31 July 2010

Tick Tock

Who knew?  The maternal clock is not a myth.  I always thought it sounded a little far-fetched, maybe an excuse for women who wanted to settle (sell-out?).  This may sound uncharitable, but it was so foreign.  Until very recently I was not sure I ever wanted kids of my own.

I just spent five minutes crying over photos of my dear friend (and ex-boyfriend) and his girlfriend and their newborn baby.  The way they looked at each other and they way they look at their baby was overwhelming.  It's not that he once loved me, and it's not that I want a baby now, but something inside me twinged...   I want that one day, and I want one day to be not so far away.

I spent last week in a house on a beach in North Carolina on vacation with a family that I've known for a long time.  We adopted each other when I was a girl and the neighbor girl decided we would be friends, and now that we're grown I'm getting to know the neighbor brother I grew up with in a whole new way.  He has two kids with whom I spent days playing on the beach and nights reading books to these beautiful blondes, and it makes me sad to not know how much they'll remember the next time I see them.  I feel drawn to their father in part because I see him as that, a father, a loving and devoted father.  I see in him how I want the father to my children to be.  Until now, this is not a quality that I ever would have looked for or particularly valued in a man.  But now it seems so inherent to the quality of the person as a whole I can't imagine not taking this into consideration.

So what now?  I guess for now I make sure to be really careful about birth control and start thinking more than a year out, so one day soon I can not be careful about birth control.

07 July 2010

June Was a Big Month...

Which should explain why I only published three blogs over the month.

I was my best friends maid of honor and shared a magical weekend with her family, mine, and a group of some of the most wonderful people on the planet.  I loved taking charge and knowing what needed to be done without her having to tell me, I loved feeling like I was really helping her marry this man, whom I love too; I loved being around all the people, I loved the ceremony of it all, I loved the kids, I loved staying up until sunrise every night with her brother who became a man and a father in the eight years since I had last seen him, I loved all the music and drinking and food, all the quotations that only those of us who were around all weekend really get ("that's what she said"), I loved my sister being such a help to me and everyone and my parents being able to celebrate with us, I loved being around my oldest and best friends for days straight, and I love being included in everything this family that invited me in 20 years ago did.

I spent about 36 hours in Virginia for a wedding that most of this country would consider invalid.  The 'best-of-times-worst-of-times' year of my life was survived because of a small group of friends, a few of whom have survived in this group we call the Jager Girls.  (Yes, that Jager.)  That year in Fayetteville we drank a lot, we fought a little, we never got arrested, and together we survived what was for most of us the most difficult year of our lives.  They are the ones that didn't ask but just showed up after Brendan died; they cooked and brought liquor (Jager, duh) and cigarettes, distraction, tissues, hugs, and so much love.
Around that time two years ago Mel was about to leave the job she had held and excelled at for most of her adult life because they said she couldn't love Dawn and still do her job.  (They are proof, by the way, that that rule is bullshit.)  Dawn and Mel live together in Virginia now and as of early June are happily (and legally, thanks to the District of Columbia) married.  I got to be there to celebrate, help with a garter, drink a lot, cry a little, laugh more than anything, and love some of my favorite women (and some of their children) in the world.

My sister spent the last three years, arguably the most difficult of her life, working on a masters degree from a very important and very expensive school.  She'd argue the ivy is bullshit but damn if it doesn't have a nice ring to it.  She finished in May.  In June (the day I came back to Madison from VA) we had a nice little party for her.  Our sister from another mister gave us the theme, my mom and I brainstormed the map as guestbook, I found Dora napkins, and we had enough sparkling goodness that Megan had a full glass the whole night.  It was lovely.

The day after Megan's party was the day before the 2-year mark of our brother dying.  This year it rained, and there were fewer people, but it was just about perfect.  There was printing and drinking and crying and laughing.  Brendan was remembered, and toasted more than once.  This sting is so much less now than it was even a year ago, yet the absence is larger than ever.  It's been that much longer since I heard him laugh, since I heard him say "HI sister...".  I have some new shirts, and Solve has many more fans.  He'll never be gone, but my life will never be whole.

A few days later, I came back to California.  I wasn't as happy as I should have been to come home, but seeing Aunt and Uncle and the dogs (who helped Uncle pick me up from the bus stop, along with a cold beer hidden under an ice pack) made it warm and loving. 

Now I am moving forward.  Spending lots of time on things that feel good and spending enough time on things that I have to.  I am making decisions and sticking to them.  I am practicing trusting myself.  I am feeling loved.  I am feeling hope.  I am so excited for what's to come.  I am 10 days in to being 29, and it's going to be a great year.

05 July 2010

Blowing In The Wind

On July 4th weekend two years ago I arrived back in California with my boyfriend Greg, who had packed me into his truck to carry me home after spending three weeks in Madison following my brother's death.

Today I had lunch on the porch at the farm, with my aunt and uncle and two friends, and I was staring absentmindedly at some laundry I had hanging to dry when I focused on a shirt that was just screen printed on the day we commemorated the two year mark of Brendan's death.  It's a print of his face from a photo where he had aviator shades and a cigar in his mouth that was shaped into a cocky smile.  He would have been laughing when the photo was taken.

The shirt was inside out blowing in the breeze.  Two years ago I was in the cab of a Toyota Tacoma curled up on the passenger seat wearing my brother's sweatshirt that still smelled so much like him.  I remember being hot and crying into it a lot and wanting to sleep and erase reality.  Today was a gloriously beautiful day, hot and sunny but breezy; we drank some tumblers of cold dry rose with lunch, and I watched a shirt with my brothers face on it blow in the wind. 

Today my brothers sweatshirt hangs from the back of a chair in my room and smells mostly like dust, but if you bury your face deep enough there's still a faint whiff of Brendan.  I guess I should wash it when I pack to leave here in a few months, as it's hard to justify not washing it for even this long.  I'll probably hang it on the porch to dry, as clothes dry so quickly in the dry heat we get here in the summer.