Lights and Strength

The darkest stretches of this journey have been punctuated by bright beacons of light.  They offer a warmly comforting glow.  Sometimes they illuminate a place where I can rest my heart, such as the listening ear of a compassionate friend.  Sometimes they are as blinding as the stage lights at a concert, a sacred space where music heals and lightens the burdens I carry.  But eventually, time marches on and they start to dim until they are nothing but the smoky remnants of an extinguished flame.  Then it’s time for me to march on, too.

It’s good to reflect on how far we’ve come.  Where our journey has taken us.  Having made it this far is proof we can make it through another day, another week, another month, another year.

Last night I sat down with some friends to talk about how I’m doing.  And as I openly shared my honest truth – that I’m surviving fabulously and even happy, but always struggling – I realized how strong I really am.  The word “strong” gets thrown around a lot, and its meaning is fluid.  For people (like me) who feel like they’re constantly scraping the bottom of their barrel, “strong” is never a word we would use to describe ourselves.  Truly, by tomorrow I might not feel strong at all.

But when I look back at the mountains I’ve climbed, and the person I used to be, I see nothing but strength.

As I proudly showed pictures of Wesley, and told them my son’s short life and how beautiful he was, the old me still inside beneath layers of change was shocked into silence.  This is the way it goes any time I decide to have courage and be bold, which, in the last few years, has been happening more often with less clumsiness, and more confidence.  It feels good to be at peace with myself, with who I am and what has happened to me.  For me, I have found that peace is synonymous with healing.  It doesn’t mean I hurt less.  If anything, it means I have learned to lean in to the hurt, to feel the pain and still have inner peace at the center of my core being.

There, in the center of my heart of hearts, is where I carry my own light.  And the same grief that tore me to pieces has somehow stitched me up with a gold and glistening thread of divine quality, a material that is nearly unbreakable in a physical way and indestructible in a spiritual one.

This is what it means to be strong, and this is what I find when I look in the mirror of grief and loss.  This shiny material is stitched through my whole being, and made me capable of doing things I thought I couldn’t do.

Never is this most clearly manifested in my sudden and surprising desire and ability to help others dealing with loss, specifically infant loss.  Once unable to even discuss my own feelings, now I help others process their own.  And as I’ve been able to do this, I find myself wanting to go beyond the people that I know personally and lead a group in some way, the details of which I am still exploring.  Regardless, this strength to help others is what drives me to offer help in any way I can, to anyone who needs it, and I am excited to explore this new facet of Who I’ve Become.

Instead of dreading another year without Wesley, I’m stretching forward to the coming days and months where I can use the lessons his absence has taught me to be a source of encouragement and strength to others, to be a good friend and a great mom and a pillar of faith in my community.  That’s not to say I won’t fail, but I hope the time between falling down and getting back up is less, and that the fall is softened by being kinder to myself with a more accurate assessment of my worth.

That’s the beauty of the journey, that we can look back and see how far we’ve come and see our worth stretched over miles and miles of darkness, an immeasurable brilliance that burns long after the lights go out.

So as I carve another notch for another year on this road, I tell myself I’m one year stronger, one year wiser, one year closer to the finish line.  If you told me at the beginning I would have come this far, I wouldn’t have believed you.  I wouldn’t have been able to comprehend the part of the journey that is my reality now.  But that’s not really the point.  Sometimes the destination we have in our mind is blurry, unfocused, unrealized.  But we keep moving anyway.  We may struggle to cover a few inches on some days, while other days we can run miles, but any distance is good enough.  Any distance is evidence of the strength we already have.  The strength is in the struggle.

While I don’t really have any concrete goals for 2016 (other than The Same Goal I’ve Had Forever, aka ‘finish your book’), my plans for this year are more abstract and forgiving and less to do with me at all.  Help others.  Listen more.  Show hospitality.  Practice gratitude.  Be empathetic.  Show compassion.  Be courageous on behalf of someone else.

After all, no one will remember whether or not I lost X amount of pounds, or climbed Mt. Everest, or finally learned how to fold a fitted a sheet.

But people will always remember how you treat them.  Long after you are gone, your light still shines within them.

