Dear Saint Anthony, Please Come Around…

 

It’s been a roller coaster of a week. I waxed poetically about my wonderful meeting on Monday, hit publish, then had a humdinger of a situation with my son (more precisely, the icing on the cake of a situation with my son, as the incidents seem to flow like a revolving door, to be continued at some point!).  Still trying to collect myself and behave like a rational human being (instead of the raving lunatic my head told me I should be), I find a series of various communications on my phone giving me condolences on the passing of Robin Williams.  There is a whole post to be written at some later date about my special “relationship” with this beloved comedian, but I’m figuring the existing story will run long enough.

From there the week continued to devolve.  However, before I continue with the present situation, I am going to describe a past one, which I think will help illuminate why I’m writing about what’s going on at all.

It is late January/early February, 2012.  I have a few days of sobriety under my belt.  I am living with my Mom, but allowed to visit with my kids for several hours each day.  I am reasonably certain that I will be served divorce papers in the very near future, I am alienated from all of my closest friends, and I am awaiting catastrophic news in terms of legal consequences from my addiction.

In other words, my life is a mess, and putting one foot in front of the other takes a Herculean effort.

I find myself at my home for the short daily visit with my children one day in that first week of sobriety, and I look down to my left hand and see my engagement and wedding rings not on the finger where they are supposed to be.

For me to try to describe what I felt in that very moment would be difficult, as so much time has passed, but I know my stomach clenched up, and I was panicked.  My Mom was with me, I quickly told her, and we spent the next couple of hours until my husband got home from work searching for the ring, to no avail.

Which is what I did for about two weeks, every time I was in that house for those few hours.  As each day passed, I grew more convinced that it was a sign telling me my marriage was over.

In the meantime, marital relations that were strained to begin with became downright hostile.  He never quite got to the point of accusing me of anything directly, but he made enough snide comments, and was angry enough, to alert me to the fact that he did not believe that I had lost the rings.

And that is the most lasting memory of that time period, the sick feeling that goes with knowing you will never convince someone of your innocence, after all the lies you’ve told.

There is a happy ending to this story, to go along with the happy ending of my life, my marriage and my recovery:  mid-February, I am sitting in a meeting, I get a phone call from my husband.  He is celebrating his parent’s anniversary with his family (note I am not there), and he brought vegetables with him to make, because they were starting to turn and he was either going to use them at that function, or just throw the Ziploc bag away.  My rings had fallen into the vegetables as I was transferring them into the bag.  By the way, if it were me in charge of those vegetables, they would have been trashed much earlier, so thank God it wasn’t me in charge.

Truly, it was my first honest to God sign of hope that things might turn around for me.

Back to the present:  in addition to dealing with the shenanigans of my son, I have some separate tense “goings-on” with my daughter.  This post is going entirely too long as it is, so I will wrap it up by saying she is trying out for high school soccer, tryouts are ongoing this whole week, and this process has been a roller coaster all by itself.  Again, this subject could be a post in and of itself, but I feel like I’ve been trailing along behind her as she makes a series of decisions with which I disagree, and I am just waiting for this drama to unfold to the logical conclusion of her not making the team (which, by the way, it has, and why I currently have the time to write this novel).  Yesterday, I am running behind on every errand, of which there were quite a few.  I pick her up, already late for her doctor’s appointment, and I am catching up on the latest bit of bad news about the soccer tryouts.  I need to qualify here:  this is not a situation where she went, tried her hardest, and did not make the team, that I could handle just fine.  It was a situation where she was given some opportunities and did not follow through, and it was those decisions that were (are) not sitting well with me.

We rushed home, got her changed, threw groceries into the fridge (I mean this literally, I was throwing meat and cheese into the fridge), and rushed to the doctor’s office.  I am sitting in the waiting room, catching my breath and trying to dispel the vaguely sick feeling I have about this whole soccer business.  I glance down at my hand.

My ring is gone, again.

