Kentucky Mom to Twins and More

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

My emotionless curse

Has anyone ever wondered if they were meant to be an emotionless human being? Like maybe showing feelings and expressing emotions just aren't your thing? That was me. Growing up and well into adulthood, I shoved feelings and hurt aside. I tried not to let things bother me or I'd act aloof or stoic about any hurt or sadness I was confronted with. I hated feeling weak. I hated looking 'sad' or seeming pathetic to others or to myself. I don't remember crying in front of anyone as an adolescent. I know I'm still the same today I try not to cry in front of friends or familyand if I do, it's a rarity. I have been described quite often as lacking feeling or at least just doing a hell of a job at hiding it. 

It's my curse.

Even now, a year and a couple months after my husband died, the tears of anger and sadness I've shed behind closed doors have all been for HIM, not me. I was mad he didn't get a fair chance against cancer. That he didn't get to see his baby graduate kindergarten. That he won't get to walk his daughters down the aisle. That he can't watch his son become a man. The anger I hold because he didn't get more than 41 years is worthy of every tear I shed for him.

But there are times that emotion shit comes at you out of nowhere and makes you 'feel.'

Inside the library the other day, I saw a young woman with a little boy probably about 2, and on her other arm she grasped a car seat holding a new baby girl. She looked exasperated as she tried to get the toddler to obey and follow her out but instead he stood defiantly blocking the checkout counter. I know her arm probably felt like it was going to fall off. I know she didn't want to raise her voice in front of these strangers waiting in line. I know she probably couldn't wait til bedtime when she could have her arms, legs and mind to herself in peace. 

I was behind her as she walked to her car and could envision her possible frustration of getting that toddler buckled in only after fumbling with the pumpkin seat with his baby sister in it first. I can guarantee she was getting ready to bust out some snacks or reach for that sippy cup probably stuck under the passenger seat. She was probably hoping the paci in the baby's mouth would hold off cries until she got home. For that brief second I was her. I remember being her. I could close my eyes and find myself standing there, just 10 years ago right here in her placealbeit with one additional baby girl car seat in my arms. 

I hurried to my car and slammed the door shut and I started to sob. There was no floodgate that could have halted the sea of sadness I felt sitting there gripping the steering wheel. I couldn't have held these tears back they were for me. I was sad that I wasn't her anymore. I wasn't that young mother who rocked her babies to sleep at night. I wasn't the woman who had a healthy husband to snuggle with in bed. I can't go back and be that me who thought she had it rough with a toddler and two newborns in her arms. I wished I could go back to being blissfully unaware that things could ever really go horribly wrong. 

I'm not trying to be sad here or get sympathy if anything y'all should laugh because as I was pulling out of the library parking lot still staring at and crying at this stranger's life, I nearly ran over an elderly lady walking to her car. Seriously, I slammed on the brakes an inch from running her down. And if you think old ladies cannot give a proper death glareI would direct you to my local library. But I was wrapped up in 'feeling.'

And those tears felt ok. It felt good to 'feel.' While it was out of sadness, it was a relief to connect with some of the hurt I've been holding onto for a long time now. I want to remember it because it means I remember what I had. What I had was good. 

It wasn't a curse today to feel that emotion. It felt more like a blessing.

This post was first published Feb. 19, 2019, here at Living the Second Act. 
This post was also published Feb. 20, 2019, here at The Widow Wears Pink. 
I remember her

Monday, February 11, 2019

A wax job, the gym and an old love story rolled into one

I got waxed today. Yes, if you are wondering details about that one let me just say, yep it's exactly what you think. Ouch. Ouch as in remember that movie where Steve Carell's character gets waxed and he yells those Kelly Clarkson obscenities? Totally accurate.

This is apparently what the single people do these days. Even single, widowed people like me. From what I understand, this is one of the many normal, routine things people do when they are 'out there.' I haven't been out there since 1998 and back then I was armed only with a cheap, pink razor, slim hips and dreamy, pre-breastfeeding boobsand it all worked like a damn charm.

But time has changed things a bit. It's a little sexier out there this time around. They do selfies and sexting and sit at certain bars to go home with people after catching a 'vibe.' They join Tinder and Bumble and other dating sites that sound Disney-like yet are so dirty you have to shower after just opening your web browser. They flirt at the gym, too. And I'm a complete moron at the gym and only know how to use a treadmill, so I got no game there. The other day someone approached me at the drinking fountain near the ab machines and started talking to me. You would have thought I was trying to do my best Elmer Fudd impersonation, because I seriously didn't know what to say let alone how to make coherent words come out of my mouth. Yep –he gone!

My twins were watching me page through a dress catalog tonight. They were pointing at and picking out all these beautiful, fancy dresses for me. I told them how mommy would be a little overdressed for cafeteria duty or my work at the preschool in any of these outfits. I just don't have anywhere to wear them, I said.

"What if you went on a date," my daughter asked. "With that guy?"

I haven't told the children I have already been on a few dates. The counselor we see told me months ago to ease them into news like this and obviously proceed with caution when I do decide to introduce them to anyone. They only know the name of someone who had been texting me lately but I never made a big deal of it around them because when and if it became nothing I wouldn't hurt or confuse them. I said he and I were probably just friends now. Mommy is not everyone's cup of tea, I say out loud, if only to realize that truth myself.

Then there's the Internet. Weeding through Internet dudes interested in a widow with four kids is not pretty y'all. Neither are they, though. Some are creepy. Some are probably married. Some only want a quick hookup and nothing more. I found myself conversing with a guy the other night whofrom his tiny online photoseemed to be quite perfect. Good looking, great job, loves The Office (that's a deal breaker y'all) and not married. We talked a while. Then I realized he was from Canada which is not close to Kentucky. Annnnnnnd that was the end of that. 

It's too hard though. It's exhausting and sometimes it's heartbreaking too. Because when you do start going out and liking someone enough to want to make out with them (Lord, do I miss a good makeout session) things usually just crash and burn or go sour. It's something I take personally that leaves me wondering about all the things I know are wrong with me. It puts me in a funk and I hate it. I hate being out here some days, sweating on a treadmill or ripping (literally) every hair from my 43-year-old body for the sake of getting a date.

I'm in the second year of widowhood now. This is it. This is normal life now. The second year is when it really starts setting in that your person isn't here and never will be again. 

I had a persona date for everything. A valentine card every year. I had a person who loved me and didn't want to leave me. (Ok, well maybe he may have wanted to leave me a couple times during 15 years, but I know he truly loved me). He loved me even when I had no makeup on. Even when I had an extra 10 pounds in these yoga pants. He loved me when I told him how much debt I racked up in college. He loved me enough to pay it off, too. He loved me despite the most horrific deal I made with a car salesman back in 1999. He loved me when I told off an asshole boss in 2001 and quit my job when I didn't have a backup plan. He even loved me when I peed during every contraction during the last hour of labor with our firstborn. In fact, he told me he loved me more then. He loved me despite my foul mouth. He loved me despite my bad Italian temper. He loved me despite all the inappropriate things I said and did.

Even when I never found time to shave (or have a beautifully manicured hoo-ha courtesy of some Kelly-Clarkson-inspired f-bombs) he still loved me. 

And I just don't know if that kind of love happens twice in a lifetime.

This post was also published Feb. 17, 2019, here at Filter Free Parents.