Me, Him…Us

When I was 14, I was a rebellious teen mixed up with the wrong people, doing the wrong things.  I had a friend stay the night on August 6th, 1999 who called a friend of hers.  His name was Tom, he was 16 and single.  We ended up talking on the phone all night, but the moment I heard his voice, I knew he was who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.  I can’t put my finger on what it was about him, but I loved him from that very moment on.  He had a legal curfew and wasn’t allowed to leave the house until 7am, so right at 7am, he drove down to meet me.  We headed off to the park in his little Ford Ranger.  It had rained that night and was a chilly morning.  There was a lot of fog on the ground, especially at the park.  I found that to make it very romantic.  August 7th, 1999 was the day we met and the day we started dating.

I would love to say that because we managed to survive together through the teen years and early 20’s, that it was almost a fairy tale.  Unfortunately, it has never been anything remotely close to a fairy tale.
I was head over heels in love with him.  At 14 years old and to feel what I was feeling, it was overwhelming.  I would have done anything for him to please him.  Unfortunately, he took that for granted.  After about a week together, he had me pretty much living with him at his grandparents house.  He would take off with his friends at any given time and I was to stay in his bedroom and make sure it was clean until he decided to come home.  Sometimes, this was an all night disappearance for him.  I remember once clearly; he left with a bunch of his friends, drinking and driving.  They hit the ditch and he ended up in jail for a week.  His friends called me to tell me the news.  I felt like a child asking his grandma for a ride home as I explained the situation.  This was something that went on for a couple years.  It was hard for me to deal with and if I would have been then who I am now, I would have left!

As time passed, we dealt with drug addiction and alcoholism.  I gave him the ultimatum to quit and stay with me, or I was out.  We were in our own place at this point and were actively trying to have a baby.  I wasn’t up for the addiction, or the way it felt to see him come home high knowing that I was an addict in the past.  He decided to quit, and he did stick to his word.  I was thrilled.  If you’ve read the page about my children, you’ll know that during this time, we suffered through many miscarriages, regardless of average or better than average test results performed by my specialist.  It was frustrating.  More so on my part, however.  I had endured 7 miscarriages in just 2.5 years.  This caused me a great deal of depression; to the point of not leaving the house, even for groceries.  It caused too much emotional pain for me to see children the ages my angel babies should have been, or to see pregnant women.  I couldn’t even talk on the phone if there was a child in the background.  I joined pregnancy and infant loss groups online, and spent my days in tears.  How was it that I couldn’t do the one thing I was put on earth to do?  Eventually, with the help of some people, I was able to overcome the depression and move forward.  I wasn’t exactly depressed anymore, but my heart ached for a child regardless.  I was able to get back to my life though, and that’s what mattered.

On August 6th, 2005, after spending 6 years together and going through many struggles, Tom and I were married.  Our vows were very traditional, and we were married outside my aunt’s house.  It was a small wedding of about 60 people.  I was raised by my grandparents, so had my grandpa walk me down the aisle and give me away.  Both of us had an “oops” in our vows.  He called me is “awful wedded wife” and I called him my “waffle wedded husband.”  Followed by putting his ring on the wrong hand.  It’s a day I’ll never forget though!

2006 was a struggle for me personally.  In March, my grandpa had a massive heart attack.  Call it rude, but I stood there smiling as I watched him flat line.  Not because I was happy, but because I knew he would be okay.  He was.  From then on, he was having these mini seizures in his face and was going through testing and hospital stays to determine a cause.  May 29th was my 21st birthday.  I was given a gold cross with a heart in the center on a thin gold chain.  Simply beautiful and meant the world to me. (Still does!)  On June 5th, my grandma fell and hit her head.  Back in 1998, my grandma suffered a severe brain injury.  We were told to prepare for the worst.  Amazingly, she pulled through and could even walk again.  This time, she hit her head and was disoriented for a few minutes while my mom and I called 911.  She said she was fine and just needed a cold cloth.  As the ambulance arrives and carried her out on the stretcher, I sat with my baby nephew on my lap and fought the urge to run to hug her as they left.
It was 2 hours later that I was able to get to the hospital.  By that time, she was already on life support and in a deep coma.  I should have given her that hug and told her I loved her like I wanted to.  On the other hand, this had happened before.  I told myself whole heartedly that she would survive this yet again.

On June 6th, 2006, and if you’re like me and are into numerology and whatnot, that date was 06/06/06, or, 6/6/6, we followed a semi who’s trailer number was 666, 10 hours down south where they had flown my grandma via air ambulance.  The brain surgeon had said they could “fix her like bread and butter.”  His exact words.  Unfortunately, this was not true.  He couldn’t do anything for her and didn’t even operate as it was too late.  She was already “brain dead.”  On the 7th, we took her off life support.  We expected her to pass soon after, but she held on.  That gave me all the hope in the world that she would pull through.  On the 10th, early that morning, she arrived via air ambulance, back home and was taken to the local Hospice House.  My husband and I spent the entire day with her.  I played her her favorite song, which was I’ve Got Friends In Low Places” by Garth Brooks.  As her breathing became shallow and very far apart, my mom, aunt, hubby and I stood with our hands over her heart.  “Cowboys Like Us” played in the background while she took her last breath, and as her heart stopped beating.  I stood up straight and smiled.  The rush of pure bliss ran through me.  I wasn’t happy she passed away; I felt her spirit pass through me.  I sat with her, holding her hand, for over an hour.  I was alone with her in her room and remember being interrupted by a nurse once.  It was my husband who came to get me as my uncle (a coroner) had arrived with the van to pick her up and bring her to the funeral home.

