I was invited to join the online world of Facebook a few years ago, and at that time I had no idea what it was, so I left it alone. After a few more requests to be someones "friend", I finally caved in and let my curiosity get the best of me. My whole summer was caught up on this site, who wants to be my "friend" today? Who "poked" me? I found many old, old, friends from way back in the day. You know the ones, elementary school, junior high, senior high. When life was all about who will be my friend today, who will I back stab tomorrow and which boy "likes" me?
It was so fun to see where these people are today, and what they have done with their lives up until now, but I found myself questioning and doubting my abilities as a member of society. What have I done with my life since the "good ole days"? I was proud of the fact that I am a wife and mother of two beautiful little girls. But when filling out the dreaded "profile" page, I didn't have much to say. It really hit hard when it asked what books I've read, or hobbies I have, or what my interests are. I realized that my life had taken a hard u turn. Books? Do they still publish those for adults? Hobbies? You mean Dora the Explorer puzzles aren't a hobby? Interests? Hmmmm..what are my interests? I really had to think and I couldn't come up with anything other than what interests my oldest girl.
I had lost me somewhere between "I do" and "Push, Catharine, Push!" It was like these last four years have just flashed before my eyes and I don't know where to get off and try and find the days I've missed in between. There actually is a world out there and it's continuing on without me. I found out some things about "close" friends, or so I thought, that just floored me. How could something so profound happen to them without me having a clue? And then I thought a little harder, (yup, it happens a few times out of the year) that I have been so caught up in taking care of my family that I have lost touch. Lost touch with friends, old co-workers, some family, most importantly, reality and myself.
In the blink of an eye our lives change whether we want them to or not. That has been said many times over and we don't really "get" it until it happens to us personally. I can honestly say that I was one of those people that lived life thinking that bad things won't ever happen to me. And then it did, it really, really, did. My worst nightmare came true, other than losing my own children of course. My father, my hero, had a stage four brain tumor and didn't have much time. That was when I blinked, and my whole life had changed.
It has been four years since then and it's really true, he is no longer living. To write that down and read it is hard, because I don't want it to be true. I want him to walk in the door right now and say, "I'm sorry I took so long, I was stuck in traffic." My reality is that I go on living my life and raising my kids, being a wife and making every day count, all without my hero by my side.
I have been taking the steps and "acting" like I'm okay without him. Some days I could really pull it off, you would really believe that I have accepted it. "Faking it" had taken on a whole new meaning. I needed to be strong and hold it together for the sake of my husband and my kids. I didn't want to seem "weak" in the eyes of them. I wanted to be strong for my mother, as she needed me to be. I thought if I showed her it would be okay then I would start to believe it too. Anger became an everyday thing for me, and I'm not proud of it, but it was my "reality". And this is where I began to lose "me".
I still wanted to wake up every morning and scream my head off in order to clear my head and start my day off right. The "joy" of bringing home a new baby was lost in my battle of my emotions. Of course I was thrilled when she arrived and was healthy, but I didn't cry tears of joy like I did with Emma. I stopped myself because if I started then I wouldn't have stopped and my tears of "joy" would have turned to sorrow.
In the wee hours of the night while going through the frequent feedings and tons of lack of sleep, I would weep silently. "Where are you?" And finally one night I got my answer. I felt it in my heart, his hands on my face wiping my tears, he said, "I'm right here, right where I've always been." That night Elise slept her first 4 hours straight, and I got recharged to be a better mother.
I now know my purpose in life is to be a strong role model for these two little girls that my husband and I have created. They need constant structure and guidance and we are the ones they watch closely. I take each day as a new one and try not to roll them all together anymore. With every, "I love you Mommy," comes a huge reward for me, letting me know that I still have a place in this world, if not this one, then I have one in my girls world. And I am the most important aspect of their world right now, and I cherish it. I will cherish it until I leave this place to be with my father. And when I see him again, I will let him know how much he means to me and that I completely understand every choice he ever made for me, good or bad. I now have balance, and I haven't had that in a very long time.