Heather

And then they were gone…

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I miss my sister so much. It remains the hardest thing about having left LA. Well, that and that I have to have snow here. We grew up in Colorado and I hated snow and moved to California as fast as I could, so although I now truly love Maryland…Winter makes me grumpy. Plus I ordered Duck Boots in APRIL and they still haven’t arrived. Stupid college students wanting in on LL Bean. File under first world problems.

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I hadn’t seen my Heather in over a year, she hadn’t even met Piper!  Max, Huck, and Isaiah hadn’t played together in ages. It took a few hours but before you knew it those three were storming the proverbial castle and Heather and I were gabbing away. I wish we lived closer. We took the kids to DC, we took them to Port Discovery and they had a blast. Then we kinda laid low, roasting marshmallows, and watching movies. Finally we escaped for a maternity shoot…oh, did I forget to mention my sister is pregnant? Yes, yes I did. I am SO thrilled and I can’t wait to see Piper and little one so close in age playing together.
It’s like every childhood dream we dreamed.

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We made a resolution to make family vacations together happen. We need to get all these kids to a beach for some fun in the sun!

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I can’t wait to see them again, and meet the new baby. I love her already!

 

The best laid plans…

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I had grand plans of Piper’s first Christmas. Yes, they all had matching PJ’s and I was going to bust out the big camera and do it RIGHT! The tree was packed full of presents. With both Huck and Max fully into Santa and the magic of Christmas we all got a little carried away… but…but…the flu, you guys.

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And it was vicious. First victim was my sweet Max. Max rarely gets sick. But they called me to come get him from school before the break and dude went downhill quick. Three days of 103 fever and he was slowly on the mend. Just in time for me to get it. With my sister and nephew arriving for a long anticipated visit I basically handed the baby to my husband and said I AM GOING TO BED. Then slept for 48 hours. I was still icky but feeling okay. We wiped the entire house will all manner of lysol and toxic flu killing chemicals and welcomed my sister hoping we had stopped it in it’s tracks.

Not so much. We had a few good days and then it hit Huck like a Mac truck. He is the one we worry about, everything ends up in his lungs, just like mama. So we are still crawling out from under this bug. I hate it and wish it would die already!!

But Christmas was lovely nonetheless. I truly am one of those people don’t understand. I’d love to have my kids home allllllllllll the time. I am so selfish and want them and their awesomeness all to myself.

Except when I want to get away.

So now, the tree is down. My sister is gone and I am cuddled up with a not feverish but still coughing Huckleberry…

Back to life.

Sometimes an Only Child isn’t an Only Child.

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My mom says there were plans to give me a sibling, but when my dad was killed when I was 18 months old that sort of put a stop to that. The hot air and memories of Texas drove my mom out, to higher, drier ground. To Boulder, Colorado. I was 3 and so once we were settled in a cute little house with the previous owners hunting dogs and ducks curtains I was enrolled in Boulder Montessori School. Such a simple thing to do, enroll your kid in preschool. Sometimes I think “what would have happened if mom chose a different preschool?” Thank God she didn’t.  In choosing that school I was given the greatest blessing; a sibling.

Immediately I met Heather. Our parents joke that we were twins born 3 months and 1,000 miles apart. They’re not wrong. I believe strongly in twin ESP because although Heather is not my twin we have always been able to read each others mind, finish each others thoughts, feel when one is hurt. There was a time in college when we went our ways, no anger or anything, it’s hard to find out who you are when who you are is half of a whole. Whenever we met back up at home for Christmas we would find out we were working in the same store, taking the same classes, living the same lives…it was weird and awesome.

I had a single mother, Heather’s mother was my mother’s best friend. Her father was on his own journey so at the time of our growing up he was mostly gone. Unless we were giggling late and night and woke him up. That my friends, was the scariest thing ever. So Heather and I met our mirror images and I think so did our mothers. We made our own family. Hannukah at Heather’s house, Christmas at mine. Yeah, Heather and I like to make it easy on mom by actually putting our pillows on the tree skirt and sleeping under the tree. Sorry mom. I don’t have many childhood memories without her. I don’t have many memories in adulthood without her. When she moved to LA and we were all together it was perfect. I’ve never been so happy. Then we got pregnant at the same time and it was like every childhood Let’s Pretend game ever. My nephew is 6 days older than Max. It couldn’t have been more perfect. We moved away from Heather when Max was ten weeks old. I prayed until the last minute that something would save me. It’s the hardest thing I have ever done, our kids were supposed to grow up together like we did. We were supposed to have family dinners every week. Heather told me that she, Ammar and Isaiah had been looking to move into the same neighborhood we were in before we moved.

I am still heartbroken. I still can’t believe it and I still think someday we will all be together again.

But life goes on. Our first month apart Heather and I texted over 500 times. We quickly moved to an unlimited texting plan. Eventually I gave into the fact that I actually live here, away from her. I like it here, I really do and it’s better for the my kids here. But living without my sister is hard. I always say I have a sister, because I do. I may not have been born to her family or her to mine, but she’s more than a best friend. She is my sister.