On July 10th, exactly one month had passed since the passing of my grandma, and my grandpa’s wife of 45 years, my grandpa was finally given a reason as to why he was having the seizures.  This day is clear in my mind.  I was so thankful to still have my grandpa, my Daddy, after my grandma passed away.  The doctor came into the hospital room where my mom and I were visiting my grandpa.  He looked at my grandpa, then at my mom and me and told us that he had lung cancer that had already metastasized covering 3/4’s of his brain, and gave him 6 months without treatment, and a year with both the chemo and radiation.  I can’t say I remember what he said after that though.  The look of pain and heartbreak were obvious on mine and my mom’s face as my grandpa looked at us, smiled, and giggled while he said in a cheerful, uplifting voice, “C’mon guys!  I’m not dead yet!”  My heart sunk more.

Regardless of just losing his wife, he chose to fight and started with the chemo and radiation.  He handled it like a pro!  However, he would not let us talk to him any different than we had prior to his diagnoses.  We were to talk to him as him the diagnoses had never occurred.  It was tough.  I would show up at his house more days than I wouldn’t, and would give him a lot of hugs.  He told me he loved me much more often than normal.  It meant a lot to me.  August 6th, he came to brunch with my husband and I and the family to celebrate our first wedding anniversary; we left an empty seat and plate at the table for my grandma.  At this point, my grandpa was weaker than normal, and had lost his hair.  It wasn’t more than a handful of times in the 21 years I had been alive that I had seen that man with no facial hair; he always had a mustache.  We had a great brunch together.

My grandpa’s wish was to pass away at home.  So we paid for a hospital bed and a nurse to come every couple days.  Come November, he was more and more unconscious than conscious.  The time was coming up as we had already been told the tumors shrunk in his chest, but the treatment had done nothing for his brain.  The nurse came who confirmed the cancer had spread to his spinal fluid and it would be within the next week or so.  It was just prior to this that my grandpa said he was ready to go now.  On November 18th, my grandpa celebrated his 65th birthday, and also ate his last meal.  On the 20th, we celebrated what would have been my grandmas 63rd birthday.  That was the last day I had a conversation with him.  On November 24th, as my uncle and his girlfriend, my aunt, my mom, and my husband and I stood beside him; I placed my hand on his heart as he stopped breathing, and as his heart stopped.  Never in my life had I seen my uncle cry.  The memories of him screaming in heartbreak “Bye Daddy” will haunt me forever.  However, when he passed, I again felt that rush of pure bliss.  Amazing.  This time, I stepped outside in the snow, in the dark; I sat and I cried.  I cried long, and I cried hard as I realized, I lost my parents…  I had lost my parents within 5 months of each other.  This is something I am still currently trying to come to terms with.  My heart continues to ache, and tears still continue to flow.  I miss them beyond words explanations!

Tom and I started fertility medication in February 2007 and come March, regardless of my lack of faith in ever having a child of my own, I found myself pregnant.  Thank you Clomid!  On November 16th, 2007, my son was born right on his due date.  His name is Adam Thomas Gerald.  Thomas after my husband, and Gerald after my grandpa.  In February 2009, I found out I was expecting a second child!  An unplanned child!  On October 7th, 2008, my daughter was welcomed to this world 7 days overdue!  Her name is Grace Margerry.  When I was 16, I had a dream I had just given birth and as the doctor handed me this bundled up baby girl, I reached for her and said “Gracie.”  So, Grace it was.  Margerry is a mixture of my grandparents…  Marge and Gerry.
In 2009, my brother and his girlfriend gave birth to a son they named Jerry.  He was born on November 22nd.  That meant the November birthdays were as follows:

Hubby – November 13
My son – November 16
My grandpa – November 18
My grandma – November 20
My nephew – November 22
My grandpa’s passing date – November 24th
My aunts birthday – November 26th
Also my husband’s grandmas birthday – November 28th

As the years went on, my marriage kept getting worse and worse.  Tom treated Adam like a tiny prince from the moment he was born, but would never get up with him at night.  Grace, he wouldn’t touch her until nearly a year old due to her Colic and the fact that she did nothing but cry.  So there I was parenting both children alone as Tom was usually off doing something after work.  I had maybe 3 hours of sleep a night, and not all at once either!  I was exhausted.  I will also add throughout this, Tom was emotionally abusive to me, but I figured it would get better.  The children grew; the marriage didn’t.  Tom’s shift changed at work, he’s now working from 8am – 6pm at the earliest since he’s been promoted.  The children go to bed at 7pm as they like to play with toys a bit prior to sleeping.  This meant these kids were my responsibility, especially since he was usually off doing his own thing.

Fast forward to now, August 2013, we have celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary and 14 years being together.  Our children will be 5 and 6 this year, and both in school. (Where does the time go??)  Tom is very, very emotionally abusive to me, and it’s become so bad that the kids are being kept awake from the yelling.  Because of this, and the past, I’ve made the decision to leave; something I should have done a long time ago.  But you see, the entire time he’s told me no one would want me, I have nowhere to go, I’m a burden to everyone, I’m useless and worthless and I’ll never amount to anything.  I guess after so many years of being told this, I believed it.  Or at least felt it…feel it.  He has supported me the entire 14 years.  I have had jobs, but have only worked for about 3 or 4 months at the longest and that was in 2012.  However when I went out for dinner with a bunch of my girl friends from work, Tom circled her house and accused me of getting him to drop me off at a guy’s house so I could have an affair.  I’ve never been allowed to have friends, and I still don’t.  After the latest argument, enough is enough.  I can’t handle feeling so worthless about myself all the time and like Hell will I let my son grow up thinking it’s right to treat a woman this way, or have my daughter think it’s okay to be treated this way.

And that is where we are.

 

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