Infertility

Happy Birthday, Dad

You are missed every single day.

And just a reminder … this week is National Infertility Awareness Week:

National Infertility Awareness Week

I have to admit. I’ve had little time to blog lately. Plus there really hasn’t been any exciting news or anything worthy I’ve felt I’ve needed to say. Which is what makes “stepping out” of my blog silence this week especially important.

Yes people, it is National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) again. This year the theme is “Don’t Ignore Infertility.”

I’ve written about my infertility journey so many times that it feels like I’m a broken record. And since I haven’t had time to write … I think the best way I can celebrate this week is to re-post some of my older posts that follow this year’s theme.

I hope you enjoy these “oldies but goodies” …

So here’s my first one … Ironically one written back in 2010 when RESOLVE began their campaign to stop infertility unawareness. (Original link can be found here.)

******

If you have a moment, please watch the video below and then click over to the RESOLVE website to read about what you can do to raise awareness about Infertility.

Here you should be able to find the link to the SELF Magazine article that I talked about in my previous post.

As a person who is living Child-Free after Infertility, I think it’s extremely important for both the general population and the Infertility Community to be aware that Infertility is a disease that cannot be simply “cured” by Assisted Reproductive Therapy (ART), pregnancy or adoption.

Infertility is a disease that affects the livelihood of 1 in 8 American couples. And most of all, not all Infertility stories are are success stories.

Regardless, I believe that every Infertile — including former Infertiles (those who have now become parents) — should voice their struggles (or past struggles) to others. The only way for Infertility to have a VOICE is to speak about it, loudly & proudly.

We should not be ashamed of what we’ve been through. We should no longer hold our struggles and emotional pain internally.

We should no longer keep our Infertility a secret …

So while you’re on the RESOLVE website, I also encourage you to take the pledge.

*****

And now a message from the Executive Director of RESOLVE

Unsettled

It’s Thursday night. And even though I had the evening I had for myself (knowing that Hubby had prior obligations that kept him from staying in tonight), I find myself with nothing to do.

I had planned on knitting all evening, but didn’t feel motivated to do so. I had also planned on cleaning out the closet and dressers to donate more clothes to the Salvation Army; which I only partially finished. Then I tried my hand at playing some online games and didn’t quite feel myself get into the rhythm, so I just gave up. There’s nothing on TV and no new movies to watch on cable.

So here I sit with my laptop on and a blank page beckoning me to type some meaningful words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs. Yet I don’t know exactly what to say. Well, except maybe this:

It’s been a difficult year.

And yet as much as I’m trying to move forward with my life, I somehow can’t seem to take anything bigger than baby steps.

I struggle to remember if it was this hard to “get over” my failed IVF — the loss of a total of three “would-be” babies — as it is to “get over” the death of my father. The lines are so blurred these days. But I do know I’m in the same place that I was close to five years ago when I pretty much gave up hope of ever having biological children of my own.

Oh yes, I’m in that deep dark space below. And it sucks.

I’m not sure if these feelings are magnified because of an upcoming anniversary date this Saturday or not. What I do know is that this restless, unsettled feeling is very unnerving. And I wish it would just go away. But somehow I just know that it’s only going to get worse before it gets better.

So if you got a moment … and I truly don’t mean to be such a pity-party right now … but if you can spare a few seconds, could you say a quick prayer or a positive thought my way just so I can make it through the next few days? Because I could really use some bloggie love right about now.

 

Purpose

 

Hugo: Did you ever notice that all machines are made for some reason? They are built to make you laugh, or tell the time, or to fill you with wonder. Maybe that’s why a broken machine always makes me a little sad, because it isn’t able to do what it was meant to do.

Maybe it’s the same with people. If you lose your purpose … it’s like you’re broken.

Isabelle: Like Papa Georges?

Hugo: Maybe … maybe we can fix him.

Isabelle: So is that your purpose? Fixing things?

Hugo: I don’t know. Maybe.

Isabelle: Then what’s my purpose?

Hugo: I don’t know.

Hugo: I like to imagine that the world is one big machine. You know machines never have any extra parts. They have the exact number and type of parts they need.

So I figure if the entire world is big machine, I have to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.

