I’m talking about. I’ve felt him a lot these past few weeks – it happens every year just before my birthday. I’m still not completely sure if it was lucky or unbelievably cruel that we lost him as fast as we did. The doctors told us we’d have six months to a year – we got just over three weeks. On February 9th, which is also my brother’s birthday and how I am able to remember it so clearly, I was able to tell him the wonderful news that I was pregnant. It was over the phone and my mom is the one who actually called out to tell him as they were wheeling him away for a blood transfusion. I didn’t actually get to speak to him, but I could hear him yell “OH GOOD!” in the distance. It’s the last time I remember my dad being coherent. When I arrived a couple days later it was apparent the chemo wasn’t going to give us the precious time I had hoped for. I knew my dad would never meet my baby.
But his wasn’t even the first major loss I experienced. Only a few months prior in October, we were given our first blow when we lost my grandma (mom’s mom) to a stroke. Eerily enough, my mom was able to share with her mom a secret that no one else knew at the time – I was pregnant. I’m told my grandmother’s face lit up when she heard. She passed away shortly after that and two days later I lost the baby.
I lost three people. Three family members in the span of four short months. There are no words I can use to describe what that loss felt like. It was all consuming. I now knew what true despair felt like. It made everything else seem so…small – in comparison. I started to look back on my life and smirk at all the ‘life ending breakups’ I’d gone through. All those broken hearts I’d ever suffered seemed so incredibly easy at that moment. A joke, really. And that’s when I realized I had it – perspective.
Life changes every day. I’m going through a difficult time right now, sure, but we are all still here. Lydia and I fight and get on each others nerves and say things we later regret – but we’re still having conversations; we’re still making plans for the future – albeit altered plans than originally thought; we still have family dinners together for goodness sake! And yes we joke that we’ll probably be that weird couple that’s broken up but still does everything together like in the movie Celeste & Jesse Forever. It happens.
My life today is far from broken. And that’s why I am strong. My heart is full and my life has immense purpose. That little face next to me in the video below will always be my perspective because she represents a piece of all three of them. And everything else will forever be just a minor bump in the road.