I really want to scream.
I wake up this morning, dragging myself out of bed. I’m yawny and blurry and dreading my 8:30am workout. I roll over, grab my glasses and pick up my phone to see what I missed on social media. God forbid, I miss something important, since it’s been a whole four hours when I last tried to sleep. And then I see a text from one of my dear friends, to tell me that someone we love died last night.
Fuck. Fucking fuck. I can’t. Shock is weird. It’s like someone took out my brain and hung it on the ceiling right above my head and it’s throbbing. I’m feeling so many things, but I don’t actually know one thing I’m feeling. I can toss out the usual reactions: disbelief, shock, sadness. I can’t think or type the right words to even describe what that feels like…I can only explain that it was more like I’m slouching on the side of my bed, with an elephant sitting on my chest and I just can’t find a breath to take.
First thoughts….first thoughts…it’s not real. I think of his life partner. I think of his family. I pray that he didn’t feel pain. I angry-cry about him being too fucking YOUNG. Warning: I’m going to spill the beans and share all the crazy shit that was going on in my head. It’s embarrassing, but maybe something relatable. Or maybe it’s just thoughts that prove that I need professional help. But it’s real, it’s raw and it’s the truth. And it all comes from me hoping that in our very last days, we know how much we are loved.
My mind is a Rolodex, flipping to the last time I talked to him. Flip, flip, flip…when was that? I just had an email exchange with him a week ago…two weeks ago…was it a month ago? It could have been six. It was business. About a booking? Was I loving, responsive and kind? Or was I curt, short and to the point? Is that the last impression he got from me? Did he know how much he meant to me? Did I tell him how much he meant to me? Fuck. No, I didn’t. We, as humans, don’t do that all day, every day. It was business about a booking…it was…normal day stuff.
More thoughts are spewing: why didn’t I tell him how much he meant to me on one of the last times I saw him. That time recently at a show. When I saw him looking up at me, smiling at me, watching me from off-stage. Why didn’t I scream out to him, “I love you and I am grateful for you in my life, my friend?” He deserved to hear that every day. We all do. But we don’t think that every time we say goodbye to someone…that it might be the very last time.
I want time back. I want the early days with my old pal, when we were jamming in his family room in the first band I was ever in, when I was in the best times of my life and I didn’t know it, and he was teaching me Chaka Khan tunes and we were drinking PBR; underage and unforgiving, I want to go back to that and take his face in my hands and say, thank you for being in my life.
And then when we re-connected through music in the last few years…he found out that, even though I’m an old Golden Girl now, I’m still musically at it, kicking around on stages and still fighting the old gal fight. He heard I was still singing, and he reached out to me with that beautifully gargantuan smile and said, “Hey. Let’s do something with your music,” Then again, I should have taken his face in my hands and said thank you for again for still being in my life.
Recently, he hired me to sing in a place, and there was a random hole in the floor. He quietly, yet deftly remembered that I am, and always will be, a ditz. AKA: a girl who will always fall into holes. He pointed down and said, “Heather, don’t fall in that hole.” I walked past that hole in the floor without incident, turning back at him with a smirk on my face and simultaneously patting myself on my own back. Then he pointed to a door in the back of the room and gave me a warning look. “Walk through here. It’s cool behind there, but be careful.” Obviously, I strutted through that door and I immediately fell way down into a much bigger hole. But it was a fun fall, because I got to hear that old laugh. It was lovely; ringing robust and true just like those good old days.
What now. I feel too many things. Mostly I feel so deeply sad for his amazing partner and his loved ones; all the people who will feel the loss every day. I’m feeling again so much sadness for those who will now have to walk around everything and everyday without him.
Now it’s the wee small hours. What to do now? Gradually all day, I was checking Facebook, watching how so many people were grasping to mourn such a tragedy. Share how much they loved this man by posting pictures and stories and dedications. I did the same, trying to to connect and grieve together. There were so many loved ones, yearning helplessly to write to him and tell this magnificent person one more time how much they loved him…hoping so hard that he can hear all of us from up above. It’s so desperate and yet so very needed for many of those left behind. All so overwhelming and heartbreaking and scary and final.
