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Unity

I posted this when I returned from BlogHer10 in New York City.  I know that was only a short while ago, but I wanted to post it again.

~Dre

——–

I have a secret.

Come closer and I’ll whisper it, softly, in your ear.

You are amazing. 

Do you know that?  Do you believe it?  You should. 

I just spent 5 days immersed in your teeming masses and I can tell you, my community, my people, that you are nothing short of spectacular.

There are a lot of people out there who believe that because you don’t have a location with precisely mapped borders, you aren’t real, and so they discount you as not being valuable.

But you are.  You are to me.

Look at the way you bring people together. 

Do you realize that without you, some of us would be completely isolated?  We may as well live in Antarctica for all the comfort and support our geographically appointed communities offer.

You make a difference in so many people’s lives, all over the world.

Let me say it again, louder this time.

You are amazing.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Stoplight

Sunlight glints off the side mirror on the car next to me and catches my eye.

The woman inside sits there at the stoplight, both hands on the wheel, staring straight ahead.  Her dark hair is pulled back ,tightly, accentuating the curvature of her jawline.

I can see the tears streaming down her cheeks from a car length away.

I don’t know where she’s going.

I don’t know where she’s been.

But I am mesmerized by the stranger crying at a stoplight on a random Tuesday afternoon.

She glances my way and our eyes meet.

She surprises me by holding my gaze.  I offer a small smile.

Something intangible passes through tempered glass.  Me to her.  Her to me. 

A chill travels the length of my spine.

The light turns green and she is gone, moving on to what lies ahead.

Whatever that may be.

Butterfly in Waiting

My Sweet Little Blythe,

Today you are three years old. 

You have lived 1095 days on this Earth, and you have taken every single one of them by storm.

You changed the world the day you were born, baby girl, and you continue to change it with every breath you take, every word you speak, every step you take.

I look back on the past three years and I am in awe of your intelligence, your grace, your joy.  None of us knew who you would be, my love, as we waited to meet you on the day of your birth.  I could never have imagined the wonderful person you are becoming.

You have taught me so much.  I thought I knew what love was, sweet Blythe, but from you I have learned the true meaning.

You are hope.

You are courage.

You are strength.

I see you, my little Butterfly in Waiting.  You are aching to fly, willing your wings to grow faster, bigger, stronger.

Each night as you lie in the dark, drifting off to sleep, I sing your favorite song, the one you heard in a movie  once and have loved ever since.  It reminds you that one day, you will get to do all the things you dream of doing.

Caterpillar in the tree
How you wonder who you’ll be
Can’t go far, but you can always dream.

Wish you may and wish you might.
Don’t you worry, hold on tight.
I promise you, there will come a day…

Butterfly fly away.  Butterfly fly away.

Every day that passes brings me closer to singing you the second verse.  I hold you tighter and closer to me, hoping to memorize your smell, your voice, your touch. 

You are only three years old today, Blythe, but before I know it you will be ready.

You are becoming a butterfly right before my eyes.

Butterfly fly away.
You’ve got your wings now, you can’t stay.
Take those dreams and make them all come true.

Butterfly fly away.

You’ve been waitin’ for this day.
All along, you’ve known just what to do…

Butterfly fly away.  Butterfly, butterfly, butterfly….
Butterfly fly away.

You are your Daddy’s Cupcake, but you are my Butterfly in Waiting. 

You will not be tamed, baby girl.   You take my breath away, right here on the ground.  

I cannot wait to see you fly.

All My Love,

Mama

Hopes and Dreams (Again)

I wrote this post nearly a week ago – I published and then, worried about the way it sounded, I pulled it.  With a few gentle nudges of encouragement, I’ve decided to put it back up. 

Here’s the thing.  I’ve been writing here for two and a half years, and yet… I feel like I’ve only let a small little bit of myself grace these pages.  Mostly because I’m afraid.  Of what?  It’s hard to explain.  I even created a new space where I hoped I could be more daring – but I rarely write there.  Again, it’s hard to explain. 

But that fear?  I’ve decided that instead of letting it discourage me from writing, from being truly myself – I’m going to try and let it be my fuel.  I’m still not going to edit this post – nor will I link to all the things I reference, although I know I should.  I’m just going to hit publish, and beat fear with triumph. 

————————

Three years ago, I was on the cusp of realizing a dream of mine.

I was finishing up the certification process to become a Childbirth Educator with the International Childbirth Education Association, and was preparing to teach my first class.

I had a gig all set up at The Birth Center, where I had both of my girls, teaching Natural Childbirth classes one evening a week.

I was 7 months pregnant, my baby and I were healthy, and I had an amazing 3 1/2 year old daughter who was thriving at preschool, and I was married to my best friend in the world.

And then my life flipped upside down.

I hemorrhaged after having Blythe and then nearly died two weeks later when it happened again.

I struggled to recover.  My family and friends were an amazing help, but still I struggled.

At two months of age, my happy and content baby started having strange spells where her whole body seized up, and she would scream and cry, unable to be soothed.

At four months of age, it got even worse.  She went from being able to sit up fairly well when assisted to not even being able to lift her own head.  She was ahead developmentally, and then, suddenly, she was so far behind that her body movements resembled those of a newborn.

Her screaming and seizing got worse, and there wasn’t a doctor at our (expletive) HMO who would help us.

And then the economy took a dive, and the company my husband worked for decided to shut down its plumbing division.  We had two choices: look for a new job in a flailing economy, or start our own business and take over the unfinished contracts from the old company.

We decided we’d take the contracts, so overnight we became business owners.  Just like that. 

And while I know it’s the American Dream to own a business, it wasn’t my dream.  I exchanged my own dream for someone else’s, one I didn’t really want.  But I feel bad for being ungrateful.  

I miss my husband, my best friend.  I miss talking to him about things other than work, I miss lazy Sunday afternoons, and I miss the carefree way we used to laugh.

One day, my hopes and dreams were right there in front of me.

And then they were gone.

My health, my baby’s health, my dream job… just gone.

It’s hard to describe what was left in their place.  Post partum depression, resentment, confusion, stress, more depression, and a lot of tears.

I am trying so hard to stay positive, but it’s hard when so much of my life changed in such a short amount of time.  When so many dreams were shattered, and I didn’t even get a chance to process the changes and accept them for what they were.

I am trying.  I struggle every day, but I am trying to fix my attitude to one of acceptance and embrace what is, not what could have been.

Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. ~John Lennon

So true.