The King and I

I know it’s been a few months since my last post. Honestly I just haven’t had time. I’m back in school and focused squarely on myself. Working full-time and taking a full-time course load in college. A lot has transpired since my last post though.

So I was seeing the Babe all summer, completely sure that he was the one for me. We had fantastic weekends full of kids, friends and fun. Then things started to change. I’m not sure if it was me, him or a combination of both but this is what I saw and how I felt.

Something changed in him, he wasn’t happy anymore. Our time was becoming limited because of my schedule and our kids were back in school. We also live almost 50 minutes apart. I admit I wasn’t available and I wasn’t really willing to sacrifice either. I’m focused on school and my future career. He kept telling me I know it’s tough, I did it too. I know how you feel, I know what it’s like; well, NO you don’t. I know you went to college and graduate school but did you go as a single parent with two teenagers at home and another in college? Did you have a home that you had to keep up and groceries to buy for those kids? Did you work full-time too? NO? Well then you don’t know. It became annoying, plain and simple. He had this fantasy that we would be this perfect family and he would take care of me. I’m not that girl! I don’t NEED anyone to take care of me, I don’t want that. I want someone who inspires me. The straw was a comment he made. He said “I won’t make it through you going to school as your boyfriend, only as your husband”. Ouch! It felt like an ultimatum and made me feel like I wasn’t worth the sacrifice. It makes me sad but I know I did the right thing for him and his daughter, even more important…me.

There was another issue too. It’s no secret that I had my heart broken and certainly no secret that I have made some colossal mistakes in dating. However there was always the King quietly hanging in the background. I’ve very briefly mentioned him before. He’s a friend but we did date for a short period. It was right after QJ broke my heart, like literally right after! We dated for maybe a couple of months. I was so tormented and fucked up at that time in my life, it ended in dramatic fashion.

Here’s the thing, that was almost two years ago. Ever since then no matter how much I’ve pushed him away, no matter if I never responded to his texts or didn’t return his calls, even when his son was in the hospital, he knew I was a mess and broken; but he understood. For some reason when he text me in late August, I responded; I hadn’t spoken to him in about 5 months. He immediately called me and we talked for a couple of hours about everything, like we had never stopped talking. That was never an issue with us.

I was having a drink with my girlfriends one night and he walked in, sat with us and we all had a great time. He kissed me goodbye, nothing more than a peck on the lips but it felt different from just a friendly kiss. I broke up with Babe the next day. Not because of the King but because if Babe was the one, I wouldn’t have felt anything when he kissed me and with all the other issues with Babe, I just knew it needed to end.

The King and I (punny) are still just friends and will more than likely remain just friends (too complicated to explain). He did however open my eyes that Babe wasn’t the right man for me. He also gave me a little tough love recently when he pointed out; I keep making excuses for not finishing anything in my life. Ahhhh, the balance and inspiration I crave from a friend? Maybe? After the King bluntly called me out; I kicked my butt in gear and got my applications into school. I’ve been accepted into the nursing program and I start those classes a year from January. In the mean time I’m almost done with my associates in science and will continue to take classes full-time, working toward my ultimate goal of becoming  a Cardiac Perfusionist with no excuses. Damn I hate it when I’m called out but grateful for the honesty.

I’m happier than I’ve been in years. Even with the loss of another relationship.

Love,
g

Roots

60ffd7187c152b73f2e0833b21c5b76aMaya Angelou once said “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.”

I moved to Upstate South Carolina when I was thirteen years old, it was the day after Christmas during my 8th grade school year. I was angry with my parents, I loved where I lived and didn’t want to leave. We had a beautiful home on a bay off Lake Ontario; where summers meant hours on the dock and playing outside until there was no light left, our parents never worrying about where we were. Fall was the time we’d eat apples picked from the orchards we weren’t supposed to be playing in. Winters included ice skating on the rink you shoveled yourself and sledding all day on the neighborhood hill. Spring meant waking up early to ride your bike to school, even though it was entirely too far. Those memories will forever be etched in my mind. There were a lot of good times and great friends; it was home to me then.