I could write quite elaborately of the dread I felt in the moment, as this incident is quite a bit more recent that the one I described earlier.  However, I would guess that the feeling is obvious, particularly when you consider the part about all of the errands I had run earlier that day.  This ring could be anywhere.  For the record, I spent the next several hours after the appointment retracing my steps, to no avail.

When you look at the bullet points of this story, I really sound like a whiny baby: woman lost her ring, and her daughter didn’t make a sports team.  Cry me a river, lady.

It’s the totality of it all that has me still out of sorts, even as I type (I am really hoping that as I hit publish the sick feeling will disappear).  First, the soccer issue:  it’s that feeling of knowing the right thing for someone to do, feeling it in your heart, and then watching the person do the opposite.  We’ve all been there:  friends that stay in relationships we know are unhealthy, alcoholics that continue to drink, the list that goes on and on.  But when you are a parent, it’s as though you should hold some extra power, like a magic wand, to create the best possible outcome.  And you keep second guessing yourself:  should I have said something different to make her see what I see?  Should I have laid down a law and forced this to go a different way?  Should I be THAT parent and intervene, cutting out my child’s involvement?

It’s enough to make my head spin, and then throw into the mix the time travel that went on with the lost ring, and it should unsurprising to say that I did not sleep a whole lot last night (which again conjures memories of active addiction, talk about a vicious cycle).

So that’s my tale of woe from the last few days.  I will end, as is always my intention, on the positives.  First, that I can recognize and verbalize what is going on emotionally is incredible progress from pre-recovery days.  That I can at least start talking back to the sick feelings about the events that are disturbing me:  the ring is an inanimate object, and my marriage and life will continue to thrive without it.  The world does not end if my daughter does not make the soccer team, she will not devolve into a life of crime because she has this new free time on her hands.  My worries and fears are natural, but they are not facts, and I will come out of these feelings eventually.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I am blessed with the ability to express this to my wonderful friends in the blogosphere, and the simple act of putting fingers to keyboard is healing, so thank you, friends, I truly am starting to feel better, and I haven’t even hit publish!

Today’s Miracle:

If anyone has stuck around long enough to read this, then there’s the miracle!  Also, I suppose the silver lining of the soccer issue is the loads of free time to finish the summer strong with the kids.

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Posted on August 14, 2014, in Parenting, Self-Care and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. I will ALWAYS stick around to the end because it’s worth sticking around for. Oh my goodness..what a week! I understand that sick-how-could-I-have-lost something feeling. Sending you hopes and prayers that the rings will appear like last time (loved that part of your history, by the way!)
    As for the parenting piece…if only we had an owner’s manual. That said, it sounds like you are doing all the right things in the context of love and understanding. That’s all we can do, right? Life’s lessons are so difficult–especially when they happen to our kiddos. But, they are called lessons for a reason. I love the miracles you gleaned from these events and will forever appreciate your positive spirit. xo

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    • Thanks so much for the soothing comment, it truly calmed me. It means A LOT when I hear from you.

      As a matter of fact, I was thinking of you last night, because from reading you blog I have deduced that you spend a lot of time outdoors (with chain saws, if memory serves). We have (had) a hornet’s nest the size and shape of a clay football in a tree in our front you, maybe 1,000 feet from our front door. My husband, yesterday morning, handles the problem by using the power spray nozzle of the hose, and knocks about 75% of it down (all I can think is what if there were creatures bigger than us that decided to do that to my home, but anyway,,,).

      So last night we are walking by the front door (we are inside), and there are what I will describe as a dozen or so angry, vengeful, bitter hornets (yes, I can determine how they are feeling by the way they are flying) swarming around our front door.

      My husband’s response? He calls out to all of us, “Hey guys, don’t use the front door.”

      What the WHAT?!?

      After a smart comment or two about his problem-solving skills, I thought, “I wonder how Michelle would have handled the hornet’s nest?”

