Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Divorce, sparkly souls and life.



Crazy how it works huh?  

Heard a song "some days are diamonds some days are stone..."

Couldn't have said it better myself. 

I've had 5 new cars in 7 years. 

I've lived in 7 places in 10 years. 

I've had 2 husbands in 10 years. 

I've had a part in raising and loving and/or giving birth to 6 kids in 10 years. 

Answering basic questions should be easy, what's your last name?  "Neu,  No?  Umm, Billington?  Harris?   Address, Lanier?  No?  Um, Capital Dome?" 

The only thing I have left out of that is a new car and MEEE!  

I don't let a lot of weeds grow beneath my feet, not because I've had a choice in most of this but because it's the hands I've been dealt. And I'm playing them. 

Life hasn't made much sense in the past few years. I've been up, I've been down. I've been full of joy, I've been full of sorrow. Sometimes in the same day, sometimes in the same hour. If that's not confusing, I don't know what is. 

The past few months I've had a change in perspective. I've changed my prayers from what I want, to thanking God, out loud, for the things I have. There's something very real about driving down the road, praying out loud, tears streaming down your face, thanking God for a life you have when it doesn't make sense. 

I've been on the receiving end of so much kindness and support, I'm overwhelmed. I try not to let the well meaning people's sentiments hurt but sometimes they do.  Because as much as people try to understand, truth is, most people can't. And that's a lonely enough place to be, in and of itself, without their advise that sometimes makes you want to punch a wall. 

My life, over the past few months, has been crazy. In just a really good way, completely nuts, but still just crazy. 

I've made some really hard decisions that broke my heart, but also, set me free.

If that's not heavy, I don't know what is. 

I let my embryos go. I sold my wedding ring, I traded in the car I had that shouldn't mean anything but did because, that too, was something that held a lot of memories. 

I've picked myself up, every single day, and made a conscience decision to live. 

That day.  Day by day.  

Mother's Day nearly killed me. I expected to breeze thru it but I didn't. I cried for 3 days straight. 

But I made it through. 

Seems silly to say but what hasn't killed me, truly has made me stronger. 

Hear this though, I didn't just decide to "start living again."  I didn't just wake up one day ok. 

I made a decision, each time I felt like I was suffocating, to keep breathing. That each time I felt like I was drowning, to keep swimming. When I was crushed by the weight of everything I've lost, to truly let myself rest in the knowledge that if God was asking me to release what I've known and loved, it was because He has greater for me. 

That's not lip service. I believe it. 

With tears running down my face, I believe it. 

I'm strong. Stronger than I ever imagined I'd have to be but a funny thing happens when you lose your heart. 

It grows again.

If you let it. 

I've made the decision that I'm not ok with how things are. I won't accept that things can't be better because, if that were true, I'd never be in the position I'm in where I have more than I ever expected. 

It's not what I wanted. It's not what I prayed for and it's not what I expected my life to be, it's a different kind of ok. 

That's the funny thing about life. 

We don't script it. We simply love it. 

I've dumbed myself down to try to fit. I've minimized the work I've done, every single day, in an effort to mend things. 

That's not fair to me or the journey I've been on. 

You can either get thru life feeling, being present and growing from the pruning or you can die on the vine because you're not willing to hurt. 

I've hurt. 

More than I ever imagined one person could. 

But I made it through. 

I didn't just decide today to start enjoying life. I didn't just wake up one day and feel better. It's a process, it's a long and heavy road of confusion and chaos, and because I hurt, because I felt, because I went through the pain, I'm able to look forward to the beauty that is in front of me. 

I've never lost myself. I've lost a lot. I've lost an entire family, my world shifted and changed and I sometimes I don't know my address, my name or where I'm going next but I'm confident in this. 

Life is hard. 

But my will to have what I want and deserve and have worked so hard to have is stronger than any pain I've faced. 

I didn't get here alone. I got here with an army of beautiful people, a God whose grace is more abundant than anything I've ever known and a desire to make every single blessing more beautiful because of the pain I've allowed myself to feel. 

Life is hard. 

Let me say this, if someone shares with you a piece of their heart, even if it doesn't mean much to you, it took courage for them they probably don't feel too confident in. Acknowledge it. Be human enough to give them something back. Even if it's small. What may seem insignificant to you may go a long way in healing someone's brokeness. 

Seems silly not to do something as simple as a text, phone call, email back that literally takes seconds but could change someone's life. If you could do that, help someone's heart by being human enough to respond, wouldn't you? 

Won't you? 

What would be harder that the pain of loss, I think, is a life of regret, not lived out of fear. 

Had I not loved so greatly, the pain wouldn't be so deep. 

I'll never regret opening myself to the possibility of the pain that comes from having an open heart, because the love I've known has forever changed me and given me the courage, the strength and the fight to see how this story ends. 

