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Always Feels Like Yesterday

I’ve let so much time go by that I’m not entirely sure where to pick up with you. What do you not already know, Sisterhood?

The last six weeks have been a blur. Not the life-in-hyperdrive kind of blur. More the too-much-water-in-the-watercolor-can’t-tell-what-the-picture-is-anymore kind.

I’ve been going through a lot of mindless motioning, driving on auto-pilot. My days have centered around Mr. Goodbar, The Four-Why-Oh, The MotherSuch. And I’ve been avoiding any thoughtful examining or explaining or interacting. Or writing.

In excusing my absence here and from the column, I told a friend and an editor that I was out of words.

But I’m not.

I simply haven’t liked the words I do have.

I was hoping I’d find some other ones and could write those instead.

I haven’t.

I guess I need to write the ones I have.

Hope that when (if?) I look back later it makes some kind of sense.

Hope that when all the fractured parts are laid out, the melancholy messiness is transformed into some kind of mosaical beauty.

Or, you know, hope at least that getting them out gets me past them.

So. Here goes.

* * * * * * * * * *

Six weeks ago I turned thirty-five. We spent the morning of my birthday in court with the appraisal district (favorable verdict for us, the end). And (so as not to exhaust the court’s sense of humor after the whole inclusion of “trophy wife” as my occupation on the juror info card in April) I neither wore a tiara nor requested a judicial chorusing of ‘Happy Birthday.’ So all admissible evidence points to: I am maturing.

Thirty-five, though. I mostly don’t care, except for the part where that number earns me a new, unenviable category in fertility-treatment circles. Thirty-five is the dividing line for many treatments approaches. In some ways it serves as a dividing line between hopefulness and lesshopeness. Thirty-five. Eh. ‘Tis what ’tis.

* * * * * * * * * *

Five weeks ago, my father died.

* * * * * * * * * *

Four weeks ago, we gathered with a handful of the people who knew my father best, shared a few words about who he was to each of us, joined our voices together in singing “I’ll Fly Away” as we set a couple dozen balloons free, and in a simple and poignant setting we said our farewells.

* * * * * * * * * *

Three weeks ago, our three frozen embryos were thawed and we transferred the two that survived the thaw.

* * * * * * * * * *

Two weeks ago, after telling the few friends who knew about the transfer that I was sure it had failed, the first blood test said I was ever-so-slightly pregnant. Barely. Beta HCG of 13, barely. Three days later, bHCG of 28, barely.

* * * * * * * * * *

One week ago, no more barely. Another chemical pregnancy. Expected after the initial numbers, but not welcomed.

* * * * * * * * * *

This week.

This week.

This week.

The process of another miscarriage.

And Tuesday was one full month of life without seeing my dad, without hearing his voice.

And Sunday will be the first Father’s Day without him.

But sandwiched between those bookends were four mornings spent herding ten preschoolers through a sea of other preschoolers, through a maze of VBS activities. Four mornings spent watching The Four-Why-Oh learn and explore and interact…and pray…and grow.

It’s a big mixed-up, messy bag of sorrow and joy, denial and acceptance, restlessness and peace, tears and laughter, disappointment and thankfulness.

* * * * * * * * * *


Mr. Goodbar drives.

While I type.

While The Four-Why-Oh watches a movie in the backseat.

While her invisible children (Shellyton, Quasi, Chip, Dashy, Tweet, and Whimper) crowd around her, giggling at the funny scenes…or so we are told.

Shelbyville behind us for a few days.

The ATX before us.

The Great Divide, sort of, playing in my mind…

Hey, it’s good to see you Austin, how long has it been?
It always feels like yesterday when we come driving in….

It’s a rough time in an otherwise blessed life.

A time of gathering the jagged pieces that I know can be shaped into something pretty, even if unconventionally so.

I don’t yet have the perspective to tell if we’re between the rains or under water. It’s relative, maybe, the ratio of water-to-color. And I have to back off periodically, quietly reflect.

Before jumping back in.

This is me jumping, Sisterhood.

    Hey, it’s good to see you OtherSuch, how long has it been?

Or belly-flopping.

Either way.

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