(The Baptists wouldn’t let me take a photo of them. “We aren’t here for the photos! We are just here to help!” they told me.)
Who are the Baptists? A bunch of gray-haired sixty-something men in bright yellow shirts from a Pennsylvania Baptist church who came to Florida to chop up my tree with their chainsaw. (To be fair, they came to chop up lots of trees that happened to include mine.)
They just showed up yesterday and chainsawed the palm tree that was on our tree service guy’s very, very long wait list. Boom, done. For free. Because BAPTISTS.
He and my neighbor swapped heart attack stories (as sixty-something men do) and the Baptist (not John as far as I am aware) said his doctor found a 95% blockage two years ago. Saved his life. Told him he was one lucky fella.
“I told him, not luck. FAITH! I prayed for my heart and for my doctor to fix it and he did.” And two years later here he is volunteering all the way from Pennsylvania.
As my four-year-old stated last night (at 4am): “I am a little bit tired and a little bit awake!” She was very excited because grandma and pop-pop arrive today and are staying at our house for several nights while the husband and I go to KEY WEST to celebrate ten years of marriage! So exciting! I look forward to the sleep that I get there.
p.s. I seem to be accumulating posts dedicated to middle-of-the-night conversatons with my daughter–I think it warrants its own category. Today, the category “4am kid convos” is born!
Child climbs into bed with me. Husband is blissfully asleep in guest bed “getting over a the stomach flu.” Please, you know he is psychic and predicted this event transpiring.
4 y.o.: “It is dark!”
Me: “Yes Z, it is the middle of the night.”
4yo: “I AM THE CHEESE MONSTER!”
Me: perplexed. Laughs.
4 y.o.: “I bet Jupiter is GLOWING!” (She is referring to a model kit of the planets that my husband bought her and is not-yet-assembled.)
me: “It doesn’t glow honey. You have to paint it to make it glow.” ( The kit comes with glow-in-the-dark paint you can put on the planets.)
4y.o.: “BUT DADDY SAID THEY ARE ALREADY PAINTED!”
Me: “Yes, they are painted, but not with glowing paint. You need to paint them with the glow paint.” Thinks to self, why am I having this conversation??!
4yo: “Will grandma and pop-pop be here soon?”
Me: “Not until you sleep!!”
4yo: “I found Jupiter!!! It isn’t glowing.” Holding a model of Jupiter. Definitely not glowing.
me: “You have to paint it.”
4yo: “But daddy said it is already painted!”
I give up.
4yo.Starts to slowly breathe in that “about-to-fall-asleep-nobody-make-a-damn-noise” way.
Smart dog: “Ouuurrr. Ourrrrrrrrrrrr. Ouuurrrrrrrrrrrrrr!” Standing by the lanai door. Wants out.
Me: mutters under breath. Takes dog outside. Beautiful night! Should be sleeping though! Dog pees. Return inside the house.
4yo: AWAKE AGAIN. Yes, predicted that.
4yo.:Twitching in that “about-to-go-to-sleepyland-nobody-move” phase.
Smart dog: “uuuurrrrrrr. Urrrrttt! Urrrrrrrrrrrt!” Standing by his empty water bowl.
Me:DAMNIT DOG! I fill the water bowl.
4yo: You guessed it: awake.
The-less-smart-dog: “Rrrrr! Rrrrrrrrr! RrRRRRRRRR!!!!!” Standing by the bed. Too fat or old or duffus-ey to figure out how to jump onto bed. Need to purchase dog ramp. Not yet ready to remove his last shreds of dignity.
Me:Mentally muttering swear words. Lifts dog onto bed.
4yo: Laughs and laughs and laughs. Is this funny to you kid?!
7:00 a.m. (sharp!)
Alarm clock: “EEEP! EEP! EEP! EEP!”
Me: (Shaking fist into air) “Darn you husband!” (He forgot to take alarm clock with him to other room.)
Time to make the coffeeeee!!!
Did your cheese monster let you sleep last night? Feel free to share your own stories–but not until you make the coffee.
If you are anything like my sister you are laughing a little. My sister is the yin to my yang. An open book to my locked diary. A heart on a sleeve to my hidden tattoo. (I don’t have a hidden tattoo but if I did I WOULD NOT TELL YOU ABOUT IT.)
My sister called me shortly after I posted the article on Facebook and our conversation went something like this:
Sister:“You posted your article! I didn’t realize your article talked about your miscarriage.”
Sister: “Sarah, anyone who knows you would never accuse you of oversharing.” Ok that is a paraphrase but essentially she reminded me of the fact that I am not exactly easy to read.
She also pointed out how I wrote privately in this blog for a year before even going public. So yeah, baby steps for me.
I’ve been writing for almost another year on my now published blog (yay!) and those baby steps all led up to yesterday. I knew I was ready but still: sweaty palms. (Plus I suffer from generalized anxiety disorder so trust me, sweaty palms are basically my jam.)
So I shared it and…everyone was amazing. Overly amazing actually. And of course they were! But then something unexpected happened:
First I felt tears
Then I felt…joy?!
What was this? I work from home so I did what I usually need to do in situations like this: I talked out loud to my beagles.
“Beagles….I am crying but I am not sad. Am I relieved? Kind of. But, I think I feel joy. Yes, joy. And love. BEAGLES I DO NOT UNDERSTAND!”
Relief, yes. And the relief wasn’t even because people liked it and were being so kind and loving — that was wonderful but there was something else to it. I felt relief that my story had been told.
And joy, definitely joy.
I still didn’t get the joy bit. Frankly it took me by surprise. I did some googling for Brené Brown quotes about vulnerability. Because if you have a question about vulerability you have to ask Brené. (LOVE ME SOME BRENÉ.)
Well, lo and behold I found this little gem:
Yes, exactly Brené! When you are vulnerable and share your story about loss and grief and miscarriage, it is not crazy to feel joy apparently. Because sharing your story = connection = joy = being seen.
And then, because I am obsessed with Brené, I kept looking through quotes and found this one. And I was all, YES PREACH IT BRENÉ!
That is it: I was walking inside my story. That is why it felt good. The sweaty-palm bit, well that is what happens when we put ourselves out there. I know that. But the joy from telling the story, from connection…I wasn’t expecting that. Icing on the cake, my friends.
(And, to those of you who read yesterday and have known me for a zillion years and were so kind and loving…thank you. I love you.)
Yours in sweat and tears and, yes, joy,
Have you experienced this before?! I’d love to hear how your own sweaty-palm-moments led to joy. Because wow, right?
This urgency to give voice. A story that demands to be told. In spite of fear, in spite of taboo, in spite of expectations and rationality and questions. In spite of it all.
A story whose time has come. Whose story. Because it has a life of its own. It breathes. It carries memory. It wrestles to see light.
And when it does, when voice casts light on darkness, it transforms. Transcends. Becomes something all together new. Takes flight with wings.
We tell ourselves that this longing goes against all rational thought. We struggle to state what is. Our genes carry memory. Of a time not that long ago (even now, yes) where truth was met with sword. Where life depended on keeping secrets.