Thanks-IF-ing

Going through Infertility has brought me many things in my life; both good and bad. But seeing that today is Thanksgiving, I thought I’d share with you what I’m actually thankful that Infertility has given me. So here’s my list:

  1. The Weight: With all those pills and shots taken over the years, I can thank IF for all that added weight gain. Of course, it’s also my un-doing that I refuse to eat any healthier or exercise any more than needed to get rid of my “not-so-pregnant” belly! On an upswing? Bigger boobs. 😛
  2. Speaking of shots … oh, those wonderful shots! I can thank IF for all the bruised areas on my thighs and abdomen I had when going through those medicated cycles. It’s not so much that I don’t know how to give a shot — I *am* a Registered Nut — I mean Nurse. It’s more the fact that I can proudly poke myself like a human pin cushion and not be scared about it anymore. In fact, if I had to do it again … Nah, nevermind.
  3. Speaking of needles … I’d like to thank my body for producing enough blood so that those vampires — I mean Phlebotomists — can take all the vials of blood they need to run their tests. But I also want to thank those blood-suckers — I mean Phlebotomists — for being so kind and patients; especially when I was having a particularly rough day.
  4. In fact, I’m thankful for all those health care workers (from the nurses, to the receptionist … even the Ultrasound tech) for being so wonderful. In the throes of IF, I may have shot imaginary daggers at your back or given you dirty looks when you weren’t looking … but reflecting back on those moments, you have all been so kind to me.
  5. In fact, there have been lots of kind folks out there that I should be thankful for. Many of them are you, as readers of my humble blog. I’ve “met” the most compassionate women out in the blogosphere that “get me” sometimes more than the people I know IRL (in real life). So to you … my readers and commenters, both past, present and future … I’m grateful that you’ve graced my life.
  6. For those folks that I know IRL that have been willing to listen to my stories of Infertility … I can’t begin to tell you how much it means to me. For so long, I did not have anybody (but Hubby, of course) to listen to our “War Stories” … so for anyone IRL that has lent me their ears or provided me with the empathy I so desperately needed, I am forever in you debt.
  7. I’m also indebted to Infertility for giving me back the gift of writing. It’s something I’ve always loved to do as a young kid, but something that I could never take on as a “career.” So I’m thankful for my tiny space in the Cyberworld where I can continue to write (as often or as seldom as I’d like) about my world; about my feelings. And about my thoughts, as crazy as they can be.
  8. And to be honest, if it wasn’t for writing about my Infertility, I wouldn’t have been able to come to some sort of closure with my Infertility journey … even if it wasn’t the outcome I expected. So there. I’m thankful that writing about IF has opened up a new path to my “new” future.
  9. Not only am I thankful for my blog and the ability to write … I will always be thankful for those IRL family and friends that read and acknowledge my blog. For the longest time, this blog was the only way that I could tell people about my Infertility so that I could “save face” in my culture. Knowing that I could still tell my story and yet not feel ostracized in the presence of my family and those Filipino family friends has been an absolute Godsend. It has given me strength in the midst of adversity.
  10. But the most important thing I’m grateful that Infertility gave me is my relationship with my husband. Nothing more has tested our wedding vows more than Infertility has. It brings new meaning to the words “In sickness and in health” and “For better or worse.” I know many couples that can say the same thing and have gone through adversities (even those who had gone through other crises other than Infertility) that know exactly what I mean. My marriage is stronger because of Infertility and my love for Hubby has grown deeper than I ever thought it would. It’s thanks to Infertility that I know the meaning of unconditional love; one that will last through the test of time … with or without children in our lives.

So those are the things that I’m grateful that Infertility has given me. I’m sure I can come up with more things to be thankful about … and not necessarily good things, but I’m trying to stay  on the positive side these days. So I think I’ll leave those parts out.

How about you, oh IF internet peeps? What are you thankful that Infertility has given you?

And for those non-IF folks … it is Thanksgiving, after all. Tell me what you’re thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

 

Sunsets and Sunrises

I can’t believe I actually have time (and energy) to write today. Perhaps it’s the fact I’m en route (and in the air), anticipating a nice reunion with Hubby. And the fact that I’m kinda caught up with work things for now. Either way, I’m feeling somewhat inspired today.