I once had this kind friend in high school and he asked me to be in a band. He taught me things about music that I still sing out of my mouth today. Lately, he found me again and I got to see that wide, electric smile and share some laughs and a great love for music. Then, we lost him too soon and I wish I had more. I wish I did more.
Ferris nailed it: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Life is, indeed, gorgeous. It’s work. It’s tiring, yet so rewarding. It’s filled will so many layers and it is enveloped with all the different kinds of love. It fills your heart and it breaks your heart and then it’s over way too soon. My old friend, thank you for your friendship. Heaven is jamming to your serious super-funk tonight and for always. How lucky are they up there? How lucky were we down here. XO MT.
I dropped my first born child off to college yesterday…and boy, are my tear ducts tired.
I know, I know, “he’ll be fine”, “times of his life”, “you did a good job raising him”….
I completely cherish everyone’s words and loving concern. I really do have the best friends ever. This advise is all very true.
Even some of my close pals and family took me on our lake last night for some boat therapy. The water was lovely, the compadres made me laugh, the cocktail did its job. It totally helped keep the sadzees at bay.
But, this morning there is a pit in my stomach and I feel like I’m covered in a blanket of steel. Must get up. Please send help. Oh, forget it. I’ll just lie here in my own waste.
For now, my mind is absolute racing. It’s time to address the real questions that are burning, because my Crazy Mom Self has a very active imagination and needs to be bitchslapped by my Rational Mom Self.
What’s he doing right now?
Crazy Mom Self: He is juggling sharp objects and drinking Mad Dog 50/50 with a huge straw.
Rational Mom Self: He’s at breakfast with his roomie and exploring campus.
What will he do today on his first alone day?
Crazy Mom Self: He will most certainly fall in a pothole filled with burning hot lava, catch meningitis from a door handle and get paired-up with an undercover serial killer at orientation.
Rational Mom Self: He is currently buying his school supplies at the school store and afterwords, playing capture the flag with his lax team, you big freak.
When will he contact me?
Crazy Mom self: He will, in all honestly, never contact you again for the rest of your measly life. And you will die alone.
Rational Mom Self: As soon as he needs money. Calm down. We are all good here.
It’s not rocket science. Most parents go through it these days and we all will survive. It’s just that I really like him. He’s a nice person to smile at everyday. He’s a hugger. I will miss him. And, the reality is, I’ll see him in 29 days. For now, I will settle for a quiet “Netflix/snuggle #3” kind of day.
Classes start Wednesday, go get ’em, kiddo. Times of your life❤️
Last year, I was helping out in my youngest daughter’s classroom. We had a surprise lockdown drill.
First, this is embarrassing, but…yeah, I’ll share. Because I know that I’m not the only one who has felt like this and it needs to be talked about because it’s actually ok for us to say out loud, “this is scary.” I am scared for my children, for my friends’ children, for my teacher friends. I’m scared for everyone. Even everyone I don’t know. The whole package. And also, I wish I was braver and not so scared.
Let’s all agree that if you know me well, I’m a little…let’s say…hyper-empathic, to a fault….badly coupled with an overactive imagination that is way too big for it’s britches.
But here I am….excited to help out in class…the last year that I can before my youngest moves to middle school. Cry! Weep! Take a selfie with her…post! I adore the teacher and the kids and we are doing cool things with planets and rockets and cereal boxes and cotton and….
Surprise lockdown drill?
That…was not on my volunteer agenda. But here I am. I’ve got this.
The alarm goes off and the teacher locks the door, turns off the lights and starts to huddle the kids under the desks. I look at her quizzically and she smiles and tells everyone it’s a drill. Or did they announce it?? I don’t recall. I do remember feeling my blood boiling and my face getting hot and I put my hands on my cheeks and my stomach starts to hurt. I follow her lead and pretend like I’m even an 1/8 of the superhuman she; as all teachers are in situations like this. I am trying to calm the kids, who’s levels of fright are somewhere probably ranging anywhere from a 1-3 out of ten….I was lingering at somewhere around 149 out of five. While I’m smiling, winking and making funny cool-mom faces, inside I’m dying. Kind of literally. All replayed out in different scenarios in my over-active absurd mind. I’m legitimately scared and there is no valid reason for it. It’s a practice drill. But I’m not 100% sure. They don’t tell you that before it starts because….it’s a DRILL
Some of my thoughts…that I can vividly remember…that were pounding in my head, flying and whipping around like lights at a Floyd laser show:
(1)WHERE IS MY DAUGHTER. She’s literally right next to you. Where are my other kids? Safe at school. Safe? Safe. These kids are safe. I’m mom to all of them right now. Count the kids. one, two, three…I don’t even know how many kids there are but still count..four, five, six….smile.
