I can’t believe it is March. I think back to the Brokins as it began, over a year ago. Jasmine and I were both contemplating our second pregnancies. We were planting our gardens, redecorating our houses, going on vacation. And then we both got pregnant, we both relived all the joys (ha!) of pregnancy, the vomiting, the heartburn, the constant peeing. The nausea finally ceased, but was replaced by insatiable hunger and lower back pain and Braxton Hicks contractions that were decidedly unpleasant. We both continued to grow our babies, anticipating the changes our families were about to experience, feathering our nests.
In March 2010, Addison was born. Her beautiful little self came into our lives and since the very beginning she has been a calm and peaceful little lady tossed into the midst of all the other wild things living in our houses. She has danced and snuggled and kissed her way through the last year with a kind of grace and joy that was so desperately needed. She is a wonder baby.
In April 2010 Norah turned two. She has continued in the last year to only grow in strength of self and personality. She regularly rolls into WalMart wearing her sunglasses and multiple plastic beaded necklaces, holding my hand and begging for “moneys” to buy gumballs. Her favorite color is orange, her favorite activity is world domination. She has finally started to snuggle with me.
In May 2010 Max was born. This boy, with his dimples and his daddy’s feet may never really understand the healing force he has been in our lives. He crawls around the house growling and yelling and clapping his hands, regularly coming back to home base for more life sustaining snuggles from his Mama. He is my sweet man, my bald headed toothless little caveman.
In June 2010 Isaiah turned three. A regular little warrior, he will beat you in Wii swordfighting and then rap about your defeat, all while running around pantsless. He’ll tell you his whole life story, play some Lady Gaga on his iPod and then before you know it, put you in a deft little headlock. He is as awesome as three year olds come.
But even in the midst of all the sunshine and happiness that we experienced last year, pain and grief followed us far too closely. The stories of how our families have suffered over the last year are stories I’m not sure I really know how to tell. I’m not even sure I’d know where to begin.
For nearly six months in 2010 Rusty and I did not live together. I asked him to leave the house and then spent six months trying to sort my brain and my heart out. I was pregnant, about to bring a new person into this world, trying to figure out how I was going to care for two kids on my own if it came to it, convincing myself I had to make it on my own because my husband didn’t love me. There wasn’t a lot I could write about at that point, I wasn’t even sure how to begin sorting out my thoughts long enough to type coherent sentences. And then, when everything finally came boiling up and out of control, when Rusty and I reached a point where we had to make a choice, facing the reality and gravity of our situation, how close we had some to losing one another, well…the emotional toll that took on me left nothing left for creative expression.
And similarly, Jasmine’s family experienced the pain and ache of potentially breaking apart as well. While the details are different, our stories and experiences over the last year are uncanny in their likenesses. Jasmine had to face the possibility of raising her children without Garrett as her husband. She had to face hard truths and realities that would have broken a weaker person. I won’t tell her whole story, its not mine to share, but again, its hard to find the mental and emotional space to write about those kinds of devastating events when you are in the middle of it.
Our families are still healing. Our families are still growing. Our marriages are being re-birthed and transformed. We are experiencing redemption and grace and forgiveness in about as real and raw a way that we can. And Jasmine and I are both in a place where we can write again.
So we are starting over. We will share stories of our last year, the good ones and the hard ones and stories of where we are headed.
So come back. We will write more soon.