Recently, the opportunity to relive those days through the memories of others opened up to me. A few old friends contacted me through Facebook, strangely though I could only recall their names. I’ve tried to pull memories back from things they’ve told me, it’s all fuzzy now and I can’t seem to bring them into focus. I remember certain moments clear as day; the kind of moments that bring deep emotion and change us into who we become as we grow up. Those feelings like, shame, pride, embarrassment, fear and loneliness are powerful. The emotional reactions we have today as adults come from the time in our lives between fifth grade and high school, where events and situations start to establish our reaction to similar ones for the rest of our lives.

I was chatting with one of these old friends a few days ago and a girl we went to school with came up in conversation, of course I only remembered the name and recalled that we were friends but with her it was different. It brought back one of those memories connected with emotion. It was about her mother, she was our Girl Scout Troop Leader. The memory that came to mind was sitting on the grass in a circle in their beautiful front yard. I couldn’t focus on what she was teaching because I was anxious and crying. I went to the principal’s office that day for fighting with another girl and needed to tell my parents that evening. The belt was still used in those days and I was scared. I remember how she comforted me, told me how to talk to my parents and reassured me that it would all be ok. It was a memory that remained because it carried with it the feelings of shame and fear. Even today when I make a mistake or poor decision and have to admit that I was wrong, those same feeling well up inside me like I’m eleven all over again. I’ve had many other ‘moment in time’ memories just like that one, which seem to stir those emotions from childhood, that come flooding back as an adult.

At the time moving away seemed so devastating but today I couldn’t imagine being anywhere other than where I am now. I have become a southern woman, with northern roots. My first taste of the Lowcountry was in college, 1988. Moving to Charleston, the city with the smell of pluff mud rising from the marshes, the scent of jasmine which hangs on the history of downtown, and the taste of salt that the summer ocean brings; it becomes a part of you. I really grew up here; this is where I became an adult. However, I left in my early twenties knowing I would someday come back and stay. When that opportunity came I didn’t flinch, I knew it was where I belonged.

When I moved back to my southern home in 2002, I made a promise to myself and silently to my children. I would do everything and anything to keep them right where we are today. I wanted them to go through their school years with all the same friends, to know the comfort of having lifelong roots. They are beginning to start their lives, on the verge of becoming adults too; I just hope that this is the city where they choose to keep themselves planted.

Love,

g

Life’s a Beach

On that day in August 2009, Zed was working in one of his favorite areas of Isle of Palms; the corner of 5th Avenue and Ocean Blvd. We had spent a lot of time out there together, as we have friends who own a house right there on the beach. I went there for the first time in a long while on Sunday with Saffron and my cross-eyed dog Charlie.

Saffron and I met at the house which overlooks the ocean. When we arrived, I asked her to walk with me for a minute before heading out to the beach; “I want to show you something”. We walked across the street to the side yard of the house opposite the ocean. She said “Are we just going to walk through random people’s yards?” “It’s ok, I know the owners” I said. We were on the side of the house where a short concrete wall not more than a foot high separates the front and back yards. Charlie was sniffing around and I said “This is it, this is where he fell”. Tears immediately welled in her eyes, I said “it’s okay, don’t cry”. I admit I shocked her, who expects that someone would want to spend time where their spouse lost their life. I have a love/hate relationship with that spot; I’ve cried many tears sitting on that wall.

Of course right on cue Charlie decides he has found HIS spot and promptly does his business, right as I’m telling Saffron. At least it made me laugh. While I’m telling her this tragic story, I’m also trying to pick up a steaming pile. Typical! The moment made us both laugh; more importantly I wasn’t crying. I couldn’t tell her the whole story; I would have choked up and neither of us really wanted to spend our Sunday crying.

I did share with her how I used to go there every month on the 1st, sit and cry, sob really. Sometimes I would lie on the grass where I imagined his body was or I would sit on the wall and listen to his iPod laughing at his song choices and sometimes I would scream with tears streaming down my face because I so desperately wanted my life back. Didn’t matter what the weather was like, hot, cold, rainy, I was there. I tried on many occasions to imagine what happened that day, did his foot slip?, did he fall when he was hanging up the phone with me?, did he know what was happening? He used to tell me “Don’t worry, I’m Spiderman, I always have a plan in case I fall” There was nothing he could have done to save himself, nothing to grasp onto, break his fall, to change the outcome. As time passed I went out there less and less. As we were walking away Saffron asked “where is he buried?” I laughed and said “Uhhh, nowhere” she replied “So where is he?”….“Now? In the dining room.”

