Sunday, August 16, 2009

Soul Singing

This summer's been a bitch. (Sorry, but I ain't gonna lie.) I haven't felt this rough emotionally since I came home from my Vietnam ordeal with Emma and then went through her RSV ordeal. (Emma=ordeal, is anyone else noticing a trend here?) I can't pinpoint one thing that has led to my melancholy, it's more a accumulation of things. Financial strain, a house full of nine people, trying to wrap up some loose legal ends from Darrell's death (yes, still.) They've all kind of worn me down into a uninspired, unmotivated mess.

I felt better a few weeks ago. I realized that I had to pull myself out of my pit and I was climbing at a pretty good rate. I started blogging more. I started working a on fiction writing project. I felt the fog begin to lift. And then the loose legal ends came to a screeching halt and I felt that all the pain and grief I have gone through for that process alone was for the benefit and profit of a whole bunch of other people who never felt any pain at all. Over and over I was told that I needed to proceed for my welfare and the welfare of my children, when the reality (after the chips have fallen into place) is that a group of lawyers and a health insurance company are skipping all the way to the bank while I'm sitting in an emotional maelstrom wondering what the hell just happened. I wish I could say more, and I promise I will when it is all completely settled, but let's just say I feel very used. All to the detriment of my melancholy.

Part of this legal mess was that I was supposed to be in Nashville on Tuesday, which ultimately got canceled, but me in my idiocy forgot to cancel the hotel and plane reservations. At 1:00 am Monday morning I realized I was scheduled to board a plane 15 hours later. I called the hotel and they said it was too late to cancel. The question was do I just stay home and pay the hotel anyway or do I fly there for a day and a half and get away. Alone. My boys and my mother all jumped right in and took over the small children and on Monday afternoon I was flying to Nashville. Alone.

I wish I could tell you I reveled in my aloneness. At first it felt strange, and then it felt wasteful and then I decided I was there so I might as well enjoy it. I was staying downtown so I walked around, took a trolley tour of downtown and even visited the Country Music Hall of Fame. (I'm not a country music fan but I can appreciate the history of it all.) On Wednesday morning, I got on a plane and flew home again. And I was emotionally back where I started when I left.

Sigh.

On Friday Julia and Jenna left to spend the weekend with Darrell's oldest daughter and her husband. Ross left to spend the weekend with his father. On Saturday morning Trace, Cody and Gauge were doing their own thing, so I found myself alone with Ryan and Emma . We went to the Farmer's Market and walked around and then we stopped at Starbucks and sat inside. The babies (I guess their not babies anymore) sat eating their cookies and drinking their apple juice boxes. I drank my mocha. Ryan, who interacts more and more verbally since his ear tube placement in May, was talking about everything. We talked about what color his juice box was (green), and what color the apple on the juice box was (red). He looked around finding red and green things. He called my chair a "sit down" and I told him it was a chair and he pointed to other chairs and tables and called them their appropriate nouns. All the while, Emma was sitting in her sit-down chair, smiling and munching on her cookie and squeezing her juice box all over her dress. I would try to include her with the naming of things but mostly she just wanted to be there and not have to work her brain too much. (No judgment here, I can relate.)

But as we sat there just talking and eating and drinking, I realized that my heart had a lightness it hadn't felt in such a very long time. I realized how much I missed my babies. The one on one interaction, the just being together-- uninterrupted and undistracted. I didn't need to fly away somewhere alone to find my peace, it was right there in front of me all summer. I was reliving what I had all last winter and I realized I craved it. I don't want the busyness and distraction. I want to just be.

The financial strain is still there. The house full of people is still here, although school starts on Tuesday. And the legal disaster is still there being sorted out, but there is still joy to be found in the simplest things.

And of course, it happened at Starbucks. ;)

22 comments:

~Issy said...

You have so much on your plate, my friend. Being with little ones does make your heart lighter...

I'm sure you don't want to hear me tell you how brave and strong i think you are. So, i won't tell you, just know i think it. :)

btw, you can hide in a house full of people. I got to our laundry room....NO ONE EVER comes there looking for me. :))

Much love...

Shelley said...

I've read your blog awhile. Lurked, I admit, because I don't have one to reciprocate with. Honestly, this is excatly what I needed to hear today. Just felt like I needed to say, "Thanks!".

I really pray that you can hang onto the simple truths you found at Starbucks that day. I'll try to as well. :)

Shelley

Kristin said...

I wish that I had something worth while to say that would ease your stress. Unfortunately I do not. I hope that you will feel uplifted just by knowing that you and your family are in my thoughts and well wishes.

