Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Turning Out the Lights

Where to start….This phrase has so many meanings…every one of us can hear this phrase or has at one time said it; it’s meaning personal to the individual. Most people refer to “lights out” as just that, turning out the lights. Some refer to this phrase pertaining to death. I, on the other hand, have deep connection to this phrase. Let me explain…
Turning out the lights to me is finality. It’s like finishing a book. There’s a connection deep within me that literally clicks when I turn off the lights. Not every time. When something is going on in my life, there comes a moment when I will feel it. It’s kind of my body saying, “This is done, this is complete.” I always notice it when I leave for a trip. I always clean my house so that way when I return I have nothing extra to do but unpack. All beds are made, the floors are vacuumed, the trash is taken out, the dishes are put away, the last thing to do is turn out the light. As I do it, it’s a satisfaction and personal feeling that “all is done here.” You may see me as some total whack job at this point, I don’t care, it’s just me.
So much has gone on in my life the last 10 months or so. How I have not broken or been admitted into the funny farm is beyond me. The night is still young, I suppose.
It’s Easter weekend and I flew home to see Ethan. He’s my 7 year old fire ball. He is funny, entertaining, resilient, and full of life. He shares deep love for sports and a great dancer. He is my “E.”

E did not move with me to Seattle. I have been called a bad mother for this decision. What the outside doesn’t know is that Ethan has a speech development issue. He has been in the same speech program for the past 3 years. Doug and I thought it best for him to finish out his program this year then move to Seattle with me. We thought if we up and moved him in the middle of the year, it would not help his progression, and perhaps, put him 2 steps back. Moving and the adjustment is already hard on kids. Putting him into a new program, reevaluating his progress, and developing a plan done in a different state would prohibit his growth even if it was temporary. He didn’t need that extra stress. I made a huge sacrifice that pulls at my heart every day. I moved to Seattle for a job, but also what led me to search for that position in another state was that guy who had come back into my life promising me a lifetime together. No matter how hard I fought going through the emotions and suffering I did the first 2 times, I still managed to stop listening to my head and continued to only listen with my heart. My sacrifice away from Ethan was only to be temporary. Every day I had to tell myself that. I still do.
You don’t understand the heartache unless you have been in this same position. As a mother, it is hard. I miss out on his everyday accomplishments. I miss out on sitting with him after school and reading with him, working on his homework, watching him go and play. I miss out on watching his new discoveries. I miss out on wiping away his tears and calming his fears. I miss out on baseball, basketball, and swimming. I get to hear about everything and see things through pictures, but it’s not the same.

I can build up the resentment towards the person who brought me to Seattle and decided he didn’t want to be a part of my life anymore. Resentment only calluses your heart and I refuse to harden. I have loved thoroughly and completely in my life and regret nothing because it was exactly what I wanted at the time. Things, unfortunately, didn’t work out as planned and I have been extremely hurt. Time doesn’t wait for me to break down or feel sorry for myself; life goes on, regardless if I am ready for it or not.

Today is Easter. I’m home…in Texas. No matter where I live, this will always be called home. The time elapsed can be great and when I return to Texas, it just wraps its arms around me and welcomes me back no matter the circumstances. I leave today to go back to Seattle. It’s hard to walk into the other room with my family having brunch. I’m packing my suitcase. I’m packing E’s things to take back to his dad’s house. I stand there remembering the conversation from last night…While putting him to bed, we laid on his pillow being silly; laughing over nothing. Then he turned serious as I got up. He asked, “Do you have to go back to Seattle tomorrow?”
I sat on the edge of the bed and quietly said, “Yes.” Then I added, “Would you like to go with me?”
“I have to finish school and speech first.” He stopped and then looked at me and finished, “Can I come in May?”
Choking back tears, I stood up and said, “You can come whenever you want.”
He smiled and rolled over. I leaned over him and kissed his cheek then I turned out the light.

I keep telling myself it’s just temporary, but the heartache continues. I’m gathering last minute items from the bathroom to shove them into my suitcase. I took a long look into the mirror as the tears spill down my face. Why I put makeup on today I will never know. I’m so angry at where I am right now in my life. I am angry because I made decisions that put me here. I’m angry as the life I had planned out 3 months ago is no longer the plan and I don’t have one. On the other hand, I thank the person responsible for bringing me to life 2 years ago. I sat down and quickly shot a quick email thanking him. It was Easter 2 years ago I was giddy with excitement. I hadn’t been that alive in so long. I explained that Easter was a celebration of life; he was responsible for bringing that spark back into my world. There was nothing more to really say. It was simple. It was quick. It was sent. It was time to go. I closed my computer, took one last look in the mirror, and simply turned out the light.

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