I flew out to Southern Georgia this week for a training session at a regional hospital in the area. It was a one-day session, so ultimately I should have flown back yesterday evening instead of today. Except the closest airport to this town was approximately a 3-hour drive. Even if my session ended when it was supposed to end at 5 pm, I would have never made it back to Jacksonville, FL in time to catch the latest flight back to Detroit. So instead, I’m catching the earliest flight back to Detroit today. Non-stop, of course! 😛

Since my flight didn’t leave until noon, I thought I’d take full advantage of being close to the ocean. Just like I did a couple weeks ago when I was down in Miami (South Beach, baby!) But since I had a limited time, I thought … what better way to dip my toes in the water by watching the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean? So early this morning, I sat on the beach to watch the sun hide behind clouds; watching the clouds progressively change hues. It wasn’t the best of sunrises; definitely not any type of “golden hour” scene. But it was beautiful, nonetheless.

As I sat on the beach, I reflected on how much I still love the ocean; still love being around water. And no matter that it was cloudy and that I felt drops of rain splatter onto me, I felt peaceful, content and – for a brief moment – happy.

I knew sometime in mid-July that, despite being on medications, my clinical depression had started to resurface. (Which, if I would have read back at some of my previous posts, I might have realized this a lot sooner.) The precipitating factor – or rather the event that forced me to re-seek treatment – was when Hubby & I officially moved all our stuff from Chicago back to Detroit.

It makes sense, looking back now, that I would need to feel weighted down by everything; to feel the constant fatigue associated with depression. It makes sense now why I couldn’t even to get out of bed; why I couldn’t stop the racing thoughs of anxiety that would keep me up at night … or, at the very least try to relax.  The truth is that in the span of a year, I had lived through many stressors that could have easily sent any other person running up a mountain, only to jump off the cliff.

Not that I’m saying that my stressors were any worse than anybody else’s stressors. (After all, I’m not writing this to complain about my life.) I’m just stating the facts.

I look back at 2010 in awe of myself; of having survived through one of the most stressful years of my life. (And by that, I do mean that there were both bad and good stressors.) “But why am I feeling so miserable now?,” I remember asking myself in the beginning of August.

I had no answer at that time, but today I realize that this was exactly what happened when dealing with my depression the first time around. But that time, it took three years after my failed IVF to realize that I hadn’t even begun to deal with my loss. At least this time, it only took 9 months from the last major life-stressor to realize I needed help again. And two months from mid-July to finally do something about it.

I’m slowly beginning to feel the fog lift. And by slow, I think of the “Slowsky” turtles in that one TV commercial (who, coincidentally, just recently had a baby … WTF?). Over the past year, there have been moments of bright colors scattered amongst the other days of gray. There were those days where I felt brave enough to face the world amongst those other days where I just didn’t want to deal with anything. But it seems like that those moments of happiness – brief as they can be – are happening just a tad more frequently than before. And I guess that’s something to be proud of.

One thing is for certain … even when the sun goes down in life, it eventually rises again. Here’s hoping for brighter days ahead.

*****

Related Posts:

Emily is moved in mysterious ways

Emily goes belly-up

Emily makes her list and checks it twice

Emily starts another new chapter

Emily hopes to keep her promise

Emily weathers through a loss

Emily loses a piece of her heart

Go Together Like a Horse and Carriage

There’s this phone commercial on TV that makes me sick every time I watch it.

I mean, yeah … it makes me so mad, but it really produces this awful awful lump in my throat.

Well here. Let me know what you think:

I swear … I get so angry that it makes me want to smack the living daylights out of this woman!

Okay, so the guy does appear to look rather — ahem — nerdy. But as I look at the other things surrounding the commercial, it appears to me that he is a guy that would do anything for his family. And his wife.

For example, unless the woman is a self-made millionaire who can afford a greenhouse separate from the house … who do you think agreed have one built on their property? The husband.

Who apparently encourages her to enjoy her own gardening past time? The husband.

And yet, this wife apparently has no respect for him.

I don’t know about you … but I could never be that disrespectful to the person I vowed to love and honor for the rest of my life.

Hubby & I arrive at Hogwarts!