(2) What is that look in the teacher’s face? She looks scared. This isn’t real. Could this be real? This isn’t real. I’m listening so hard with my ears for every.little.thing.
(3) Can the kids see me crying a little bit? Stop. Stop. Breathe. Smile.
(4) Wall of windows. How do those windows open? How fast can I get there and open one to get the kids out before something happens and I can’t make it? Omg STOP.
(5) Can the kids even fit out the window? How far do they open? Stop.
(6) Where is my cellphone? Where is my purse? It’s across the room. I don’t need it. Why the FUCK is my cell phone not in my pocket? Smile.
(7) Re-lax. This is a drill.
(8) Almost done.
(9) Is the teacher scared? Wait? Is that a scared look? No, she’s fine. No wait, she’s acting like she’s fine, but she’s losing her shit. No, she’s annoyed that her parent helper keeps staring at her and is losing her shit. I’m so sorry.
(10) This could NOT be a drill.
(11) Keep smiling. Keep making silly faces. Keep winking. Hide fright.
(12) Why doesn’t Mike ever volunteer?
(13) I want Mike.
(Smile at Lulu, wink, squeeze her hand…make funny face)
(Turn away so she doesn’t see me crying again)
I hear footsteps. Then the door jiggles. They are checking the locked doors. The principal and the police officers. I know this.
It’s just a cop.
It’s just a cop.
It’s just a cop.
Omg. Is this real? Staring at windows. Starting at teacher. Staring at windows.
The next 5 minutes felt like 5 hours.
*Announcement: Drill over.
As I non-challantly blow a kiss to my daughter, make a lackadaisical eye-roll laugh and wave at the teacher, after I sign out at the front desk, tossing out some witty repartee about how “I always pick the best days to volunteer” and as I saunter out of the building… I am choking…CHOKING back the tears and the sobs that I finally let out all the way home. I should have just taken her home with me. I want to take the entire school home with me.
There wasn’t enough bottles of Chardonnay for me when I got home that day. Why yes, I did day drink that day. Sue me.
That experience wasn’t the real thing. The vile thing. Nothing I felt or thought that day could ever even TOUCH what all these children and teachers have had to experience and are continuing to experience. The HORROR. The REALITY.
NO ONE. No child, no teacher, no parent, no law enforcement, no rescue teams should EVER have to go through any of it. Those children were helpless in a war they didn’t ask to fight in, in an unmarked war zone they called school and without any way to defend themselves. This is the worst kind of war ever.
I just scheduled my appointment to get gutted.
This moment only took me four years. But alas, I am here. I have officially been put in a vaginal timeout by my Lady Doctor and there is no going back. My last check-up a few weeks ago with him went a little something like this:
(Scene: Doctor’s office follow-up with results, after complete biopsy under the hood.)
Lady Doctor: Besides your endometriosis, your fibroid is growing.
Me: I’m an overachiever.
Lady Doctor: (Not amused. I start to think: when you look up chee-chaws all day long, I guess humor slowly erodes away like lining of a vaginal cavity.)
Lady Doctor: Last year your fibroid was a lime. Right now it’s an orange. It’s time.
Me: Hm. Ok. Now, would you classify that as a clementine? I love those little guys.
Lady Doctor: (Not amused.) Not at all. The big one. It’s time.
Me: That doesn’t sound apPEALing!
Lady Doctor: (Literally no expression.)
Friends, meet cervix. Cervix, meet friends. In 2 short months, all of these once-overactive baby maker tools will be Jack-the-Rippered out of me. Sayanara, sweeties!
The saddest part is all the excuses I have made. I can say that I put these shenanigans off because of “work”. I book our gigs months in advance and I don’t want to screw my musical partner out of months of work=valid.
