When Dreams {{NIGHTMARES}} Become Reality

Monday night I couldn't sleep.
Not really.

Every time I closed my eyes, images would begin swirling and as they collided with my exhaustion, reality would drift far enough away for dreams to begin, but not so far that I didn't know I was dreaming. 

I was standing in line at Starbucks when he walked in and called my name. 

How are you? 
You look great!
It's been so long...

My eyes fluttered open, I kicked off the covers and got up to get a glass of water. Settling back into bed, scenes of downtown Tempe began to fill my mind. 

It was a Friday night and we'd just finished dinner at Oregano's. The sounds of people laughing and talking loudly mingled with the smells of food and cigarette smoke that surrounded us. It was exactly like every other night we'd spent walking down Mill Avenue. The only difference was that when we crossed the street, he didn't make it. Once I stepped up onto the curb and turned around, I saw him lying in the street.

I jerked awake that time and had to take several deep breaths to calm myself. My husband was sleeping soundly next to me and I wished I was too. As I rearranged my pillow, I concentrated on matching my breathing to his, focusing on all things calm.

There he was again. Standing there in a black t-shirt and jeans, along with his regular black Vans and sunglasses tucked into the front of his shirt, the weight of them pulling the neckline down far enough to see the top of a slightly raised pink line down the middle of his chest. I knew it was nearly 6 inches long but that's only because I'd seen it in its entirety.

Hey you!
Are you going to come to the hospital?
The doctors are saying this may be the last surgery I'll ever need. 
I'll be fixed!
Please wait there with my mom...

This time when I opened my eyes I had to talk myself into believing that the conversation I'd just had with him wasn't real. We'd always hoped one day the doctors would indeed tell him that he only needed one more operation and then his heart would be better but after 9 years of knowing him, I knew it was a long shot.

This was getting old. I had work in 3 hours and I hadn't managed a stretch of sleep longer than 20 minutes. Sighing in utter frustration I lay my head back down again.

I was holding his mom's hand while we sat in the freezing cold waiting room. The sterile smell of hospitals had always turned my stomach but combined with my apprehension and terror, the nausea was threatening to overtake me. We'd been waiting only 2 hours. Even still, those 2 hours had felt like 20 and when I looked up and saw the doctor walking towards us, mask pulled down around his neck, scrub cap in hand, and blood on his coat, I knew instantly that something had gone terribly wrong.

He's gone.
We tried everything.
Sometimes this happens.
I'm so sorry for your loss.

My eyes flew open and as I realized that my face was indeed wet with real tears, I could still hear his mom screaming.

This can't be happening!
Not my baby!
Please, God, no!

Seriously?! Why did I keep seeing him? I hadn't talked to him in 6 weeks and yet every time I attempted to get the sleep I so badly needed, there he was.

Somehow, an hour later when my alarm went off, I dragged myself out of bed and got ready for work. The morning was a rough one. Trying to convince a very cranky and sick 3 year old boy to do the most simple and ordinary tasks was grating on my nerves. My leg got cut by some glass and I got yelled and cursed at by a 70 year old Vietnamese woman. I had forgotten my breakfast at home and hadn't had time for my morning coffee. When my phone buzzed and I saw that I had a new message, I escaped to the bathroom to catch my breath and read the message.

When I saw the sender's name, my stomach dropped.

I felt like someone had kicked me in the gut, forcing my insides into my throat.

It was from her.
His mom.

As my eyes flew over the words shining bright on my phone screen, I suddenly felt as if I was being choked. I couldn't breathe. My head was spinning.

He's gone.
I found him this morning.
I looked but I couldn't find a note.
I wish I could say it was an accident.
It wasn't his heart.
The police are still here.
Had he contacted you?
He still talked about you all the time.
I thought maybe you would know...
He loved you.
I'm so sorry.
Where are you?
Can you come?

This could not be happening.
This was not real.
It just could not be.

I jumped as I heard the irregular rhythm of a 3 year old fist knocking on the bathroom door...

The rest of the morning was a blur. Upon arriving back at our apartment after getting L on the bus for school, it all threatened to crash down on me. I couldn't think about anything but the one thing I knew I shouldn't do. It was an incredible struggle. I forced myself to change and work out. The entire time I focused like I've never focused before. It felt impossible to keep going but as I did, the sweat and shortness of breath pushed down the choking sensation from my throat. Afterwards, I showered and got dressed. I had to meet my husband on campus at the Detachment and take photos of him and the other members of next years Wing Staff. I was angry. So very, very angry. The reasons I gave were irrational but I didn't care. I could not talk about it. I would not talk about it. 2 hours later I was back at home and in my room.

You will not cry.
This isn't happening.
Just keep standing and folding laundry.
You will not cry.
This isn't happening.
Just keep standing and folding laundry.

I kept repeating those words to myself. The next 2 hours were filled with the mundane tasks of folding, hanging up, and putting away 6 loads of laundry I had been avoiding. I did cry but just a little. Never longer than a minute or 2 and then I'd wipe my face, shake my head, and proceed with what I was doing.

