Friday, May 27, 2011

Glory Days.

Somehow this morning I found myself reading the early email exchanges that Alan and I exchanged the month that we met. A dangerous foray, a beautiful rediscovery, love so new, hearts on the line. And I think what brought the tears to my eyes was the happiness and humor and honesty and assertiveness that so blatantly radiated from Alan's words. So odd that I'll never have love letters to share with Lily - to be pulled out of crisp, yellowed envelopes, stuck together and foxing - but I could, if I dared, print them in one of those self-designed books to share with her one day.
(Suuuuuuuusss...... He's saying.....)

I will. I must.
For the babe, Babe.

Her dad was hilarious, engaging, witty. A most unintentionally, stunning writer. I'm not sure he ever noticed that in himself but this morning I was taken in again by his words. The life which flowed from his messages was electric.

It is good - so good - to be reminded that we found such happiness in each other. I could hear it in his voice, see it in his stride. We both spent a long time looking. And once we found one another we felt as though we were home. We met in September of 2003, and were in love by October.
Yes, Alan endured a lot of unfairness.
Life's most undeserved slap. But.


I just needed to hear it again. Be reminded of the excitement that carried us through all of the amazing and difficult times. Be reminded that Alan's life had beauty and richness throughout it.

Life is much easier these days, I am more positively focused on the present and future, but I still walk unknowingly into walls of memory and often the sting takes me right back. Yesterday. Today. I am always caught off guard but the hurt is old hat. And that's how it will always be, I think.

Nearing three years, without my man. But feeling alright.
Before all the clouds there was wonderful sun.
Note to self, wonderful sun.
And now I share my life with an eternal optimist who just called me to see if I could "bring home cookies and lollipops".

She, too, shines through her words.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Love from Above.

There is so much I miss about living with my other half. I will always long for Alan, but the hollowness that once was unbearable, is much more "manageable" now. Still present, but not crippling, freshly filled up with love for our girl. Holidays are especially hard because of the hype, but really, everyday has monumental challenges. I wish we could parent together.

The days leading up to Mother's Day, usually filled with uneasy yet hopeful anticipation, this time around, were joyful. I love hearing Lily's upbeat chatter as I near the front door and her elated footsteps as she sprints to greet me. This week, numerous freshly crafted cards awaited me. She opened them for me, excitement not to be contained, my favorite envelope decorated with band-aids.
Her artistic choices never fail to charm me.

The best came Saturday night as I was closing the door at bedtime.

Thank you Mama. Happy Mother's Day.

Did she really just say that?!

I love being a mom.
Even if the thank you came after two attempts to avoid sleep - one "potty ploy" and the other "Mama, wanna talk to you."

I will always wish Alan could spend days with us, special or otherwise. I think this year they would have gotten bagels for the occasion, and banged away in the kitchen together concocting some sort of fruit smoothie. Alan was a noisy cook and proud of his culinary inventions. Gratefully, friends included us in their Sunday plans and we both had a beautiful morning. I got many flowers and messages from friends and family.

I was reminded that Alan has tremendous back-up covering for him.
He manages to take care of us from all around.

He must have been trailing Lily in the park as she gleefully ran in every direction except our destination, keeping an eye on her when she repeatedly abandoned her scooter to chase squirrels and birds with spontaneous delight. I was the mother, barely keeping up - juggling stroller and scooter as I chased after her, calling her by her first and middle names for impact, an homage to my parents.

I love her name and to hear her dad's aloud as part of it.

Alas, no response from my escape artist. My free bird.
She was retrieved by friends.

But that is the nature of childhood, and this Mother's Day the best gift was seeing how happy she is.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Root and Rise.

Sometimes I'm afraid to stop. Really stop. But this morning I treated myself to my first yoga class in three years (not counting the ones with Lily within).

I managed.

I was graced with some peaceful prep in Jamaica just last week. Lily, my mom and I spent a week on the beach. Digging in the sand, resting in the sun, and swaying to "real" music as Lily called it. Live music. Music that floated weightlessly through the air heavy with heat.

It sounded good.
And it didn't hurt... so much.
Only when Otis Redding's "Dock of the Bay" was piped into the bar.
But that was on day one, and I know it was Alan joining us, to watch his girl flit among the candles and plantain chips, stopping only for the occasional sip of sparkle water.

And in the downtime, as Lily drifted through four hour naps with a sitter watching over her, I sat in the shade, dipped in the ocean, and cleared my mind of most things. I felt quiet within and peace all around me.

It was a relief.

Alone time with no distraction can be daunting, but this time the sadness didn't prevail. Melancholy still hovers and the sadness is always there, but last week I didn't feel so... broken. Perhaps it's that I felt a bit more rested, maybe it's because I heard news that two books I've written for Lily (and others in her shoes) have found a home with a publisher. Whatever it was, I actually felt good.

Feels good to feel good.

So today as I breathed in and breathed out to the theme of "harmonious expansion" I felt like I was finding a place for myself in this world again. Taking a bit of space back - filling in my own footprints again. I keep seeing Lily with her watering can, recklessly pouring the ocean into her beach molds and sandprints and that's how it felt.

Filling up again.

I was never not here, but over the last few years I have been lover, caregiver and now nurturer. I resent none of it, but you have to take the back seat when other lives are leaning on you.
You just do.
And I know I have the love and strength to do so.

I will always be that tree, deeply rooted and there for those who need an extra stronghold - but today it felt nice to reach up into the air and to reclaim some space around me.