Kim said...

I wish there were easy answers as to why we have to go through such trying times, but there usually isn't any. I do know that we usually come out stronger than we were before.

Finding joy in the simplest of things like Starbucks and children can be the best medicine of all. If we could all see things through the eyes of a child, life would be so much easier.

Enjoy your kids, they keep life real. Hoping your days get easier.

Brandy said...

I'm glad to hear that you're feeling better. It's got to be tough trying to juggle everything and still stay sane. Hell, I don't have half of that going on and I'm nuttier than a can of cocktail peanuts. :)

I'm here if you need to vent.

katrina said...

I think you always sound so happy. I enjoy your blog and your thoughts.

mommy4life said...

You are so right! We can't let circumstances rob us of our joy!

Denise said...

Shelley, you don't need a blog to leave a comment. It's funny, last year when I was really getting into the swing of writing my blog and writing some off the wall stuff I'd check the comments and there would be NOTHING. And I would think "wow, they must think I'm an idiot." Come to find out that when I asked readers for some of their favorite posts, those posts ranked up on the favorite list.

Sherrie said...

Sending you a hug Denise. I have read your blog for quite some time, and have it on my blog as a favorite. I'm sorry you're feeling so down, having so much crap to deal with financially. I'll be praying for things to turn around and brighter days ahead.
Big Hugs,
Sherrie

Kat said...

As a new reader, I am so thankful for your "our story" post so that I could understand what is going on. Or at least some semblance of understanding.

My father died in 2006 - and my mother is still fighting with insurance companies and lawyers. It's a total nightmare.

And most of the time, it's the little things that let us smile. Regroup. And get ready to face the world again...

April said...

i'm glad you found your happy place. :-) ((hugs))

Kristin said...

Denise, I can so relate to that melancholy. It's been 5 years since my mom died and I still sometimes look around and don't even recognize myself and who I've become. I love that you felt better at Starbucks though. Ha! Oh, how I love Starbucks! It's okay to feel that way sometimes though....don't be too hard on yourself. I think sometimes Summer is so hard because the schedules all go out the window. I bet you'll feel better though once everyone is doing their thing again.

Carey-Life in the Carpool Lane said...

Excuse me while I reach for the box of tissues...
A beautiful post and so relate-able. Though for very different reasons, this summer has been a bitch for me too. I am having the hardest time breaking out of this depression and am feeling like I might be missing something good, something worthwhile with my boys that is right in front of my face.

Know that I've been thinking of you...and here's hoping for many more mundane but special moments with your babies...in Starbucks. ;)

Lindsey's mom said...

Here is hoping the legal stuff comes to an end soon. Remember you can always pack up and come visit us in Alaska. We can take you somewhere fun! :) It is a dream I know but hey I can dream, right?

Lorie said...

Hi there Denise...so happy you are coming out of your funk. It happens to all of us, but it's those babies that make it all better, and let's face it Starbucks helps. Maybe you needed just that, you and your babies to realize this too shall pass...hopefully sooner rather than later....HUGS!!!!!

The Johnson 5 said...

Funny how the little things just jump out and bite you on the butt when were not looking, huh?

And at Starbucks, of all places!!

I'm glad your feeling better, even though all the crap is still there. And honey, the CRAP will ALWAYS be there. You just need to know that it WILL NOT BREAK YOU!

And you know Georgia is right by Tennessee :)
I'm just saying!

The Gotch 5 said...

Hey Denise so glad your silver lining made its light shine who knew starbucks had that too! Hang on girl praying that better days are ahead!!

The Gotch 5 said...

Hey Denise so glad your silver lining made its light shine who knew starbucks had that too! Hang on girl praying that better days are ahead!!

The Gotch 5 said...

Ok hit the button twice think my patience is gone for the day, maybe the week!!

Ladyblog said...

I feel for you and I can really empathize. I have been a single mom and been a geographical single mom. It's the hardest thing ever and it's good that you at least have some support. I hope things get easier for you, but at least you can enjoy those simple moments!

Anita said...

Denise, I've worried about you all summer. I'm here for you, when the fog lifts. I'm praying for you, as I really believe that our faith can see us through our times of deepest need.
Please take care. Your "babies" need you, and mine are 16 and 11, and still my babies!

Jill said...

First, I am pissed (hope this does NOT offend) off that you even have to deal with the legal CRAP! Second, I am SOOO glad for you to just "be." And third, I think you are BEAST! (a term my kids are using...I think it is good...I think it is complimentary!)

Oh, and ONE more... I would like Starbucks to start paying you for your PLUGS on their behalf!!

XO
Jill