Cremation is a bizarre thing. I never really thought about the details prior to Zed’s death. The how, what, where of it all. It was a couple of days after the funeral when they called to let us know he was ready to be picked up…Hmmmm, I didn’t really think this part through.

It was so strange, as we walked in the funeral home, my sisters and I, the attendant came out to greet us, she lead us to a room where candles were burning on a table with a black plastic box sitting between. She said “I’ll give you a moment alone with him” Uhhhhh alright??? We looked at each other like what are we supposed to do now? Trying not to giggle, we just sat down and waited for her to come back. She returned looking very somber, a reusable grocery bag with the funeral home logo in hand. She handed me the bag filled with information, a pen and some other stuff. Who’s going to carry around a funeral home bag? I don’t think they thought through their marketing materials. She started explaining that the box is quite heavy, something most people don’t think about I guess, I never did. Now I realize…Hey, he was a two hundred pound man in a 6”X4” box; of course it’s going to be heavy, like twelve pounds heavy.

We got in the car with the box; I held it on my lap. We had to run a couple of errands while we were out, when we stopped at Target I looked at my sisters and said “Can I leave him in the car?” My oldest sister looked at me like I was crazy and said laughing “well you’re not going to carry him in there are you?” I don’t know what I was thinking? The oddest thing about death and grief is how much you laugh through it too, at the absurdity of it all. I recall laughing at the funeral because Zed’s lips didn’t have any chap stick on them. I know irreverent but laughing is the only way to make it through.

When we got home I really didn’t know what to do, I carried the box upstairs and took him into my bathroom and shut the door. I set the box on the edge of the tub, sat down on the toilet and stared. He sat on the edge of that tub for a long time. Appropriate I guess, Zed and I had some of our most important conversations in that room, always with one of us sitting on the edge of the tub. Today that box resides in a beautiful wooden box that my brother made, it’s made of elm wood that he recovered from one of our childhood “second homes” sanded so smooth you can’t imagine it was made by hand, with beautiful walnut inlays. Zed sits on the buffet server in the dining room we never use, surrounded by pictures of our family. Inside the box there is a tray that holds our wedding rings, his watch and a pile of old cards we had given each other over the years. That box is only thing I’d grab if there was an emergency.

I’m glad I went to the beach yesterday, to our old spot. It was a beautiful day in Charleston, a little overcast, breezy and with great company, perfect really. It felt good to go there again and laugh a little, see old friends that I haven’t seen in too long. I know someday, when the time is right and I’m ready, I’ll take him to that part of the beach and let him stay. Well what’s left of him… That’s another story, ugh!

Footnote: Since my last post, I’m doing quite well. I feel like myself again and I’m smiling more than ever… more on that later 😉

Love,
g

Mojo

I’ve been really out of sync lately, lost my mojo. It all really started in November of last year culminating a few weeks ago. I’m just gonna come out and admit it loud and clear; I’m depressed and I have been for a very long time. I’ve had too many heart breaks and the stress of living a life alone, raising kids, maintaining a home, shitty dating, all of it took a huge toll on my mental state. I’ve said it before, I’m not one of those people who has gone through this with grace and class. I’m the hot mess.

I’ve isolated myself from a lot of my old friends, the friends I’m talking about are the ones Zed and myself hung out with, you know the cookouts, pool, family stuff “couple friends”. They’re distant, by my own doing and I know this, it was too painful in the beginning and now it’s just different. I’m single and they are all still married. It’s tough to be around them and not feel lonely, not miss him and the life I once knew. I say these words to myself and others a lot… “I want my old life back”. Those words have kept me where I am, kept me from old friends, kept me from moving forward.

I know it’s gone and I can’t have it back but that is what the last 3 years have been about. Grasping for that life. I hit a wall back in November and needed help, I went to the doctor and was prescribed Cymbalta. “Oh my Gosh, I can’t believe she just admitted that”, please! Guess what, 1 in 10 Americans take anti-depressants. Which after being on them for the last six months, there has to be a better option; at least for me. It helped in the short term but man they really took a toll on my body and mind as well.