5:30 PM found me on my bed, hugging a pillow, sobbing uncontrollably. The door opened and I heard my husband's footsteps as he walked around the bed. The mattress shifted as he sat down.

What's going on?
Please tell me what's wrong?
Rachelle you HAVE to talk to me.
I'm going to get some tissue and then you have 2 minutes to tell me.
Please talk to me.
What happened?

I didn't want to say it. I didn't think I could even manage saying the words. After fighting it some more, I gave in.

He's dead. He killed himself this morning.

I told him all about it. I sobbed.

Another good soul has left this Earth and in doing so, he left from my life. No longer do I have the option of checking up on him. There is no possibility of me running into him ever again. I won't ever have a chance to see him smile again or to tell him how proud I am of his sobriety.

Its completely nonsensical. How is it possible that someone with such a pure heart no longer exists? A heart that had made it through TEN open heart surgeries... How can it be that someone who had been sober and clean for 3 years, who felt like they finally had it figured out, and had a new lease on life, no longer have any life at all?

There are no words to accurately describe what this feels like. I have an actual physical stabbing pain in my heart. It's been 53 hours since I got the news that he was gone and I still can't believe it.

Well, that's not true. The tears and the pain and the sleepless nights are proof that a part of me knows and believes. I just wish I didn't. I wish I didn't have to.

I don't want to grasp the reality that the one good person from my past is gone.

I don't want to understand that the one person from my past that never made me hate myself more than I already did is gone.

I don't want to know that the person who managed to crack my stone-hard exterior after my best friend killed himself is gone.

I don't want to believe that one of the best people and men I have ever known is gone.

Above all else, I don't want to wrap my head around the fact that he's gone because that would mean I'd have to accept and understand that he was hurting so badly and was so blinded by despair and hopelessness and pain, that he felt his only choice was to slip a rope around his neck and before stepping off of the chair he'd planted his feet on, drag a razor blade across his wrists.

Really, truly knowing that would make me hurt more than I can comprehend. 

It would mean I failed.

It would mean I failed someone I had once loved and was still very near and dear to my heart.

It would mean that someone I thought had risen from the blackest and deepest depths of depression and found happiness, wouldn't have and that would mean that the hope his story and life had given me, wasn't ever real to begin with.


Today. October 15th.

October 15th....

It's the middle of the month.

It's the day after the 14th and the day before the 16th.

It's 16 days away from Halloween.

It's right in the middle of Autumn weather coming into full swing.

There's usually leaves on the ground in different shades of red, orange, and gold. The air is crisp and chilly in the morning and brisk and cold at night. It's cold enough for boots and cardigans but there's no snow sticking to the ground yet.

Pumpkin is everywhere.

It's in recipes on blogs and in your Facebook feed. There's countless pictures of pumpkin this or pumpkin that on Instagram. They're in the grocery store, being sold at the stand on the corner, and sitting on your neighbors front porch. Most of the popular pins on Pinterest right now either incorporate or center around this big orange member of the squash family. There are crafts! And decorations! And GOOD LORD it's even in your coffee!

All of these things are a given when it comes to the general public and what pops in their minds when thinking about October. 

Everyone knows when October is. Everyone is more than familiar with the things that are usually going on in October. To most, October 15th is just another generic day of the week in another month of another year. This year, October 15th happens to be a Tuesday. Last year it was a Monday and back in 2007, on October 15th, I was rushing around tying up loose ends and calming nerves for my wedding that was just four days away.

Do you know what else October 15th is?

National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

You see, for countless women, October 1st begins the lead up to the one day a year that their pieces of fractured souls and broken hearts are recognized by others rather than themselves alone. Their babies who are now angels are even more present in their hearts and minds today, than they are every other second of every other day because of this day.

October 15th.

Prayers are said. 
Candles are lit. 
Hands are held.
Hugs are given. 
Memories are reflected upon.
Tears are shed. 

All of this and more for the babies who never got to make it out of the womb, the ones who were stillborn, and the ones who were taken much too soon back to Heaven.

For most people, October means Autumn has arrived and Halloween, orange and black, witches, pumpkins, and spooky stories are here. For others though, it's something much more and most won't ever know.

Growing up, October was something I anxiously waited for all year. I loved the feelings I got going outside in the mornings and seeing the trees slowly become more bare as the leaves fell. I always went all out on Halloween when it came to my costumes and I looked forward to the neighborhood bonfire we had every year. It was the month that brought my Mama's birthday and on its heels was Thanksgiving. I loved it.

In 2007, October became even more fantastic! The 19th was the day Loverface and I became husband and wife and it was just one more thing to celebrate!

Each passing year since then brought on more and more of life and the struggles that accompany with it. It seemed as if everything kept happening around the same time of the year and it all made me morph into someone who felt increasingly sad and angry as October drew closer. No matter how I have tried, I haven't been able to regain my untainted and unabashed fondness and enthusiasm for October.

