Hope.

One of my best friends moved to California. I was heartsick to see her go, but so excited for what her future held. She was crafty and made beautiful things and had an eye for style and color that you don’t see every day. I met her when I was working as a server, and her father was one of my most difficult customers.

This pretty apple, fell VERY far from the tree.

Her pops and I came to a sort of understanding over the years, but one sight of her lovely face and I knew that she would never allow the evening to be anything but magical….

because she’s a second sunshine in the universe, and everywhere she goes is a little lot brighter. Her second baby landed her on high risk bedrest, and with a preemie sweetpea, ultimately. I’m one of the lucky folks who can call her a close friend and got to catch up with her on the phone during her long stay on bedrest.

Anything she touches, thrives… and her sweet baby was no exception. Theirs was a charmed life full of love and hard work. It was too good to be jealous of. It was something to be celebrated because we all knew they worked so hard at it. They were living proof that happily ever after, exists.

I hated to see them move away, but it made sense to be close to so many more customers, and they were helping out family.

We snuck in late night phone calls over giggles, work and wine. It was SO  exciting to see her dreams come to life, even if it was from a distance.

My phone rang early one morning in August and I saw it was a missed call from her. Morning calls were not the norm and I called her back

Her voice was different. She was barely not sobbing.

H-He drowned. My baby is gone.

J- WHAT?

Time stands still when I think of that moment because it did then too. It’s taken months to write anything in regards to him or her or the millions of dreams that died with him that day. She was calling me from the ICU and the prognosis was dire. He would never be the Sweetpea again, IF he survived.

He did not survive. It’s taken me two more months to type that sentence. She holds a place in my heart that my sisters do, and I can’t fix this. This is one of those hurts that never heals. It grows from a hurt into a part of who you are. You can’t walk around bleeding forever and you have to celebrate the time they don’t get.

You have to move on and find joy, or you waste the life you’ve been given. I just never wanted anything like this to happen to anyone, least of all her.

Her divorce will be final soon. Her husband went off the deep end and she’s been carrying their son and this grief, in her own hands. Those same strong hands that carried her babies and made a million beautiful things, are rebuilding a beautiful new life for them.

I’m so proud to know her, call her my friend and have her heartbroken wisdom on the end of the phone when I need to hear her laugh again.

Some people walk through fire and get burned. Jessica is that fire. Please help her keep her flame burning bright this holiday season.

https://www.gofundme.com/support-the-sternbachs?member=585936

How are you, REALLY.

terrible

How in the world do I let myself get talked into this shit. Of all days, when I’m not feeling fantastic… along comes a big old opportunity to be honest. Which is kind of my favorite drug. So few people are honest anymore, that I relish being described as being painfully so.

I joined the #terriblewritingclub because I am completely in love with the podcast. 

The question for today is: HOW ARE YOU, REALLY?????

How am I?

It’s a funny thing to consider answering that, honestly. So I’m going to.

I’m writing a victim impact statement for my rapists release from prison. How’s your day going?

In the midst of smiling pretty and playing nice, I’ve been rehashing horror and reconciling some of my hang-ups in how they relate to being violated. I love rough sex. It only gets difficult to admit when people attribute it to my being raped.

It isn’t fair to steal my vices because he stole my innocence and I shouldn’t have to apologize for being healthy in spite of being handed every reason not to be. I shouldn’t have to feel guilt in any sexual moment because he stole those moments from me.

Every single syllable is being picked apart and I’m ready to throw in the towel and refuse to participate. I want to wear a Burka. I don’t want to see him and I don’t want him to ever get to see pain on my face, again. I haven’t seen him in over a decade and I don’t want him to be able to recognize me. Part of it is always the fear that he’ll come find me again.

Part of me will forever be carrying that poor, broken 15 year old girl.

I’m waking up to anxiety attacks and the temptation to sign up for shooting lessons. Re-reading the notice that he has family in the area and will be free to visit them. Shopping for Bullmastiffs and a gate for my driveway in the hopes of refusing to be afraid.

So I don’t know if I’m going to finish it or not, because I’ve spent enough years on one horrific week and it’s taking a toll on me.

I think if I had to describe how I am though? I’d say… healthy. I communicate well. I always choose kindness, first. I’m a blessing in the lives of the people I love, including my own. I’m definitely running low on faith these days. I don’t believe in anything much anymore, beyond what I’m personally capable of delivering.

Which is probably why I’m still plugging away at this godforsaken letter…

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