I first see her sitting in my favorite chair on my patio. My Fireman found her and brought her to my house. The woman is slight and beautiful with translucent skin. Her bald head is covered with a flowered scarf that cascades down her back. Her hollowed, green eyes look up at me as she swivels back and forth, a nasal cannula trailing down her chest to an oxygen tank. The tubing swings like a pendulum with her every motion. Continue reading
The year I was getting a divorce I rear-ended two cars within an eight-day period. The first accident was the fault of a woman emotionally beaten down and overwhelmed by her new life circumstances (that would be me.) The second kerfluffle happened with the rental car in front of the collision center – as I was pulling in to pick up the car I’d wrecked the week before. Instead of calculating the distance it takes to stop when a light turns red, I had been mentally struggling with how to make ends meet. I couldn’t believe I had hit another fucking car. The police couldn’t either. Continue reading
I’ve spent the last few days preparing for Hurricane Florence and the toll it’s due to take on North Carolina. Lines are 30 cars deep at most gas stations and propane is a coveted, sought-after commodity. Grocery stores have become a gluttonous free-for-all with the masses planning for Armageddon. Friends and neighbors are communicating with fervor on Facebook about where they can find bottled water and Nextdoor is a resource for finding a generator to keep the lights on and the food fresh. Taking preventative measures is a beautiful thing. And, it got me thinking…
What if we took care of our relationships – our marriages – as if a storm is coming? What if at the first change in barometric pressure in our relationship we stopped what we were doing and took notice? What if we watched the weather with our significant other, paid attention to the signs and then actually did something about it? Continue reading
When my evening flight to visit my son was derailed, I knew there was only one thing that could ease the mortal wound Southwest had inflicted – a trip to TJ Maxx. Birthday gift cards were eating a hole in my wallet, clamoring for clothes that might show my waist a little grace. My closet mocked me each morning with outfits that were “so close” to fitting – but, “so close” doesn’t work when you can’t zip your pants and society demands you wear pants in public.
While I was scouring the racks for the next size up I began an internal dialogue, berating myself for everything I’d eaten and drank since last Christmas. I did the math on the gym membership that was rarely used since March. The thoughts came on as quickly and persistently as the extra holiday pounds had.
While I was in the dressing room with my allotted ten items, I heard a woman in the room across from me speaking harshly, in hushed tones to someone.
“This is never going to fit you. Just look at your stomach.”
“You are so ugly. Why are you so ugly?”
“I hate you for making me come here.” Continue reading
A co-worker came into my office last week and asked what was up with my blog. Why wasn’t I writing? Talk about being caught with your fingers down. I took a deep breath and told him that I’d lost my voice over the summer. That I’d looked everywhere, but couldn’t find the words, the write path.
It was the perfect storm. Work had been overwhelming (always the easy out.) I moved into a new house and the boxes became my flimsy, cardboard reason swallowing the impulse to blog. Recovering from surgery, I became anesthetized with every excuse in the book I wasn’t writing. My computer was the dejected spouse that I repeatedly cheated on with friends, family, yard work and anything I could get my grubby hands on to stay away from keys that wouldn’t unlock the words. I let weeks and months slip away while my right brain languished. I gave zero fucks.
It took me a while to figure out why I wasn’t writing when the lightning had struck and the damage had been done.
The announcement of an engagement is typically made with joy and verve. We don’t think about how to break the news or what people’s reactions will be. We shout about our nuptials from the rooftop and flash our shiny rings.
Announcing a divorce is a different beast. In the days that led up to my ex-husband and I telling people that our marriage was over, I spent a lot of time twisting my wedding ring in circles around on my finger. It became a habit, my subconscious “tell” of the turmoil going on in my life. Like a genie in a bottle, my anxiety hoped that if I rubbed the ring hard and long enough that my wish to be on the other side of all of this would come true.
I had my third child, seven weeks early. There was no denying that three increasingly difficult pregnancies and pre-term labors meant that my birthing days were done. But, I always thought that someday I would adopt a child with special needs – an exceptional child that someone gave up on; a sweet soul who needed extra attention; a child deserving of extra love and support to make up for what was left out at birth or may have been lost along the way. What I didn’t realize was that, just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I didn’t need to look any further for my heart’s desire than my own backyard.
When my ex-husband and I were divorcing four years ago, my daughter’s only question was if her dad and I would both be at the hospital when she had a baby someday. She needed to know that in the midst of so much loss that the picture she had in her head of what that day would be like would never be taken from her. At the time, we assured her that we’d be anywhere she wanted us to be. That we were still family, that we would always be her parents.
The call came at 1:30 a.m. The phone didn’t have a chance to finish its first ring. I screamed, “She’s in labor, isn’t she?!” My son-in-law said, “She’s asking for you.” With a shaking hand, I put my keys in the ignition for the longest 4-hour drive of my life.
When my daughter, Kayla, was five years old she was obsessed with Barbies. (Are Barbies even a thing anymore?) Pregnant with my first grand-daughter, I find myself thinking back to when she was a little girl.
“Mom, play Barbies with me. You can be anybody that you want to be.”
Like hell, I thought.
I met my ex-husband’s girlfriend for the first time a few weeks ago at my daughter’s baby shower – a shower that I hosted for 42 of my friends and family. Dinner and a show. No pressure.
In the weeks leading up to the shower, I might have overthought the situation. It’s in the ex-wife job description. Knowing this episode of “When Worlds Collide” was getting ready to go into production, my head and heart began to play ping-pong. I didn’t feel thin enough, blonde enough, funny enough or anything enough to play a leading role. Who was she? And what would she think of me?