So, as usual: I suck.
It's been two weeks since I blogged and literally thousands of you have come back every day.
Oh the guilt.
So much guilt.
However, as is par for the course - lots of things have been happening - some good... some not so good. lol
In the mean time, some really bad things have happened to some of my friends.
Completely... to the ground.
They weren't home. They were away for the holidays. All of them. Safe and sound in another location... initially unaware of the tragedy that awaited them.
The tragedy that would engulf them in grief and take with it all the *things* they loved.....
I know a thing or two about that.
I'm not sure, in the grand scheme of things, that is matters whether or not your tragedy is the vacuous snatch of a 22 year old co-ed or a fire accidentally started by a worker which came down from the roof incinerating everything in it's path.
And even though my friend wasn't there... didn't bear witness to the smoke and the flames... the pain is just as real, just as awful. His home was gorgeous... the kind of home you might have seen in the days prior to MTV Cribs when it was all "Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous" and you could hear Robin Leach saying, "just off the designer kitchen, around the large leather couches.... we escape to the infinity pool where the view is almost as amazing as the heated water that surrounds you......"
It was elegant and beautiful. It housed all their memories and photos and tickets stubs to first dates and baby books.... and everything.
All of it: gone.
It's a tragedy even I have a hard time trying to grasp the entire gravity of.
It got me thinking about my house... it wasn't grand. It certainly wasn't regal and I only possessed a $100 water slide that El Capitan never cleaned and put away... so we ended up throwing it out.
It wasn't fancy.... it was simple... but it was mine. And I miss it.
Mostly... I miss The Girl's room. It was the most perfect shade of pink. I had filled it with all the things I thought a little girl would want.
A magic mirror.... so she could see how beautiful she was.
A vintage metal kitchen... where we dined on plastic grapes and avocado's for hours.
Her bed.... a hand-me-down from a friend because I couldn't afford to buy a new one.
Her quilt.... all my friends had trendy Potty Barn sets for their cribs and toddlers beds and whatnot.... but that was just so far out of my price range.... so instead, I spent a few weeks going from Goodwill to Goodwill collecting up fabric and then I instructed The Bubbie to make a butterfly quilt with the fabric... it was gorgeous. It was retro and fit her room perfectly.
That room is gone.
Painted over by the new owners... they did a lovely job... but that room is gone.
The kitchen, the quilt, the mirror... all wrapped up in storage.
The bed.... gone to another friend who needed it because it was just going to sit in storage.
That's the thing about a home: it's more than a foundation with walls.
It's every piece of you and every piece of your life that tells a story about who you are and where you've been and what you love.... it's your personality and your joy and .... your everything.
Losing everything.... it's hard.
Harder than I could have ever imagined.
Lucky me... *some* of my pieces are in storage... though that stash get's smaller every year as I can afford the storage unit less and less..... but. I still have some and some is better than none.
My friend: has none.
That's just heart breaking.
I actually haven't looked at these photos in well over a year.... it's just too hard. They take me right back to that place where I'm treading water, frantically trying to keep my head just above the incoming emotional tide.
That's what it still feels like.... emotionally frantic.
That picture of The Boy playing in his little spot in the front window..... that one pulls me under fast.... because I can't tell you how many days and hours I just *assumed* that I would always see that... him playing there... watching TV there... reading there....
But that's not there anymore either.
The last few years have been spent living inside the kindness of others.... family who let us move in, and then with Hail Mary... but even then, I didn't have a say in the things. I didn't change the curtains, I didn't get to make the house "my home" with my things.... we've been living in others people's spaces.... and that's actually very hard to do.
So I try not to think about what I've lost.... but instead, I always try to think about what will be.
I will never, as long as I live, own a home where the likes of Robin Leach would walk through talking about a grand staircase or the barn just outside housing my horses.... fuck: I'd be grateful just to be living in the actual barn at this point. lolol.
However.... one day, I will be done with school and we will get our own place.
I think about how I will paint the walls. It will probably be a small apartment, or *may be* a town home if I'm super lucky.... three bedrooms will probably be a stretch.
