If anyone had told me a year ago that I’d have just about everything I ever wanted by the next year, I never would have believed them.
In fact I probably would have mocked them…. right here.
My life had become something I was trapped by. My choices had cost me nearly everything I cared most about… and it was all iced with a nightmare trip to Puerto Rico in the height of my delusion.
Thomas Murray may be the devil incarnate… but he taught me some HUGE life lessons I’ll never forget, and set me on a different path.
Standing on a pier a million miles away from home with a sinking suspicion that I’d really gotten myself in hot water… hot water so deep I was holding my breath to keep from drowning. I stood alone in my choices and took stock of what my life had become.
Unrecognizable. A nightmare beyond anything I ever thought it might resemble along the way.
A self esteem so low I’d knowingly settled for less than I deserved because I was desperate to avoid the curse of endless solitude. A list of losers plaguing me that had done nothing but cheat, lie and shit all over what was left of me. Not a single good intention in sight.
My first born, lost. All the years of dedication don’t matter for shit if you stop dedicating yourself. Some children are fickle and jump ship when they see it burning. It was my job to keep it afloat and I can’t blame him for not loving me enough to know how much I wanted more than what we had. I hope someday he’s able to remember who I am and until then I love him from afar.
A job that made me sick, literally. Riddled with ulcers and constantly sick, driving to work with nothing but dread in the pit of my stomach… only to sustain myself with shitty fried food and regular post-shift drinking, just to cope. Earning a miserable $3.35 an hour while working the lousy shifts because I refused to kiss the ass of a manager so horrible they should print her picture in text books. Working full time for nothing and no one.
Standing in Puerto Rico, laughing at myself- finally. I woke up. I looked at the old man creeper standing next to me and knew something wasn’t right. I resolved to get my shit together and figure it out. I learned to swim instead of quietly drowning beside the married philanderer busying himself trying to blow smoke up my ass while I narrowed my eyes in shock as I saw the forest for the trees.
I flew home and scotch taped myself back together until the wounds healed. I made changes. I still stumbled, but I was determined to be happy- and to change the things making me miserable.
I reclaimed my self respect and burned Thomas Murray’s house of cards down. I told the truth. I screamed the truth. I tagged him and shared my experience with the many women waiting for his next call, some of whom had been waiting for a decade. I laid a motherfucker bare and made cheating on his wife quite a bit harder. He still stalks my blog. I’ve never heard from him since the shit started to hit the fan and the women came out of the woodwork.
I started to sleep again… sometimes all night long. I quit drinking to mask the pain. I started running again.
I got fired. I deserved to. I called that nightmare manager a Cunt and lost my unemployment along with the worst job I’ve ever had. I acted irresponsibly, for sure- but I also only voiced what everyone else says under their breath. I’m actually proud of myself for having the balls to call a spade a spade. They all say it, I just took responsibility for it. I don’t regret it. I got banned for life and they hired my child. All’s well that ends well, right? I got a new job. I applied for a few, but the one I really really wanted… I got. I fell into a honeymoon of a serving job working with adults that acted like it. I made new friends and lost some too. I learned that some friendships are conditional and if they’re lost so easily- they never really were there to begin with. I bloomed. Some of my favorite customers found me at my new grown-up job, and I started with a raise from day 1. I made more money. I made new favorite customers. I learned to make a mean martini and flourished in an environment that champions my role as a mother as much as my value to them as an employee. For the first time in three years… I was able to call in sick. I love my job so much it will be really hard to give it up.
I went on a date with someone nice. I was so disenchanted at that point I tried my best to get out of it, and went under protest- to be completely honest. I didn’t go to any great lengths… ran a brush through my hair and put some lip gloss on. No makeup. No sexy clothes. Just my favorite jeans and a t-shirt and my bone-deep distrust of anyone with a penis, comforted only by the fact he was a dear friend’s brother. I met my Superman. I sat and ate dinner with a man determined to look me in the face and listen to what I said. I watched him and realized that I had been completely correct when I’d told my friends I couldn’t choose for myself. I fell in love with good intentions, kind gestures and integrity so pure I’ve never met anyone who even remotely comes close to being as good as he is. I honestly wonder if anyone else has ever come close. He loves me and my daughter as his own. He spoils the hell out of her, for all the right reasons. He has the family I always dreamed of having, and a mother who is just like I want to be. He is the man I waited for.
I grew a beautiful garden. I canned more than I’ve ever canned before. My pantry became legendary and I healed my own broken heart while feeding my family. I remembered the things that make me healthy and threw out the things that didn’t. I learned to thrive again.
I quit drinking. I quit medicating the pain I was working overtime to avoid. I’ve dealt with serious depression in facing the loss of my son and all the pain it brings. It’s not easy to wake up every day missing half your heart, but I’d rather talk about it, and give a voice to my pain instead of nurturing a vice. I’d rather spend that time I’d wasted doing what I love so much. I read stories with my daughter. I let her sleep in my bed. We cook dinner together and have been sewing too. I treasure each moment with her because I realize the aching loss of their absence. I pray. I spend more time trying to be a good friend and working to return calls, remember birthdays and be present in the moment.
And then… I got pregnant. Superman and I had laughed over lunch one day and he’d gotten suddenly serious.
S- I really want a child of my own. I understand if you don’t, but it means a lot to me.
J- I’d always dreamed of just one more…. but I’m 36 and do not want to be 37 and pregnant. Yikes. I have one in high school and one in middle school.
S- Well then let’s just leave it up to fate.
Out came my IUD… and two weeks later? lol… yep. Pregnant. This very much meant-to-be baby flew right in… and of all the irony… I’m due on my 37th birthday. I’ve never seen a due date, so chances are very good that I will not, in fact, ever be 37 & pregnant.
In the last week, I’ve woken up to tiny taps and bumps from my round stomach. It’s been so long since I felt a baby kick, my first response was tears. I’m so grateful. I’m so humbled. I have a million memories from my son and daughter that make me smile when I think of all the times that went by too fast- and I feel so fortunate to get to experience it all again… and with someone I love so dearly.
Once upon a time, or perhaps a hundred times… I said a silent prayer.
J- I just want one more beautiful child. One more chance to be what I love more than anything- a mother. A blessing of a baby with a man I truly love.
I’ve seen so many prayers go unanswered- or worse- nightmares realized. I’d given up on the hopes it could all be better.
Then I found my faith, found myself and found that when I put my mind to it- even my wildest dreams can come true.
Here’s proof. Our little Parker. A baby sister for my darling Little Red & the son I love so much. A baby made out of true love and endless faith. The tangible equivalent of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Dreams. Have them, foster them and if all else fails- chase them…
Because fairytales do come true.