Category Archives: Old Crap that Still Comes Up

What I don’t regret is you.

In the Spring of 1995 things were going along chaotic in my twisted teenage life. I was skipping classes, failing many of them, getting in fights and general mischief, hanging out with the wrong crowd at times, getting busted doing things I shouldn’t be doing, not getting busted doing things I shouldn’t be doing. I was 15, and I was typical. The boyfriend at the time was a good rock for me, why that straight A, awfully introverted guy was attracted to my wild nature, I’ll never know.
We did what teenagers do sometimes, you experiment or whatever (note to my kids: Not until you’re married). Anyway, short story shorter, I ended up pregnant at 15 years old.

Fifteen. A decade and a half. The end of my Freshman year. I couldn’t even drive a car, but now there was this baby to take care of.

Everyone had advice at that time, abort, adopt out, you two should get married, you’re too young, my cousin in Iowa wants the baby, what are you going to do?

But it was never a question what I was going to do. Sure, a failing 15 year old with a hatred for the world had no business raising a baby, but there was no way you could have told me that all those years ago. I didn’t want to hear about any other options.

When I delivered Grace the entire world was for once in my life, peaceful. I had a clear focus, my mind was no longer raging, I didnt care for trouble, or even roller-coaster rides anymore, I wanted to be safe, grounded, and a good mommy to her. Her little smile is the reason I graduated a year early, with straight As, a complete polar opposite of the Fs that used to line my report card. I never got into trouble again. Never.

And things we’re never really easy back then on the outside, I didn’t have a drivers license or a car for her infant years, I wasn’t financially stable enough to buy her the cutest baby clothes, I was too young to know about attachment parenting, I couldn’t nurse her because of my classes. She didn’t get the life I would have wanted her to have. But she was my life.

Now that she’s almost 16, we talk about teen pregnancy a lot. And often times she tells me she was a mistake. Those words send choking sobs into my throat.

It’s such a fine line to encourage her to wait before she becomes a mother, without making her feel like her life on this earth was a mistake.

She sometimes tells me she was an accident, and refers to herself as the “oopsie baby” –I like to remind her that she was just a surprise from God.

A surprise that I could not have needed more. A surprise that likely kept me off the streets, away from drugs, and the only reason I graduated high school or went to any college at all. The first step in the direction of my life that led me to where I am today (which feels like a pretty good place).

Grace gave me the will to be something more than a failure. What I don’t regret, Grace, is you.

I suck, you know that, and still you’re here.

New Facebook Fan Page – Like it Here!

November 4th was my husbands 1 year anniversary with sobriety.
He was all ready to celebrate his hard work and dedication to making his life, our life better.
But I was not in the mood to celebrate. Sure, I told him “nice work” or whatever.
But that about summed it up.
He was ready to celebrate the choice he made a year ago to change his life before he died.
I was ready to be hateful all day as I recalled that a year ago was nothing for me to celebrate – home in a new town, alone, no way to pay the bills, no way to talk to him, and after the fight the previous night, I was pretty sure my marriage was over, and now he was thousands of miles away in rehab while the kids cried sure that their life was crumbling once again.
It’s not a day I wanted to celebrate.
And since he’s been back, he’s been gone 3-4 nights a week “rehabbing” rendering me a widow to recovery.

This is where if I had a best friend she might say something like “You bitter old bitch, self centered much?”

Really Brandy?

I feel so guilty it’s hard to even type this out.

In the past year his life change has been overwhelmingly noticable. If you can’t tell it’s changed him on the inside by his calm, patient demeanor, his loving ways, his dedication to the program, his prayers, then you can tell it on the outside, his eyes are brighter, white and not yellow, his gaze isn’t distant, his skin is healthy, he’s made a 100% life change.

It’s not about the fact that we had to reach the very mucky bottom of our relationship before it made the turn, it’s not about what we had to go through, or the things we said to each other or all the hurt that was wrapped up in that stupid beer bottle – that’s not what he was celebrating.
It’s about the fact that even at the lowest of lows, he had the strength and the determination to pull himself away from his grim future and that I chose to stick around and support him.

It’s time to get the hell over it, Brandy.

So today, four days after his soberversary, I’m admitting my ignorance, begging his forgiveness for my resentful ways. Realizing I missed out on one of the best reasons to celebrate that we may have ever had together.

Bald Lover, you are my rock.

Happy one year, and four days.

I suck, you know that, and still you’re here.

I know you want me to hate you, but no.

