Thanks, everybody, for reminding me that it's okay for me not to be "over it" or better or less sad at this point. Or ever.
These past months have dragged on forever for me and I think I have aged a million years and grown a long white beard to match my hobbled gait, but I know it's really only been a short time.
And thank you for remembering Eliza. That goes for everybody who reads this even if you are the strong but silent types or the text or e-mail me privately types. Since I cannot demonstrate my love for my baby by investing in her wardrobe, I feel compelled to keep stating for the record that she is loved and wanted and valued and missed so desperately (hence the broken record...). So thank you for remembering her with me.
David is home from fourth grade camp and man-oh-man I am happy about that. Maybe not as happy as he is. I think I should err on the edge of caution when I talk about David's work stuff, but it seems safe to say that over the last three days he spent hours outside, tromping around in rubber boots in the POURING rain, had to have a "come to Jesus" meeting with his cabin group of fourth grade boys who had serious aiming issues in the restroom, and was awakened almost every hour of the night for various reasons while sleeping in a cot in the central room of the cabin.
(Note to self: I hope to never see the the toilet in a bathroom shared by a bunch of ten year old boys. From what I hear, it ain't pretty.)
Last night he got in bed while I was still brushing my teeth and shutting down the computer. By the time I got to the bedroom, he was sound asleep with the light on and the TV blaring. I scheduled a massage for him on Friday evening. I kind of think we should submit the receipt to his school district, but that's just one person's opinion.
As for me, I just might get a massage myself. And I have a few other pleasant distractions going on at the moment--dinner plans with a friend, the busyness of the end of the semester, and thrilling professional and personal news for friends who are defending dissertations and getting jobs and getting married.
Here's something of interest:
So I was thinking the other day about my students and my blog and the potential risks of putting my guts out on the internet for anybody to see and so I googled myself. You know, just to see what popped up. Well, guess what? Someone who shares my first and last name is famous. She was the star of an HBO show called Cathouse and, according to Marie Claire magazine, "By 26, Brooke was America's most famous hooker."
Excellent. From what I can tell, we're nearly the same age but she has way better abs. Also she is a whore. Professionally speaking. So basically we're just alike. Except different.
I really hope my students just don't care enough to google me.
* * *
Since I spent my last post lamenting over my sorry state of affairs and wondering how to fit my old self into this new, sad life, I really want to say how much all your comments and e-mails helped.
One dear friend of mine e-mailed me a quote from one of the Hunger Games books. It is when Katniss visits one of the other districts and she's glad that she didn't wear the make up or clothes that had been suggested to her:
The damage, the fatigue, the imperfections. That's how they recognize me, why I belong to them.
The thing is, I so desperately wanted my life to work out perfectly according to my very detailed plan. I planned to cross off everything on my checklist of husband, PhD, vacation(s) in Europe, and baby before 30. Losing my vision of my perfect life was a painful side effect of losing Eliza. But I am slowly realizing that my idea of a perfect life didn't really matter to anyone but me.
Nobody ever loved me for trying to be perfect. Checking off things on my list of life goals didn't win me any friends. Nobody but me really cares about what I'm accomplishing when. They just like me for the nerdy little freakazoid that I am. And that certainly hasn't changed.
Right now, I have to remember that I don't necessarily have to be fun or happy or even all that pleasant for people to keep liking me. Those who care about me are willing to forgive imperfections and embrace the broken parts of me and let me take my time to heal. It's true that some people will find that awkward and difficult, but those issues are theirs, not mine.
Just as this loss has brought David and me closer together, it has also introduced me to funny and smart and wonderful women I would never have met otherwise, and it has brought me unexpectedly closer to friends I already had. This is no silver lining or Pollyanna moment--it just is what it is. And I can see the good in that.
It might seem crazy to pour out my guts online where anyone could google me and then wonder if America's most famous whore ended up going to grad school and marrying a neatfreak elementary school principal and having a stillborn baby.
(Answer: No. In fact, I have never starred in a show called Cathouse, nor do I want you to contact me about scheduling a "girlfriend experience." Although I would watch a show called Cathouse if it were on HGTV and featured people who designed and decorated their homes around their pets because that would be AWESOME).
But I guess the point is that I'm writing this stuff and showing my scars Mockingjay style because there's nothing to be gained from pretending everything is fine or that my life will ever be perfect (or that it ever was, for that matter). And when somebody else sees my fatigue, and my imperfections, they just might recognize it as their own, whatever their hurt. None of us has to be alone in this. In fact, we have each other. And wine. And young adult fiction. And the occasional ray of hope.
And if all else fails, today you can be glad you're not sharing a toilet with twenty fourth grade boys.