October 4th, 2009 was the day I was raped and nearly killed. It was an inexplicable nightmare and to this day I can't really face the details of it all without flinching away.

October 19th, 2010 found me 8,000 miles away from my husband. Instead of it being the day we celebrated 3 years of marriage, it was the day that began with me testifying against my rapist in an Article 32 Hearing and ended with me alone at an Urgent Care, being told that I was in the midst of a miscarriage. Our 3rd loss.

The next year, October 2011 was a bit of an emotional blur. Loverface was on 12 hour night shifts and I was trying desperately to not drown in my grief and anger surrounding the events from the last couple of years. I tried to shove it away and hide it which in the end did nothing but set me up for a much bigger fall. 

Last year, we were still settling into our new civilian lives in Salt Lake City, Utah and even though we did get to have a day together to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary, I couldn't help but feel utterly bitter

Bitter that we had 3 Angel Babies but none here on Earth. Bitter that after 5 years, we were no closer to our goals and dreams. I was angry and bitter that the person who raped me had not only been let off all civilian charges but also all military charges and was free to live his life without a second thought of what he had done to me. I was bitter that I had received notification that this person wasn't content enough with brutally abusing me but was also attempting to serve me with legal papers, notifying me that I was being sued. 


The beginning of this year brought with it a change. Our circumstances and environment didn't undergo some magical transformation nor will they anytime in the near future. Regardless, something had clicked. A flip was switched in me and without telling anyone or declaring that it was a New Years Resolution, I made a decision. 

I was going to let it go

Everything that I was clinging to that made my life that much more difficult or unhappy was being set free. If I didn't have any control over it, it was gone. 

Getting on Facebook and seeing that yet another person, was having yet another baby wasn't going to ruin my week. Of course it would still be difficult and it would still tug at my heart but I wasn't going to be the girl that couldn't paste a smile on her face and say a simple, "Congratulations." 

No more. 

I wasn't going to fear my attacker. Let his lawyers try to track me down and serve me with papers. I wasn't going to hold onto so much bitterness that I didn't have room for happiness. Thinking about and talking about my attack was still going to be incredibly difficult. It would hurt like hell but all I had control over was continuing to bravely share my story and show others that its possible to pick up the pieces and get back to your life. 

Try my best.

This was all something that just kind of occurred to me one day. I don't remember what I was doing or where I was but I remember feeling a sense of excitement, hope, and relief.

October was still going to be a month that held a lot of emotion. That was inescapable and even if I could, I wouldn't want to. The best part of human existence is experiencing and feeling. Without the bad there wouldn't be good and vice versa. You can't have all the chocolate without the calories but sometimes, the chocolate is just so damn worth it.

I'd decided and I dove in. 

In February, Loverface and I discovered I was miraculously pregnant. We shared it with the world in hopes of all the extra prayers and good juju would really help that bun stay in my oven. We were very cautiously starting to allow talk of the future and started slipping into, "When"s instead of, "If"s. I was insanely sick and growing at a fast pace. 

Then it all happened. Again. Our hopes were dashed, our baby was gone, and we were left empty in every possible way. Regardless of how difficult it was, we pulled ourselves back up and got back into our routines. By July it seemed as if I really had managed to grieve and tuck the heartache away more easily than in the past. It didn't hurt any less and I wasn't any less broken but I was able to handle it better for some reason.

Until today.

You see, today is October 15th

It's National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

It's October 15th.

It's the day that was supposed to be for our Angel Baby #4.

October 15, 2013.

The due date that never happened.

Today I am feeling broken. The words grief and sadness don't seem anywhere near adequate and the thought that this awful, huge, gaping feeling could be put into words that would come close to describing what it is to hurt like this is incomprehensible.

I have hope that hope will return to me soon and I love that I know what it is to have a man who loves me the way I am loved.

Its October 15th and I am feeling fractured, hollow, blank....

But I know I am blessed.


We Do It Anyway

There are certain things that Military Significant Others shouldn't do while their Loverface's are gone.

Whether you're a Newbie and you're going through your first ever Military-related separation or a tried and true Milie Veteran, you know what I'm talking about. It never matters WHY they're gone, WHERE they are, or HOW LONG you'll be apart. It only matters that they are gone and it's always tough.

Some are kind of general things like not watching Military movies that will rip our hearts out and make us sick with worry or watching and reading the news like crazy.

Examples: Act of Valor, Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down, Hurt Locker, Flags of Our Fathers, and the movie that taunted me during Mr. Superman's first deployment (but I never gave in!), Taking Chance.

Other things are more of a gamble and some decide to err on the side of caution. Others, either because their a glutton for punishment or have masochistic tendencies, will forego all instinct to avoid what is the inevitable outcome. Watching movies like Safe Haven, The Time Traveler's Wife, and The Notebook will have us sobbing and wanting our Boo's back for multiple reasons.

