15 Years

IMG_0684Rounding the bend on my way to Clear Lake, I see him in that old Ford pickup truck, driving away – too fast. It’s like something out of a sappy country song.

It’s a memory.

And a wish.

It is fleeting and impossible all at once.

My friend, Buddy, died 15 years ago today. He took his own life. One of life’s great mysteries.

It is quite remarkable, that time has marched on.

Yet I still wouldn’t be surprised if he showed up on the lake one day. I honestly wouldn’t.

That feeling that he’s just around the corner? It’s made 15 years of one-sided friendship easier.

As a mother now to a son of my own, I’ve been really dwelling on this impending anniversary. It is terrifying and motivating all at once. Motivating in that I hope to raise my children to know that I will stand by them if the dark corners of their minds creep from the corners and into the midst of their lives. Terrifying knowing that the dark corners are like the depths of the ocean – unstudied realities.

Oh but what a gift it is, to be Elle and Jay’s Mom.

On this day each year, I make a point to reiterate that I miss Buddy far better than I ever loved him.

And I’m sorry for that.

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Ebb & Flow

Sometimes I feel like I capture the good stuff in the blog – at least recently – so since this is kind of my only way of looking back on what’s gone on in our lives, I wanted to be honest.

 

Jon and I have been at it – it being each other’s throats – which lasted a full week, about a week ago.

 

It was the culmination of my work schedule being Ca-razy busy and Jon working 16 hours+ overnight at the windmill farm in Munger/Reese. And my being essentially a single parent during that time, with Elle sleeping like poo and work demands heightened, not to mention trying to keep a house or a home in some semblance or order. I think I didn’t even trim my toenails for the four week stretch where everything descended into chaos.

 

And then, his work was over and he was laid off, and my work was still uber-busy with the Black Friday nutties out to shop. And he was tired and trying to ‘catch up’ on sleep or get back on some sort of schedule.

 

And finally, after two solid days of not talking, then two solid days of me yammering, nagging, yelling, Jon (in his Forever Lazy…I can’t even begin to describe how when you are really pissed at someone, how much it just makes it even worse when said grown adult is wearing a DAMN FOREVER LAZY) took to walking around, as I followed him trying to have. it. out. And he walked himself right into our bedroom.

 

Silly man.

 

He was cornered. I actually thought he might open the slider and head out onto the deck in the snow and jump to the patio below. Or lock himself in the bathroom.

 

And I think I was scaring him.

 

As well I should have been. I was fed up and tired of feeling like I was the only one putting effort into the house, the home, the parenting, the relationship.

 

So, we talked it out.

 

And the talking brought out my question

 

“Do you feel like you’ve even been pulling your weight around here lately?”

 

And then, finally…

 

“No.”

 

Ahhhhh…that felt good. It wasn’t going to be like that forever, with me running ragged and Jon just enjoying clean underwear and jeans daily, as I battled the mountains of laundry, dusting and general cleaning (a lot of which went, frankly, undone by me too).

 

I will say this: next time, I’m just cornering him in a room he can’t get out of as that seemed to work really well.

 

Anyway – I just wanted to say that relationships are hard work. They should say that in books. It’s not just that there are ups and downs — they are actual hard work. I mean, don’t get me wrong, days like the last few are AWESOME and I wouldn’t trade my days with Jon and Elle for anything. But days like those when Jon milled about in his damn Forever Lazy (and it’s bright freaking blue, too) and did NOTHING to help out – from daycare drop off to taking out the garbage, to folding laundry, to changing the f-ing roll of toilet paper – those days are challenging.

 

So, I want to capture that here – so that I can remember when it ebbs again, that it will quickly ‘flow’ again too.

 

It’s the ebb and flow of relationships. So long as it flows far more than it ebbs…I’m good.