In the first few weeks of taking them I was extremely sick, nauseated, disoriented, unable to focus and I felt like I had the flu. I was told by my doctor to give it time. I did and then all of a sudden I felt better. I felt pretty good for about 2 months, then I started to become numb. I didn’t even realize it was happening. What I did notice though was how tired I was, how my body slowed down, how I couldn’t focus, how I GAINED 20 pounds! Slowly over those months, I wasn’t Gail anymore. I haven’t even wanted to write. I knew I needed to change something.

After the road trip with my girlfriends, I decided to call my doctor to make a plan to wean myself off the medication. Holy shit, it really sucks and I’m still feeling the effects. It’s been 16 days and I still feel terrible. I will never do this again. After doing some research on the how the drug affects you when you’re coming off the medications; which can last anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months. I have come to realized it’s gonna be a living hell. Every moment of the day I feel like I’ve just stepped off the merry-go-round. Remember that feeling? It’s like your body stopped spinning but your brain didn’t but with the added pleasure of what feels like an electrical jolt. It’s referred to as “brain zaps”. Seriously? It has a name that’s how many people feel this side effect. How did this drug get on the market? I have periods of time where I feel drunk, disoriented, unable to complete my thoughts and sentences. I’ve had very vivid dreams, restless legs and the list goes on. Very difficult when you’re working and your employer doesn’t know what’s going on. It’s crazy!! Pun intended

Good news? Maybe. Although the side effects are constant, I’m actually starting to feel things again, to have emotions. I was so unaware of what was happening to my body and brain. I have been crying and very emotional the last few weeks but it actually feels good. I’ve been trying to work on a plan to treat myself naturally, this can be difficult when motivation and focus is lacking. So I’m starting small, changing my diet, a few supplements, trying to cut out caffeine which is almost impossible for someone who LOVES coffee, and exercising. Exercising is tough too because the best time for me to go is at 5:30am; which is impossible when you’re exhausted from the side effects and changes in sleep patterns and energy levels but I’ll get there.

Today happens to be a bad day, mostly because I didn’t get any sleep last night(thanks Will)! I’ve really noticed, when and what I eat and how much sleep I get, affects the side effects. I just want to be completely me again. I want to feel whole and alive…happy.

When my mojo comes back though, watch out. It’ll be Mojo with a side of Mojito.

Love

g

A Roadie with the Girlies…

I would not have survived the last few years without my girlfriends, I barely survived with them. There is something totally unique about the relationships that women have with their girlfriends. Most of the time the men in our lives don’t understand and are at times jealous of the relationships. Zed was not one of those men, he laughed at how crazy we were, encouraged the road trips and picked us up when we couldn’t drive. I miss that supportive love and understanding he gave to me.

QJ certainly couldn’t and wouldn’t understand and if we were still together, I’m sure I would be isolated like his wife probably is today. BDD definitely didn’t understand and this week I ran into HD, he even in the short time that we spent together made a comment about “of course you’re out with your girls.” Well yeah! They have never disappointed me, left me or discouraged me; they’ve supported my WORST decisions, even when they knew it was the wrong decision. Each of them have held my hand when I came back crying and said “at least you learned something and I still love you”

This weekend to celebrate Cinco de Mayo (not really, it’s just an excuse), five of my dear friends, Pearl, Violet, Ruby, Saffron and Jade will be hitting the road to Charlotte. There is something so great about a road trip. It’s not like we don’t spend time together every week but being in a different city and leaving behind all of your responsibilities is so freeing.

We will be shopping, laughing, dancing, eating, drinking margaritas and well….other stuff too! Just NO tears or flying drinks. It should be fun and we all need it in our own way. Each of us have our own stories and are at different points in our lives. However, we all need the same thing; we need to be supported when life is stressful, when we feel lonely, when marriage is difficult or when family issues make us sad. We are also cheerleaders for all the great moments too.

So when you say happy Cinco de Mayo on Saturday, toast to your girlfriends and think about how much Pearl will be blushing…(Story to follow 😉 )

Just wish Ms. Blush could be with us too…I miss you so much!

Love,

g

Slap & Tickle

Who doesn’t like a little slap and tickle sometimes? I know I do… just saying. I mean some of the best sex is when it’s a little rough, but always with love behind the action. So when does it go over the line?