Every. Single. Time.

Then there are the things that are more individualized. Things that are going to trigger something inside of us that probably wouldn't do much to another Military SO.

Some of my triggers?

Not to let myself sit on the couch for more than two episodes of certain shows otherwise it leads to an all day laziness that melts into self-pity and complete apathy about how long its been since I've eaten, gotten up and pee'd, or showered.

No looking at photos of us from our Pre-Deployment Shoot, the pictures taken of us while sitting in the Mobility Bay waiting for that Stupid White Bus, or the few snapshots of His Homecoming.

After nearly four years in this Military World I've learned that it doesn't take longer than .5 seconds of any Military Homecoming video before I've got a puffy face that's covered in snot, tears, and mascara. Almost any Music Video that is dedicated to or about our Troops does me in pretty quickly and GOOD LORD, don't even bring up Memorial Videos.

For me there are also some silly and odd things that set me off.

If I see a really funny TREX MEME or Grumpy Cat photo all I want to do is send it to him or show it to him. When I realize a split-second later that its impossible, I hit the Sad Button pretty quickly.

Thinking about how long its been since he shoved me over in bed because I was all up in his bidness never fails to make me well up and realizing that I haven't seen his razor plugged in to charge or his facial hair in the sink in a long time ALWAYS sets off a declaration and resolution in my head that I'll never complain about that stuff ever again once he's home.

If I find myself looking back at old blog posts there is never any doubt that its going to end in tears, my heart throbbing because I miss my Loverface oh so much, and ironically, a new blog post.

It also means I'm left pining after the man who just isn't here right now because all I need to feel better is a smile and a hug from him.

All of us Milie's KNOW there are things we shouldn't do while our loved ones are gone.

But we always do it anyway. 


Dear Loverface: Just A Few Things

You're in the military.
You're also currently gone.

These two things add up to one very simple, inevitable, and highly unfortunate fact.

Murphy moved in.

You know...? The annoying, trouble-causing boyfriend all of us military spouses have move in the minute our Loverface's leave.

Murphy the Douchebag

If you were deployed, I'd be sure to not mention any of Murphy's antics so you could focus on your mission and staying safe but since we haven't talked or directly communicated since the day you left, I feel no guilt or worry about sharing it all here.

While chopping bell peppers two days after you left, I dropped the knife. It landed directly in the top of my left foot and stood straight up, sticking out of the top before falling over to the side.

Don't worry! I cleaned up the blood and it didn't stain anything. And it doesn't hurt anymore

My car got a big scratch down its side by some douche-hole who didn't leave a note. I think that makes 17 times my baby has gotten hit, dinged, and scratched by some elusive, terrible driver who feels no responsibility at all for damaging other people's property. 

I had yet another friend pass away and I couldn't attend the funeral. I'm proud of how well I handled it and kept it together. 

That strict budget and lecture you gave me took a pretty big hit. Now before you go all, "Woman, what did I tell you?!" on me, read on.

Jane Austen ran out of food and they no longer make her kind so I had to buy something new. Incidentally, they were out of every size except the jumbo one. Good news is she's set for a while. Yay!

My car needed an oil change and a new air filter. 

I have been eating pretty healthy since the day you left. That means lots of produce and organic food which isn't cheap. Guess what though! I'm down five pounds! BOOM!

I had two baby showers to attend and the lingerie shower I threw. All of that was more expensive that I thought. I did have fun though which brought my stress level down on that issue. 

Outside of all things financial, Murphy has messed with me so thoroughly I've just begun to throw up my hands and go on.

I woke up a week ago after the long Memorial Day weekend, insanely sick out of nowhere. I was pretty irritated because I hadn't been around any sick people or any of the kids at work in like 5 days. I guess me having that whole auto immune blood disease thing joined up with Murphy and decided it had been too long sick I'd been sick. I'm still uber sick and my lungs are pretty full. Yuck! It was totally ironic and true to our form that you somehow knew. I got a letter where you talked about my health and how much it worries you. You sent it off a day after I got sick. Two days after that my uterus and ovaries declared war on me so between that and my lungs, I had to miss 5 days of working out which really disappointed me.

I had to completely disassemble and clean the vacuum twice in one day just to get one room clean.

A giant bee somehow got inside and made its way down the hall, into the guest room, and decided to hang out on the bed.

My bum knee? I twisted it really bad. How did it happen? I was working out and rolled my ankle inwards which made my knee buckle and twist. Nice right? I did drag my butt down to your moms basement and between her, I, and Cass, we got to the box that held all of our knee braces. 

So here we are, a mere 18 days after I walked away from you in the SLC Airport and Murphy is winning. 

I'm hoping he quits soon.

I miss you boo.


Dear Loverface: It Was In The Fridge

Dear Loverface,

We're nearly at the end of Day 6. 
I've come to a few conclusions in the last six days. 
Wanna know 'em? 