But maybe that’s exactly it. Maybe there are couples out there that act like that around each other. And maybe that’s why watching this commercial makes me sick; because I would hate knowing that there are people out there that may be married (or may stay married) and treat each other with such disrespect.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand that people can “fall out of love” with one another. And I can understand that there are certain circumstances in a person’s life that would make a person marry (or stay in an unhappy marriage) for something other than love. I can also understand why certain circumstances can lead a couple to divorce.

What I don’t understand is how a person can just be downright disrespectful to someone else; circumstances or none. You can hate the situation you currently find yourself in, but don’t blame (or hate) anyone else for your current situation but your own self. And certainly don’t disrespect someone just to spite them.

I guess this commercial gets me so riled up because I can’t see myself ever acting that way with my Husband. Okay, I admit that I may have occasional disrespectful thoughts, but: 1) I would never ever say them out loud and in front of him, and 2) they’re literally fleeting thoughts that quickly get dismissed when I realize exactly how much Hubby means to me.

If there’s one thing that Hubby & I have gotten right in our life together is that we have a good solid marriage. While I don’t mean to be arrogant by making that statement, I do know that we’ve heard from other couples … other friends, that the two of us together are a great couple.

But here’s the thing. Although we appear to be such a great couple to people we come in contact with … keeping our marriage together is not an easy task.

Marriage is hard. And it’s definitely not something you can dismiss lightly with a passive-aggressive statement like, “Mother was right. I should have married John Clark.” It takes a lot of patience, understanding and mutual respect for one another to make things work. And it especially takes honest and open communication / open dialogue to keep the marriage working.

15 Years of Marriage and still in love ...

I can’t dismiss the fact that Hubby & I (as college sweethearts) have grown into our marriage together; and therefore haven’t experienced some of the things that a couple married later in life (and likely with more “dating” experience) has. But I do know that past experiences can affect how one may react while in current and/or future relationships.

But I also can’t dismiss that Hubby & I have also gone through our own experiences that have challenged our marriage in many ways.

Think about how we found out that we couldn’t have children the “traditional” way.

Think of the risks we took trying to finance infertility treatments that only had a certain percentage of working.

Think about the decision we made to move to Chicago and now the decision to move back to Detroit.

Think of the roller-coaster of emotions it took to finally come to the decision to live child-free. Or the emotions of having to deal with the unexpected death of a parent.

Now imagine what our marriage would be like if we didn’t love and respect one another. If we didn’t have honest and open dialogues. Think of how hard it would be to go through everything we did without having each other’s back.

So yeah, I think that’s why that commercial makes me sick. And I hope that I’m not the only one out there that feels the same way …

So what do you have to say, oh Internets? What do you think of this commercial? What are your thoughts about marriage?

Holding It Together

The last thing I needed to do was to drop all the keys into the kitchen drawer to the right of the stove. That was the directions given to us by the building manager. Hubby was heading out the front door to the apartment that we had been only partly living in over the past year.

Now the apartment was empty; all the furniture taken apart and stored in the rented Penske truck that caused such a major hassle earlier that morning. All of our belongings since moving to Chicago more that 2.5 years ago were now in boxes, also in the rental truck.

I couldn’t help but feel sad; feel like, once again, I was a failure. After all, I had moved to the city of Chicago in hopes of forging a new life for me outside of my suburban life in Michigan; outside of our families, who had now been inundated with babies and kids in general. The move came at a time when I needed it most; when the latest birth in the family had proven too much for me to deal with both physically and emotionally. I’m not proud of how I had acted  after the birth of Hubby’s niece, but (as much as I love her to pieces) I felt as if I was spiraling downward into the deep abyss of Infertility depression. Again.

So yes, moving to Chicago was a way to stop me from free-falling. It was a way for me to step back from Infertility and focus on something new. It was a way for me to look at my life from a different perspective without the emotional ties or memories of what had happened in Detroit since the day Hubby & I decided to start our own family. And now, I was moving back to the same place I had “escaped” from back in December of 2008.

Hubby noticed the sadness in my eyes as I headed to the front door after placing the keys in the kitchen drawer. “It’ll be alright,” he told me, placing his arm around my waist.

“Aren’t you even a little sad?,” I asked him knowing how much he loved Chicago. I would have thought that he would have been a bit melancholy over the whole move.

