Seeing the Gifts Through Tear-Filled Eyes

Updated: Apr 6

Tuesday was International Time Travel Day… where would you go, either direction and why?


I love the drives into dive-training with my daughter. The moments where you talk and no judgement comes in cause you can't make eye contact and the coolest conversations come up. The radio announcer comes on and introduces the above topic.


I immediately say, "20 years into the future because I want to see where and what you guys are up to". Upon immediate reflection, it's probably mostly because life has been tough lately. Many parenting questions have come up for me and even existence questions… when even typing this out makes me want to barf (but my blogging coach has requested I start writing the ugly, so here I am. Truth is Ive been kind of quiet lately... waiting out the tough patch... this is her trick at getting me out of it).


Are my children ok? Have they made it?


And then my sweet, empathic, old-beyond-her-years decade-old daughter says she would go back to 1974.


Fuck.

Fuck.

Fuck.


She didn't exist in 1974 but my sister was just being born. Aila says she would want to be there, at Dawn's beginning.


Fuck.


And my grief eloquently takes over Aila’s why. And I say, "I'd want to see if changing her death would change our future"... Cause then… would my future have changed?


Aila pauses and cautiously interjects to say… "even just to watch it"... cause her spirit knows too that Dawn's death made them possible.


LOOKING TO THE PAST TO SEE THE FUTURE


I immediately started to write that version in my mind…


My extended family would still be "intact". My cousins, aunts uncles and my brother wouldn't have this gaping hole like a bomb went off. A crater in my family where my sister once existed.

We'd be raising babies together or actually...


I'd be watching her raise babies in a workaholic life as a lawyer, having left my domestic violent relationship and now chasing status to fill what being SMART meant to me.


See, Dawn knew what life was about… living. We were like yin and yang. She soaked up every moment and I had a point to prove. My dad left when I was 3 months, and throughout my young life continued to send me the message,


"You are not worth it."


WORKING HARD WAS MY WAY OUT, NOT LIVING


I was determined to be successful beyond what anyone could imagine as a big Fuck You to my dad. And boy did I work hard. Getting out of this blue-collar life was my ticket out.


My mom didn't have it easy, she worked her ass off. She did as much as she could with the tools she was given and a handful of people who weren't cheering for her either. Sadly one of the mantras I heard regularly was "If I was a man, I could _____". Teaching me not to honour my power as a girl, as a woman… again… not enough messaging, limiting beliefs.


When Dawn died that was it… the one cheering me on was silent. The wind beneath my wings was gone. All of the sexual abuse and pain I've lived through doesn't compare to the absolute loss of her forever absence… yet I see the gifts.


Going through and surviving a precedent-setting court case taught me that law was not my purpose.


Losing family showed me that I wanted a family and she hand-picked those kids for me and guided Glenn to my path.


SILVER LININGS ARE MY LIFE ROPE


I'm really good at the silver lining. It's become my life rope, even when it drags me through the streets of life as I bump along every rock on the road. I don't feel sorry for myself by any means. This is why it is so hard for me to sit back and look at my bruises and say "holy shit, you're beaten up Jody".


But I'm feeling the bruises this month.


Chaos theory is beautiful when you see its pattern on paper but when you live the pattern in threes? It's a bitch.


1| Gerry's suicidal ideation and yet another sign something is up.


I posted a link on FB about "different kids" and in the end, all they really want is a friend. And man, it has been such a battle watching Gerry hurt.


Distracted by that, I also feel like an ass because Aila is a spitting image of me when I was in school (my stunning perfectionist) who I fear is getting lost in her brother's antics but then to be whacked in the head by my funny, sweet, creative boy who just wants to love. A mom can't buy enough bubble wrap I swear! The expectations we have to raise "perfect" kids is insane. Even just to raise the football son for my A-personality husband who courageously saves the world and then to tell Glenn that his son "has a psychologist" now. How does one NOT take that personally? We are so blessed by our lifestyle. Where did I go wrong? How do parents who both work full time manage?


No, wait, this is NOT about me. Right.


#2. Cancer.


Same month. MAJOR surgery. Doing it alone, not because that's my coping mechanism but now I HAVE to make it my coping mechanism because of COVID. Putting on these masks of strength, not the masks mandated, but the mental health masks for our kids so they don't fall apart either. Oh, man.


Then wait 2 weeks, Glenn is re-deployed. I should be grateful and thankful he still has a job and can support our family but then I'm heading into the diagnosis appointment solo, not because that's my coping mechanism but because that's my only fucking option!


I'm lucky in that my diagnosis is that they got ALL the cancer… so how can I complain? I'm a survivor and patient all in the same moment, yay, be happy and grateful and hold your breath and breathe a sigh of relief all in the same moment… next! Seems a bit rushed? It is.


#3. My past rears its vengeful head.


The night before surgery I got a phone call that brought up my life from three years ago. So, three weeks post-surgery, I am finally ready to face accusations of being a liar in the financial world by one of my past clients. Those that know me, know that integrity and honesty are my core values. And now I'm not just being questioned about it but being threatened to lose my future freedom around it!


Thank God it's found false and case closed but the tears she'd I'm sure were pure cortisol!!!


I'm bruised and I know that they will fade. I'm grateful and I know that will only get stronger. I thank every one of you who reads my post. Those who have an understanding of anxiety and depression when living with trauma happens and love endures. Thank you all for loving me... For now? I'm going back to bed ;)


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