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Dude, This Is Awesome

Sea turtles are very popular at my house right now.  They are quickly taking over my 21-month-old’s world, and by extension, my world too.  When we go to the park, we have to look for turtles.  When we go to the aquarium, it’s the turtles he wants to see, not fish.  And now that I’ve shown him parts of Finding Nemo, he constantly asks for “Turtles” at home.  In fact, I’m pretty sure he thinks the movie is called Finding Turtles and that they are in fact the main characters.  He doesn’t really give a care about poor kidnapped Nemo.

He has even started saying “Duuuuuude.”

I was never really into the movie to begin with, and now that I’ve faced infant loss and PTSD I really don’t like the movie at all (the dad’s character, Marlin, hits way too close to home), but my son loves his turtles, and they have an integral part in the film – one might even say the best part.  I know my kid would agree.

In the scene where Marlin wakes up and finds himself riding the back of Crush the sea turtle, he asks for help finding the “East Australian Current” so that he can get to Sydney, and Crush tells him they’re already on it.

The camera pans up as Marlin beholds a flock (?) of Sea Turtles swimming behind him, and you’d think my son has just witnessed a computer-animated miracle.

He holds his breath and screams “TURTLES!” over and over, flailing his little arms.  Sometimes he jumps up and down.  He experiences so much joy from those turtles, he can’t help himself.  He just loves them that much.

No matter how many times he has watched that scene, his level of exuberance is the same.

He also looks back at me (or my husband), as if he’s gauging our response, and waits for us to cry something like “Yeah, turtles!” or “Wow, look at all those turtles!”  Which we always do, no matter how sick we are of watching the same scene over and over and over and over.

He smiles at us, and then goes back to reveling in his joy.

I guess this is the part in Parenthood where your kid starts reminding you of yourself.

Because we are not so different, he and I.  I get just as excited about stuff that I like (a certain Toxic Event comes to mind) and if you were to witness me enjoying a particular thing (say, a show), I probably wouldn’t look that much different than my kid watching Finding Nemo for the millionth time.

I guess I’ve always been that way, even since childhood.  I’m a passionate person, and when I love something, I really, really love it.  I want to talk about it.  I want to tell you about it.  And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t gauging your response as a kind of way to validate my own feelings about it.

Because experiencing joy is great, but experiencing joy with someone else is even better.  Especially if you like the same thing.  That’s why there are fan clubs and Comic-Cons.  We all have something we completely “nerd out” about.  Being a nerd is just loving something to the umpteenth degree.

The problem is, of course, there are always haters.  There are always people who like to rain on someone else’s parade.  And no matter how much we tell ourselves “the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate,” sometimes it’s hard to shake it off and go on experiencing our joy.

No one should tell you to tone down your joy.  You have every right to be as happy as you can be, whether you are broadcasting your happy relationship on Facebook, sharing a hundred baby pictures on Instagram, going to your twentieth Airborne show, or watching those darn turtles in Finding Nemo.

There is enough sadness and tragedy to go around.  There is not nearly enough joy.

And while I am a fan of many things – bands, music, animals, babies, faith – after living through days of not feeling anything except lonely and being numb – I am a huge fan of experiencing joy and having something to be joyful about.

Even if it’s turtles.

 

The Darkened Shroud and The Bean Trees

A few months ago, a friend recommended a book to me called “The Bean Trees” by Barbara Kingsolver.  After sitting untouched on the shelf for a month, my husband found it in a half-hearted search for something to read.  He blazed through it during our recent beach vacation, and then lent it to his mom, who also read it.  Suddenly the two of them were engaged in a secret discussion, and then invited me to share in the family book club so I could weigh in with my thoughts, too.

While not intended to be a review, this book catches one in a subtle trap of simple words and old fashioned Kentucky slang.  The story is warm yet heartbreaking, and perhaps no one realized just how much I would get lost in the warm glow of a “Southern tale taken West.”  Neither did anyone realize how much I would identify with Esperanza.

She’s a side character with very little dialogue, and throughout most of the story, the reader feels indifferent toward her, then irritated, even frustrated, until her pitiable state is revealed: her very young daughter was kidnapped in their home country of Guatemala, and she has no way of ever finding out her fate.  She takes on the role of a bereaved mother in extreme grief – panic attacks, PTSD, even attempted suicide, until finally the reader is left to believe she finally “freed” herself and found resolution through a turn of events involving the daughter of the main character, Taylor.

When I finished the book and thought I had finished crying, I found my husband in the kitchen one lazy Saturday morning.  We talked about the story, the significance of the “bean trees,” the Kentucky slang, and the characters that strangely reminded us of people we knew in real life.