“We’re together,” Hubby told me. “And really, that’s all that matters.”

I knew he was right; after all, wherever Hubby is will always be home. Yet I still couldn’t shake the feeling that I would be moving back to those same emotional ties and memories that I had left behind. To be honest, it felt more like I’d be moving back to even more emotional memories, especially since I had lost my father less than 9 months prior. How would it feel to go home again? To see all the places I had been to while in the throws of Infertility treatments? To see family and friends again, many who still to this day ask us why we don’t have kids? To know that I had failed to give my parents … my Dad especially … any grandchildren? To know that the only grandchild my Mom has lives a thousand miles away?

I reflected on all these thoughts on the long drive east on I-94. As Hubby followed behind me in the Penske truck, I could feel myself slowly sinking into the deep abyss. After all, 2011 was supposed to be less emotionally stressful than last year … Especially since 2010 was far from stellar. Nothing could possibly top the year I got fired, dealt with another pregnancy in the family (this time much better than in 2008), took my career in a different direction, and unexpectedly lost my Dad (and not to mention a beloved fur baby within the same week).

But as easy as it would be to let the abyss swallow me whole, I knew I had to find the positives amongst all the negative. So while listening to the entire INXS back catalogue I tried to reflect on what Hubby & I accomplished in the short time we lived in the Windy City.

“We made it to Chicago,” I thought, knowing that we had always talked about moving there since our days in college. As much as we loved the Detroit area, we wanted to experience true urban living.

“We mastered public transportation.” I added that to list, knowing full well that growing up in the Motor City pretty much meant that everyone drove themselves around in their cars rather than utilize public transportation.

“Learned more about Chicago than just the Magnificent.” I chuckled at that one, since we loved heading into the various neighborhoods and exploring the intricacies of the city.

“Spent more time with my Chicago cousins,” I thought; grateful for this fact, especially since these were my Dad’s nieces … and none of us ever expected that Dad would be taken from all of us so quickly.

Then as my thoughts turned to family, I remembered the biggest positive that came out of Hubby’s and my short stint in Chicago. Of all the things that happened while we were living in this “Second City,” I had actually accomplished the one thing that I had set out to do when we first decided to move out of our hometown. We had finally separated ourselves from all the emotional baggage that came with Infertility and found our resolution to our journey. And while it wasn’t the outcome that either of us had hoped for when we set out to start our family 14 years ago, it was one that the two of us could live with.

“So what if there are days — like today, for example — that I’d still feel like a failure?,” I thought, as the sun finally began to set on that hot August evening. “At least we have each other.”

And all I could think of at that moment was Hubby’s words: “We’re together,” Hubby told me. “And really, that’s all that matters.”

Resolution of Happiness

Apparently, even after 25 years to this day, Emily the Groupie is not dead.

Oh yes, everyone … Emily apparently has some life in her just yet. At least after this past weekend, anyway. And what a weekend it was.

It started out innocently enough. Hubby & I drove to our Chicago apartment on Thursday night, knowing that we were going to see my favorite band, INXS perform Friday night at a casino just 20 minutes outside of the city center. As we drove around the parking garage Friday evening, Hubby pointed out the freight elevator at the far end of the structure. And as I looked over, we both noticed that the large elevator door was opening.

It was kind of a surreal moment, watching this group of people step out of the freight elevator; it almost appeared as if they were moving in slow motion. Actually, as I think about it now … it reminded me of the beginning of the 1982 “Don’t Change” video. What I hadn’t noticed — initially, anyway — was that it happened to be all the members of INXS. When it finally dawned on me, I was too stunned to do anything but smile and wave at them from inside our car. And I managed to get a big grin and wave from a couple of them.

Now … why didn’t I do the original “groupie” thing and jump out of the car at that time? I’m not sure. I think it was likely because I suddenly felt shy; felt intimidated by them. Which is ridiculous, right? Seeing that I managed to track them down a couple of times in my youth.

Except now, I was older. I had experienced things since those younger days. I was brave back then; not intimidated by doing silly things, not afraid to be different or unique in front of other people. Now … after experiencing sadness and disappointment, I had become afraid of rejection … of being laughed at or singled out.