There are 24 hours in the day but when you're gone, it feels like 57.

I work Monday through Thursday and when you're here, that sucks but when you're gone, it feels like its not enough. I would flat out lose my sanity if I didn't have somewhere I HAD to be Monday through Thursday.

Getting emails late on Saturday nights from Mormon strangers are quite possibly the best thing in the world.

Loverface in front row, first on the left.
It's a good thing you have 3 sisters who not only enjoy things like Les Miserable but that they'll come over on a Saturday night to watch it and end up singing all the songs and crying with me.

Having my nightmares and horribly disturbing dreams are never fun. In fact, they always suck and leave me feeling scared and angry but babe, when you're not here, they are pure hell. 

Deployment Brain is not only very real but it is misnamed. It doesn't just happen during deployments but it pokes its nasty, unwelcome, life-disrupting head up whenever you're gone.


When I came home from work, I immediately did the dishes, switched out laundry, put some food in the fridge, and then worked out. Afterwards, I went to take my daily post-workout picture and couldn't find my phone. Now, I know what you're thinking. "Par for the course! Big shocker! Geez honey, really?!"

Well, just hear me out! 
I remembered bringing it in from the car. 
But that was it.

I searched the normal spots. You know, the bed, counter, purse, couch...


I then texted Sammy telling her to call my phone. I know, how did I text right? The iPad, duh. She tried over and over but it kept going straight to voicemail. I knew it had a nearly full battery and yet, nothing.

I started to REALLY freak out. Panicked, crying, frantically searching everywhere and hyperventilating.

I searched all the cupboards and drawers, the bed, both bathrooms, the couch, under all the furniture, and pretty much everywhere else about a bajillion times before looking in the.... Fridge. 

Guess what? 

It was in the fridge. 

I about died from laughing and chagrin.

Now please, come home soon. 


Dear Loverface: I Listened To The Rain

Dear Loverface,

Today was Day 3.

It was also Tyler's funeral. That said, you now know how I was feeling all day.

I miss you. 

So much.

I decided to step out of myself. It was all I could do.

I convinced myself to get out of bed. I worked out. I got dressed up and went to the movies with your sisters. I enjoyed it. 

It's been overcast, windy, gloomy, rainy. 

It's been beautiful.

Driving home at nearly midnight, the rain was coming down hard. I turned my music off and did something that would surprise you. 

I listened.

No background noise, no distractions, no thoughts beyond the rain and missing you.

Normally, I'd have the music on but tonight, I didn't. 

I felt clarity and calm.

All because I listened to the rain. 


Dear Loverface: Two

Dear Loverface,

Technically, its May 16th but it was the day of two's.

Day two that you're gone.

Day two of me working out. Go me!

Day two of me picking off all of my nail polish in anxiety.

The second time I'm painting my nails.

Got that? We're up to two manicures.

Day two of me being ridiculously sore.

A day where I had two total seconds out of the entire day that I wasn't feeling like I was going to literally die from pain.

Day two of me realizing that without you here with me, I don't feel human.

We've been together for almost exactly 3 months shy of 7 years. 2,436 days to be exact. I don't know if you know this or not, but that's kind of a long time. You're a numbers guy so I think you oughtta be able to see where I'm coming from with this.

I don't think it's sad that I feel this way. Not whole without you I mean.

I think its endearing.

I think it means something bigger than most people would be able to understand.

It means God didn't just make you and make me.
It means he made us.
He made our souls incomplete.

He meant for us to learn in our first 17 1/2 years of our individual lives that we couldn't do it alone. You without me and me without you was wrong.

It still is wrong.

Which is precisely why I don't feel human when you're not here.

Its beautiful.
Its heartbreaking.
Its raw.
Its incredible.

And babe, even though there are two of us, and it's you and me, it really comes down to being a thing of one.



Dear Loverface: I'm a Wimp

Dear Loverface,

We woke up at 0345 this morning. Well, YOU woke up at 0345 while I woke up a little before 0300 needing to pee. 

SO badly. 

I looked at the time and saw you were going to be up in 45 minutes. I didn't want to wake you up by getting up because I knew you would then look at the time, see you only had 45 minutes left of sleep, and then toss and turn and never really drift back off. 

So I held it. My pee that is.

Why? Because I love you.

The alarm went off and we got up. You took your C bags down to the car and then came back up and got your Blues on. I love your Blues. You look so handsome and just seeing you in them makes my heart swell with pride.

Why? Because I love you.

We got to the airport and were soon surrounded by almost 2 dozen anxious, fresh and new to the 'shipping out' military world cadets. You didn't roll your eyes too much because you're kind and patient. That always makes me smile. You're a much better person than I. You asked me to go find a luggage tag and even though it took me forever to find one, I didn't complain.

Why? Because I love you.

I didn't cry when it was time to say our, "See you later's" because I know it makes it way harder for you to focus on where you're going and why you're going there. I took my quick hug and smooch and walked away.

Why? Because I love you.

