Death And Rebirth In Mid-Swing

Nearly two weeks ago (June 10, 2015 to be exact), I received some news that has forever altered my life.

But first let me back up to the week before that.  June 2 I celebrated my 38th birthday.  It was a great birthday.  I was at work, but a coworker had scooted away around lunch time (which is nothing unusual), but returned along with half of the office, singing happy birthday with a great big cake for me.  It was all done with such warmth and sincerity that it was easily one of my best birthdays.  I had people calling and texting me that I hadn’t heard from in awhile.  It filled me with such a feeling of being loved and cared about.

This was a welcomed change of pace after an incredibly challenging year both professionally as well as personally.  My girl kitty dying, starting a new job after nearly 6 years, moving a month after starting the new job, a series of events that led to me kicking my beloved 19 year old son out of the house and he went to go live with my mom, one of my step dads dying (which hit me harder than I would’ve previously imagined), finding out my dad’s colon cancer had returned, and then having to work triply hard so as to not lose my job right around the Christmas holidays.

Which I did manage to keep, but I paid a steep price for it with my health.  After months of dragging my knuckles on the ground I finally went into the doctors and found that I had middle ear infections and was immediately put on round 1 of antibiotics and loaded up with all kinds of other things.  I was told that it was probably going to take a 2nd round and that it may take awhile to get better and to just be patient with the process.

I hadn’t taken an actual vacation in over two years, and it was around this time that I realized I was in dire need of some time off.  I started to feel very strongly that I wanted . . . needed to take off 2 weeks in June to go see Jay in The Netherlands.  It’s been over 3 years since we first met, and my god have we been through some shit together.  We weren’t even on speaking terms with each other when I first felt the desire to go see him for a couple of weeks.

I was so worn down by life at this point, that I was able to actually start seeing beyond my own bullshit to my real and true feelings.  I had let unimportant things get in the way of our relationship.  I wanted to try again.  Luckily, he felt the same.  I booked the trip and was scheduled to leave June 5th for two weeks.  After which, I would have a week at my current job assignment and then scheduled to begin a new assignment on July 1, which I’m very excited about.

This was my life as I knew it leading up to June 10th, in which I found myself sitting next to Jay on the couch when I received the fateful news.  And thank god I was, because heaven help me if I had been sitting by myself in my apartment in the Seattle area upon hearing what I did.

I was alerted to the fact that *something* had happened but wasn’t given any details surrounding it.  Due to the time difference and the fact that I hadn’t told everyone I was traveling internationally, I woke up to frantic “Are you okay?!” messages from my brother and a missed call from my mother.  Initially I remained calm and speculated on what the problem could be, with Jay.  But the more I thought about it, the more I began to panic because it was all highly unusual and made no sense.

Right as I was getting ready to wake up all of North America in order to find out what in blue blazes was going on, I received a text from my mother that simply read, “I tried to call.  Look up komo news Bjorn Anderson.”

Can I just stop here for a moment and say that these are the absolute last kind of words that a mother ever wants to see?

Something bad had happened to my baby.  My boy.  I didn’t yet know what, but I did know that it wasn’t going to be happy news such as, “19 year old wins Powerball lottery!”

I imagined a number of horrible things, including a terrible car accident.  I was already falling apart, my entire body shaking like a tree in a hurricane, crying and saying no, no, no, no, no not my boy, not my baby . . . Jay grabbing ahold of me and trying to hold me still, letting me know I didn’t have to look yet if I didn’t want to . . . but I had to.  I had to know my son’s fate.  I had to know if he still lived or if I had lost him.

In the days that followed, I was most haunted by the scene I first saw in the news clip, unable to comprehend it.  Watching people on the news I don’t even know, talking about my son.  This boy I had given birth to.  This young man that I love with all of my heart and that I had spent the last 19 years of my life dedicated to caring for and raising until last September . . . was now being paraded before me in handcuffs and a prison uniform . . . for the attempted murder of my mother.

I’ll leave it up to you to look up the details of their story if you so choose.

The rest of my vacation was spent calling everything in my life into question.  Grieving.  Processing.  Integrating.  Taking stock of my life, gaining clarity.  Decisions were made.

I’ve returned to the States, and today I return to work . . . but this will be my final year here.

I’ve lived the majority of my life on my own.  Soldiering through crisis after crisis with no one to depend on but myself.  But this absolutely crossed a line with me.  If it wasn’t for the care, love, patience, and support given to me by Jay and his family . . . I wouldn’t still be here.  Maybe in body . . . but me . . . the soul and spirit inside of me, would no longer be in this world.

It was made very clear to me that my new home is there and where I belong now.  I’ve returned only to start wrapping my life up here and to give time for us to make all of the necessary arrangements and planning.

My main reason for sharing what’s happened in this way is because I’d rather get it all out in the open for everyone to see.  I want my friends, coworkers, and family to all be aware of this huge transition that I am in because I don’t want to be isolated by it.  I don’t want to feel like I have to hide this big secret from everyone and be alone in it.

I don’t want to be isolated from any of you due to my sorrow and grief, which allows me to also openly share with you my joy and happiness of my upcoming wedding and move overseas.  These things have always gone hand in hand in my life.  A paradox of simultaneous deep grief and unbridled joy.

There’s no reason for me to hide any of it, as they are both a part of life.  I wish to share both with you, so that no part of me has to hide in the darkness anymore and feel lonely.

Although, much of that loneliness has already been alleviated by my soon to be husband, Jay.  We’ve begun to move in sync with each other, switching my worldview to one centered in *us* instead of *I*.  This is brand new for me.  I’ve never known this feeling before.  I feel that it really suits me.  I feel like it’s something that I’ve been longing for and missing all along.

In the coming days, weeks, months I wish to openly share this transition.  This bittersweet goodbye to an old life and hello to a new life.  A death and rebirth in mid-swing.

Love