She is quite possibly the most unlikable soul I have ever met.
Glares and stares and self-righteous broadcasts. Parenting advice though she’s never raised a human, mouthy and rude to people, including two of the most important people I’ve ever known. Judgemental stares and awkward looks on the rare occasion that she acknowledges you and sarcastic comments at every opportunity. Though I’ve made every excuse under the sun for her and tried with utmost strength to be nice and build an acquaintanceship with for the sake of all involved – it’s apparent it is never going to happen, and  I recently began to feel that my Dr. Phil motives could likely turn Jerry Springer in 0.6 seconds. I don’t want that to happen literally or figuratively. Not for the sake of the important people I referenced above, not for the sake of maturity and Christianity…

So instead of fulfilling my 2007-2011 fantasy of a roundhouse and drop kick, I remind myself that the violence idea has never helped anyone be more likeable, especially me, and so I vowed to pray for her. I vowed to pray for her and I can’t.

Just yesterday my husband’s mimi reminded us that it’s the unlovable that need love the most, it came only hours before an interaction with the woman I write about, an interaction that sent 3 years worth of hard work and peace-keeping down the toilet.

I wish no ill will on her, I really don’t. And truthfully, one could take a whole lot of pity on her for the situation that she has gotten herself in to – I’ve been there. But I’m just too small of a person to start that prayer yet – so today I prayed to God that someday soon I could pray for her, like I am supposed to. I have child-like faith that it will work.

Check out lovelinks, link to a post, pass some love to others.

My Issues with Music

After my ex-husband moved out, nearly three years ago from today, I found myself completely unable to listen to music of any kind. Even the most gnarly rock song would land me in a puddle of uncontrollable sobs – for some reason sadness can find sadness wherever it goes. It wasn’t long into this phase of my life that a good friend made me a mix CD and offered it to me with some great advice “If you lose music, you’ll lose your soul” and I knew he was right. Music has been such a large part of my life, as I assume most can relate. I was never in a band, or strumming a guitar, but I was always able to find solace in a few lyrics from a song that hit spot on.

I tried to train myself to listen to the music at night, one of the loneliest times in the world for me when the children were sleeping and for the first times in years and years, I was laying in a dark room in a bed that seemed to grow into an ocean over night. Midway through the first song when I felt the emotion whelming in the pit of my chest, I would quickly turn the music off, say my prayers and try desperately to sleep.

As time moved on, my heart was still anti-music. Every song had a memory of a place, or a time in my life that I just couldn’t stand to remember alone. If the kids were in the car with me, I could turn the radio on low volume for their sake, but I would pray for distractions from the lyrics. I don’t know what I felt like music made me face, but I knew I wasn’t ready to face it.

Eventually, I met my Bald Lover, a music junkie, and became able to stand music in small quantities – at a night out surrounded by friends, with him while we were busied with other household chores, etc, and without a horrible cringe of emotional pain if I was shopping and something deeper than elevator music was playing on the system.

He was living in the City at the time, and I in Tulsa – two hours apart. He’d stay with me on occasion through the week when we couldn’t bare to be apart but he’d have to rise early before the sun to head back to the city for work. And once again I would lay in that dark room, in that sea of a bed and weep out of loneliness with ever sad lyric I ever heard circling my head and pestering my heart.

After he would leave it would sometimes be days before I would try to listen to music again.

Last night my Bald Lover found Pandora Radio on his Android phone just as we were laying down to sleep, so we laid in the dark room while he played his favorites, and then as he stood up to visit the restroom the crushing emotion of the music playing and the silent room, and the elephant sized bed surrounding me made me remember all those lonely nights when I couldn’t find myself  in the mountains of covers fit for more than one person in a dark and still room that seemed as though the walls were chanting all my faults at me one by one. I immediately thanked God for my family, that man that helps to fill this bed, and the walls that no longer chastise me with memories of abandonment. I can listen to music at night, what a gift from the man who loves me.

Irony? Symbolism. Maybe just Pure Coincidence

Those who know me know that one of my many passions is writing. While I’ve made most of my older blogs private now, that desire to write still exists within me.

Today, I received a picture message from my daughter, and I had to drive by and confirm the image for myself. I sat in the parking lot stunned, snapping pictures with my unreliable camera phone – I was clearly unprepared to document such a noteworthy sight.

 

As I snapped the pictures, I thought about the things I would say about them, how I could show you a little piece of what has been going on in my life with a few words and a couple of pictures, like I used to do so often.

 

I saw so much symbolism in a heaping pile of rubish, miniscule pieces of a building that once stood firm and unshaken equally comparable to a ten year marriage that collapsed with one final blow.

 

I thought about allowing myself to feel those things and write those things, and thought about how good it might make me feel to let it all out.