Today is her birthday and I am not there. I’m not there to go to our favorite cheap-o LA nail place then hit Aroma Cafe or Poquito Mas for lunch. I’m not there to make her a cake or give her her present. I’m not there to tell her in person how I can’t live without her. How much I love her. It hurts a lot.

There’s a big party in her honor, as there should be! She’s amazing, she’s perfect in my eyes. I won’t be at her party. I won’t get to raise a glass to her turning 29 (again) But we’ve been sisters long enough for me to know that even though I am not there in person she knows I’m there. 

I miss you Heather, I love you, I can’t live without my sister. I hope you have the happiest birthday ever and when you blow out the candles I hope you get whatever your heart desires.

Happy Birthday. T.S.I.S.

(BTW this picture is from my 8th(?) birthday. Please note how lovely and put together Heather looks. I am a hot mess.

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It so that way.

 

My Sister’s tale of love and loss.

My sister, Heather is taking over my blog today. She recently suffered a loss and dealt with it by writing. It’s full of heart and lost dreams, and I think it is too beautiful not to share. Please give her some love.

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This morning I was feeling solid euphoria. I cleaned the entire house. I was in awe of the power and effectiveness of my Goddess body. I felt clear and relieved and okay. And I wanted to scream at myself “DO NOT BELIEVE THIS!! IT IS A LIE!” I remember this elation after my first child was born. I felt beautiful and sexy and strong. And then post partum kicked in and my life went into crazy land. I am getting ready for this loony ride. I know it is coming. But this time, there is no baby at the end. No sweet baby girl. For years I have meditated on the words “I will have a healthy, happy, smart, baby girl”. For weeks I believed it was time. I dreamed of my sweet girl. I had names. I couldn’t help it. I had names picked out for her. I know this was not the time. Ammar and I did not make a conscious decision to have this baby. We have not even yet made complete, conscious, decisions to be together. My engagement ring still sits in my bedside table. Waiting.

So this baby girl, perhaps knew this was not the time. She jumped in, an eager soul to be with this lovely family. And we are a lovely family. We love each other, we play together and Isaiah is the happiest, sweetest boy I could ever have dreamed up. But perhaps my smart, baby girl realized this was not the time. We were scared of money. We were scared of being able to provide for a family with two children at this time. We were scared of losing each other, caring for a baby before we were ready to care for ourselves. This perfect soul decided to give us some more time. I knew something was wrong. I felt a burning for weeks. The doctor said it all looked good, but I felt the difference. So I stopped having morning sickness. My breasts stopped swelling as they did last time when they gave me a brief moment of Barbie doll status. My last pregnancy I felt like a rock star. I knew this one was different. At nearly 10 weeks, I went into work. I did not feel like moving, so I was working at my desk. Coloring an activity for a future lesson plan. Meditative work. Then I started bleeding. Just a little bit but I knew something was wrong.

I showed up at the OBGYN. Could have been just a normal check-up where she told me I was being over anxious and that everything was just fine. They set me up with an ultrasound. Laying there, I saw it. I saw her. I knew. I knew before my  doctor  said a word. My clinical but gentle Dr. stated, “ I am not seeing movement…like I should… and… I don’t feel a heartbeat.” This took a life-time to say. Slowly it sunk in. No sweet baby girl. No more dreaming and planning for a future baby to snuggle and love, with all of my mommy heart. I love being a mommy. Nothing has made me happier. I feel so perfectly right as a mommy. Of course I make mistakes and feel at a loss much of the time. But I am supposed to be doing this. Before Isaiah, I had never felt so overcome with love. Every cell in my body loves… no worships this boy of mine. I dote on his smell, his words, his laugh, his very being. I can watch him for hours and I miss him when he goes to sleep. I am meant to be a mommy.

I also always pictured myself with a baby girl. Don’t get me wrong, I love having a boy. There is nothing like the feeling of being the sun and the moon and the stars to a little boy. We are connected like no one else. We make perfect sense. He grabs my hand, and checks if it is cold or warm, and I swoon. He tells me I smell like glitter and he always wants me to put him to bed at night. I love my boy. But I also have an image of my girl. We will probably fight. She will probably think I have bad taste in everything and I will never be cool enough for her. But she will be my legacy. She will be the one who pours over who I was after I am gone. She is the one I will have tea parties with and then years later, glasses of wine and chats at midnight. She will get my diamond ring and my special “sweet 16” necklace given to me by my mommy. To me, she will be the most beautiful person who has ever walked the earth. She will be more than anything I can presently imagine. Some day I might tell her about my miscarriage. The baby who was not meant to be. I will hold her and hug her through her downs and tell her how powerful she can be. The power of a woman’s body. How we can create life. How we can take care of ourselves through all kinds of trauma. How we are survivors. Maybe I will help her shop for a prom dress or hold her hand when puts the tiara on her head as a final touch before she walks down the isle. Or maybe not. Maybe I will support her decision to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro or fight fires. Who knows, but I will always be my children’s mommy and love them. No matter what.

But for now, I will live through this miscarriage. I will bleed and bleed and bleed. I will live through this cramping, through this extreme pain. This broken heart. Thank you for showing me a strength I never thought possible. Good-bye for now, my baby dream. Until we meet again.