The line is when it is done in anger and violence. It’s never all right to hit someone in anger, either for a man or women, it does happen both ways. There is something seriously wrong in a relationship when any form of violence occurs. Even the vulgar, insulting comments, verbal abuse should never happen either, it’s the same thing. If you think your abusive comments are acceptable because there was no physical force behind it, you’re delusional. Yet everyday both men and women for some reason try to hold onto people even though their actions and words prove their incompatibility. It’s because it always comes with the tickle right behind it, the sorrowful apology with the “you know I’m not really like that”, “I love you, you know I do”, “I’ll never do it again, I promise”. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Shame on me!

I have a new friend who’s come into my life recently. She’s gorgeous, feisty, independent, and self-assured; let’s just call her Saffron. What a silly name but it suits her, the delicate thread plucked from the center of the beautiful purple bloom of the crocus flower. When used properly and treated with respect and grace can enhance a meal. (LMAO, she’s dying laughing while reading this. I’m also so hungry right now, I’m obviously just thinking about food but she’s stuck with it now).

Anyway, she was telling me about an incident she recently had with a guy. Saffron was defending his girlfriend; he was making insulting comments about her. When Saffron spoke up he turned it on her, he started insulting her looks, job, family status, saying she was old and had to travel halfway around the world just for a boyfriend. Bizarre, horrible stuff, right. Saffron handled him though, wasting a perfectly good martini by throwing it in his face and pointing out that her boyfriend is halfway around the world because he’s defending our country. She’s a badass! My idol.

However, he’s not the only man I’ve heard of being this way recently. When I was seeing HD, we were out watching a football game and one of his friends stopped by our table to talk. He made a comment about a woman he was seeing, something like “Yeah, just wine em, dine em, use them up and three weeks you’re outta there” My teenage son was sitting there and he looked at me in disgust.

So is that the new deal? Misogynistic assholes who think its ok to be degrading? Ok to slap you when they don’t like what you say or insult your looks, age, whatever they can pick apart. It may seem like that is whats out there these days BUT I know better. Men behave that way toward the women they are dating because they’re insecure in themselves. That’s why that asshole attacked Saffron. He tried to lower her self-esteem. However, he couldn’t, strong women don’t allow themselves to be abused. There are strong secure men out there, we just have to be strong, secure, happy women first.

The truth that I must face for myself is the men I’ve allowed to be in my life since Zed died have not been good to me because I’m not making good choices. I’m not ready to date, that’s why I’ve run from the good guys and held onto the ones that haven’t been good to me. I feel a little lost without my husband and don’t feel good about myself. Nevertheless, I’m getting there because I’m not accepting the bad anymore and have moved on.

Real love is sweet, kind, peaceful and giving. I know it’s out there, I do believe in love. I’ve taken enough psychology classes and I’m smart enough to know what I’m doing wrong. Maybe some more time alone will get me completely there.

I’m almost ready for the Slap & Tickle…but it’ll be the fun kind, you know when it makes you laugh, not cry.

Love,

g

Living in Brazil

All right, I’ve been a little serious with my writing lately and maybe a little depressing.  Not to worry, my life is wonderful and I’m happy for who and what I have today.  Today’s post is just a little something, to make us all laugh…I hope.

I have lived just north of Brazil for 20 plus years.  Brazil is really the only place to live anymore, and if you are still living in the forest, MOVE!  I do not care how old you are, yes Mom this includes you.  It’s gross, even for men.  Be free my friends, be free!  Besides, if you want anyone to go downtown with you, for you, to you, you better be living in Brazil.

Of course, I’m not talking about the country; I’m talking about the technique.  I have been an avid shaver for decades, a few times a week I shave up the cookie.  (This is a term I learned in pole dancing class, I will explain in another post)  You gotta get real close, this requires doing acrobatic tricks in the shower to get to those hard to reach places.  Yeah, yeah you’re going to get razor burn the first couple of times but eventually that goes away.  I don’t even think about it anymore.  NEVER UP!  ALWAYS DOWN!  Come on people, common sense.