I got home by 0515, got myself a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and dove into the DVR. I cried. And ate another bowl of cereal. And then cried some more. Why?

Because I'm a wimp. I'm a wimp because I love you.

Instead of going to sleep like I should've, I sat on the couch and watched episode after episode, pining after my silent phone. Even though I knew you were thousands of feet up in the air, I couldn't turn off my fear that you'd call and I'd somehow miss it. I gripped it like it was a lifeline.

Why? Because I'm a wimp. And I love you.

I painted my nails even though I just painted them a few days ago. I got a huge smile and cried some more when you text saying you were at your first stop and some more when you called a few minutes later.

Why? Mostly because I'm a wimp.
But also because I love you.

You joked that I should keep track of how many times I paint my nails while you're gone. You know me so well to already know the number is going to be ridiculous. Even though you told me I should because you were making fun of me, I'm going to do it.

Why? Because I love you.

I tried to nap like you told me to but kept having weird dreams that I missed your call. I was so scared because that was not only the last phone call I'd get, but the last contact I'd have with you until you call me and tell me you're on your way home. I got butterflies when I saw your name pop up on my phone a while later.

Why? Because I adore you.

You were irritated and in a rush. I was yes, devastated that we only got about 15 seconds. I didn't let it leak into my voice though.

Why? Because I love you.

I started a workout so I can look awesome when you get back. I went grocery shopping for all things fruits, veggies, and healthy. I didn't even think about how you weren't here to help me get 4 all of the groceries up  flights of stairs.

Babe, I had this 'aha' moment.

You're super tough because you have NEVER let on how very much it SUCKS to lug groceries up to our apartment. I was dying after bringing the first bags up the first flight of stairs. By the time I got all 3 loads up those four flights, my legs were jelly and I was sweating something awful.

Why? Because I'm a wimp.

I hope you are sleeping well after the long day you had today. I hope you know how proud of you I am. I hope you can feel all of my thoughts and love. I hope you believe in yourself the way I believe in you and that you don't doubt your capability of being the very best.


Because I love you. 


When You're A Girl

When you're a girl, you have one week a month that you aren't quite... yourself.

Well, if you're lucky it's only one week a month.

*Cough* I WISH *Cough*

When you're a girl, you'll wake up one morning feeling as if your boobs were hit with 10 lb rubber mallets all night long.

It will get worse and you will end up wanting to cut them off because that would feel SO much better. If your Loverface even so much as blinks at The Twins, you can go ahead and swat, bite, punch, or whatever else you feel is necessary to deter him.

When you're a girl, you'll find yourself eating everything in sight.

Yes, everything. 

See that half eaten pack of 2 month old stale Ritz Crackers sitting on the counter? Yep, eat 'em. 

Three king sized packs of Mini Rolos at 7-11 AND a bag of Chex Mix Muddy Buddies? Go for it! 

Just got done eating 6 pancakes with Biscoff spread and a quart of strawberries? So what! Grab that orange and plum and dump half a box of granola on it.

While you're innocently looking in the fridge for something to drink, you see that bag of organic carrot chips and think, "Hey! Healthy snack!" Yeah.... pour half of those suckers into a skillet and dump some olive oil, butter, red pepper, salt, pepper, and cinnamon butter on them. Who are you kidding girlfriend? You KNOW you didn't intend on putting any of those back in the fridge. Eat the whole pan-full. 

Right as you're polishing those beauties off you'll see a commercial for some deep-dish pizza and from the depths within yourself, no not your heart.... Nope lower than your stomach.... Yep! That's your uterus screaming that unless you find a way to have that deep-dish pizza, you won't be getting any relief.

Ha! Relief! That's your uterus and ovaries attempt at making a not so funny, funny. 

No amount of Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Advil, Midol, or ANY medication is going to bring anything even close to resembling that word... Relief. Blech. Its like a curse word. And when you're a girl, you WILL be cursing that word.

When you're a girl you can be found on the couch with a heating pad inside your pants on both sides. Yep, one is to cradle you're uterus as it thrashes about inside of you and one is to keep your ovaries from breaking out through your back, because contrary to what any doctor tells you, your ovaries are on the inside wielding rusty knives that have been heated in the fiery depths of hell.

You see, when you're a girl, and when that special time comes along that makes you feel a little off, your ovaries actually aren't quite themselves either. They go from tiny little organs inside your body to red bandanna wearing, knife wielding members of the Crips Bloods. 

If you aren't on the couch then you can be found in the bathtub soaking in scalding hot water and praying to Holy JuJu to just let you die already. Not in the bathtub? Well then you're probably on the bed vacillating between the fetal position and thrashing around like the chick from The Last Exorcism.