So, it will be two bedrooms, one for The Boy, which will have an appropriate Spirit Halloween theme. I will let him get out all of his animatronics from storage. Freddie Kruger, Electrocution Guy, Insane Clown, Frankenstein... all of them..... out so he can enjoy them all year long.
The Girl will have (may be) her vintage kitchen if it's not too late and she's outgrown it..... a new bed and her quilt (unless she insists on a Frozen theme... which is likely... sigh.) I will hang shelves to house all her dolls and put up her doll house.... BUT, it will be pink: I saved the paint chip.
I will likely be living in the main room.... which is why I bought myself a $140 day-bed frame from Wal-Mart for Christmas (The Bubbie and Papa helped). I have been hauling/storing a double bed mattress that El Capitan and I inherited from his Grandmother when she passed away.....
At 39 years old: I have never bought myself a bed. I never seem to have a few thousand dollars on hand for a fancy, comfy mattress and whatever..... I'm all Seely and Simmons circa' 1980's style.
So this bed frame was kind of a big deal for me.... and I bought something that would lend itself to be a "couch" of sorts later down the road... so that when we have our own place, the kids and I can use it as a couch for watching movies and stuff.....because my room will likely be the living room. lol
It won't be perfect, it won't be a lovely two story home that most of the people at my age with kids are living in... it will be small and cramped and yet.... I can't wait.
I really, really look forward to it.
That idea.... of what I *will* create out of what we have collectively lost... that is what keeps me going.
When it's after midnight and I'm still struggling to nail down the judicial opinion of a case brief and I have to be up in 6 hours.... I just keep going. Every time I have to tell The Girl, "No, Mommy can't come play dolls... she has a Table of Washington State RCW's to build for Criminal Law..." all of which sails right over The Girl's head and all she hears .... is Mommy saying no.
It sucks..... but I have to hold onto hope that it will be worth it.
I wasn't going to BE THAT PARENT. Too busy for playing dolls.
Too busy for my kids.... but alas. The greatest loss that my 'inferno' took from me... was my ability to truly be the mother I wanted to be.... stay-at-home, homeschooling... MOM.
And that's all I really want my friend to know.
While the things are gone... and fuck me do I EVER understand how great and horrific and painful that loss is.... and how you will NEVER EVER truly get over it.
It's too great.... it's emotional cost is just too gigantic for you to ever full move past......
You're still you. You have the resources to build anew.... and what a joy that will be.
You will sit down and create a whole new place... this time with the knowledge of all the "this would nice" and "that would be cool to have".... alllllll added to the new house.
You will paint walls and create new memories and new bedrooms.... build another grand staircase and by this time next year.... the heartache of this loss will have been pushed out... pushed to the side - by the memories of a summer spent splashing around in a new pool with your kids.....
Because that's what life does..... it's crashes and burns.
It's like a computer.... you have all these things and files and memories.... and then the bad shit comes down and overwhelms you... you can over it or around it or through it..... your only choice is to move through it one awful heartbreaking fucking day at a time.
And.... the amazing thing is that while you're going that... inching along over the broken glass of your own emotions and pain.... life is still writing your new memories for you. Etching them alongside the hurt and the loss and the anger..... and over time, as each day passes.... you suddenly find yourself with a heart still full of love, a family still full of life, a life full of hope.... and all of that will have become greater in size than the pain you currently feel. It will subside to the hope and the newness and the life you are living.... *now*.
I know it's hard to get there.... and there won't be a day you aren't thinking about your Girl's "perfectly pink room.... gone".... but - you'll be so busy living life it just won't hurt as much.
So... I wish you hope my friend.... it's going to be the bridge over the broken glass and the strength of the walls you now build around your family.
Those walls are going to be the brick and mortar kind... strong and holding up a room.
Those 'walls' are also something you already have.... in the arms that comfort your wife and toss your children in the air with glee.....the 'walls' that encircle your family and love them and keep them truly safe.... the inferno, the tragedy.... it didn't take those.
How do I know?.... 'cause I have the same 'walls'..... :)
Trust me.... you are made of greater things than I am.... and I'm still here.
Still happy (ish).
Kids still very happy.... life... still full of hope. heart still full of love....