Monthly Archives: April 2016

friendship

There isn’t much that is more satisfying than a good, symbiotic friendship.  Especially when that friend is also the parent of your children’s best friends.

Then funny thing is, when you go through divorce, you find out who your real friends are, who are the gossips, and who just want to meddle and cause problems.  Some are easier to weed out than others.  But those who are actual, true friends…well, those ones are more precious than gold.

One friend happened to be an unlikely one.  One I hadn’t given much thought to, but I am very grateful for his existence.  The best part about this friendship is that there are no ulterior motives there.  No expectations.  He helps me, I help him.  We drink wine.

End of story.

What’s most interesting is because he is the opposite gender, I get a different perspective when I talk with him.  I can see things from the male perspective…something that is lacking in an all female friendship circle.

Some people would claim that men and women are unable to have a purely platonic relationship.  I disagree.  I do know that many men (and likely women too) will use the guise of friendship with less than pure intentions.  I’ve seen it, I’ve had it happen to me, I will not do that to another.  I know he does not have this agenda.  He has a beautiful girlfriend who far surpasses me.  So, this makes it a safe friendship to maintain.

I think every divorcing man and woman should have this kind of friendship at some point.  It really does change how you view the opposite sex, and as far as I’m concerned, it enhances life.  For my children, they now have that strong and positive male role model that they desperately have been craving.  This is probably the most valuable part of all.

healing hearts, broken hearts

I can’t figure myself out sometimes.  I have days where I have complete and total control of everything and it seems that nothing could rattle me.  Then I have other days where I get completely shaken to the core.  I don’t know if I should be angry with myself or consider these feelings to be a blessing.

I have a good heart.  I know I do.  I have compassion and empathy, love even when that love is not reciprocated.  And I have hurt.

I thought maybe by now I would be over him.  That perhaps the sight of his eyes or the smell of his skin would do nothing to me.  I have been angry with him, hurt by him mostly in ways that he knows nothing about, but I have also been loved by him in a way that I have never been loved before.  I suspect this is the key as to why I seemingly cannot let him go.

I have tried to let him go, believe me.  I know he is not an angel or a saint.  I know the pain of not having my feelings reciprocated and the hurt when he sends me images for feedback, knowing full well that the images are of a woman he was seeing romantically, not that that was ever mentioned.  I just know.

But then he will text me, out of the blue.  Sometimes with a purpose, sometimes it seems to be just more of saying, hi, you’ve been on my mind…just thought you ought to know.  I’m guilty of doing the same, but I have restricted myself to only messaging with purpose because if I tell him that I’ve been thinking of him it just leaves me wide open for heartache.

So I don’t.  But I also don’t hesitate to respond to him when he initiates.

My heart is on a rollercoaster.  When he walked into my life, he wasn’t perfect, but I thought he was perfect for me.  I wasn’t ready when he said goodbye.  I’m still not ready and it has been a substantial amount of time since that day.  I go through cycles of healing, hearing from him, seeing him, feeling all those old familiar feelings again, then crashing and having my heart in a million pieces.  I break and then have to dust myself off, pick up a new bottle of crazy glue and attempt to start piecing it back together.

I know he is still hurting too.  Perhaps he still is attached to someone else.  He talks of her all the time.  I suspect his heart is still broken.  But so is mine.

Two tarnished hearts.

This is where he is different.  He can breeze into my life, enjoy an evening or a weekend together, and breeze back out without consequence.  Meanwhile, I am back to where I was the day he said goodbye.  Those efforts of trying to get over him are gone.  The relationship I tried to nurture gets swept away in the ocean current and I give up on that someone new, and he will never ever understand the reasons why.  But this man, he too has no idea because I have not told him that I have tried to move on, that I have tried to see other people.  I think it’s because it simply doesn’t matter when he is there.  Because when he is there, it feels that the rest of the world is gone.  That there are no consequences, that the hurt won’t follow (even though I know full well that it will).

I have heard it all, trust me.  He isn’t worth it, you’re too good for him, he doesn’t know what he gave up, don’t let him do this to you, and on it goes.  Easier said than done.  My heart is still his.  I just don’t know how to get it back for good.

of cuttlefish and wheelie shoes

This week has been about making my kids happy. The older one has this thing about squid. He’s obsessed really. Loves everything about them. He could tell you the most obscure facts and even pronounce architeuthis japonica with the clarity of a PhD student. This week, while grocery shopping, he wanted squid for dinner. He didn’t find what he was looking for…but he did find frozen cuttlefish, and that was close enough for him. How do you cook cuttlefish? I have no idea. So I guessed and apparently it worked out just fine for him. He had them for dinner twice this week.