Speaking of being posessed, when you're a girl, you'll have pretty much everyone around you, including yourself, that you have been taken over by Satan's Mama. One minute you'll be as happy as the blue birds flying over the bright and shiny rainbow and in a split-second your head will spin 360 degrees around while your eyes go black. You'll feel like pulling your hair out at the sheer stupidity of EVERYONE and EVERYTHING around you. How dare that mother-effing car get in front of you?! And that commercial on the tv... You know, the one about those magical pads and tampons that come in cute wrappers that magically make your period into something that you don't notice and magically turn you into a skinny, unbloated, smiling, happy, flawlessly beautiful chick. Is it TRYING to piss you off?! I swear a man came up with that one. Once your pupils go back to their normal size and you no longer look like Carrie, you'll be in floods of tears. Over what? Nothing. And Everything. And then you won't even know about what and you'll cry even more over that.

Its a time of misery.
And despair.
And pain.
And tears.
And realization.

Yes, realization.

When you're a girl you realize that as much as it sucks, you're praising Holy JuJu and Mother Earth its us females who deal with it because if it was something a man had to do...

We'd all die.
Us from insanity and them from us killing them.



And just like that, it's happened again.

It's gone.
They're gone.
Our baby is gone.

Yes, we were expecting.

It was an utter surprise.
And a miracle.

This time, we decided we'd share the news. We made phone calls and announcements. You all know me, it hit Instagram and Facebook and it was good. We figured we couldn't jinx ourselves any worse than my already existing blood disorder and hostile lady bits. We asked for prayers and good juju.

We got much, much more.

Y'all we had thousands of prayers, wishes and thoughts put out into the Universe, a convent of nuns, a bunch of Native Americans dancing around fires, lots of chanting to Mother Earth, and so much love and "Congratulations!" my smile was rarely gone.

There was an abundance of puking and exhaustion and hormones. I had so many cravings my husband learned to just go with it.

I loved every.single.second.

No joke. 
I know that sounds ridiculous but its true. Puking and hormonal roller-coaster riding meant our Sea Monkey was still thankfully intact.

About 6 weeks before we found out my uterus was occupied, I had started to eat oranges. Not just one here and there but 3 or 4 a day. And orange juice was what was always in my cup. It struck me as odd because I'm not the biggest fan of oranges but I wrote it off as a calcium deficiency. The night before we left for one of our many Arizona trips I was pulling our bedroom window blinds down and they fell. They fell and landed on some flowers my Loverface gave me on my birthday and crushed them. I lost it. I mean full blown, all out, bawling, hyperventilating, hysterically crying. I fell to my knees sobbing and couldn't even look him in the eyes because I was so upset at crushing the flowers he gave me.

Good Lordy my emotional swinging range was wider than anything else and it swung so fast that it would switch hit 3 times before I could even grasp the first one. After telling Loverface I was pregnant one of the first things he said was, "Now the flowers make sense."

This time felt so different than all the others and it wildly gave me hope. I had symptoms. Not just puking and exhaustion and constantly feeling as if my lower back had been run into with a semi-truck but I had actual outward signs. My belly muscles were sore and taut and it was growing. It was changing and getting big so fast that even over a night's time you could see that our baby was growing.


Maybe that's what did it. The bump was the precursor that made my defenses crumble.I could see it so it felt tangible and as if it couldn't turn into the grief we've felt with our last 3 babies.We told people we would let ourselves hope and be excited if I made it to 20 weeks. If we got half-way through the second trimester, we'd buy baby stuff and start on the nursery. If I made it far enough.... Even with us trying to stave off the excitement and planning of the future, it crept in.

Two days ago that "if" was snuffed out. 

It was just a normal day for us. Besides it being a Monday and us not having our normal Monday obligations, things all seemed up to par with what was usual. Mr. Superman awoke around 8:30 and I stumbled out of bed 15 minutes later.
 He looked up quizzically and said, 

"What are you doing up? You should go back to sleep."


"I will but I have to eat. My tummy is just too hungry to be able to get back in bed." 

I ate and he got ready to go grocery shopping. 

"I can come with you."
"No, you'd be wiped out after 10 minutes."

Smiling because we both knew it was true I said,

"Yeah, okay."

He left and after two waffles, a bagel, and 6 bite-size cookies later (my appetite was out of control), I crawled back under my covers. I drifted on and off for 2 hours before finally seceding that deep sleep was not going to come. I got up and did some laundry and cleaning. We decided we'd treat ourselves to a movie so I got ready. Now I know I said the day was normal. It was as far as the general nature of it but I felt odd. The whole day I just felt... off

I was exhausted like every other day. 
I threw up like every other day.
 My body was sore like every other day. 

It seemed as though it was just like every other day except for the feeling that something was amiss.  I couldn't pinpoint it but I felt it.

Within 5 minutes of us leaving for the theater I was suddenly hit with a wave of nausea and broke out into a sweat. It was so peculiar because it wasn't the normal "morning sickness" nausea but more in line with the flu. I told Mr. Superman that I was feeling really sick and thought I should go lie down. Immediately, I felt guilty because it had been my idea for a movie and I had insisted that he purchase tickets online. Purchasing them through this website made them non-refundable. I changed my mind and told him I'd be okay. After sitting in the movie for 15 minutes the icky feeling I had was gone. We enjoyed the movie and stopped off at my in-laws house to see our puppy before going back to our apartment. I was feeling a little crampy but otherwise okay. It didn't last long. As soon as we pulled into our parking lot I knew something was terribly wrong.

