i do not know if I can take being loved this way.

Yesterday was my birthday.
I turned 53 years old.
I spent the entire weekend with people and missing people who clearly love me and who I love so much.
I spent the weekend

I spent the weekend doing familiar birthday things,
Going to the Lyndhurst craft fair as I have done for decades
(maybe half the artists this time, different layout, timed ticketing, all due to covid restrictions)
stressing out from all of the unknowns
(known and unknown, thank you D. Rumsfeld)
wanting so much for normalcy
(but what is “normal”, anyway? I certainly don’t have a fucking clue)
feeling so much that I have to explain even though I know I don’t
It seems like all I have been doing for the past three and a half years is explaining and explaining and explaining because honestly I
don’t understand any of it.
Just when I think I do I get caught off guard and none of it makes sense again.

I suppose I’m not explaining to others so much as to myself.

I miss all of the things that we talked about, all of those things that we never did.
All of the ways we responded to each other, all of the good, all of the terrible.
The contrast, I think,
the contrast is what’s killing me now.
i do not know if I can take being loved this way.

I can say things out loud and
I can say things out loud and not worry about feeling stupid for saying them.
Being made to feel stupid for saying them.
I can say things out loud and not worry about
I can say things out loud and not worry about being instantly and immediately criticized.
I can say things out loud and not worry about who might be on my side.

I know
I know for sure
I know now that you loved me but I didn’t then. I never knew for sure. I never knew from one minute to the next.
You would rescind and retract your love like the outgoing tide.
Snatch it away from me,
away from my

craven, grasping, grubby little paws

I want to forgive you for saying these things to me.
I want to forgive you for this so much.

How can I miss you so much and still be so angry at the things you did to me?
That we did to each other.

I told your sister once that I never really had an accurate sense of your feeling for me, not that I felt I could believe anyway. That I always thought you thought I was stupid and not enough and too much all at once.
That now I can look at the last things you wrote, and know.
I can look at all the small lovelinesses you left behind.
I can look at those things and know that they are real, they are proof.
Not soon enough to be able to enjoy with you, no.

The very desperate need to hold onto them

((craven, grasping, grubby little paws)screaming to the sky to talk to you
for you to hear me

I am trying so hard to do everything I can to be well.
I am still so
I am still so unwell but I don’t feel crushed by having to hold up every other damn thing anymore if only because I have given up on everything it seems)

I can look at the small lovelinesses that you left and see them for the huge gestures that they were. Everything is relative.

I can see the unexplored and forever unknown possibility of us becoming better to each other, to ourselves.
Knowing how difficult it was even in the very best of us
knowing I would not be this person if you were still alive
proving my progress to the memory of a dead man
wanting so much to escape your critical eye, your devastating words
and yet wanting to show you that I am okay
I am not okay.

Yesterday was my birthday.
I felt loved, and cherished, and adored, and so sad for what we never had.
If you could see how people treat me now.
If you could see how people love me now and aren’t afraid to say, to show.
I know you would, too.

916am. 20th august, 2020

sweet man.
you dearest, sweetest man.
sweet and seeing my sweetness
nothing hidden, not even in the beginning
because friends don’t lie
Friends don’t hide things from each other.
I don’t want ours to be the kind of relationship where we hide things from each other.
no matter what they are.
there is nothing you can tell me that I will not hear.
you only have to tell me.
it’s all I ever ask for.

there is so much to talk about, always.
so much to share, to discuss.

it is this part that I miss the most, the talking
the hashing over
the intricate and meandering conversation.

I love listening to the sound of your voice,
your passion obvious and enchanting
as we talk about everything, and nothing

although nothing is nothing, is it.

1019p 16th august, 2020

1019p 16th august, 2020

where did you come from?
(out of nowhere, out of time)
you are at the same approximate place
in space and time
I have proof that time travel exists.
I do. It does.

His time ran out.
Mine began.

Ours is..?
Ours is beginning.

I have learned so much along the way here
To you, to here, to now.
I have learned enough to be able to show you the way
for it seems you are ready to learn.

work/life balance. 30 August, 2018

I will say something here about the differences in the way that two separate work families have treated me when it came to me needing to be away to take care of my husband.

My current work fam, the literal best I’ve ever had, when confronted with an 11pm text the night before a worknight that said, “hey, I’m with Gary at the ER, he got shocked last night and they’re admitting him and I have no idea what’s going on and I really don’t think I can make it in tomorrow” responded with grace and care. “Yikes! No worries, take care of Gary and just keep us updated when you can. Don’t worry.” I ended up taking off work from September 8 – October 2. I mean, it’s a 30-hour a week “part-time” job so I didn’t have sick pay but still. Zero issues. When I did go back on October 3, my boss was lovely and solicitous and said, “You can take as much time as you need.” I can’t afford to, I said. No life insurance. No nothing. Everything is on my shoulders, now.

The workplace I thanked in the attached post, well that’s a different story. I was blamed for spending so much time away from work. Blamed for attending to my husband in what was up until that point, one of the most terrifying times in his life. Belittled and shamed for insisting on being with him. Made to feel as if they were doing me a favor. That workplace never made me feel valued as a human with a life beyond their doors. Not ever.

So here’s the thing: if you find a place to work that doesn’t value your health and well-being and that of your loved ones, find any way to leave for a place that does. The added stress of feeling like I needed to cut time short with my husband IN THE MOTHERFUCKING CORONARY CARE UNIT led to more problems for us and made me resent going to work every day and trying to manage to give a shit. It’s difficult to want to help overmoneyed couples with their wedding invitations when your own husband is gravely ill and more than anything else? Needs you and your care. But you desperately need the $14.65/hour and shit health insurance they provide.

So when I get to work tomorrow, I’m going to hug my coworkers. Write a note to my boss. Thank her for really making me feel like I am valued. Like I am family.

Because I am worthy. I am valued. I am family.

From 2014:

Gary has eaten lunch from Mint, snuggled kitties (very delicately), watched a bit of tv, napped, and showered. We’ve ordered and are waiting for sushi, and are watching an episode of Mock the Week with Dara Ó Briain. The kitties seem very happy to see him; Mojo didn’t even hiss at the hospital smell.

He’s got what sounds like kennel cough, ostensibly from the three hours on a BiPAP machine with no humidifier from Hudson Valley Hospital.

Other than that, he’s got Lipitor, Sotalol, and some Tylenol 3 for later.

Thank you Amy, David, Alex and Valerie, and Carol and Craig, for coming out to visit. Thank you Lynn, Philip, Uli and Jennifer, Alex and Lera, and Dan and Laura for the Google Hangout chats, video and otherwise. Thank you *everyone* for the support and well-wishes that you’ve shown me and Gary this week. It has really helped to keep our spirits up during an excruciatingly difficult time. Thank you Maria, Shay, and my staff at Paper Source for pulling together so quickly and efficiently and allowing me to be by my husband’s side while he’s needed me so much. I’m looking forward to being back at work Tuesday.

With much love,