“I saw myself in Esperanza,” I confessed.

“Yeah,” my husband said sadly.  “I did, too.”

This bothered me so much, I could hardly talk about the book anymore.

While this was a work of fiction, my reality is not a book I can close and put back on the shelf.  The panic attacks I have are real.  They are debilitating, and frustrating to those around me.  I’m the character in the story with all the burdens of baggage, from PTSD to social anxiety to just plain social awkwardness.  And while I’m glad to be alive, honestly there were times I wished I wasn’t.  Nobody should have to feel pain like this.  It’s a fate I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.  An incredibly lonely, isolating, darkened shroud.  An abyss.  A life in ruins.

But I don’t want to be a side character.  I want to be the protagonist.  I want to be the hero.

Some days it feels like a conscious choice, and on other days it feels like an impossible dream.  Lately it feels like loss defines me, written like a bio with my picture attached.  I’m tired of sympathy and pity, but I want do want support and encouragement.  I don’t want the rest of my life to already be buried in a grave.

So I rise up.  I fill my life with good things.  I chase every twinge of happiness, down to small whimsies.  I wrestle with self-pity and defeat it with helping others and showing support to those who are also trying to grow despite harsh conditions.  If nothing else, this darkened shroud is the place I go when I am called to show empathy, and thus it has become more sacred than ever.

Yet I still feel like I have to apologize for the way I stumble through the days, broken and tired and weeping and angry and bitter and haunted . . . and a mess.  “Sorry,” I think to myself in a self-conscious moment after I’ve done something incredibly vulnerable, “I’m just dealing with an unspeakable tragedy is all.”

But I think the most important lesson I’ve learned in the now almost four years, is that I must be patient and kind with myself.  I’m not a character, and this is not a story.  This is my reality, and as painfully harsh as it may seem, I’ve still got growing to do.

And if you’re here because you’re a survivor, or even a spectator, your presence is appreciated.  In the dark abyss of grief, every person with an open heart is like a light.

As long as there is light, I know I will never lose my way.

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This Gratitude

Life is so busy now, writing has become a lot like the friends I think about often but with whom I never get to spend time, lingering like you do when the connection is so strong you don’t actually want to leave.  I can’t linger in creativity like I used to, when there are deadlines and turn-around time at work, and naptimes that seem to shorten in duration every day.

Music is played in the background like an afterthought, not for studious consideration in the days before Toddler Life.  It’s hard to focus on the meaning of a lyric or a chorus when you’re constantly looking over your shoulder and making sure your kid doesn’t hurt himself while he moves dining room furniture around.

The cognitive awareness of his needs and anticipating his next move is so mentally draining, by the end of the day I have little energy for anything other than mindlessly checking Facebook status updates and scrolling through pictures on Instagram.  Writing stuff down – as much as I love engaging in the wordplay and emotional connection through art – just seems like another task.

But I’m not complaining.  I love this life, and if it means never writing another word, I will be okay.  Of course, nobody is asking that of me, but that’s just how much I enjoy what I do.  Being a mom trumps everything.  It’s an honor and a gift not afforded to just anyone.

I don’t go to shows like I used to, nor do I have the time for diligent attention to a certain beloved band’s activities, but the love that I have for music has been transferred and repotted like a houseplant I love to nurture.  Only now can I share it with the little person in my life who demands all my time and attention.  “Let’s enjoy this together,” I think, and I will put on music.  Let’s dance and learn to sing.  Let’s learn some new words and learn the lyrics.  Let’s nurture this love of music, because it is very well in your DNA – not just from me, but from generations before me and your dad – your grandparents, your great-grandparents, and so on.  This is your heritage only we can show you, so let’s start with the music I love and grow from there.

For reasons only he knows, the Airborne song “Missy” has been on repeat in our house.  Except, when he asks for it by name, it’s “Mimi.”  He likes the elongated notes of the lyrics “Just as long as I’m never aloooooone” and “I’d follow you even if it was wrooooonnng” and has started cutting his teeth literally and figuratively on those notes, attempting to sing them on key.  He loves the portion of the song from the All I Ever Wanted DVD with the girls’ choir singing along, and he lights up when Dad plays the song on the guitar for him and we all join in.