      If you don’t see a post for a while, know that we have been overtaken…

      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Josie!
        I’m just heading into an appointment, but had to immediately drop you a note to thank you for making my day by thinking of me. I have a nasty opinion about those horrible, grumpy hornets. I’d torch those suckers with a gas powered torch if they were on my porch! BUT, since I have a Master Gardener certificate, by law I’m obliged to give you the evidence-based pest elimination method. I’ll look it up and get back to you. In the meantime, give your less-than-concerned hubby a box of matches and light their butts up!
        (Talk to you later!)
        Xo

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      • Possibly the only reason he did not torch them was that we don’t own a blow torch, although I’m sure that would have been great fun for the neighborhood to witness! I already commented above, but fortunately the hornets got tired of waiting around from our weekend away, and they gave up on the revenge plans (at least that’s how they are lulling me into a false sense of security as they regroup) 🙂

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      • Good morning, dear Josie!
        I hope this note finds you safe and not taken over by those mean nasty monster hornets. And YES, I do believe we can pick up on their moods…I think they are grumpy all the time!
        Hopefully, this comment won’t spam, but here’s the link to the research center I use to answer gardening questions. Pretty standard stuff…the blow torch would have been more fun.

        http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/pubs/MF793.PDF

        Any news on your rings? I’ve been saying prayers. xo

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      • Hi Michelle, thankfully we had plans to take us away for the weekend, so the bees had some quiet time to regroup and consult with their contractors for renovations. Thank you for this article, I will be bookmarking it in case they come back, it seems like they may have relocated (God willing).

        No, sadly, no ring yet, but here’s something fun. An empty ring finger makes me more aware of the loss, so I found a ring that one of the kids gave me for Christmas… the kind they can purchase at a school store, and when I look down on it I remember that it’s not about material stuff, it’s about our family being happy and whole. And, it’s actually pretty cute! I will take a picture of it and put it in Today’s Miracle so you can see when I write later 🙂

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      • Oh Josie! You make me laugh so loudly. I love waking up to your comments and positive spirit.
        Glad that your hornets have decided to move along. I can’t wait to read your latest post and soak in the miracle. You are a gem! xo

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    • Alright, I realize that I should have replied to comments from the bottom up, but what’s the use of coloring inside the lines 🙂

      Yes, that damn manual, I wish I could get my hands on it, even for a short time! Thanks for the reminder that it’s the love and understanding that are most important, not the logistics of each situation. I am going to tell my daughter this once she wakes up (which, if the rest of this summer is an indicator, will be sometime this afternoon) 🙂

      Thanks, Michelle, it’s comments from friends like you that keep this positive spirit lifted. I am heading to my meeting with a lighter heart 🙂

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  2. I liked this post a lot and stuck around until the end! It shows you’re human and I can see your humility which is a wonderful example for me. There are so many things that we can not change (and how we wish we could!). I’ve got a son who has his first job and I have to hold back telling him how I would handle things — mostly the way he communicates or lack thereof. I’m learning to accept his choices and recognize he has to live with the consequences (more than me).

    You are a fabulous Mom and wonderful person. Keep up the good work because even during a bad week, you seem to have a good attitude and perspective on life.

    xo Fern

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    • Fern! I have been wondering about you!! Although, now that I think about it, I have been spotty myself on doing proper WP research to keep up with everyone. Now I need to make sure I haven’t missed anything…

      Thank you for this validation, it makes me feel much better. And it’s true… bad weeks are just that… bad weeks. This is a new week, and life does move on 🙂 Off to my meeting now, and I am going to do it with a smile since I’ve read this comment 🙂

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  3. I ALWAYS stick around to the end of your posts. No worries there.

    First – check the fridge. Apparently that applicance has a way of eating your rings. Maybe when throwing the groceries in your ring went with it. If not, your fridge probably needs cleaning out anyway…mine always does.

    Next, maybe it’s the Universe (or God in my case) telling you that it’s time for a new ring to go with your new life. Who knows.

    But I totally understand that feeling. Once, while at the beach, my wedding ring slipped off my finger while I was taking my coverup off over my head. It fell…into the sand. I didn’t notice until we had all trapesed about on the sand for awhile. Sand shifts. There’s a metaphor somewhere in that but I could never find the energy to figure it out.

