Monday, January 21, 2013
Like I said previously, it's been awhile since I visited my blog. I'm guessing that if you used to follow my blog posts with any kind of regularity you still kept up with our comings and goings on Facebook in between games of Candy Crush or making a new Pinterest board. To be completely honest, I'm not sure what happened. In the time since I last blogged my family has been dealt some blows. We've weathered some losses -- some figuratively, and some literally. Our extended families have been working through some grief. And honestly, I simply didn't have the words. I wasn't hiding. I wasn't depressed. I was just literally without the adequate vocabulary to make sense of some of the things that I was feeling in the midst of what is otherwise a relatively routine, busy, and wonderfully exhausting life.
I guess I just didn't know what to say. Or how to say it. I'm not sure I even knew how to feel. In fact I still don't. And with each new blow to my heart or to my family, it got harder. Each time it became more difficult to get online and just jump back in. Because how do you choose the pain you share? How do you invite other people into one chapter of your life, when you didn't mention the pinnacle of the last chapter and make them understand the importance of what you are trying to say?
I'm babbling. It's a sure sign that I'm back to blogging.
But we have persevered. Suffice it to say that things in the W household are good. What we have gone through since I stopped blogging regularly has made us a stronger family, and every single day I realize how blessed I am. Every single day, I am reminded of a valuable lesson - that life is a never-ending series of chapters. It's funny how much of your life can be catalogued into a simple set of "befores" and "afters" when you really sit down and examine it.
You've got the big ones: The graduations. Weddings. Life before babies arrive. Life after babies arrive (not to mention the associated lack of sleep.) New jobs. Moving. New houses. Your life after the loss of someone important. Birthdays. Anniversaries. I could go on, but you get the idea.
Now break it down even more. Each family is full of sub-plots...stories inside of the story if you will. The day I lost my dad was one of the hardest "milestones" I have ever hit. But "life before cancer" differed greatly from "life after that one single crystal clear moment on a sunny day when my parents sat on my couch and my Dad told me he had cancer." And naturally, the way that chapter of my Mom's life would read is different than mine, just as mine is different from my brother and sister's. But they are all interwoven. They are all a part of our family's story.
The big milestones always tend to stick out in your mind a little more. When each of my babies was put into my arms, it was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced - and now each of them is a little growing series of chapters all their own - but those weren't without their own tangents of morning sickness, ultrasounds, and even miscarriages. The tiny slivers of clarity that carry more weight than whole months combined, like the first time I heard my B cry, after they told me she wasn't breathing on her own at birth. The look on Skippy's face just after our K came into the world and he got to be the one to tell me, "it's a girl!" And the almost-hilarious-but-if-you-laugh-I-swear-I'll-kill-you moment when after 22 hours of labor, I yelled out "I think my water just broke!" and we were introduced to our Chunk just minutes later.
And by itself, my marriage is it's own story of ups and downs. Luckily after eleven years I have come to think of it as a romantic comedy, but we've had our share of "life before angry words" and "life after oh-no-you-didn't-just-say-that" moments. Our share of "life before Amy tried to make meatloaf and emotionally scarred the family" Not to mention the thousands of details: financial decisions, grocery lists, car pools, dinners out, and nights of watching movies together that we have seen a million times before.
Still more chapters include fender benders and lost wallets and plumbing emergencies and a baby's first belly laugh. Those moments when you realize that someone isn't the person you thought they were. Or that someone is exactly the person you need them to be. Others cover vacations and airplane rides and visits with loved ones. Your first child's first day of kindergarten....and then your baby's first day of kindergarten. Life before Oregon. Life after Illinois.
That's what I've learned on my break from my blog. That my life is one big beautiful insane mess of ups and downs, of firsts and lasts, and of stories that begin with, "do you remember when?"
Hopefully I will be able to continue to share our story here as the next chapters unfold.