Of course, this isn’t the only song he likes, or the last (“Hey Jude” is another favorite, the ‘nah-nah-nahs’  being solidly in his vocabulary), but this song and this band, this is a love that we share together, as mother and son, and family.

Today he asked for “Mimi” just like he does every day, so I put on the DVD and we watched it together until he started rubbing his eyes.  I scooped him up and put him to bed, letting the DVD play with no audience until I returned to the living room to turn it off.  I have seen this show and this band now dozens of times, and these songs are as familiar to me like folk songs in the country of my heart, but I sat down anyway and watched for a moment since the need for me to look over my shoulder was sleeping soundly in the other room.

That pause in a parent’s life, when the dust settles for a moment and you can see the hands in front of you and your plans in the distance, as well as the life you’ve left behind, all came into focus in that moment watching Anna pull the bow across her viola during “This Losing.”

For as often as I’ve heard this song, the goosebumps still rise with the memories right behind them at the surface, of where I was four years ago when these songs were playing in the background like an afterthought.  When I was pregnant and living a distracted life, and expecting it to turn out differently.  Inside my body was a little person developing hair and teeth, limbs and hands, feet and fingers.  And ears.  In the background of my life, I was hearing this music, and so was he.  And though our time together was so excruciatingly brief, we, too, had shared this music together.  Mother and son.  Family.

I have a couple painful anniversaries on the horizon this summer.  Birth and death, and the heartbreak and pain that surrounds them as thick as fog.  But intertwined in these memorials are anniversaries of first shows and concerts, first-time meetings of band members who had no idea their kindness meant so much, and all the love and compassion and connection I’ve received through music.  Of going on and living a life with purpose, and now sharing that life and music with someone else.  I couldn’t be more grateful.  And it’s that gratitude that pulls me through the pain, like a bow on strings.

The View from Here

Her words were kind.  Well-meaning.  She chirped good intentions like a cheerful bird in springtime.

“I hope things go back to normal.”

“I hope you find your old self again.”

From an aerial view, things look promising, like a construction zone.  Reorganize, rebuild, recover.  There are a million things to do and an endless amount of diapers to change.  Instead of sad songs, there are lullabies.  There is laughter.  Empty days of melancholy are now busy days of work and progress.  There is always laundry.  Dishes.  And more diapers.

There is a smile from a little boy that is like gentle sunshine through clouds, making the flowers grow amongst these ruins.

But there is still darkness.  A dread exists in the quiet of night.  I chase away fear on a daily basis.  I scold it like a naughty pet.  Don’t think about that.  That’s bad.  Then I tell myself:  Things are okay.  They are good.

Like the nurse at the hospital who kindly reminded me that I was in the “healthy” wing, not the NICU.  We were there because I had a full-term baby, and he was fine.  Still, she put a butterfly on the outside of our door, as a reminder to other nurses that we “lost” a baby.

Things are hardly normal around here.

I used to be sick when people asked if this was our first baby.  “No,” I would say as my throat threatened to close, “we lost our first baby.”  But I am sick of that word.  Lost.  As if he suddenly slipped away without our knowledge.  “Losing a baby” could mean a miscarriage or a stillbirth, both excruciatingly painful realities for a mother.  But Wesley died in my arms.  So instead I make myself say the word died.  “Our first baby died.”  The truth stings as it liberates me from ambiguity.

This truth makes me cherish every moment as much as every moment serves as a reminder of what we lost.  Every milestone is one Wesley did not reach.  Every hug, every cuddle, every coo.  I work to suppress the past and focus on the now.  Focus on the boy who is living, and remember the boy who lived.  It’s a balancing act.  One boy should not have to live in the shadow of the other, and neither should he live under the constant unwholesome fear of his mother.

Being a mother is hard.  Being a mother with a child who passed away is even harder.  Daily I am struggling to figure out who I am.  “I’m just making this up as I go along” is my official motto.  All I know is I want to be a kind, nurturing, patient mother with the ability to inspire confidence in my child.  This is a constant work in progress.  This is a construction zone.  Reorganize, rebuild, recover.

In the last few years, I have been a wide array of different people.  There are several different versions of myself in between the “old self” and the one that is presently occupying my body.  I haven’t been my “old self” in years.  In fact, I don’t really like that version of myself at all.  Yes, she had good intentions.  She was well-meaning.  But she was also judgmental, ignorant, and naïve.  While I hate the reason for the state of these ruins, qualities like genuine compassion and empathy that were borne from the ashes are priceless.