 

And then I realized I didn’t care. I really have no deep seated emotion about the building, the symbolism, or the timeline. I’m numb to the things a normal person would feel, but maybe because it was something so long overdue, for both the building and the marriage… It just isn’t there anymore…. I know it should be, I feel guilt ridden that it isn’t.

 

Here’s a photo of the church we were married in, knocked down the very week that our divorce process begins.

http://i88.photobucket.com/albums/k175/brandyglee/church1.jpg?t=1220934292

At Least You Are…

I’m making it a point each night to go in and lay with my daughters before they go to sleep. With school starting tomorrow, out conversations leaned towards nerves and change.  I mentioned to Brittani that I’m nervous too…

“I start school tomorrow, too. In just a blink I started a new career, a new school and a new life as a single mother – I basically started all over” I said.

And Brittani replied with words that encouraged me more than anything she’s ever said… “at least you are, mom.”

and she’s right. At least I am.

MahMaw

I had my own grandparents. Ones that I adored… and one of which I’m still blessed enough to have currently grace this earth. My grandparents loved me, and treated me decent, but I was never favored and never really felt enjoyed. We always called out of courtesy before stopping by, and often times would be told that another day would be make a better visit. If we were able a visit, I couldn’t help but feel like they might like to spend their time differently. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with that or that I love them any less. I am just saying there is a significant difference between the people I called grandparents, and the ones that Therman called mawmaw and granddad.

About two weeks after Therman and I began dating, he took me to his grandparents house. I wish I could explain the feeling when you first walk in the door. Of course you’d have to get passed the cigarette smoke and the loud basketball game on television, but just beyond that was the happiest faces in the world. Granddad would smile a wide toothless grin and wave, exposing the hole in the elbow of his favorite blue sweatshirt as soon as he saw you and mawmaw would say “come in, come in and sit down!” Even when there were other people there, or they had things they needed to do, when we stopped by, usually unannounced, it was as though we were the most important part of their day.

For the first couple years of our marriage Therman and I spent Sundays at their house. Therman would sit in the living room and talk to grand dad and watch the game, and I would sit with mawmaw in the kitchen and clip coupons while she looked at the Sunday ads or worked in the kitchen. I can’t really remember when we stopped doing this. Maybe it was after Brooke was born and I got ill, but even then, I have so many pictures of Brooke with them… so it couldn’t have been then. Still somehow our visits turned from weekly to every couple of weeks, and soon Grand Dad passed away.

Therman took the news exceptionally hard, maybe it was in part because it was the first death of his family he’d experienced, but mostly because the world was without one of his favorite people. I kept asking myself why I was taking the news so hard. Certainly I loved him for all of the seven years I’d known him… but I had no idea how much I would miss him. There was uncertainty of what that meant for the family as a whole, but somehow Christmas Eve at their house managed to continue with mawmaw, and our visits continued, albeit not nearly as regular as they once were. Birthdays still held an envelope with $11 in it – $10 for your birthday and a buck for a card. She disregarded inflation J . We were still able to look through crochet patterns and at craft projects, together, while eating cosmic brownies and drinking dr. pepper. Life continued and eventually the wound of losing grand dad was closing up to a dark scar.

I loved her telephone calls. I’d answer the phone and she’d say “it’s maw maw honey, just wanted to let you know I was thinking of you”  and then she would hang up the phone. The first several times this happened I stood there with the receiver in my hand listening to dead air, perplexed at what had just happened J.  She didn’t want to talk on the phone, just wanted to let us know we were thought of.

For the past few weeks, mawmaw hasn’t been well. Therman and I have refrained from visiting her because we didn’t want to let on that we were having our own marital issues, so it’s been since February since we’ve seen her. She’d get sick and go to the hospital but always come back home. One nurse said “I know her, she’s been here before, and that woman is strong.” She was strong. But everything despite its own strength has a beginning and an end.

I want to tell you how sad we all are, and how dark it was for those who loved her to watch her suffer, but this blog isn’t about me, or anyone else’s feelings – it’s about a woman who loved completely, had a welcoming heart, and made a strong impact on the lives of so many people. We all knew how lucky we were.

At four O’Clock this morning she met Jesus, and saw Grand Dad’s toothless grin for the first time in years. I imagine that all the angels will soon have bed dolls and afgans, chocolate candy and cosmic brownies, and maybe a pack of cigarettes. They’ll play scrabble and Chinese checkers and watch all the good ball games. She was a phenomenal woman, and a different kind of grandparent. Heaven just got a whole lot better.

Meanwhile we’ll all try to figure out how to get on down here with out her….