April 23, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Posted in And I ran (I ran so far away), Heartbreak, Infertility, My life | 5 Comments

It’s funny how a weekend can be amazing and painful all at once.

We went to New Jersey and New York City this past weekend, to introduce Lucky to skyscrapers and spend time with family. We went to New Jersey on Friday night and stayed in a hotel there. The idea, a few months ago when we actually made the plans, was that we’d see my cousin B and his wife and their three kids on Friday night, and I could run in my old hometown on Saturday before we went into the city on Saturday.

Last week I saw my other cousin post on my Aunt Judy’s Facebook page “we are so happy for Dad, Mom. He smiles again.”

I knew my uncle was dating a woman he met in his bereavement class, so I put two and two together.

He’s engaged.

At some level, I know I’d probably hate this woman no matter how nice she was, simply because she is not my aunt. But from what my cousin and his wife is telling me, well, let’s just say that she’s not ANYTHING like my aunt. They went from seeing my aunt and uncle three times a week, every week, to not seeing them at all. And my uncle is talking about selling the house and moving to New Mexico when he gets married.

And, you know, I understand. He needs to move on.

And even my cousin and his wife are open about the fact that they’re still trying to process the suddenness of Judy’s death, how quickly things changed, and it really hasn’t been enough time to wrap their brains around the fact that she’s even gone, much less the fact that my uncle is remarrying.

But man, it’s awful. I’ve been struggling with grief myself.

I didn’t realize my aunt was one of my anchors. I miss her so much, miss the easy way I could talk with her. I miss knowing that she was there, the link I still had with my cousins, the godmother I knew I could live with if my parents got tired enough of me that they threw me out or disowned me.

I also didn’t get to run in my old hometown on Saturday either; a product of a pretty vicious argument between Charlie Brown and I. He thinks that running is my priority – I always seem to fit them in no matter how busy we are. And he wishes that HE were my priority, that instead of running the three of us go and do something as a family, where there’s no AGENDA for me to go off and do something on my own.

I have a lot of ugly feelings about this. Running is my time for me where I do not have to be responsible to someone else, or have to worry about saying the wrong thing or feel like I’m wasting time or feel like I have to WORK so hard. It’s the one time in my day where I can just do what comes naturally to me.

But I understand, too. I know that it does seem like I’m focused on running. I know he doesn’t understand my need to do it. I understand his desire that I let go of my own selfish need to run and focus on our family, enjoying our time on vacation together.

So, because it seemed the reasonable thing to do, I compromised. I did my long run on Friday morning before we left. And though I packed my running gear, hoping that perhaps I’d be able to steal a half hour for a run, it didn’t happen. Both Saturday and Sunday were run-free.

If I am being honest, I am bitterly disappointed I didn’t get to run in my hometown. I wanted to do my own run down memory lane; past my old house, the walk to the elementary school we did every day, the detour down the street where my cousin and aunt lived, to run to the high school and be surprised at how SHORT the distance was instead of how long it felt the day I missed the bus and walked to school. I wanted to run through the woods where Amy died. I wanted to grieve in my own space, on my own time. In my own way.

But you know, it wasn’t BAD either. We went to the diner I used to go to when I snuck out of my house. We drove into New York and spent a GORGEOUS day walking around with my aunt and uncle. We saw skyscrapers and even went up in one, where Lucky was amazed at “how HIGH it is!!!” He loved how the elevator made his ears pop. We ate a pretzel on the lawn in Central Park and rode the subway. We had pizza at a local place, and then Charlie and I had a date night where we saw the FUNNIEST off Broadway show I’ve ever seen. We drank martinis and wine and stopped at a diner and had a late night snack before we went back to the hotel.

And we had a great morning on Sunday with a walk and then breakfast at a bistro.

It was on the way home where we started discussing another cycle, since our follow up is tomorrow. And really, I have no idea when we’ll make it work, schedule-wise. We’ll figure something out, I’m sure, but it’s just hard to be thinking about it when we’re on the cusp of summer and have so many plans.

And it’s NIAW and I heard about two more pregnancies this weekend and I’m really hurting and I keep reading about the 1 in 8 today and telling myself that statistically speaking, we just need to keep trying and it’ll work and I’ll get pregnant again and maybe get a take home baby from it.