In the constant hustle and bustle that is happening here, I try to find a quiet moment when I can look back and see how far I have come.  Sometimes I am so deep in the rebuilding of myself and my life that I forget where I am in this journey.  In the past, the only way to do this was to climb a tree and see my progress from a distance.  Now I feel like I can fly.  I’m still a wounded bird, but at least I can soar to greater heights that would be unable to scale otherwise.  And I can see the mountains and rivers I’ve crossed stretch out before me to the horizon.  It amazes me that I’m still alive.

Things will never be “normal,” and I’m not interested in rebuilding with my “old self” in mind.  The person I want to be is far better than that, wounds and all.

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Surprise(s)

I’ve been carrying a secret for the past eight months.

It started last year in June when Hubby and I went to California in pursuit of a certain band, The Airborne Toxic Event, for a special performance in the little town of Visalia with the Tulare County Orchestra.

That's me severely fangirling, with the bird on my cheek and everything.

That’s me severely fangirling, with the bird on my cheek and everything.

If you’ve been to an Airborne Toxic Event concert, perhaps you noticed at the end of every show, Mikel Jollett thanks the audience and then very tongue-in-cheek declares for everyone to “go make some babies.”

This is exactly what happened.

It didn’t take long after we arrived back home for me to realize I was pregnant.

It also didn’t take long for me to descend into a constant, swirling storm of anxiety, fear, and disbelief.

The last several months have been a whirlwind of doctors visits, ultrasounds, miscarriage scares, progesterone injections, and alternatively the Most Support I’ve Ever Received from Friends and Strangers.  Even from the band members of The Airborne Toxic Event themselves (thanks guys).

I couldn’t be more grateful for this, and for the fact that I’ve made it this far, 34 weeks and counting.

The Bump

A most recent picture of me, sans bird. But the disbelief is still evident all over my face.

But the reason for this post is twofold:  To explain why I’ve been M.I.A. from blogging recently (pregnancy eats creativity, much in the same way I’ve been eating for two) AND because you and I and everyone else have been invited to a Virtual Baby Shower being held in my honor.

I wish I could explain what a Virtual Baby Shower is.  But I can’t.  It’s a surprise, hosted by a few Friends I’ve Never Actually Met, but whom – for some reason – are moved to show their support in a way that befits our method of communication in the realm of which we have gotten to know and care about each other.  Pretty cool!

At the bottom of the page are links to the party.  And since you’re invited, go ahead and check them out with me.  It’s a surprise for all of us.

Thanks for coming to this special event.  I’m not even sure a Virtual Baby Shower has been done before, or even one that is Airborne Toxic Event-themed, so you might be apart of both Internet and band history here.  And I don’t quite know what to expect.  All I know is that I’m grateful and excited, and – as you probably already know – being a mom was All I Ever Wanted.  Thank you.

P.S. –

It’s a boy!

Here are the links to the party:

Jamie’s TATE-inspired Baby Gift

Susan’s TATE cake

TATE Trivia Challenge by Glen

Wendy’s Stylish TATE Baby Gift

Stephanie’s Fashion Forward TATE Baby Gift

Thanks, everyone! ❤

rushing

My best friend got married last Saturday.  A lot of people’s best friends get married on Saturdays, it seems.  In fact, while we were at the park taking pictures, there were three other wedding parties scrambling to find a picturesque setting that didn’t include our wedding party, or anyone else’s.  Someone made the joke that we were “rival gangs.”  But our gang was the best-looking, for sure, with her handpicked emeraldy-teal taffeta gowns, black tuxes, and orange lilies.  She was the picture-perfect bride – the epitome of beauty on the best day of one’s life – in her embellished ivory gown, delicate beaded veil, and effervescent smile.  Three shy flower girls accompanied her in matching dresses, wearing garlands in their hair.  It was something straight out of a magazine, and had it not been for the dirt left on her dress when it dragged the ground, and fighting with a bustle that didn’t bustle, everything would have went off without a hitch.  But even the dirt was easily remedied with baby wipes and the elbow grease of four bridesmaids, and we made the bustle bustle with patience and safety pins.

However, as the bride came down the aisle on her father’s arm later that afternoon, in a flash I remembered the day this dashing groom appeared in her life so unexpectedly.