The younger one, well he has been asking for shoes with wheels in them for weeks. He asked his father last week and he was completely shut down. But life is too short to say no all the time. He has been good with so many things, I really couldn’t find a reason why I should say no. So off we went to Sport Chek.

The little guy was so happy. He did his homework with lightning speed, then chatted happily from the back seat as I drove him to the mall. He waited patiently for the salesman who told us that what we were looking for were “heeleys”, a delightful play on names since idea is that the wheels sit in the heels of the shoes.

The salesman measured his feet, then off he went to the stock room. My little sat on the bench, grin on his face and swinging his feet. He waited patiently until the man came back. The only shoes he had were four sizes too big. My little guy was deflated. Heartbroken really. But so good about it. He stared at those shoes that he coveted so much. Tried them on even though they were far too big to see how much he needed to grow.

Head hanging, he held my hand as we started walking out of the store. My heart was broken for him. He wanted them so very bad and did everything right to earn them, but it didn’t work out. We got halfway to the front of the store and the salesman was walking our way. He was talking, but he was so tall, I thought surely he was looking at someone behind me. He said he found some, but they were baby blue, is that ok?

My son lit up like a Christmas tree. Yes, baby blue!  He tried them on, then and there, right in the middle of the ladies clothing racks. A perfect fit! His smile mended my heart.

So the salesman makes my son pinky swear that he won’t use the wheelie shoes without wearing his helmet. He gladly makes that promise. “A promise between men” as the salesman called it.

On the way home, my son asked me if we could get his helmet out of the garage before going in the house so he could try his new wheelie shoes in the house. I was happy to oblige.

So, thank you to that gentle giant of a man at Sport Chek who helped make my son’s week.  Thank you for checking a second time for the right size and seeing that there was indeed one pair that had been returned. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Because kids are only kids for a short period of time, and life is too short to say no, especially to something that is fun.

chronic pain

Some days are harder than others to get through. Some days seem to go easily like the breeze. Some days I don’t know what I will get and others I can see them coming miles away.

Those out there who live with chronic pain can understand how I feel, I am sure. It’s not easy some days to get up and do what you’re supposed to do every day. Waking up after a restless night, feeling the drain of lack of sleep. Getting dressed and mentally prepared for work while working through pain in your hands, your feet, your neck, your knees or hips, or any combination thereof is not for the faint of heart.

Working, head down and engaging your hands all day whilst working through the pain, trying to not let coworkers or clients see how you really feel is hard to do. Coming home to the children, needing to give them your energy and happiness, still suppressing the pain and urge to cry because sometimes it’s more than what you feel you can bear. But you don’t. You don’t cry. You smile and keep on doing what you do because this is life. This is life of a single mother living with chronic pain.

Sometimes it escapes us. Sometimes the irritations of the entitled younger staff get to you to the point where you lose your filter. Sometimes we seem angry or maybe, if you look closely enough at our eyes, the creases in our foreheads that foretell of the pain inside that we are trying to hide, you might have a glimpse into how difficult some days really are.  These days, nobody looks that closely at others.  We live in a world full of self-absorbed individuals who really couldn’t care less about others.  Empathic ones are few and far between, or so it seems.

But we keep on.

Why? Because we have to. There is no option. There is no Prince Charming out there who will save us, who will make things better or take us away from this pain we live in. Because we know the pain will lift at one point. Because with every flare comes a remission. We remember that. Remission makes us feel normal again like maybe these symptoms are just fabrications in our own minds. Like maybe we really aren’t feeling as bad as we seem to. Like maybe we can still have the life our age mates have.

But today, during the flare, we live with the pain. Today, we smile though the pain and remember that this will not last forever. Today, we treat ourselves with kindness and be gentle. Today perhaps we get our hair done. Maybe we stop at Starbucks for morning coffee instead of brewing it at home. Maybe we have lunchables in the fridge to send with the kids for lunch instead of making them chicken, cheese and avocado wraps with veggie sticks, sliced fruits and chia pudding.

Today, we are kind to ourselves. We may be single moms living with a chronic condition, but we are still strong.