It’s been a really, really long time. I have several half written blogs sitting unpublished in my notes folder and drafts section of my blog. They sit unfinished and taunting me with words spiraling through heavy emotions that beg to be let out, but I push them aside as I pound out miles in the predawn dark, maybe one day soon they’ll be published.
But there are some thoughts and feelings that can’t be outrun.
There is an emptiness deep in the pit of my stomach that can’t be filled with track workouts and marathons.
I miss my family.
It’s been nearly 3 months since I’ve seen my side of our family. My parents. My nieces and nephew. My sisters. My best friend.
I wasn’t there to hug my dad’s neck on his birthday. I wasn’t there to sing out of key when Stef turned 31. Or to celebrate my little sister’s 21st birthday. I couldn’t be there to sing High School Musical songs to Mike, my brother in law, on his birthday. (Big families have lots of birthdays in just a few months.)
After dinner tonight Spencer took the kids upstairs to take baths and I stood standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes listening to Rivers and Roads (by The Head and the Heart, if you haven’t heard it before you should listen to it).
You know that feeling of overwhelming emotion you feel coming up, but you can’t stop it? You fight it and tell yourself to grow up. You can feel it hit your stomach. You tell yourself you’re being crazy. Then it wells up in the back of your throat like a ball of tears that you can’t swallow. And you’re standing in the kitchen with an ugly green towel burying your face soaking up bursting tears that can’t be fought anymore, instead of drying dishes.
I get to see my parents one week from today, so that part of me is insanely happy.
But there is still an unreachable heartache that I know won’t go away until December.
When you’re a child you have a best friend that is there for you because you sit next to each other. Just the fact that you are in the same vicinity equates to an untapped bond in those elementary years. You don’t have to have anything in common, just the fact that you sit together is enough to create a bond.
Then you hit middle school school and high school and it’s those people who are cool who share the same interests as you are the ones that you cling to. You surround yourself with people who like the same music as you and the people who do the same sports as you. You are immersed in those who are the exact same age as you and share the same maturity levels as you. Sure, you’re an 17 year old idiot, but so is everyone else.
Then things change. You get pregnant at 20. Married. You start to estrange those friends who you thought were everything just because they shared a birth year and love for alternative bands. You have a baby. And your husband gets a job. And you stay at home and become one of those people who talks about trips to Target like it’s a vacation. All the things that were likely for all those years, all the people who you thought were lifelong friends fade away. And that’s okay because there ends up being the one person who gets you and that’s enough.
My sister Stephanie and I weren’t close until I got pregnant. And even then it wasn’t all fun. I totally stole her thunder with my scandalous pregnancy when I was 20, while she was 5 years older than me and years more mature than I was.
What was I?
A Pastor’s daughter.
Could I be more cliche? (No, no I couldn’t).
While she was pregnant on purpose with my beautiful niece, married and ready for the roller coaster ride we had just boarded on.
Stef was there for me through every step of the way through those months of pregnancy and that first year of marriage I wasn’t sure Spencer and I would make it through. We compared belly sizes (I won by a landslide). Over years of motherhood we shared side eyes as our children took pacis out of each others mouths and put it in their own mouths to share. We watched our babies become big siblings and expressed nights of torture as we counted the hours of sleep we missed. We bonded over terrible tantrums, picky eaters, first years of preschool, and literally flinging bags of goldfish at the hungry masses to get a moment of adult conversation, even if it was to discuss changing a diaper too unspeakable to put in words. She was there and the only one even close to understanding how I felt as I watched Rae be poked and proded for years enduring test after test searching for answers to her medical issues and inability to gain weight. She cried with me as Spencer and I pursued with Rae’s genetic counselors, and then were advised against having a third baby.
And then, in what seems like a moment, we moved from Woodbridge, Virginia to Orlando, Florida.
It’s kind of weird to live nearly 900 miles away from Stef.
I’ve never been alone in the trenches of motherhood.
I didn’t think I would feel so lonely with my sister not being a 15 minute drive down the road.
I have met so many wonderful people in Orlando, but no one can replace Stef.
She’s my best friend.
And I miss her.
49 days, sis.
I keep wanting to write more, but the last there is to say “I miss your face like hell”.