Jeff said yesterday he feels like we've been given a "reset". We talked about the ways that we have to piece things back together, but also the ways that we have come out way more equipped for the future. We are definitely a stronger little family now, and I have to remind myself of that in the coming days when I feel worn down. It's also become clear to us that all the qualities we had before that brought us to where we are- well, those things didn't leave with them.

Miss Maya. She seems less flustered than normal with less activity in the house. She's almost 8 now, can you believe it?

At a certain point it occurred to me that I simply can't try to make sense of this. The past couple of years existed, we grew, and then things changed very quickly. It felt shocking and scary and it changed the way that I feel about my life and my path. It also changed the way I feel about them, which I think I feel most sad about. But where I am is an honest place, and it's impossible to move back. I don't regret anything. I spent time last week writing them a long email about all the ways I was grateful to them. It was real and true and clarifying and, while it didn't dispel the very real hurt that we've all been feeling, it felt like the proper way to end this thing. It was the last meaningful contact I've had with them.

Diorama that Vera made with me last week. She takes it everywhere she goes now.

Throughout the day I'm tempted to compare and contrast- to think "Oh, well this is definitely better now…" or "Man, this is so much more complicated now that they've gone…" However, I've done enough processing already to know that those thoughts are just me trying to make sense of and to own a situation that I simply have no control over. I am where I am, I feel how I feel. I want to exist in the present, just one foot in front of the other.

The one thing that makes that mission difficult for me is my kids. They have indeed felt the stress of this situation and are feeling and behaving in a way that is foreign to me and makes my heart ache. Especially Vera. Ugh. Watching your kids be in pain is a special kind of torment. But I got sound advice from a friend reminding me of what I already know- my kids are strong and are entitled to their own pain and growth. I am still here, still strong and consistent for them, and this will pass. When I hear my daughter talk about how worried she is about everything I feel like shaking my fists at the sky. Alas, this will not be the last time I watch my kids experience something I cannot save them from. My sweet partner, too. He got out of bed in the wee hours this morning because his mind wouldn't stop circling the details and making his head spin. My family. My heart just feels too small to hold them sometimes. And yet, I know that can't be true. It always seems to expand when it needs to.

Asa, sweet kid though he is, in full-on whine like he's been for the past week. Sigh.

I've had a lot of good days, although I still haven't gone one day without that big weight hitting me square in the chest. Dang heartbreak isn't done with me yet. But. I've been seeing a lot of great people every day. I've been more creative than usual. I've been singing duets with Jeff in the living room late at night. I've had dance parties with Asa that left us both breathless and laughing. I broke out the guitar the other day and played a song I wrote when I was 17, and man did it hold good and new meaning for me. Vera and I have been connecting and crafting together. My freedom to express myself has come back a bit through this experience. I've always been a person who has been kind of sponge-like with other people. I'm very receptive to other people's energy and end up adapting in one way or another to whatever forces are around me. I don't think this is a bad thing, just a quality of mine, and something for me to think about in the future. I feel like I may have gotten a little lost in the fray. With just a small amount of space I'm feeling some regenerative forces at work in me.

What's strange is that I know this was the right thing for them to do- to leave. I don't like the way it went down, but the fact that it did means that it needed to. I feel some peace about that now that I didn't at first.

I read this the other day, and I simply love it:

There is a river flowing now very fast.  It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.  They will try to hold on to the shore.   They will feel they are torn apart and will suffer greatly.

   Know the river has its destination.  The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above water.   And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate.  At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, Least of all ourselves.  For the moment that we do,  our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.

   The time for the lone wolf is over.  Gather yourselves!  Banish the word struggle from you attitude and your vocabulary.  All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

   We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. -Hopi elders, Arizona


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