Last summer I was taking a couple of anatomy classes and during lab, we would cut up with the instructor and some of the other girls in class.  One day my lab partner came in a little late.  She sat down and said, “Man, I’m feeling good today!”  Really?  What’s up?  “Girl I just got a Brazilian Wax and that shit is awesome.”  The professor piped in and said “Did you go to Claudia?  I’ve been going to her for years.”  She sure did!  As they told their stories, I was totally intrigued.  I had to give it a go.

I’m giving a huge shout out to Brazilian Wax by Claudia right here in Charleston.  She has several locations and they are all convenient.  Great staff and the price is right!  For $35 bucks, you can go to Brazil for weeks.  NEVER GO MORE THAN FIVE WEEKS, TRUST ME!  I went six weeks one time and I cried.  Really, I cried.  However, I still went back because the benefits are so much better than the pain.

Being an avid shaver and letting the bush grow in before your first wax was difficult to say the least.  Before you can go to Brazil, you’ve got to wait about a week and half to two weeks.  It felt so weird to have hair, yuck.  Arriving at the North Charleston location, this isn’t in the best area, I was a little skeptical but you only live once.  I walked in and it was very attractive, they had recently remodeled the inside.  I was escorted to the waxing room and told you can just lift your dress and take off your panties, lay down on the table and use this to cover up (she should have said, cover IT.)  …it was a washcloth.  Really?  Cover up?

When she came back in, the washcloth was gone in 2.2 seconds.  “Can you spread your legs and make a butterfly, feet apart” Uh…sure?  She then placed a little fan between my legs blowing a gentle breeze on my cookie, felt amazing but all I was thinking was why the hell is there a fan?  I soon found out.  It was a little uncomfortable to be lying there with my vajayjay just hanging out.  She started inspecting my hair growth kind of close; like the zoo monkeys.  “Ok,” she said, “we can do it, you have enough growth.”  Thank God, because at this point I’m not sure I would have gone back.  She went straight to work.

They use a soft wax that doesn’t require any cotton strips to rip it off, it just dries, and then they rip, hence the fan.  So she starts to apply this green wax to my hoo hoo.  Damn that shit is hot!  I was beginning to completely understand the fan now.  They are not afraid to touch your stuff either.  She waited a few moments and she looked at me and said “ready?”  Ok, HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!  I look down and see itty-bitty spots of blood…seriously blood!  Not a lot and not all over, apparently I had a few deep “hairs” this proceeded for about 30 minutes with some tweezing etc.  I felt like a buttered english muffin because she got all the nooks and crannies.  She finally said, “Ok all done, roll over” Huh?  “Roll over” uh, ok?  I roll over, fan still between my legs, bare ass showing.  She said, “Ok need your help now” Uh huh?  “What do you need me to do?”  “Spread your legs, hold your cheeks, and spread ‘em!”  Alrighty then.  When the hot wax hits that most delicate place, it’s a little warm and a very odd feeling.  Forget that there is a woman staring at your bunghole.  I said, “Wow, doesn’t even bother you does it?”  “No I’ve seen thousands, it’s just a job.”  Uh huh, ok, rip, rip… surprisingly that part didn’t hurt, weird right?  “All done, you can flip back over.”  She hands me the washcloth to cover up in case I’m feeling a little modest at this point.  What do I need that for, is there anything you haven’t seen?

This is what I will say; it feels pretty freaking amazing afterward, totally worth the pain and humiliation.  Once I starting going regularly, I no longer cared about some woman touching my cookie and removing the hair from my arsehole. The more you go the less it hurts too.  During the winter, I did go back to shaving but I’ve made my appointment to get my summer smooth back.

Try it you’ll like it…so will he or she.

Love,

g

Mis-Match or Best-Match…We Shall See

Ok so we did it! With a little collaboration, my girls and I set up a Match.com profile.

1. There are a lot of guys with moustaches.

2. You do see people you know on there.

3. They can see if you’ve looked at them and vice-versa… feel like a creeper.

4. Also, feel like I’m trying to get rid of my dog on Craigslist.

5. There is an exchange of money…sooo? What does that mean? Is Match.com my pimp?

I’m hopeful that as I get into this, it will be fun and I’ll meet some nice people. Keep your fingers crossed!

Love,
g

What’s Worse?

