Monday, August 16, 2010

Quiet Time.

(Charlie, 13 months, photo by Randal Kurt)

Man, this blogging is getting harder and harder to do. When I first started this 6 months ago I had promised myself i'd write a new post at least twice a week, then as time went by, I revised my goal to once a, it's just whenever I can muster up the emotional energy. I think it has a lot to do with my recent moods...kinda sad, mostly sad, a little sad, a lot sad... I NEED to write when I'm sad, but at the same time, I get so annoyed with myself when I can't appreciate what I DO have in Charlie and this situation...and then it leads me straight down guilts path. And lately, because I'm mostly sad, and I spend most of my time being sad, why do I wanna write about being sad when/if I get a little break from it? But usually, even though I procrastinate and it's difficult to get started, the sad thoughts seem to flow out of me like a roaring river in a hurry to get somewhere, which almost always leaves me temporarily drained of my sadness. And I like that part.

I had a great time on Salt Spring island. The first night my friend Libby and I stayed in a remote little cabin where we drank wine, played cards and danced. The following two nights our friends Ivan and Marco came and joined us in a condo by the beach that we had rented. I met Ivan and Libby years ago at a Greek restraunt I used to work at, and they've since become really close friends of mine. They have been really amazing to me and Matt regarding Charlie...Ivan comes over often and makes us authentic Mexican food and takes me out whenever I need to relax, and Libby has joined the Adventure Challenge triathlon with me and we have been spending a lot of time working out together and talking about things. She's 8 years younger than me and has no children, but you'd never know it by her mature, empathetic, sensitive and compassionate nature. In all honesty, I never would have thought that she'd be someone I could lean on in a situation like this, if only because of her age, but she has proven herself to be a very valuable asset in my life. I am grateful to Libby and Ivan and Marco for taking me away and showing me a great time!

This might sound awful but, when I was away I kind of made a deal with myself that I wasn't going to talk about Charlie and I wasn't going to worry about her...I was going to sort of treat this vacation as if I was childless. I know, harsh...but, the alternative would have been to drink wine and cry and have panic attacks which would ultimately have me begging my friends to drop me off at the ferry early so that I could rush home to worry some more. All I wanted was a 4 day break. And I took it, and it felt the time, but then you come home and it's back to reality...a reality that is most peoples worst nightmare.

Obviously there were a few times while I was away that I couldn't help but think about Charlie and how things just weren't fair...the one that sticks out the most is when, on the first morning there, Libby and I went to a little pub for lunch and I noticed a young-ish family there...2 kids, a boy about 4 and a girl about 2...the couple seemed to loathe each other and I watched as they glared at one another and mumbled what looked like evil spells directed at each other. Then, the woman grabbed a napkin and very aggressively wiped her sons face and hands, so roughly that I honestly thought he'd be bleeding after. The boy stood up and she angrily put his coat on, one arm at a time, yanking his arms and shoving each one in like she forgot that they were attached to her son and instead thought they were her husbands face that she was imagining ripping off. The little girl was standing around quietly by this time, looking cute and sweet, just watching her moms actions like this was completely normal behavior. Then the boy got in some passing patrons way, and the mom quietly mumbled to the boy, "get the fuck over here you little piece of shit" with the most insane look on her face. And the dad just sat there and stared into space. I stared right at her, and so did Libby when she noticed I was distracted, and so did the customers behind the woman. And when the woman noticed she was being glared at, she avoided eye contact with us and changed her attitude. I was shocked. And pissed off. Everything in me wanted to stand up and say, "Umm excuse me, I noticed you abusing your kids and taking them for granted...well, I'm just wondering why my baby is at home dying and I love her more than anything in this world and would NEVER hurt her, yet someone thought it would be a good idea to give YOU two perfect, beautiful children!"
I feel guilty for not saying something, but I think we were all just in shock...and scared of her!

