Saturday, September 01, 2012

Thank God for angels & waterproof mascara!

If you missed the first half of this post, click HERE to read how my morning began... WOW.

Lately I have had this feeling that somehow I am drawing many deeply emotional experiences to myself, and it has been rather difficult to understand why or make sense of so many of these encounters.  It is happening many times weekly, and I would never avoid going out in public because of it, but I definitely think there must be some reason I'm meant to cry on strangers' shoulders in public and expose my soul for the world to see.  I am hoping that by talking these feelings out that I am able to grow from them and possibly help others in similar situations along the way.

Incident #2 -- After my encounter with my Asian angel, I gathered myself, wiped away a few tears, grabbed the last few items I needed, and headed to check out. I had kind of forgotten about the whole bawling-and-hugging-in-the-aisle thing when a mother and daughter filed in behind me at the check-out line.  We discussed the muffins they were buying, making small talk while I waited for my receipt.  Just as I was leaving, the mother said, "I'm not sure why I feel compelled to give this to you, but I just do."  She reached into her purse and pulled out a beautiful bookmark with a picture of a little girl as well as contact information and, handing it to me, she said, "My daughter died in 2004.  I have written a book about it, and I just wanted you to have this.  Feel free to look me up online.  Take care..."  (At least I think that is what she said...she lost me after "My daughter died in 2004.")  I am speechless.  The first thing that came to my mind was that I wanted her to know about my girls.  I didn't have one of their flyers with me, no pen to even write down my blog URL, and so, sounding like a complete dumbass, I reply, "OK, ummm, thanks.  I'm so sorry about your daughter... bye..." 

I then push my cart toward the door, stopping halfway to the exit when I realize I left my groceries sitting on the check-out stand.  I go back, grab them while also finagling the shopping cart with Lola inside, see this woman again, stammer "Mmmkay, thanks again!  Take care..." like I am suddenly 12 again and awkwardly trying to find the perfect words to say to that hot guy I'm in lust with but only jumbled bullshit comes out instead.  I am a complete disaster.

I finally get to my car & hurriedly grab the bookmark.  Just then, I see them exit the store, and I watch in my rear view mirror to see that she and her daughter are now in their car but still parked as well.  I wonder if I should go talk to them, maybe tell the woman how touched I am she reached out to me.  Perhaps delve deeper into WHY she felt compelled.  Ask to hear her story.  But I decide against it... I will contact her online where I can process my thoughts more clearly.  Yes.  That is what I will do.  

The bookmark reads at the top... "Sometimes we call for help.  Sometimes help calls us."  Hmmmm...

More tears… It's only 10:00 AM, and I've already cried three times. Fucking PMS.  I won't even go there regarding the earlier incident, as the tears didn't actually exit my eyelid vector quadrants.  So basically that doesn't really count, right?!  


I arrive home, get online, and I find this woman's blog, only to discover that she has lost not one, not two, but three children, one of whom was a son with anencephaly.  I wonder if she reached out to me because she noticed the similar look that my Lola has in relation to the dear son that she lost.  I wonder if she just sensed that I needed to hear her story.  Did she somehow pick up on these deep-seated emotions within my heart which encircle the whole death/dying issue -- my own losses of loved ones, my inability to fully understand why this occurs to those "before their time," and the literal soul-crushing fear which I continually push away regarding possibly losing my own girls someday?  Does she know that every penny tossed in a fountain, every candle blown out, every shooting star witnessed signifies a bazillion wishes for MORE TIME with these beautiful souls?  I would literally take years off my own life if it meant that I wouldn't have to voyage down that dark path for MANY more years to come.  They mean THAT.  MUCH.

Maybe that's just it... the intensity of this life, this love, these relationships... it is felt by ALL.  


I wish I knew what it is about me that seems to draw these emotional experiences to myself time and time again. Maybe just thinking that thought alone allows it to occur repeatedly?  And why I am meant to encounter such emotionally difficult situations?  Am I meant to grow from these experiences?  Are they?  Is it chance?  Is it possible it's NOT?  All I know is that I've got to get better at dealing with these moments... maybe prepare myself better somehow.  I need to pack some of the girls' informational flyers into my purse or have some prepared-ahead-of-time, cry-proof responses lined out in advance.  Because for fuck's sake, I can't keep crying in grocery stores and hugging complete strangers. (And sadly, this was not the first time!!!) Or can I? Or maybe I am supposed to?!