Or maybe I won’t, and the rest of my life will be spent fighting my husband for time to run, trying to balance my own personal emotional health needs with my Responsibilities as a Wife and Mother.

And I tell myself that I AM a mom, and that counts for something, and we’re just a different kind of lucky, that our son IS enough, and if I focus on the family I have maybe I won’t have to run away from them to feel whole.

Today I just feel raw.



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  1. I am sorry that you are feeling raw and that news (perhaps even my own) has affected you negatively. For that, I am deeply sorry.

    I am also sorry about not getting what seems would have been a very cathartic run in. Did you share any of the feelings about why you wanted to run through your hometown to your husband? If he knew what it meant to you, that it wasn’t just a run, would that have changed his perception? It just seems to me that exercise is the one ‘alone’ activity that we should both support and encourange in our spouses, whatever he inconvenience to us and especially when it means so much to them. Happy wife, happy life and all.

    I do not mean to offend, but given what I know about how much running means to you and just a bit of what it means to you, it seems that he was being the selfish one in denying you the opportunity to do it. Maybe I am way off base, but just based on how you shared it, that’s how it seems to me.

  2. Oh, I so know how you feel, about wanting to find time for yourself and your needs and wants and how frustrating it can feel when your partner isn’t supportive of that. Recently B and I got into a disagreement about me signing up for two classes this summer, taking me away from the house for two nights a week. In the end I got my mom to commit to babysitting one of the night for six weeks so B could do his own things. But I’m already wondering if I can ask her for a morning too, and if my friend who has been watching Isa for me some during the year will do so again once a week so I can write. And the whole time I wonder if this makes me a bad mother, that I’m putting my desire to write ahead of my daughter and husband. I honestly don’t know. All I know is I want to be happy and I think this will make me happy. Of course, that isn’t always enough, in our partners’ eyes, and I get that, it’s just really hard.

    I’m sorry you didn’t get to run in your hometown. Sounds like it would have been fun. I’m glad you still had some fun, despite missing that. I hope things get better soon.

  3. Sorry you are feeling so raw. It is tough to juggle personal time and family and I often feel like I sacrifice myself for that.


  4. Wow, there’s so much packed in this post.

    First, that does seem REALLY fast for your uncle to have found someone new and to be remarrying. But, I’m sure no matter when it happened it would feel wrong at some level. I’m sure your aunt would want him to be happy…but I understand that him moving on will mean that the ways that you remember her or can still find her in your life will change…the familiarness of her home, etc., will be gone, which is some of your last links to her. Perhaps you could ask your uncle if you could have something of hers to place in your home to have a physical reminder of her every day?

    As for the running, I have this fight all the time. Running is selfish…it takes away from time with the family. It is especially hard to do on vacation with the family. But, it’s yours…you love it…it makes you a healthier, happier wife and mother. So, balance is key. I think the compromise of not running on the weekend was a good one, although I understand the desire to literally run down memory lane…The ONLY way I ever fit in runs on vacation is to get up super early in the a.m….which is hard to do if you are staying up late with family/friends. It leads to exhaustion. It’s best if you are traveling with friends/family that value exercise.

    Your trip to NYC sounds great!!

  5. There is a lot in this post, and I don’t have time right now to leave a really thought-out response. But one thing in particular struck me. I can remember a whole series of posts where you were really really frustrated with Charlie because you wanted him to prioritize spending time with his son and his wife on the weekends so you could do things as a family, and he kept focusing on the to-do list. I’m sorry I can’t remember when exactly this was (possibly when Lucky was much younger). But it seems to me, that if he is actually pushing for more time as a family, that is a big improvement over the way things have been in the past, and maybe that should be encouraged/rewarded. I also know it is really tough not to run, and it is hard to balance and find ‘me’ time. But I have to say when I read the post my first thought was how impressed I was that Charlie was flat-out asking for more time as a family, given that had been such a bone of contention in the past. And there is a big difference between supporting a spouse who wants to occasionally pop out for thirty or forty minutes’ jogging, and supporting a spouse who is training for a half or full marathon. It sounds like Charlie doesn’t necessarily resent your running so much as he is frustrated by how much of it there is. Not sure how to best balance that.


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