To the Ones I've Left Behind

Where I'm going next, I don't know. But it isn't here. Here metaphorically. Or maybe realistically. 

I miss my kids. I miss them as babies. It's wild to think how asleep I was back then even though trying my darndest not to be. I wanted to do things right for my kids. He did too. I think we did okay him and I. Our kids are evidence of that even though they might be a lil' sweary (but they know to read the room!)  

I miss him SO much right now. The way he knows me how no one else does. But he doesn't know me now. 

I'd like to get to know him again someday. Who is he now? I'm super different. And the same. Think about 14-year-old you. Who was that human? Do elements of them remain? I think so. I remember those days' feelings, specifically thinking about the night of my mom and stepdad's reception. I was 14. I'm 40 now. It was one of those catalystic moments that in reflection, blows my mind. 

How for every action there is a reaction, right? That's just science. Or is it? 

I don't believe in coincidences anymore. 

Synchronicities. Divinities. Idk.

My mom was alive in 1998 on that summer evening in July at the Larson's in Paulden, AZ. Mmmm... I only remember a little about that night, walking with my older sister's bestie Chance down the road which was dirt at the time (it's paved now). There's a large dip and I remember walking and noticing how bright it was because of the (mother) moon. Because I like to gaslight myself sometimes for fun, I just looked it up and it IS true. She (the moon) was 92 percent illuminated that night. I was a city girl at that point so I noticed I could see shadows out there in the rural countryside of northern Arizona which was rare because #citylights (which I also love sometimes)... I was grateful to be with a human who felt safe to me because what was out there in the shadows? Coyotes that might eat me? Ha.  Thanks for being that person Chance. It's funny because I was recently moving photos from a very old plastic container full of real, color photos to a new one because the old one was cracked and falling apart. Out fell pictures of Chance on his mission which he sent me because we were pen pals a few times back and forth during those two years. It's interesting at this moment to see how he was a lil' gift from the universe to me and I don't think I realized it until now. He is sprinkled throughout the memories of the various step and almost-stepdads as a beacon of hope that good men do exist. 

David remembers that moment too albeit from a very different perspective. Ha. I can't remember how he tells it but he saw me walking with Chance and he remembers Chance's arm around my shoulders. We laughed about a few times throughout our relationship.  

I can't stop thinking about that... perception... how two or more people can witness the same exact moment in time and walk away with very different versions of the same thing. 

He admits to judging me a little bit that night. He pegged me for That Girl. You know that one, or at least you do if you grew up as a Mormon. Or anyone part of a group of people who see it as us/them. Anyway, little did he know and little did I know. 

The other memory I've been pulling up a lot lately is around my mom, her dead earth body, and the idea of rituals. I don't know that I've ever written or shared about that experience... where we gathered to dress her and say goodbye... I will someday.

Photo is mine. My mom's hand without life, but with one of her favorite chocolates.

I have regrets about doing the cremation without a viewing for the people who also loved her. She never ever ever wanted one but at a really cool community grief experience I had lately, they talked about how the ritual of being with a dead person's body can be quite important for working with your grief. I learned that we, as Americans, have the shortest social norms when it comes to death. Ugh. There are so many things we don't do well in this CULTure. I'm sorry to everyone who didn't get to see her. 

One thing David and I joked about the other day that made me miss him so much was the idea that I love to go against the grain. There was a real-life example where we chuckled quite a bit and afterward, my heart ached.

These memories are converging for me right now because of the relationships they force me to remember. There are so many of them since then...The wedding night of my mom and stepdad: Beginnings.  David and I had barely met. We didn't know each other at all. Beginnings. 

At the death of my mom... when I went there to dress her with my stepdad and sisters, it was just me. He was gone too. But by then we had lived a whole life together. Friendship. Dating. Marriage. Three kids. Life in two European countries, bought a home, and now? We live in different states and it all began that night. 

Is that a coincidence?

I realize now I intended for this to be something else lol. But what I'm trying to get at is,

To the ones I've left behind: the iterations of self I no longer identify with, thank you! Thank you for the gifts of the past and the present. 

And to the earth ones I've left behind: thank you! Thank you for the gifts of the past and the present. 

I'm grateful. That doesn't mean shit hasn't been hard cause hueff... I wasn't sure I was gonna make it sometimes but I did it! And it wasn't without the support of people I love and who love me. Gratitude everywhere. I love you! 

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