I’ve contemplated this question a lot over the past couple of years. Which is worse, to have your heart broken in a failed relationship or to lose your spouse to death? In the past 2 years, 6 months and 18 days I’ve experienced both. How does that happen? Well its simple when you lose a spouse especially one that you are madly in love with all you can do is beg for the world to stop spinning. That feeling still haunts me today, lying in my bed not wanting to deal with school, kids, life, making dinners, friends, phone calls and bills; just needing to be in the moment and grieve. It doesn’t work that way, the sun still comes up every day, the kids still need to be fed, and there are a million things that need to be done. My whole purpose became about making life normal again for my kids, to keep their world spinning smoothly. Holding onto a house, I shouldn’t have, seeming happy when I wasn’t, laughing when I really needed to be crying. In addition, through all of it, I just wanted to feel normal again, to talk to the one I was missing; to feel their touch and have their support. It’s an unexplainable feeling that is different for everyone. To have someone just gone one day is torture. I’d never experienced it before and I live in fear of experiencing it again.

There have been a few men in my life since Zed died. HD, who really was just a blip on the radar and not a relationship. There was BDD who saved my life, held my hair, my hand and my heart for a moment, but I broke his because I couldn’t love him the way he needed me to. The King who has been a quiet presence for a little over a year with his occasional “how are you?” texts, long philosophical conversations & debates, a friend. Ooh and I can’t forget GI Joe…damn! Nothing ever happened with him, wrong time, and wrong place but we had a couple of great moments that still make me laugh. Sure would have liked to know what could have happened there, think he’s just as nuts as me, and only guessing but just as damaged. But today it’s about him, the one that almost took my life. I want to scream his name and expose him for the pain he caused me, my family and friends but I won’t; QJ changed me. He broke me just as much as losing Zed. Sometimes I think it was worse.

QJ’s story will take me several posts to tell. It’s a whole chapter of my life that I’m still trying to resolve in my mind. It was a scandal, sexy, sweet, dirty, and full of wild passionate love, the kind that you only experience once and really never want to experience again. Nevertheless, my mind goes back trying to search for that moment, the one moment I can still feel, where everything I thought I once knew about being connected to another human being changed…forever. I don’t know if I will ever feel that again. I want to, it was an explosion of every emotion I ever felt in one single event that left me happy, sad, crying, scared, ashamed, vulnerable and for once fully trusting another person with the truth of the deepest secrets of my true self. I beg some days to bring that all back but have contempt in my heart for all the events that followed and could never forgive him for the destruction of my life and family, that came with his game. It was all a lie; I was so desperate to feel whole again I gave myself to a man who almost took my life.

At Zed’s funeral we had a receiving line. Everyone came through hugging, crying and sometimes laughing giving their best condolences. I distinctly remember QJ being there. I wanted to be sure that I spoke to him. He sent the largest most beautiful arrangement of flowers, and I wanted to acknowledge them to him personally. I saw him walk through the door, look at us standing there; me and my children. What he did was the epitome of him, he didn’t wait in line, he walk directly around everyone else and came straight to me. He hugged me told me he was sorry turned around and walked out the door. He didn’t stay. I later learned it took all he had to come there, funerals are not his thing.

It was several weeks after Zed passed away when I received the first email. It was two sentences, something like, I’m going to stop by and bring you some brownies and wine. I thought it was a little odd. This man who I’d known for about a year and only had a few conversations with, to email me but everyone was checking on me at that point. The very short emails bounced back and forth between us for weeks. We would talk at our bi-weekly card games that continued without pause after Zed was gone. It was a way for us all to feel normal and to hold onto him. At one of the games we talked quite a bit and he asked for my number, I gave it to him knowing that he was probably interested in more than just being a supportive friend. However, I was lonely and he made me feel beautiful and important. He called me about 3 days later while in California on business, we talked on the phone for hours, until three or four in the morning about everything. It was like a warm blanket had been draped over me all in an attempt to ease the pain. He covered me with that blanket for over a year, all while living another life too.

It will unfold like the pages of a fiction novel, but it’s all real. A story that keeps changing as the days go by and life continues to heal. What a wonderful thing it is to be human and continually learn to be happy with who is present in your life, to find peace in the moment.

Love,
g