I’d say that all of that sadness and disappointment and rejection (and not to mention, feeling isolated and and certainly singled out) came from my experience from Infertility, but the truth is, such emotions can come from a culmination of things. I say this now … after wrapping up my IF journey … only because when looking at everything that happened over the past year (loss of a job, birth of another new family member which didn’t come from me, the sudden loss of a parent, etc), I’ve felt every single one of those same emotions I did when in the depths of Infertility depression. Just not as intense.

Why am I telling you all this as I’m referencing my younger “groupie” days? Well, it goes back to that initial encounter in the parking garage before the show. And my mind telling me — based on my past experiences of sadness and isolation — that I would just be making more of a fool of myself be putting myself in the position to be possibly rejected.

My husband chided me for not “running” after them; saying that I should have been more aggressive. And it’s because of him that after the concert (and knowing exactly where the band would be exiting the venue) I found myself running up to the band and asking for a quick picture with them. While I originally got the standard “The band needs to hit the road” comment from their snooty band manager, two of the members took the time to take a picture with me. So yes … I was elated. And I felt myself gain a little more confidence in myself.

So flash-forward to the next day in Detroit, MI. (Yes … we did buy tickets for both locations. Don’t judge! ) After passing the band’s tour buses twice on I-94 back to our home in metro Detroit, we headed down to the Fox Theater for another night of great music. (In fact, if you ask my opinion … I’d say their Detroit performance superceded the Chicago show.) But seeing that I was in such a “lucky” streak, we took a couple of the band’s older vinyl records and an old photo from my first encounter with the band to get autographed.

At the end of the show (and with the little confidence I gained from my most recent encounter), Hubby and I hung around the back of the theater waiting for the band to surface. However; unlike the previous night where I had them all to myself, there was a crowd of other fans lingering around.

“Never gonna happen,” I thought; but since Hubby kept egging me on, we persisted.

Really, I only wanted one person’s signature. I wanted Andrew Farriss, the brains behind the band, to sign a photo of myself with my brother & LJC next to Michael Hutchence. I wanted that particular picture signed because — while Hutch was the main focus in this picture — the picture caught Andrew sitting quietly on a curb behind us in the background. To me, it’s such a serendipitous shot; especially since Hutch, Andrew’s songwriting partner and best mate, was always out front. While Andrew, the shy genius always avoided the spotlight. Since Hutch was no longer around, it just seemed appropriate that I try to get Andrew to sign my favorite photo. Besides, although I fancied Hutch to the nth degree … I secretly had a thing for Andrew; knowing that if we ever crossed paths and became friends, we’d have a lot more in common than I would ever have with Hutch.

I still had my doubts that I’d ever get that signature … especially since Andrew wasn’t one that liked crowds. That, and the little confidence I had from earlier seemed to be dwindling by the minute. But just as I was about to throw in the towel, I spotted an old HS friend who’s sister took us to one of the last INXS shows before “Kick” blew up. I think all of us had the same thought: that we’d never get the chance to talk to them. But now that I had friends to talk to, it made it worth my while to stay. In fact, within a half hour or so the tour buses left … as did the remaining crowd surrounding the theater.

Hubby had then left me alone conversing with old friends to get our car from the structure. While waiting for Hubby arrived with the car, HS friend and I stood talking amongst ourselves. A few moments later we noticed a flutter of activity next to us. HS friend nudged me and said, “There he is!” And a few feet in front of me stood Andrew Farriss. Stunned, but unwilling to allow myself to freeze up again — fearing that I’d be rejected again — I quickly walked up to him and told him my story about why I wanted this particular picture signed by him. And graciously, Andrew signed it.

Unfortunately, no stunning conversation or spark of friendship ever occurred from that encounter. Yet I felt extremely lucky and … happy. It’s something I’m just now realizing I wouldn’t allow myself to feel since the passing of my father 8 months prior. Even back then, I was only starting to allow happiness back in my life after a sh*tty year and after years of unresolved Infertility issues.

My happiness was something that apparently my Hubby noticed later that night. He smiled at me as I told him the story of what happened when he had left to pick up the car. When I finished he turned to me and said, “See? There’s the Emily that I remember. The one that I fell in love with the day we met.”