Was it just last summer?

She had called me in a panic.  She was sobbing into the phone.  Her world was crashing down.  I dropped what I was doing and drove a half hour north into the city to her house, my collection of appropriately long stretches of silence and kind words at the ready.

We sat on the couch in her living room.  The windows were open, letting in the sound of a summer rain pouring from an evening sky.  She sat in her sweats, clutching her legs to her chest with a ball of tissues.  Looking up at me with heavy, puffy eyes, she told me her troubles.

I pitied her situation, but I admired her bravery.  How easily the words came to her.  She dispensed emotion like a fountain, holding nothing back.  It must be wonderful, I thought, to be so free.  To be unburdened by fear of expression.  We have known each other our entire lives and I still get nervous when I open up to her, or anyone for that matter.  This is no one’s fault but mine.  I am a notoriously private person, holding secrets about myself for years before I share them with another soul.  That she could even cry in front of me elicited both respect and jealousy.

Nevertheless, with the privilege I felt that she would share such a painful moment with me came the great responsibility of trying to think of The Right Words To Say.  I tried to put myself in her shoes, though our situations couldn’t have been more different.  She had recently come out of a failing relationship, and I had been married to the love of my life for five years.  She wanted to find someone who would love her, and I wanted to be a mom.  And I thought, maybe our situations weren’t so different after all.  We were both just reaching for The Next Step in life, only the most natural of desires.  This I understood, even if our heartbreaks and desires varied in depth.

In sore straits such as hers, it is easy for one to think “I will never find someone.  I will just be alone the rest of my life.  I am unlovable.”  It is easy to believe the worst about ourselves when it appears someone comes along and confirms our worst fears, whether they are true or not.  I knew these were lies, and I told her so.  I reminded her of past times where I, too, felt the same way.  And I was reminded of the days before I met my husband, when I was just a teenager barely able to juggle “all the feels.”  How convinced I was my life was over at seventeen!  You couldn’t tell me otherwise.  Because you didn’t know, did you?  How could you?

Yet this was what I told her:

“It is rushing toward you.  All the things you want, all of your hopes and dreams.  They are coming.  They are rushing toward you so fast, you are about to be swept away by them.  Any day, any moment.  You just wait.”

Now, I am not a prophetess.  I just knew in my heart that one day, this person whom I loved and cared for very deeply would find a guy who would take my place.  Any belief otherwise was simply nonsense.  She is beautiful, funny, charming, caring, and loyal, sticking by me when my own world came crashing down in the fullest and most severe extent.  Any guy would be blessed to be the recipient of her laid-back, easygoing nature and share the contagious laughter for which she is well known.

I reminded her of this, too.  And when I finally left later that evening, certain she would be all right, I hoped that was right.  It was rushing toward her.  It had to be.

Imagine my surprise when she called me on my way home in a different kind of panic.  Someone she had met the day before had requested to be her friend on Instagram.  Someone she thought was handsome.  Someone she may even could, in fact, like.

It was rushing toward her.

I wasn’t 15 minutes away and it had already hit, the welcome tidal wave of burgeoning joy that swept away the sadness and filled her heart with a new love.

They were engaged less than six months later.

It was rushing toward her.

And now, as I watched her sweep down the aisle to the arms of this lucky guy, I was so glad that The Right Words to Say ended up being right after all, and coming true with more force than I ever could have planned.

When the ceremony was over, I reminded her of this story.  “It was rushing,” I said proudly, “and it is here.  And I just started to cry, standing up there, watching you come down the aisle, thinking of where we were last year.”

“I know!” she cried, grinning ear to ear.  Then her face immediately softened.  She looked up at me, those once puffy eyes now shining from the inside.  “It’s rushing toward you, too.”

No one wants to believe her more than me.  No one has bigger hopes resting on such heavy, heartbreaking disappointments.  These days, it doesn’t feel like it is rushing.  It doesn’t even feel like it is coming at all.  We wait by the side of the road with expectation bursting out of our skins.  But nothing happens.  There is nothing on the horizon, no matter how many times we blink and strain our eyes to see a glimmer, a flash, a sign.  So we go back to our ruins and try to make the most of the time we have together, just in case there comes a day when we will miss when it was just the two of us.

Still.  In my heart, I hope she is right.  I hope it is rushing.  I hope it gets here soon, however that may be.