This stirs up so many emotions that I want to tell you something I haven't dared write about before. Here goes....
My marriage wasn't perfect. None are. And if someone tells you they have a flawless marriage, they're lying.
Many of you know how much I loved Cade. Hell, I wrote three memoirs about the man during the thirteen years we were together: How we were homeless as kids--sitting back-to-back in a druggie park at night, with only each other to depend on. How our son, Zeke, died when he was two and a half months old--we pulled the plug and he suffocated in our freakin' arms! How we have five gorgeous kids together. How I thought we could make it through anything...almost.
But a year ago, things spiraled out of control further than you might imagine. A series of events left both of us in terrible (albeit different) circumstances. I was completely lost, terrified, sad beyond anything--and I'm sure Cade was too. It hurt to breathe--the damn pressure of loss all around me, threatening to take my sanity and my resolve. It was worse...even than Zeke's death.
In August, 2013, I sat crying in a women's shelter. The place felt like my imaginings of prison, really. They'd put my four living children and me in a tiny cement room with two bunk beds--for the kids--an old, thin pad on the floor was for me to sleep on.
"God, why is this happening? Should my kids and I be in the shelter or is there a better choice? I can hardly stand this! I've lost Cade, my previous life...everything except my family!"
I thought nothing could heal me. I'd already started dating again--sadly, jumping into the arms of the first man I could find after the separation, hoping the pain would subside, but it never did. No matter what substitute I used, nothing could numb the aching in my heart.
Would God give me a sign about staying in the shelter? Or had He abandoned me for good because I wasn't strong enough to be alone and face the pain of separation the way I should have, all by myself?
As I sat, thinking God had abandoned me, a beautiful woman also staying at the shelter, came up to me. I knew she'd seen me crying. "I wanted to meet you earlier," she said so sweetly, getting my mind off of things. I wiped my eyes. "And I couldn't help myself any longer," she said. I'd noticed her and her son before. They both had such strong vibes of happiness and life around them--I wondered what brought them to a shelter. "My son, Zeke, and I are going to be here for a few weeks," she continued. "Zeke! Look, there's another boy here." She pointed to my only living son and I could've cried again, hearing her boy's name.
My son who passed--Zeke--well, his name always seems to come up when I'm having a hard time. And this time, as I heard the name, I sat, almost feeling as if cradled in the arms of God. I watched this ethereal woman playing with her son who had the same name as my angel baby.
So, the next year slowly passed after I left the shelter. During that time, I found out the man I'd dated in 2013 (right after getting separated) was actually living with his wife--not separated and working on a divorce like he'd said for months. My heart broke again as he lied over and over. I wanted to believe him, even begged him to tell me the truth, just confess--but he never came clean. It was a complete loss of innocence as I spoke with his wife and family about the truth. And it hurt more, when I found out he'd thought I was "an easy mark" because I was going through so much when he met me.
I worked two different jobs throughout all of this, becoming a security guard--of all things--working for my parents' construction company, then going back to school to attain my B.A. in Elementary Ed. (which I'm still doing).
As you know, I took my mind off of this by posting silly pictures (click here to see those).
Well, last month, things came to a head when I had to bring my four-year-old in for a hernia surgery. I sat by Cade and my mom, each of us, clasping our hands, worried. It was odd sitting there. And honestly I thought there was nothing my mom and I could say to Cade, but, there was, and it was about our mutual interest--our baby.
With worried expressions, we talked about the kids and how amazing they are. I kept praying, asking God for a confirmation that our girl would be okay. And that's when I saw the beautiful woman from the women's shelter! Her son, Zeke, was just getting out of surgery as well. We hugged, talked briefly before circumstances separated our paths.
"Oh my gosh!" I sighed. "We're far away from home! What are the odds of meeting them here? God, and maybe even Zeke...they're still watching out for us and the babies." And I couldn't help thinking that maybe the surgeons and nurses weren't alone as they worked on my daughter.
It's been horrific honestly, this whole damn year has been hard--with the exception of my family and friends' support, and the fact that I've been dating Mr. Italy who gives my life a peaceful type of foundation I've never quite known before. I love all of you so much--you know who you are! Friends who have left food on my porch, or brought anonymous Christmas gifts, or my parents, helping me go back to school, or my writing mentor/second mom, or my brother and sister, aunts and cousin who have helped every step of the way! The list goes on and on....
So when I got a text on Sunday, saying Cade had been in a terrible motorcycle accident, I felt like life might end...again. I don't know how much freakin' pain one person can take! I know so many others have it worse than I do, but damn it--life is hard!!!
I was the first one at the emergency room. There was blood everywhere, on the bedsheets, the floor. I sobbed into my hands. Then went over to Cade and told him how sorry I am that life is hard. And how even though we aren't together and aren't meant to be, I wish I could take the damn pain because we grew up together--we were kids together and it KILLED me knowing he'd messed up his left leg the way he obviously had.
I hate it that we've been through the wringer so many flippin' times. How now, it'll be such a long recovery for a man who didn't deserve that type of pain. And now I need to get a good-paying job to keep my house--feed my kids--keep my sanity, again. The stress...I can't describe.
That night they wheeled him into a two-hour surgery. I went home and prayed. And the whole time, I got this intense feeling of peace. Memories rolled through my mind, about the loving kindness I saw from fellow homeless street musicians years ago. I remembered tiny miracles throughout Zeke's short life. I thought of that inspirational woman I met at the shelter and then my daughter's surgery--where the surgeons did so well.
That's when I realized, life might suck ass. I might wanna roll over and cry 'til all the water in my body is gone. I might feel like I can't make it and I'm the biggest failure on earth...
BUT damn it--I'm gonna be okay. Because no matter how much shit happens. No matter if people love me or hate me, God loves me! I'm not a saint. I'm not the Virgin Mary. And I'm constantly making mistakes, but me and my kids are going to be all right. We're made of something tougher than the situations we're going through.
I don't know what the future will hold. I'm thankful right now, that God loves me, that I'm motivated to get things done for my babies, that Cade is alive, and that I have so many amazing people in my life.
(that moment when you realize you're surrounded by girls lol)
Getting ready for another storm,