I'm halfway through.  It's been a rollercoaster of crazy but it's not been boring. 

I can rest in knowing this, I don't know what tomorrow holds but I know I'm strong enough to make the decisions to get me where I want to go. 

High heels, sparkly soul and another last name.  

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Selfies with Mom

I've had this "life is what you make it"
and "don't wait for losing 20lbs, a man, a baby, to write a book until blah blah blah to do what you want to do" attitude lately. 

I've thought, seriously, about taking a few weeks and traveling somewhere. Alone. Napa, Nantucket, I've even had a wild hair to get my passport and go somewhere I've never been and do things I've never experienced, with just me because right now, well, it's just me. 

Then I do something alone and realize I hate being alone. 

My Mom wanted to go to the Columbia for Mother's Day so I met them in St Augustine. I circled the restaurant for 20 minutes until I could navigate, with google maps, how to find it.  In the midst of being lost, my mom calls and can hear the panic in my voice and asks where I am so I look to the left and say "beside Monkey Balls Cafe."  My mom being my mom asks the host, "my daughter is lost, she's beside Monkey Balls Cafe, can you give her directions?" 

In a sea of tourists, going down streets I was certain weren't meant for cars and passing up parking spaces because I can't parallel park to save my life, on the brink of hysteria. 

With people everywhere. Everywhere!  

I guess the historic old town doesn't believe in valet. 

After nearly bumper checking clueless people walking in the middle of the street not hearing my obviously invisible car about to run them over, a verbal altercation with a parking attendant, and 14 3-point turns to make it into a spot, I finally made it to the restaurant. 

Pissy and anxious but had a lovely dinner with my parents. 

Part of being an adult is knowing your limitations and a vacation 45 mins from home at a beach resort where you don't have to leave the property is probably the closest to exotic vacations I'll get until I'm coupled up or have a higher dose prescription of Xanax. 

So I do what any emotionally on the edge person does. 

I went to the boy's tree. 


My parents would have gone, they probably wanted me to ask them to go with me but as much as I hate being alone, somethings just feel like they need to be done in solitude. 

My boy's tree is in a beautiful place. It's quiet, peaceful, healing, really just beautiful and as much as I hate it, I love it even more. 

Their tree is growing like crazy. It's taller than me now. Amazing what 28 months can do for things. 

I know people were staring at me. This crazy blonde, kneeling beside a tree, trying to take a selfie with the only thing I can that physically represents the passage of time without my boys, a grieving mother trying to pose in front of a tree. 

I'm trying to wrangle the tree, snap a selfie, and looked up to see a family stopped in front of me. The dad and kids had kept walking but the mom wasn't even hiding that she was staring at me. I smiled, embarrassingly, then looked at her family and realized she had 2 boys, same age, same clothes, probably 3 year old twin boys, and I just laughed. 

Because when you are at the tree where your boys ashes are buried and you see a mother staring at you with twin boys, there's not much else you can do. 

I'll tell you something about life. And grief. And feelings in general. 

They don't make sense. 

Hardly ever. 

I saw the bear I got the boys at Christmas, still there, beat up and probably assaulted by more than a few squirrels, but it's been there everytime I go. And still plays music when you press it's foot. So I'm sitting there listening to jingle bells, over and over, coming from this bear that's been through the elements, in front of a tree that is growing, with just myself, who is healing. 

I go up to walk away, feeling pretty ok. Then the anxiety hit me. A full fledged anxiety attack there in the middle of this beautiful place. It always surprised me, each time I went to the boy's tree, that the bear was still there and I didn't realize how much I needed it to be there until I walked away from it and knew how much it would hurt if I came back and it was gone. 

So I went and got it and took it with me. 

Not logical, but I realize logic went out the window a long time ago and I'm finding healing however I need to, as crazy as it may be. 


Mother's Day is hard. For a lot of people. It's really special but it can also be really hard. And I'm trying to let the really special be louder than the really hard but sometimes just hurts worse than others. 

The past few days have hurt. 

I know my limitations and realize I probably won't be taking a solo trip to the south of France like I've thought about but I also never expected I'd be alone, after knowing such love and such loss, and still be able to smile. 

Sometimes you surprise yourself. 

I sat on a bench, overlooking the water and couldn't stop the tears from coming. This Mother's Day is different from last year, for 1000 different reasons and it hurts. 

As the alligator tears rolled from my face to my dress, I went to get my keys and hit the foot of the bear that has come to mean so much to me, jingle bells start playing again so I did what I needed to do. 

Sat there and cried. 


Until a lady walking her dog came up behind me, laid her hands on my shoulders and wished me a Happy Mother's Day.  

She was walking away by the time I turned around but the weight of her hand on my shoulder lifted a load I had been carrying. 

I'm not alone. Not today, not tomorrow. 

I carry two very special boys with me, everywhere I go. 

Happy Mother's Day- from my heart to yours!