Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Where the Path May Lead

For those of us on facebook, one of the biggest kicks is the ability to find friends from years past. Old childhood pals, who years ago might have been lost forever after life moves them apart, can once again reconnect, reliving those times when friendship was sweet and uncomplicated.

One such childhood friend and I found each other shortly after my facebook debut. I was so excited to hear from Alyson, a friend I met at church when I lived in Modesto, California during part of elementary and junior high school. Who knows what draws kids to one another and turns them into friends? I don't remember how exactly we became friends, but we did. And she was one of my favorites. We went to church together, but attended different schools, so we didn't see a whole lot of each other, yet still managed to become close. She was fun and enthusiastic, sensitive and imaginative. After I moved away to Clovis, we wrote one another once or twice with--you know-- a pen and paper, and even crossed paths briefly at BYU...her going, my coming I believe. I came to her wedding in Utah. She came to my reception a few days before giving birth to her first child. And then... nothing. We got caught up in our separate lives and lost track.

Ten years later...

(Enter the world's largest social networking site. Right? It's the only one I use, so I assume it's the biggest--but I could be wrong, I'm a 34-year-old housewife.)

...We found each other. And as we reconnected, she revealed to me some darkness from her childhood, of which I had been completely unaware. Beginning at the age of 9, she had been repeatedly and continuously sexually abused by her brother-in-law for 8 years, until she physically removed herself from the country (the country!) during high school. To say I was utterly dumbfounded doesn't begin to get close to how I felt. My little friend, that sweet innocent beautiful girl, was living this nightmare completely unbeknownst to me. My heart ached for her. It does now as I write this. I felt sorrow and fury and condemnation and guilt as I thought about her life over those years and how I was completely oblivious and happy and safe in my own home while she battled this monster in hers. I hoped I hadn't been insensitive. I hoped I had been kind when she needed kindness, silly when she needed silliness. I hoped we had had so much fun together that she was able to forget on occasion, just leave her burden for a few minutes and feel as happy as a child should.

My grown-up friend Alyson is an amazing person. She has a loving husband and four precious children. She is adventurous. She is a talented writer and photographer. She has an eye for beauty. And she has a voice. She's started a blog recording her pursuit of justice, her battle and her peace with her abuse. It's called ...leave a trail . I know my readership isn't very big, but I hope someone reading this will find a little more strength or a little more compassion from her words. I have.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I Have Smelled the Future...and It Has Morning Breath

So what it's looking like is if Darron ever dies or leaves me for some big-haired Utah floozy you will find me at home in my bed watchin' movies and eatin' Hot Tamales. Because I think I've found that that is my happy place. Not my "happy" happy place...that place is a little secluded beach in Maui with a hammock and a lifetime supply of books carried in on the backs of sea turtles. And Darron's invited. If he keeps his mouth shut and gives me a scalp massage. This other place is more my "fetal position" happy place, where you just want time to pass as quickly and mindlessly as possible but also need to satisfy your sugar lusts.

The morning after Darron left for a 4-day backpacking trip---wh-wh-whoa! Waitaminute! Really? BACKpacking? OH Yes. Darron went backpacking. It's true. Big breath, take a minute if you need one. Everyone ready? Ok, continuing...the morning after Darron and Hinckley left for a backpacking trip found me laying in bed prolonging the moment when I'd have to rise and begin the day. Which may remind one of every other morning (and I use that word loosely) this summer that has found me in precisely the same spot, but it was totally different because this particular morning I was contemplating whether or not I was going to brush my teeth immediately after arising, or just, you know, whenever I felt like it...whenever the kids complained. For some reason, that is the first thing to be compromised when Darron leaves. First-thing-in-the-morning toothbrushing. Of course, as my bed began to fill with children, alternately whining for breakfast, pulling the pillow off of my head, and yes, complaining about my breath, toothbrushing was put back on the schedule, and I reluctantly rolled out of bed and stumbled into the bathroom.

Housecleaning is the next thing to go. I generally try to keep up with things during the day, at least one big tidy-up around dinnertime, but no, not when there's no one around to care or notice. Meals? If my kids say they're hungry, they get fed. If not, well, they just may not. Things I DID do? That I'm proud of? Shower. On more than one occasion. Scrub two bathtubs. Go to church. Mop part of a kitchen floor that got honey on it. Buy Hot Tamales, which entailed going to two stores because the first sorry store did not carry them. Bathe my children. Now comes the good part. Watch 12 movies. Eat a corresponding number of bags of Hot Tamales. A-a-a-and there you have it. The last four days of my life, condensed, reduced to their essence, and totally, completely wasted.

Ugh. I hate when my husband is gone. Ugh. I hate how whiny I sound when I whine about my husband being gone. And this time, not only was he gone, he was out of cell-phone range. WAAAAH!!

It's not like this when I am the one doing the leaving. I recently got back from my summerly trip to see my family, the one that takes 3 weeks, the one Darron is not invited to, for various and sundry reasons. The kids and I drive around and see all my siblings and parents. I love this trip. We have a grand time and I do just fine without my husband. I mean, I miss him, but I can function, don't have to take up agoraphobia as a hobby, I brush my teeth. What's the deal?


I miss him.