    Long story short, a couple of years later we found the exact ring, on sale and I got it for Christmas.

    Hang tough…

    Sherry

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    • Sherry, this comment had me laughing as it made me feel better! Could the fridge use a cleaning? I should take a picture of it and show you how badly 🙂 We went away this weekend, but that is great advice, and I agree, that is where I would have put money that it flew, just haven’t found it yet. I will update after I take everything out and clean it…

      You know, every comment to this post made me feel better, but throughout the weekend, when I would rub my finger and get that emotional pang, this is the sentence that would come back to me:

      Maybe it’s God telling you that it’s time for a new ring

      I don’t know what it is about those words strung together, but I just hear it in a “compassionately no-nonsense” tone in my head that makes me smile and snap out of my bad feelings. What I mean to say is: I have taken these words with me, and they have been a saving grace for me. So thank you, Sherry, thanks for the advice, and the wisdom, and the personal ring story, and most of all for taking time from your hiatus to make me feel better. Mission accomplished!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. hi Josie. It’s taken me time to get here to comment. I don’t like rushing when commenting here! Anyway, I don’t know how you get through your days – you’re double booked almost it seems! I complain about being busy and yet, reading your words, I feel that I am on some sunny cruise compared to you! (Notes to self – stop complaining and stop comparing!)

    Anyway, sorry to hear things have been rough. And that ring! What’s wrong with it that it keeps jumping off your finger?! did you find it? I hav en’t worn a wedding band in years. I had my original, but it was a soft gold, so for a chef like me it snapped going from hot to cold to hot to cold. So I took it off. Had some inexpensive bands since then, but they cause me itching and stuff when I am cooking, so I just don’t wear it. My wife doesn’t wear hers either. It’s not a bad sign! We’re coming up to 20 years so things are good 🙂

    I agree with what’s been said – you’re a great, aware, present mom. None of us have the manual for this. We do our best and try not to lash ourselves when things don’t work out the way WE want or expect them…lol.

    Hope your weekend has been a great one!

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    • Hi Paul,

      I assumed it took you time to comment because you were still reading this rambling post 🙂

      And once again, calm overtakes me as I read your words. I will be honest… you not wearing your ring doesn’t calm me, because, you know… you’re a guy. But hearing your wife does not either really and truly helped. And twenty years tells me that the material trappings, no matter how much sentimental value they hold in my mind, mean nothing: it’s the relationship that counts. So thanks for sharing this, I do feel better knowing it! Also, I’m planning a Canadian trip someday so I can go to the restaurant where you are a chef! Which leads me to my next reply…

      You know how we all have things that we self-righteously get on our soapboxes about? For example, my husband’s is when people speed up and down the streets of our development. Mine (well, one of mine, anyway) is when people go on and on about how busy they are. In fact, I have a few people in my life that do it, I’m not kidding, in every conversation I have with them, and it drives me up a wall. I really like to complain about this, and do so way more often than I should. So all of this is to say, dear God I could smack myself when I read your comment! I am really not that busy, and I need to take a step back and look at how I am presenting myself. That day I overbooked myself, and the point of describing it is to point out that the ring could have been lost in any number of places. But as I read back, I realize it came out like I am blathering on about my busy life, JUST LIKE I COMPLAIN ABOUT HOW OTHERS DO IT!

      There are no coincidences, and you just unintentionally became a God moment for me, Paul, thank you! Also, I’ll be emailing to get the skinny on the alternate step work. Enjoy your day 🙂

      Like

  5. knowing now you found your ring~ I am so happy. Girl~ get it re-sized we can’t let this keep happening. Second, my son didn’t make the HS soccer team either. He was cut on Tuesday night. Breaks my heart b/c he loves it and it was part of his small social circle. There are factors that maybe could of changed that outcome but a learning experience for him~ just sucks too. It will def. be a different fall this year. Best wishes and thinking of you both! xoxo

    Like

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