I always see posts about people marrying their best friend. “Happy Birthday to my BFF” or “Happy Anniversary to my Best friend” something I seethingly loathe out of jealousy and sometimes out of regret. I didn’t marry my best friend. I wish I could have. I wished he could have been. But he made it very clear from day 1 of our dating relationship that he already had a female best friend. We went to pre-marital counseling and I thought I made it clear that I would not compete. Which he obliged. Then a year into our marriage, I found out he secretly created an email account just to stay in touch with her and called her from his office number. It’s now been years since the incident. I’m supposed to trust him, but I am not sure that feeling of self-doubt (am I ever good enough, did he just settle for me) will ever go away. He did, however, give me one of the greatest gifts of all, my youngest son.. Whom is one of my 3 best friends.. The other 2 being my older sons. But, I don’t think he could ever give me what I yearn for.. That title, not wife, but Best Friend.
It has been a whirlwind of emotion, beginning last week…
My eldest son graduated High School. He had his 18th birthday last summer so the “empty nest” syndrome started kicking in last year, but it really hit me last year.
I just can’t believe it. Last week, I started preparing a slide show to be played during his graduation party. I was up until about 3am -4am every morning going through pictures of him…. Memories. Some nights I would just cry myself to sleep thinking about all the memories we have had together. Sheesh, he is just graduating! He’s not even moving out (going to a local college)…. But, it was just incredible. Not only was I looking through pictures of my first born, I was seeing how I grew up WITH him. I had him at 18 and now my baby is 18! I don’t think any parent could easily say they have “no regrets”… because I sure do. I was 18 when I had him… Like I said, I was growing up: I had my “clubbing days”, my “I am just SO tired of being single” days, my “I want to be as good as the other moms” days, my “but…. How???” days. And through all of that, my son was patient with me. As he has grown older, there have been times when he has said “mom, that’s not how it’s done” and I listened to him… Because unbeknownst to me, he appointed himself as the man of our house at an early age.
My family flew in from across the country to celebrate with us. They spent the week with us and it was amazing! But, my 1-year-old baby was napping as we dropped them off at the airport. When he woke up, he cried for my sister and I couldn’t help but flash back to the days my older boys cried when family had to fly back home… or when we had to fly home from a visit. My heart is so sad because of this. Why do I have to live so far away from my family? The people who truly care of me and my children. I tried, oh yes, I tried to move back a few times but there was always a reason to stay. A job, a house… now being married. I seem to have signed up for a lifetime of separation from my home… Regrets….
How do you get past your regrets? I don’t believe anyone (with children) can truly say they have no regrets… can they? Some decisions I have made affect them.. and there’s nothing they can do about it because they depend on me. That’s where I’m at today. I’m not alone, am I?
I can’t tell how many times I’ve thought, “I need to write this down.” or “I need to share this.” And, before I knew it, months have passed. I just wanted to update you, or my blog… whomever reads this…
A quick recap, I started this blog not really knowing what I wanted to do with it. I had 2 teenage boys and a terrible case of pre-empty-nest syndrome. My, then, new husband and I were TTC (3 years) and finally went through IVF. We were blessed with a beautiful baby boy. Not without some complications, but praise be to God that he (we) came out of it healthy and we were all happy. However, a good friend of mine passed away, then my very best friend passed away. I am not sure if I went through Postpartum syndrome or just going through the normal grieving process but the past year was incredibly difficult for me. Nevertheless, our family has been doing well and our baby has been growing. Here are a few pics 🙂
Right now (1 Year 4 Months) our baby boy can say Momma (I’m claiming this as his first word), Dada, Hi, Bye, Banana, Waffle, Josh (brother), Shoes, Ball (his favorite)… and more! He LOVES basketball. We’re a football-loving family so we’re trying to figure out where he gets his love of basketball from. But, I kid you not, he will stop & drop everything when a basketball game is on TV.. even if we are at a restaurant and the TV is far away.
Other than loving our baby boy… my biggest baby boy is getting ready to graduate high school next month. I can’t believe it. I just can’t believe my boy will be out of high school. I thought for sure my empty nest syndrome would come out full force by now… but I suppose it will truly hit me after graduation. I expect tears to be flowing like crazy in a few weeks!
In the past year, I haven’t had much time to really sort out my thoughts. Perhaps I just didn’t take the time. I also noticed that my way of thinking has been jumbled lately. My sentences don’t make much sense. I’m easily angered… not angered, more aggravated. But I’m sitting here in the airport with nothing but time… and I need to write this out.
In the past year, I lost a friend… a neighbor whom I grew to adore. She was older, but my boys respected her. She tutored them. And we could confide in each other. She was an alcoholic. I took a week-long vacation. Towards the end of my vacation, she called me constantly. It annoyed me, so I didn’t pick up. Next thing I hear, she passed away from alcohol poisoning. I felt responsible for not being there at her point of desperation. I was annoyed while she tried to reach out. Sincere folks tried to tell me not to feel responsible. But I know if I had the chance to talk to her now, she would probably tell me I should have answered the phone. I miss her laugh. She had an incredible laugh. My teenagers loved her dry sense of humor. I loved her sincere heart.
