My Husband’s Hands

My Husband’s Hands

I had a dream the other day. It doesn’t seem like much, and to most people it probably wouldn’t be a big deal. But the dream has been bugging me all week.

In my dream, I am with my husband, BigTough, and his new family (which he doesn’t have in real life – totally make-believe) at a local ice cream shop. He has a notebook full of things from his youth, stories he has written, and ribbons he has won in track and field. He has a little screen with him. He pops in a home movie to show his new family. In the video I see close-ups of different art projects he worked on as a child, and report cards. All the things that represent his history. Then I see a close-up of him shuffling through papers.

Up until this point in the dream, I was fine. I sit across from his new bride with a big smile on my face. But when I see his hands I lose my mind.

Those hands are supposed to hold my hands.  Those hands are supposed to wipe away my tears. Those hands are supposed to run up and down my back when he holds me crying after our nest is empty.

Those hands are mine.

Now I don’t have a clue what this means, Except that I love him. I guess people put so much stock in what others look like, and what they themselves look like, when it’s something greater than that that makes a person beautiful.

I love my husband’s hands. I love them most when they’re holding mine.

My husband is handsome.

But you should see his hands.

Dying in the Carpool Lane

Dying in the Carpool Lane

I’m a true foodie to my core, but I must admit, I really enjoy Chick-FIL-A breakfast biscuits with a crispy side of tots.

This morning, on the way to school I hit the drive through to get that yummy chick-fil-a breakfast before speeding off to the next school in my dreaded carpool lineup.

Finally, breakfast half eaten, I arrive at the last school of the morning. Eldest daughter is dropped off with goodbyes and I love you kisses and best wishes with confirmation of the time I’m expected back this afternoon. Now I can finish my breakfast while I navigate back to the house.

With my biscuit fully consumed, I have only a few tots left as I start to plow my way through the impatient sea of minivans and SUVs. Traffic slowing to a near standstill, I dip my tot into my tiny vat of chickfila sauce.

Then something happens. My years (like nearly 45 of them) of eating experience failed me. Rather than swallow that little chunk of sauce soaked potato, I inhale. Not in the eat fast way but in the “oh-my-God-I’ve-got-potato-in-my-lungs” way.

A fit of coughing, the likes of which I’ve not experienced before, overwhelms me. People behind me honk to speed up the line, which mind you was transitioning from stationary to snails’ pace. I try to scoot up, not letting my fellow carpoolers down, fully understanding my carpool exit strategy responsibilities. But, HELLO, I’m dying in here.

I continue to cough, wheeze, and gasp. Tears are streaming down my purple face. This is it.

With a phlegm filled hack I pound my chest and see stars, thinking I’m going to pass out. I cough so hard I’m sure I scared birds out of the trees and somehow misaligned newly forming planets. After all I was dying. I can be mildly irritating. The universe would give me a pass on that right?

Thoughts run through my head like “Who will pick up my kids?“and “Man, are the people behind me going to be pissed when I die and block their way out of here.”

Then the unthinkable happens.

With that last ginormous, raging hack I pee just a little. My thoughts are interrupted. “Did I just pee?”

My lungs still aching from lack of air, I convulsively cough again.

Did I just pee again?

By now I’m turning onto the main road. Mighty fine carpooler here. Now no one will be blocked in the driveway by my dead, urine soaked body.

I continue down the main road. Coughing. Peeing. Coughing. Peeing. All for another mile or so.

Wiping tears off my cheeks, it dawns on me. I don’t want to die in carpool covered in spit, phlegm, and pee with potato chunks and chickfila sauce stuck to my purple face.

I want to live! Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus! And you’re right Dorothy, there is no place like home. Damnit.

With a new lease on life and a serious debt owed to my guardian angel I’m off for a shower and an upholstery shampoo. Having used up a fair amount of today’s luck I really hope I don’t trip on the soap.

The Rest Is Up To Us . . .

girl-running-through-wheat

The following is a post from my old blog which is now defunct . It is eons old, but I always liked it.  So it will live here now.

 

The Rest is Up to Us . . .

02/13/2011

As many of you know, I haven’t seen my brother in ages. Did I tell you that sweet boy is a man now? Amazing!  I have been afraid of the “catching up” process and hoping we would still like each other after all these years.  He used to think I hung the moon, but I never did hang the moon.  I was worried about the real me competing with the old, faintly exaggerated memory of me.

He showed up this morning and suddenly I was hurled back to the 1970s.  I could see his white blond hair and bright blue eyes, green striped shirt and all the love, hope and admiration he used to show me when he would follow me, running in the tall grass in the field behind our grandparents’ house.  I was looking at a grown man and seeing the boy who had meant so much to me.  He is my BROTHER. Mine. Mine. Mine.

For some of you that might not mean much – you might have had your brother around so much that he made you crazy, or maybe you just didn’t click.  But this is MY BROTHER and that is a very big deal to me.  We never got to grow up together.  I was the product of a frantically passionate teenage marriage fraught with pain and infidelity.  My mom was 14 when she got pregnant with me. The marriage ended when I was quite young.  My brother was the product of our father’s second marriage, his mother and his upcoming birth the reason my dad left us.  This dynamic did not lend itself to happy family gatherings and as a matter of fact effort was made to keep us apart.

But some things you just can’t stop. Like the sun setting. Good byes from hurting.  And the pull between two kids given a bum rap from the start.

When I was a little older I moved away with my mom and my new dad to a whole new life far away. We drifted physical and emotional miles from each other and the hurt that comes with separation became like a neat little package you tie up with string and store some place private and dark. Secreted away in the deepest recesses of your heart.  What starts as a sharp, mind obliterating pain ebbs into just a dull, hollow echo of a life that is long past.

This morning he walked in my front door with his beautiful family and hugged me.

He said “Hey ya, sis.” and looked at me like I hung the moon.

I teared up, but I held it together.  I didn’t let myself cry.  I wanted to be the picture of happy (and believe me I was happy) but I was also pretty pissed off too.

How dare all the powers that be – my parents, his parents, hurt egos, offended pride, the he said/she said garbage that comes with the destruction of a family keep us away from each other for so long.

He seemed to know what I was thinking.  He said he had given it a lot of thought over the years and he was glad things worked out the way they did and that he has no regrets.

“It made us who we are, Leah, and we both survived.  No, we both thrived.” He grinned. “And we’re not that damaged.”

I hugged him.  We are strong and we can recognize BS before it gets on our shoes.  We know what real love is.  And we let love win.

As far as he was concerned we had simply hit “pause” and are now back, full-swing.  All the love that was there from before is bubbling back like a dry river bed suddenly awash with new life.

Every night, as I come here to talk about my day I am happy, but tonight I am more than happy.  It is a feeling I can’t even put into words.  I feel like an old mama dog who won’t rest until all of her pups are accounted for.  It is like I have been counting and coming up short for so much of my life but now the numbers are finally right.  I just can’t explain it.

I sit here in peace.  Content.  Today was a big step in healing old wounds.  It just goes to show our past isn’t the end all be all of our lives.  We actually have a say in how things go from here on out.  The rest really is up to us.