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It’s Not Always Sunny in Ankeny

So I’ve taken a little hiatus from the blog…not really intentionally, but none-the-less I’ve been absent. A lot has been going on…most of it good, some of it sad, a lot of it looks like life as per usual. We celebrated my Grandma’s 80th birthday.
We celebrated Matt’s Grandma’s 90th birthday.
We celebrated the life of my Grandpa Gene as he passed away. We took the wagon on her inaugural Cruise to the Woods.
We enjoyed many football games on the couch with friends. We had a visit with the Neurologist who didn’t have much new to report, but as always, was very pleased with Matt’s progress and how positive he is. We adopted two cats – oy vey.
Buddy had surgery on a tumor (cuz we can’t go one month without an expensive trip to the vet).
We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving with friends (a fun new tradition). Overall – I really can’t…er…shouldn’t complain…much. And yet, I find that I still do. Sigh.

This past weekend, we celebrated another major accomplishment…I completed my second Half Marathon!! My friend Holly and I trained all summer to run in the IMT Des Moines Half Marathon…and our hard work definitely paid off when I crossed that finish line in 2 hrs 36 mins…beating my goal of 2 hrs 45 mins…and crushing (ha) my time at the Disney run by 20 mins. I felt amazing.
I had completed another 13.1 run…because I COULD. I ran for myself…because I knew I could. I ran to prove to myself that I’m a changed person…and possibly somewhat of a runner now (perhaps). I ran because I know so many people can’t and I should never take for granted my healthy, able body. It was hard – don’t get me wrong. I struggled in a few places with a sore knee, but then I’d see a familiar face and voice to cheer me along the sidelines and get a little mental push to keep going. Running past my family, I thought I saw a sign…and I did. Lissa had made a GO EMILY sign…makes me tear up just thinking about it now.
I felt so supported…so loved…so proud of what I’d just done. I got congratulatory text messages from my besties who were both out of town, the moment I crossed the finish line. After lunch with my family, I spent the rest of the day relaxing on the couch – content in my accomplishment. It wasn’t quite the same experience as our wonderful weekend at Disney…but it was good. Still good.

And then last night I fell to pieces. After a long, gray, depressing, stressful day at work I came home already in a funk. Where was the sunshine? Why was it so cold? Blerg. I started in on my usual evening putter – sorting through the mail and miscellaneous other crap on the kitchen counter. I went to put some stuff aside for my running scrapbook – and was looking for my ½ marathon race bib. Most of you may not know what that is. Well, it’s the paper race number you pin to your shirt…and for the big races, they even print your name on them. To me, they are special. They are crinkled and beat up – symbols of the hard work you went through. They are treasured mementos of a day you did something you never thought you could. Each one has a special spot in my little running scrapbook. And I couldn’t find this most recent one…anywhere. And then I lost my mind. I lost all composure. I lost all reasonable thinking. I clambered about the house tossing papers and throwing magazines…riffling through the garbage can…tears streaming down my face. Matt sat frozen on the couch. Not that I can blame him, I had taken his chair away from the couch, so it’s not like he could get up and walk over to me and comfort me. I could tell he didn’t know what to say…and it infuriated me.
I realized my stupid race bib was gone. Gone forever. I likely threw it away the day before…and the garbage man had come that morning. I was heartbroken. And then…I fell deeper into my own little pity party and this stupid race bib mania began to expand to all sorts of dark corners of my heart and mind. I was angry that I had thrown it away. I had no one to blame but my own darn self for always picking stuff up. And then I was angry that I always HAVE to pick stuff up. I went about picking up this and that and crying that Matt can’t do this and that…it’s all up to me…all on my shoulders…and he just sat there.

I muttered that no one would care about my race bib…and therefore why should I? In 20-30 years no one was going to give a crap about my running scrapbook. I wouldn’t have any children to want to hold on to it. It would end up getting thrown away…along with all the mementos that I treasure today. There would be no one to want them. No one would care.

Most of the time, I accept the fact that Matt and I remain childless. Most of the time I think this is ok…and I guess part of me wants to believe this is part of God’s plan for us. If God truly wanted us to be parents…wouldn’t it be easier? Obvious? Have happened by now? Wouldn’t he open a door? A window? A piece of our hearts together in unison? Maybe putting it ALL on God makes it easier for me. Maybe this is my own way of taking the responsibility off our own shoulders…but I’ve always felt it was out of our control. From the very beginning…ELEVEN years ago when we first decided we wanted to try and have a baby…I quickly discovered that just because I wanted it, didn’t mean it would be a reality for us. Suffering through infertility is a pain I wish no one had to endure. And until you do – you never realize all the ways it comes up…or all the ways you feel about it. Lately it’s been the idea of leaving a legacy, and someone to remember us and hand things down to. Then there’s the guilt of leaving Matt’s parents and grandparents without grandchildren of their own to love and spend time with. There’s the big tote of baby stuff I bought years ago and the yellow duckies my friend had given me to go with it. Then there’s always the envy when those around you bring new life into the world and your heart aches all over again for those broken dreams you once had. Truly – it never really goes away. Life just goes on, and I find that I mostly just put it to the back of my mind. I’m not sure what else I can do about it. I know that there are still options for us – if we really wanted to pursue them. But there are SO many ifs, thens, buts, whatifs, insecurities, fears, doubts etc…that I’m not sure we’ll ever overcome them. I guess time will tell. And today is a better day. The sun is shining. I do still have my shiny new medal to treasure. I have so many wonderful friends and family in my life – it is full of blessings.

But yesterday I let a stupid piece of paper melt me completely down to my core. It happens I suppose, from time to time.


dmvflunkee said…
Oh Em! This made me want to just drive down there and give you a big ol hug!! I miss you sweetie!!
Amy Olesen said…
It's amazing the weight a tiny piece of paper can hold. Tears once again.....I might have to start calling you Oprah!
Emily said…
I've heard that sorrow shared, is sorrow halved, and joy shared is joy doubled. I'm not sure about those ratios, but I know that's what friendship is about and I feel a heartfelt share in both your victory and your grief. There are things in life that just aren't right - they're just not.

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