Since then, I tried to stay in contact with those around me. Priorities shifted to people first, then tasks. I visited my best friend in Atlanta. It worked out so conveniently because I often had to travel there for work. So, I got to see her regularly. She was not just a regular person. She had a big personality, so friendly and outgoing. She would tell people exactly what she thought… about anything. She didn’t sugar coat – but the way she said things, drew people towards her. She was opposite of shy, quiet me. I was proud to call her my best friend. She had some medical issues, but nothing serious. But, one day, her fiancé called to say she needed me. She was sick and recovering from surgery. That same day I flew up to surprise her. I took care of her that night and morning. We talked a little. She hugged my baby. We talked about her baby. And then I flew back home. We didn’t know that a few weeks later, she’d be gone. I told her I’d see her in a few weeks. But I didn’t. She had cancer. And the cancer spread faster than I could fly back up to see her. It’s been 5 months. And I still cry. I can’t think of a day when I don’t think of her or hear her singing my name. Or when a song comes on we used to sing in the hallways of Kennedy High School. My heart hurts as I desperately relive all our memories in my head, so I’ll never forget. Sometimes I have dreams and she’s right there. I hug her, feel her arm. And it’s like she’s really here. Then I wake up feeling revived. Then a couple days pass…. And today I’m back to missing her.
Some people never say “good bye”. They always say “see you later”. That’s what I said to my 2 friends. I told my neighbor, “See you in a week“. I told my best friend, “See you in a few weeks”. But my heart hurts I wished I could have said goodbye. I wished I could have told them how much they meant to me. I wish I could have hugged them one more time.
It’s been so long since I’ve written. And I’ve wanted to write often, but kept getting distracted. I’m particular about the way I write. Proof-reading several times until it’s just the way I like it. But today I feel like I just have to write…. so forgive me, in advance, for any grammatical or formatting errors.
I lost my best friend.
A couple months ago, I lost her. She passed last month, but she was in the hospital for about a month before that. It came all of a sudden, she just gave birth to a baby boy. We were so excited about raising our little ones together. They were going to be as close as we were. She lived in another state, but were only an 8-hr drive away (1-hr plane ride).
Then, one night, I had this terrible dream. It was just me calling her – everyday. Picking up the phone, saying hello, then hanging up. I didn’t know why… but the next day, her fiance called me and said she had cancer. I felt like this…. “Ok. she has cancer, it can be beat. I’ll see her soon and we’ll get through it” Then everyday, I stayed in touch her fiance. Waiting patiently… then texting her everyday… “I love you” “I love you”… By then, she was not coherent. The cancer spread so rapidly.
I’m just writing the air today…. wishing she could read this.. I miss her SO much. And I’m SO angry and sad, confused, lonely, heartbroken. I can’t cry… it’s been over a month.. I want to scream like a little child with a tantrum, “give me back my friend!!!!!!!!!!” But I can’t. I want to send this post, write her a letter, email, text her and just pretend it didn’t happen. I want to be OK with just waiting the rest of my life for her to respond… instead of telling myself she can’t. I want to tape record my brain – remembering how she sings my name… but there isn’t technology made for that, yet… right?
Then there’s her little baby. And I worry for him. Because I’m afraid he won’t be raised to remember his mommy. For reasons I can’t type out…. I’m SO angry about this. My friend was SO full of character and LIFE, her baby needs to know this.
This is all I can write for now. I have to go pick up my baby from daycare.
I’m at the 20 week mark, almost halfway through this pregnancy. It’s amazing the emotional roller coaster that we go through as mothers from conception till now… I can’t wait until the day we get to see that amazing face looking back at us.
The big looming question is, how are we going to greet our little one when we see him?
My thoughts on names are not to be taken lightly.
I’ve been asked if we’ll be having a Junior. I understand people want their name to be passed down to generations. Boy or Girl, how can we name a person after man, who is imperfect? I’ve been asked if we’ll have a unique name (as some are doing nowadays). To each their own. But not mine. His name needs a meaning. We have a few more months to pray on this, and I’m open minded with one criteria: I want to dedicate him to the One who gave us this little miracle.
After all, this is the name he should be proud to have:
- His name will be on every personalized sticker and keychain that his aunties will buy him from various vacation spots.
- His name will be called when he eagerly raises his hand to participate in class.
- When everyone cheers for him as he runs down the football field, or basketball court,
…..or takes a bow after a cello performance, or passes a level at the spelling bee.
- He will be beaming when he sees his name on his first paycheck.
- When he sees his name spelled out on his high school diploma… and college diploma.
- Then there’s that very special day when he signs his name on the title of his first home.
God created us, every one of us living beings. Yet in Genesis 2:20, He let man name them. What a responsibility we, as parents, have to choose something so special and significant for our next generation. And I’m up for the challenge!
So, in the meantime, here’s a little picture of our baby boy, hiding after dancing the morning away… 🙂
I was 17 and pregnant with my eldest son. Yep, I was a baby having a baby. While I was pregnant, my ex-husband’s mother gave him this book, “I’ll Love You Forever.” Partly for her son, and partly for our new little one. Back then, I was so bitter and emotionally bruised by my own upbringing that I didn’t quite understand the meaning of this book. But, last week, my own son turned 17.
Lord, oh, how the time has passed.
A couple nights ago, I could not sleep. Thoughts ran through my mind about my 2 teenage boys:
Did I do a good job?
Did I do enough?
Did I give them enough?
Do they feel loved?
Do they know how much I love them?
Wishes…. Regrets…. Fears…
I wish I could give them more…
I wished I hadn’t made some of the decisions I made..
I hope they won’t have to struggle the way I did….
I hope they’ll always know I tried, even when I felt it was impossible.
I hope they know I always tried to give them what I thought was best, sadly seeing sometimes it didn’t turn out that way.
I’m not even sure if these questions will ever be answered – or if I’d even want to know! But, as my eldest approaches his Junior year of high school, I’ll continue to reflect… I will undoubtedly love them forever….