As most of us do, I always imagined that I would have a charmed life. One without any major bumps or bruises. One with minimal emotional pain, and preferably, utilizing my own risk control, one with minimal physical pain. That is so not how my life has been. I went through pure hell when I was young and stupid and I thought that I had all the answers. I quickly learned that people are just plain awful and I went on a protection mission. My goal was to protect my heart, and the heart of my precious little daughter. I always felt like I was home in Michael’s presence and especially his arms. So, with him by my side, I tried to forget the awfulness that I had seen from people and went about my life with Michael, adding to our family, and trying to be the best person that I could be. The thing with life is that when you allow yourself to get completely comfortable, and you start to feel safe and happy, something inevitably will change the course of things. It might not be major, like most of my changing moments, but something will happen to throw you offbeat, make you reevaluate things, and force you to find a new strategy for survival. Because surviving is what we are really doing in this life.
I feared it, all the way down into my bones, but I never let my unconscious mind convince my heart that I would actually lose the person I was supposed to spend my life with. Even with the un-melodic broken record of Michael’s last day playing in my mind constantly reminding me of what I lost, I still have trouble believing this is my life. Sometimes I still pretend that Michael is deployed, or missing, or just somewhere stuck trying to get back to us. Normally I make my mind believe that when I can’t stop thinking or crying about losing Michael. I know it sounds completely crazy, but sometimes it is what I have to do to get through the day. When I zone out and miss my turn, or waste an hour sitting on the couch watching a show I can’t even remember, it is because my memories of Michael completely take over my mind. I can’t control the places that my mind goes in those moments. Sometimes I am able smile at things I remember, if I am lucky I might even laugh. Other times I get swallowed up into a darkness that I cannot shake. It affects everything I do. How I relate to people, what I get done, where I go. Everything. I silently wonder if it will always be like this. If, despite the goodness God has granted me, I will always get stuck in my memories. I hate it when it happens. I tend to panic when I get stuck into one of my places and I cannot get out. It feels like stepping outside into a damp, hot, summer day in North Carolina, suffocating, only I’m on my couch, or bed, or closet floor. I shouldn’t be suffocating at all. This is not the charmed life I dreamed about growing up. I’d like to say my life is a beautiful mess, I guess in some ways it is, because at the end of the day I still have the ones I love and they still have me. But, I don’t think there is anything wrong with a little bit of wishing that things could end up charmed…or at least a little closer to how I imagined it would be?