I just feel like I am thrust into this bright-ass spotlight on an almost daily basis with the girls.  I am approached, questioned, and our family is dissected over and over again by complete strangers.  I am honored they ask me questions vs. pointing and whispering from afar.  Many times I have deeper conversations with these strangers than with those close to me.  Often I DO cry, and so do they.  These discussions are powerful, deep, life-changing... just wish I understood.  Maybe -- even though I'm 11+ years down this road -- I still wonder WHY?


I pray for clarity regarding my role as the girls' mother -- why or how I am meant to teach/boohoo with/influence/scar for life/reach out to so many people without necessarily wanting that to be my responsibility 24/7.  I think there is a very real possibility that I'm just not emotionally strong enough to shoulder my own fears as well as everybody else's fears for my children.  Though maybe my gift is my ability to reverse their sadness for what they perceive my life really entails -- to show them that happiness is a choice no matter what your situation.  

Regardless, I am PRIVILEGED to be Cal, Claire & Lola's mother, the most precious, important "job" I have ever known.

xo

“There are too many people praying for the mountains of difficulty to be removed, when what they really need is the courage to climb them.” ~Raili A. Jeffery

17 comments:

Jordan said...

First off let me say your kids are too stinkin cute! I found you on Instagram and I started reading your blog and with every post you either have me crying or laughing my butt off! This post and the last one really touched me. My little cousin is deaf and I have him a lot. He wears hearing aids, uses sign language to communicate, and when he becomes over-stimulated he throws tantrums, so occasionally we get stares. Sometimes people ask questions and it takes everything I have not to cry while I'm explaining how Brody is still a human being regardless of his special needs. I admire not only your strength but the strength of your girls and the rest of your family. I found a quote that I have found so true and it helps me to focus on Brody instead of the stares we sometimes receive when we are in public, the qoute says "This is his world too,don't look at the eyes staring, look at him."

Non-Girlfriend said...

You are one of my heroes.

Gwen said...

Love, love, LOVE that quote, Jordan... Thank you sooo much for sharing and for your kind words. Means a lot. Xoxo

Gwen said...

Non-Girlfriend ~ *tears* ~ not sure I feel like a hero but honored that you said that. THANK YOU - for all your support and love, girlie!!!!! Xoxo

Kyla @ Mommys Weird said...

Part 2 is just as beautiful as part one. What a trip to the store, eh?

Gwen said...

No shit, Kyla... Definitely a trip!!!!!

Delfin Joaquin Paris III said...

I'm so glad you speak your truth, and you definitely have a tougher road than most moms. That is not to say it's not a special road filled with great things, too. But it is hard.

Keep talking about the hard stuff. We all want to feel that with you.

Gwen said...

DJ, you make me realize how important talking about the hard stuff is... THANK YOU for that. Love to you. Xoxo

Elyse said...

Golly gee! What a testimony. A trip to the store may never be the same again.

Anonymous said...

Please don't stop blogging...i really needed this tonight. Thank you.

Gwen said...

No doubt, Elyse!!!! May skip shopping till I am strong enough to deal with something like that again. LOL

Gwen said...

You are most welcome, Anonymous. Thank YOU for reading and relating. Helps me not feel so alone too. Hugs... Xo

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

I would hug and cry with you in the middle of the grocery store any day, dearie. Oooooxoooo. Beautiful stuff.
Totally unrelated, but i cant find you on Facebook, and i know i am damn near impossible to find. Booooo!

Gwen said...

Dawn - look me up under Gwen Pohlenz Hartley!!! Love ya, girlie!!!! Thanks so much for the kind words!!!

Whitney said...

Was that blogger Lynette Kraft? Wow. This is such a wonderful post,,,, I have been busting a gut laughing all afternoon and this brought tears to my eyes.. The girls are so lucky to have you for a mama & it seems like you are lucky to have them!!! You are such a blessing... We need to be neighbors!

Gwen said...

@Whitney - responding on IG but yes. :)

Definitely feel sooooo blessed they are my daughters. Wanna move to KS?!

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