Grief is really interesting, you know? I mean, I can really tell that I'm moving forward with my life and that Jeff and I and the kiddos are really strong and good. But sometimes I'm still just so sad about this whole break up between us and our partners. I end up feeling like I'm getting tossed back and forth in the space between bliss and outrage. Sometimes I'm downright angry about everything and the loss I feel. I just don't understand a lot of it, and that won't change, and I'm mad about it. I miss them terribly, and then I just don't because I strain to remember who they were to us and what it all meant to them. It feels "over" and that feels unfinished and unsettling. You know, it's just bizarre how quickly life can shift. And then, in other moments, I feel so at peace and happy. I feel a sense of contentment and wisdom about everything. I am accepting of change and of loss. I see purpose in the whole thing, even now in the transition. But then the rest of the time I'm somewhere in between. I'm often confused, just putting one foot in front of the other, adapting and waiting this part out. Waiting until I can stop feeling a pang of grief every time I see a picture or a mention of their names. It's still an open wound, I guess. I am doing everything I can to get it to heal properly, but I'm just not out of the woods yet.
Tropical fruit for the kids' stockings. Our new tradition, cuz Santa travels.
I think the holidays make people reflect on all this stuff more. I feel really blessed and very supported, in spite of everything. But still. I also am just generally feeling so grateful for my life and contemplative. I feel grateful in a way that I haven't felt, maybe ever. I debated whether or not to share this, but I think I just will. I found a lump in my breast at the beginning of October. I thought it to be nothing and waited it out for a while, but it didn't change. I am extremely low risk for the worst case scenario, due to my age and lifestyle and also the fact that I'm a mother and breastfed for more than 5 years straight. But I also developed a few other troubling symptoms, and I ended up needing to see a couple of specialists and get ultrasounds until it could be diagnosed. As of right now, everything is fine. It turns out it's a simple and normal thing and, while it did need to be seen and diagnosed, is nothing to worry about.
We took a family photo! We hadn't done that for a few years.
I have to say, the whole ordeal launched me into quite the existential dilemma. I had to think about the reality that something might actually be wrong. I had to think about my body failing me and potentially leaving this life that I love way sooner than I'd planned. And then I felt selfish for being anxious and wanting more, because there are so many that deal with tough diagnoses. I have family members that I so admire who struggle. What makes me an exception? I mean, I belong to death just as much as I do to life… at least physically. I don't want to launch into the morbid details of my thoughts, but I only need to put across the point that it was a difficult issue to think about, especially since I was just feeling really 100% better from the concussion craziness over the past year, and there was the whole break up with our partners and feeling like I didn't know who I could trust, and the fact that I have way more stuff to do. I'm 29 and I really love my life. I love my kids. I love my husband. I love my friends. I love it all and this was the first time in my incredibly privileged life that I had to really think about my own mortality and what that all means.
I drove away from the doctor's office a few days ago and a huge wave of relief flooded over me. I pulled a dark chocolate truffle from my bag- in preparation for good news or bad. As I savored the sweet treat and tears welled up in my eyes, I also had a distinct and serious grounding feeling- one that let me know that my gratitude was truly all I could cling to. None of us know how long we've got, and frankly it doesn't matter. I'm here today, my life is meaningful and the people I touch can hopefully feel my love and benefit from my work. That's all I can hope for, and it's all that's of value. I'll keep going as long as I'm able, and then I'll give myself back.
Now that the drama of the situation has passed I'm settling back into a less severe place. We just have to live our lives. Jeff and I had a good holiday, it was good to be with family and think about what's important to us. Our business is going well and we are getting a good rhythm going with consistently good results. Jeff starts his new job on Monday. We have been excited about fixing up the house to sell it, and even more excited planning the house that we'll build on our land. My work is going well and I'm planning for the new year. I'm staying strong in preparation for another year of using my body to grow food. I'm feeling well every day, and I have no more headaches (My gratitude for this I cannot adequately express. The terrible headaches that fogged my life for what felt like so long… and now my head is clear. So amazed. Anyway.) Vera is so wonderful, full of conscience and creativity and sweetness. I swell with love for her every day. Asa is precocious and adorable, and is just the right amount of mischievous to make you want to grab him up and squeeze him tight. Tonight I held him in his bed and stroked his hair until he fell asleep. I don't slow down like that enough.
These are happy days, even if I am a bit bewildered.