When I got home Matt told me that he was so glad to have had the alone time with Charlie. he said it made him fall more in love with her. That made me feel good... knowing that it wasn't just me being selfish, but that it was a good thing all around. But, by the next day, Matt and I were arguing again. We are so stressed. And when we need to choose between working on/dealing with Charlie stress or marriage stress, Charlie stress always wins. And, there is just absolutely no way that we could manage both at once, so i'm just praying that kind soul who gave that evil woman two beautiful, healthy children, will give us a break too sometime. Cause we're tired. Really tired.

Matt's away on Hornby Island right now, so it's my turn to have some private time with Charlie. And so far, so good. Tonight we built a little fort on the floor and watched movies till she passed out, it was a lot of fun. I will say though, that when I'm alone with Charlie, I think too much. I worry and I feel really alone. I've noticed that I'm constantly trying to fill up my days and nights with company, because when I don't, it hurts more. But, at the same time, I still feel a little like an outcast when I'm with friends, Charlie's future/our future is on hold and very uncertain, with a guarantee of darkness. No one wears these shoes. I remember when I got pregnant/gave birth/became a mother I suddenly had more in common with the people who'd experienced childbirth and had children and I was suddenly 'one of them'. And now, I feel more left out then if everybody around me had three children each that they couldn't stop gushing about, and I had none but desperately wanted one. But, sitting here typing this while Char snores beside me, reminds me why it's all worth it. She's STILL here, so we still have a lot to be thankful for.


  1. Wow Cherie...can't imagine how that made you feel at the pub. If it makes you feel any better, I thank God everyday for my two healthy kids. I try not to take that for granted. Some people just shouldn't reproduce. I'm so glad you had a great time on your mini vacation. You need that and don't feel guilty. It makes you a better mom. Charlie is really changing her looks now! She's so precious. I really enjoy your blog and you're such a talented writer. I don't know how you could not be sad writing about all you're going through....unless you were heartless and you're not. I envy you and Matt for your strength and courage. You should be proud of the great parents that you are. I had to laugh about the fort thing....I used to do that when my kids were little. They're 13 & 18 so that's not cool anymore!! Enjoy the little things.....always. Kris

  2. no doubt about it, it sucks. plain and simple. but don't let your marriage fall apart. you will need to lean on each other more after charlie passes.

  3. Hi Cherie,

    I'm so terribly sorry you witnessed that awful scene. There are some folks in this world who were not given the gift of good parenting & it breaks my heart to think of that little boy & his sister. It's so sad. If only that mother could have read your mind, she might have realized the preciousness of the little lives entrusted to her care & hopefully turned her anger into appreciation & gratitude. It's awful that it happened & that you had to see it.

    You are naturally going to feel sad, nothing wrong with that. Nobody expects you to be happy dancing in the aisles. The heartbreak and sorrow you & Matt feel I can hardly comprehend. Just know that so many people are keeping you all in their positive thoughts & sending love your way. Never doubt that.

    I'm sorry that your marriage is going through a rough stage but not surprising considering what you are going through with Charlie's situation & who knows what other issues come up. The thing is, from what I've read in your Blog, you love one another. That's the most important thing because if you let that fall by the wayside you won't be there for Charlie. I remember how Carol Burnett always tugged on her ear lobe to tell her Grandma she loved her at the end of each of her TV shows. Maybe that would work for you and Matt? Even in the midst of an argument, you could tug your ear at the other so that even in the heat of the moment, you know you love each other without having to say anything. It's really hard to say those words when you're stressed, worried, tired and majorly PO'd (don't ask me how I know this lol).

    Well I hope I haven't babbled on too much or said the wrong thing. I hope you're both feeling better today & of course always keep Charlie close to my heart & in my prayers.

    Hugs to you all,

    Linda xoxoxox

  4. i'm glad you recorded the scene you witnessed in the pub. it speaks to all of us. even when we're feeling annoyed by the everyday hard bits of parenting but keeping them under our hat as best we can. it's a good reminder to step back and see the big picture.
    and sad to say, that mom probably had some of that bad parenting directed at her in her childhood. people do what they know for the most part.
    it's a blessing to see your little family's shining example of happy loving parenting even in the hard times. glad you are getting in some friend time. they are probably being as blessed by you as you are by them :)