If you've experienced a first trimester miscarriage you know what I mean. I felt the unmistakable wetness. I knew that as soon as I pulled my pants down it would be there.


I rushed into the bathroom and with shaking hands I unbuttoned my jeans. The edges of my mind blurred but the images are clear enough that I  know what happened. I pulled my jeans down and with a sickening jolt in my stomach I knew. It was too late. There was too much tissue for it to be just bleeding. That was our baby. My head was spinning and my skin felt on fire. I stifled a sob as I frantically tried to get air. I couldn't breathe and the world felt like it was tilting over. I ripped my jeans and underwear the rest of the way off and balled them up. Kneeling on the bathroom floor I wrapped my sweater around my bottom half and turned the  doorknob. With the door opened I called for my husband. My voice wasn't right and I knew he could tell. He came in and the look in his eyes is something I can't forget. Confused and worried he asked, 

"What? What is it?"

Choking out the words that were muddled by my sobs,

"I'm sorry! I'm so, so sorry!"
"What is it? What happened? What's wrong?!"
"It's gone! Our baby is gone! I'm sorry!"

The cries ripping through my throat and wracking my chest were too much. He was there on the floor next to me, legs sprawled and as he tugged at me, trying to pull me close to him I was pushing away. 

"No! No!"

Timidly he asked, 

"How do you know?"
"Because I know what it looks like! It's gone!

No more words. 
Each of us at a loss. 
The only thing louder than his stunned silence was the noise coming from me. 

It was alien.


Two things that should not be able to inhabit the same place at the same time.

And yet...

There was more blood. I could feel it and I knew my sweater wouldn't keep it hidden for long. 

"Get me grocery bags and Clorox wipes!"

A minute later he was back and he set them on the ground. I grabbed them and pushed away. 

"You don't need to see this. Go."

As I closed the door I tried to go numb. If I couldn't feel it then maybe it wouldn't seem as bad as it was. The sobs that had been tearing through me, that I had so futilely tried to stifle were slowing. First, I took the wad of my jeans and tied them in a bag. I then put them in another and then another. I cleaned the toilet and then seeing that my socks were now bloody put them in another sack. I cleaned up the rest of me and the floor, tying everything up in a bag that was inside 6 more. With trembling hands I reached up and opened the door. There he was. Legs still splayed wide with his head tilted far back against the wall. I thrust the bag not  containing my jeans at him.

"Take it. Get it out. I can't have in in here! Get rid of it!"

He stood and a few moments later I heard our front door open and then close. I stood and rushed to grab clean clothes before ducking into our other bathroom. After closing the door I climbed into the shower.

Freezing water pelted me  and then gradually getting warmer before finally settling on nearly scalding. I began to scrub my body so vigorously and harshly it hurt. The pain was a sharp relief. Like feeling the biting stabs of invisible needles that  occur when your limbs begin to awaken after having the blood flow cut off. After  rinsing and drying myself off, I pulled on the clothes I had grabbed and stepped out into the hallway. I could see him on our bed, head downcast and eyes unfocused.  Climbing up next to him I buried my face in his chest.

"I'm so sorry."
"It's not your fault."
"I'm the one who's broken. It's me. I'm sorry."
"Stop, it's not your fault."

His head was still steadfastly looking down.

"Then why won't you look at me?"

No answer. 
No movement.

Placing my hands on either side of his face I tilted his head up and forced him to look at me.

"Okay. Please, tell me how you are."

Dejectedly he said, 

"I've been better."
"Yeah? Me too."


"You know what? We've also been much, much worse."

Warily he asks,

 "Have we?"
"Yes, we have. We're going to be okay."


"I promise."

In his eyes I see doubt and they are brimming full of too much shininess. Even though I know he isn't blaming me or accusing me, I internally recoil from the inane sense of guilt. 

I had told him I was okay.
 I told him the baby was okay and they were growing. 
I had begun to talk about the future.

I took so many pictures and constantly shared the progress and news with our friends and family. My walls that I'd built up over the last 6 years had come down and I had told him it was okay. I had insisted he ease his worry. 
In that moment with his eyes trained on mine, I saw that even though he hadn't shared the news online like I had and despite all the times he said he'd be less worried and more hopeful if I made it far enough along, he had, in fact, allowed himself to kindle the spark of excitement and belief deep within himself that had come to be.

Here I was making promises I could't guarantee.

And now...
Here we are sitting amid the ashes of our dream. 
Our wish isn't coming true.
October 15th is now going to just be October 15th. 

Here we are faced with the task of coping with something that is impossible to cope with.

Here we are again.