While I know our love is stronger now than it ever was back then, I couldn’t help but reflect on Hubby’s comment. I couldn’t help but remember who I was back before Infertility came into my world; before experiencing sadness and disappointment. And what I recalled was — despite teenage hormonal tendencies — I was a happy, free-spirit who loved meeting new people. And I loved having fun while experiencing new things. I was confident and daring; and I didn’t care what anybody thought of me.

And even though it had taken awhile to surface this past weekend, I realized a part of that Emily still existed inside. I understood that I could still be that same person I was so many years ago. I recognized that — despite thinking that the “groupie” part of me died many years ago — I was still, and will likely always be “Emily the Groupie.”

*****

Related Posts:

Hello. Meet Emily the Groupie

Uhm … what’s my favorite band again?

Oh, Hutch … why? Why?!

Needing INXS tonight …

(Pssst … look over to the right for some awesome concert pics! –> )


 

Go Fourth … And Be Happy

First of all, Happy Birthday, USA !!!

And second … Really? It’s July 4th already? When did half the year slip away? It’s been a crazy couple of months here in ApronStringsLand. Busy with work, busy with traveling. And — I’m not gonna deny it — busy in the emotional end of things.

Yesterday marked 7 months since my Dad unexpectedly passed away; a feeling I’m still trying to come to grips with. Everybody has said that it will get better as time passes, but it seems to me that I feel more emotionally drained as the days go by.

This past week, Dr. Bro came into town. Amidst the hectic schedule I’ve had for work, plus the added pressure of being at a local onsite hospital this past week … I had been just a leeetle stressed.

Okay. A lot stressed. Especially given that I knew this was looming over my head this past Tuesday.

But the real reason Dr. Bro came into town was to surprise the “little” cousins (who aren’t so little any more … they made me a margarita, for Pete’s sake!) who had organized a pre-4th celebration to coincide with the local city’s fireworks. He wanted to be here to be with Dad’s side of the family; to spend time with us, because — if he’s feeling anything like I am — he wanted to feel closer to Dad. Unfortunately, he could only stay for two nights; and the second night had been for the party.

It was a glorious night; spent barbecueing at my Aunts’ backyard … which just happens to be next to a lake.  Oh, and did I mention that they just happen to be located behind the park where the fireworks are held every year? Needless to say, we had the best seat in the city! The family had a blast, especially the cousins who were able to eat (and — ahem — drink) to our hearts’ content.

Afterwards, on the drive home I suddenly felt this wave of sadness take over. The best way I can describe it is the melancholy I would feel in my youth (and even to this day) whenever I had to say good-bye to out-of-town family after spending a wonderful amount of time (a weekend or even an entire vacation) with them. I’d suddenly feel lonely and wish we could stay together forever.

I chalked most it up to the fact that I got to spend such little time with Dr. Bro this time around. He spent his one full day helping Mom search for a new car, while I had to work at an onsite location the entire day. And since I had to work again the next day, we would have no chance to spend any quiet time alone.

The other part I chalked up to missing my Dad. After all, I think he would have totally gotten a kick out of the “cousins” doing the cooking and the serving; would have loved to see us kick back and have such relaxing fun together. Which, of course, had me spilling some tears for a bit.

Flash forward to yesterday … Mom, Hubby & I went to church and then to the cemetery to bring some flowers and visit Dad. I knew that Dr. Bro had visited him the day after our party; which I can only imagine was a toughy. (At least I live closer and can visit Dad more often.)

What I hadn’t expected was to see pictures of my niece, Emilia Grace, taped to my Dad’s gravestone. And the minute I saw the picture of my Dad holding his granddaughter, I fell to tears. I knew how much my Dad loved kids, so seeing that picture broke my heart; especially since we all knew that he’d never be able to physically hold his grandchild and play with her.

And, although these days I try very hard to let my Infertility get the best of me … seeing that picture also reminded me that I was never was able to give him the grandkids that both my parents deserved. And if I did have any kids, he would have had at least a good 13 years to spend with them before he died. But instead, he only got to see and hold his one grandchild a few days after her birth … and then three weeks later, he was gone.

I know that a lot of these emotions are stemming from the fact that my birthday is coming up. And that it follows an unfulfilled wedding anniversary date and yet another major holiday. But really … when does this get better? When can I finally see more bits of happiness than shades of blue?

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