Nineteen years ago yesterday I woke up with a sinus infection. My face hurt, my nose was plugged, and my teeth throbbed. I think everyone can relate to that. The teeth throbbing thing really sucks. I also happened to be almost 8 months preggers. Baby Boy Joyce was not born yet, but was due the middle of the next month. Daddy-O had an interview with the fire department, and I decided that Miss JoDee and I would watch TV all day. Staying in bed, with a warm face cloth on my face. By the afternoon my face really hurt and my back ached from laying in bed all day. So, I called the doctor who told me to come in which is a real chore at nearly 8 months pregnant with a toddler. I struggled to get out of bed, and I struggled to get shoes on and I struggled to get JoDee ready. I can clearly remember her sitting on the bathroom floor not putting on her shoes after me telling her for the millionth time. I grabbed her arm yanking her to stand, it frightened her, and I felt terrible about it later.
I didn’t know I was in labor. I would have thought that since I had been down this road before that I would recognize labor, but I didn’t. I didn’t know until I got to the doctor’s office and they sent me over to the hospital. JoDee with me the whole time. I won’t get into all the details, like when she went to use the bathroom, found a bathtub, promptly shedding her clothes. She ran out of the bathroom in her socks to let me know she was going to take a bath. The nurse straightened that situation out. Eventually she was picked up by friends and family and labor progressed, Daddy-O showed up and huzzah, a baby was born. He was born the quietest baby, the best behaved and required the least attention. Not much has changed in the past 19 years.
Last year we celebrated Jay J’s birthday whole. All of us together, eating and drinking (non-alcoholic drinks, thank you very much) and being a family. This year was not much different, except one of us was missing. I don’t know if anyone felt her missing like I did but it was sad for me. She didn’t call him or me. Silence is a killer. When someone is yelling or screaming or crying at least you can understand what they are feeling. Silence is deafening. It’s the absence of something but it makes a very big statement. It is the epitome of making something of nothing. I suppose, given the choice I know she is making of late, that I should get used to this. I have a feeling that this is going to be our new norm. She has made it clear when she leaves WATC she doesn’t want to go for further treatment, she is angry that she is there again, and she doesn’t want to talk to me. I always said that I would rather hate me and live then love me and die but what happens if she hates me and dies? I never really thought about that, but the truth is, that could very well happen.
Have you ever missed a person? I don’t mean like when you first start dating someone or your best friend is on vacation. I mean physical missed someone so badly you could smell the shampoo they used or the perfume they always wore. The kind of missing someone which can only accompany massive depression because you know you cannot see them, or talk to them. Sometimes there aren’t enough prayers in the world or anyone to hear them or just asking too much, so they can’t be answered. Sometimes people have to stay gone and away. I don’t know how the universe works, but missing someone sucks, even if it is what is supposed to happen.
I don’t believe that is what is supposed to happen anyway. I believe that life, everyone’s life, has two paths. At the time of birth we all start on a path. That is the beginning. A secondary road is parallel to us. It has a different outcome. At anytime we can jump back and forth between paths depending on the decision we make. Sometimes we may not understand why we end up back on an alternate path, and we aren’t meant to know. But at any time, we can make a choice to get on the other path again. That only happens when we recognize and acknowledge we need to make that change. Sometimes we are on an alternate path because of the decisions of others. In those situations all a person can do is stay the course, and hope for the best.
Yesterday, June 9th, was a really happy day for Jay J. He got his favorite dinner (pulled pork sandwiches with maple mayo and cheddar cheese) and Cinderella made baked mac and cheese with ritz crackers and corn on the cob. He also had his favorite cake and opened plenty of presents. It was a happy day. And I was happy for him.
I was also sad, because I missed someone.