I can say that I can’t afford to stop teaching and singing for two months=valid.
I can say that I don’t want to leave my students voice teacher-less in the heart of high school spring musical audition season=valid.
I can say that I am scared to get all the weird and non-glamorous side-effects I will adopt, after they rip out my woman bits=valid.
I can even say that I am not sure what I am going to do with myself for two months, because I literally have watched the absolute and complete entire collection of Netflix=VALID TO ME. And also embarrassing.
But the real truth…the one that festers and bubbles…the one I dare not whisper to anyone, even sometimes to myself…is that I am dreading the pain=The most valid.
But it’s going to hurt me so badly. Not so much from the relinquishment of my reproductive whozits and whatzits galore, but my actual BODY will pulse and vibrate with breath-taking pain from not being medicated. I have to go off of my Humira 10 days before and I can’t start up again until 6 weeks after. During that time, my rheumatoid arthritis will unleash from the very gates of the seventh circle of hell to attack every joint in my body. It’s a dark place, brother.
I could be all Pollyanna and pretend that it will “not be as bad as I think”, but fuck glasshalffull. I know it will suck hard, because it happened to me unexpectedly last year. (Please refer to the past WOUND posts. It wasn’t pretty.) It freaking hurt. I’d rather have 5 more babies, all popping out at the same time. Oxycodin from my surgery will help, but eventually I will have to stop, to prevent me from being an addict looking for a fix in the parking lot of Mariano’s, Zumba and all the other popular mom-addict drug spots in the surrounding Lake County area.
But it’s time. Now I have 51 days to really show my ovaries a rockin’ good time. I’m taking them to Florida. I am definitely not going to neglect them from any opportunity to enjoy a tall Tito’s and soda. They can help me decorate my Cubbie Christmas tree this season. I’m even going to dress them up in flapper sequins and let them sing with me at my big closeout NYE gig this year. They will want for nothing…..these bitches will be spoiled, but they are going out in style, yo!
Heatherevent [spelled phonetically, in case you are truly the biggest idiot on the planet: HEH-THER-EE-VENT]: an annoying and stupid occurrence or event that happens to me on a daily basis.
Here are some past Heatherevent posts from Facebook. Stupid random shit happens to me. It’s a wonder that I make it through the day.
“Today’s Heathervent: I just walked into the laundry room to change out the clothes and an entire industrial strength ginormous jug of detergent was thrown off the washer during the rinse cycle, shattering the top and emptying the entire contents of new bottle onto whole floor of room. Cocktail, please.”
“Heathervent of the day: not only were [Thor] and I stupid enough to be the only people to go out to movie and dinner in a snowstorm last night for my birthday; I insisted on wearing high heeled-boots. Eventually, I slipped two times coming into house and busted finger. Nice.”
“Medieval Heatherevent: what NOT to do when you have a massive horse allergy – forget to move inhaler to new purse and then completely have huge asthma attack in enclosed space with fog and horses running around. Otherwise you may end up outside missing the whole show with about six really cute fireman and paramedics giving you a neb treatment in the parking lot. *sigh*”
“Beach Heatherevent: Great day at the beach with my cousin [Apricot] and friend [Volly]. See that line from the cooler??? You know how hard is is to drag a cooler with wheels on sand? [Alpha] was pulling it and getting a workout so I tried to help him pull. He grabbed a chair I was carrying off of my arm and when it whipped around, he whacked me right on my face…then two seconds later, [Apricot] bent down to help me and whacked me right across the head. True live stooges action. In other news, [Apricot] just took a day full of gorgeous beach pictures with no memory card. Livin’ la vida loca, bitches!”
“Coffee Heatherevent: I spilled my Starbucks DOWN the front of my dress walking into work tonight. TWICE. Like, right down through the boob canal. I smell like a grande decaf americano. And roses, thanktoyouverymuch. But I don’t think you should buy below above shirt for $85. (REEDONKULOUS) Instead, I will happily sell you my cute baby doll dress for $8.50. People are suckers. “
Sadly, there are a million more Heatherevents occurring by the second. Already this morning, [Thor] had to wake me up because I had both my phone charger and ear phones wrapped around my neck like a fetus. Weeeeee!