Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Ironies of Love

I write to process things. I write when the thoughts in my brain swirl around too much and need a release. I write because maybe, just like many people have told me, I simply think too much. I write. Sometimes my thoughts simply compose themselves in the form of stories. I rearrange them just so.

As many of you know, my oldest half-sister, Heather, was shot by her husband on Thursday night.

All day yesterday the thoughts wouldn't stop. All day as I sat in the ICU waiting room thinking of my sister and how all our lives how now been changed forever, it was just me and just my thoughts. I saw things in images and I tried to compose a logical story. But logic just can't exist in such an irrational world can it?

I saw my sister with a swollen face, with her entire body covered with bandages, with the only recognizable feature being her soft, long brown hair spread over the pillow in a fashion that was poetically beautiful, graceful and fragile. That first moment seeing her stopped my heart. How could that be someone I know? How could that be someone I love?

I sat in the ICU hallway because I didn't want to hear the television in the waiting room, clutching my bag with too tight fingers and an old lady in a wheelchair next to me. She looked sad and her body was frail and small and she was an age that I don't even know if I want to live to. To every hospital worker that walked by she screamed at the top of her lungs "Excuse me! You have my husband! I want my husband!" She couldn't go beyond the double doors because she was sick. They wouldn't let her. Her words just kept echoing in my mind. They had her husband, the ICU had her husband and they had my sister and they were calling the shots and they had other people in there. They had them.

My thoughts turned to my brother in law. They turned to the big hug he gave me before I left on my mission and how he told me he was proud. They turned to his height and strength and his smile and how he always made the perfect hamburgers at the family barbeques. They thought of how he held each of their three children with love and tenderness in the hospital after they were born. They thought of the day he married Heather. The day he stood by the priest and watched her walk towards him. Heather, in that white dress, married in a mountain grove of turning leaves in a beautiful Autumn flow of colors much like there are now.

My thoughts tried to put this story together, tried to compose how someone went through all of that and ended up in the driveway. She saying that she was leaving him. Him pulling out a gun and saying she would die first. Little Megan watching. Him shooting her four times, in the face, in each arm, in the knee. My brain can't make that into part of their story. They had a beautiful home, always good with money and always successful. They were always happy. They were to be envied, so how did this happen?

How can anyone do this to someone else? Any two strangers, how could they do this. What is humanity? Is the definition of that word lacking some malicious part that we pretend isn't there?

But how could two people who have shared so much have such a different story going on underneath the surface than the one my brain had been composing for them?

Yesterday, in that waiting room, I had a thought I haven't really ever entertained.

"I don't know if I believe in God anymore."

I don't know if God is apart of my story anymore.

At least not this weekend.

After an afternoon in the ICU I took a break. Then we went back in the evening.

We were in the waiting room. My dad and my mom were holding hands and leaning close together. My sister and her husband had their arms around each other and he was comforting her. My other sister had her boyfriend (almost fiance) and he was slowly rubbing her back and neck and being there. And my youngest sister had her fiance there, going to buy her some coffee, asking what he could do. And for just a few moments I cried selfishly. It was nice not to have anyone asking my why I was crying, we had all been crying. But for the first time that day I cried because I felt really, really alone. I cried because I didn't have that person to depend on. I cried because as we all sat quietly in the waiting room I just sat there and held my purse in my lap. I watched all my sweet sisters with the loves of their lives and I felt nothing but skeptical. I felt nothing but the fact that I was alone and maybe life is better when you don't depend on that one other person. Around me, in that waiting room, there was so much love. And yet, why was my sister bleeding and wounded behind those doors as a result of some twisted version of love? How could I be in the presence of such sweet and tender emotions as these four beautiful couples were showing last night? All the while sitting and waiting to hear if Heather would live because of what own husband had done to her. How is such a dichotomy of the same emotion even possible?

Last night the ironies of love were simply too much for me to handle.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

32 Possibilities

I am 32.

I am full of possibility.

Whenever my life is presented with more options than I could have ever imagined, I feel almost like crying with a combination of gratitude for the paths presented to me and then also for the courage to muster what I know the new journey will require of me.

I decided to move to Switzerland and accept the job offer.

I'll be moving the day after Christmas.

I might just be there forever. I don't know. It's a pretty incredible job. I feel very blessed. This kind of thing just doesn't happen to everyone, but it's happened to me and I'm not taking it lightly.

And yet, as I accepted it on the phone in the JFK airport on Sunday, my immediate reaction was to cry. I got on the plane with my ex-boyfriend and held the tears back until I walked up to my little house in Salt Lake City. I got in the door, shut it behind me and burst into tears.

I burst into tears with joy and pain and sorrow and anticipation.

Nine months ago I met someone that I really thought I was going to have in my life for a long time. Things were happy and healthy and I loved being with him. The whole relationship had a different feel than the past ones I have been in. I don't write much about my love life or my dating life because my blog has always been open. Now that it's private and read only by my sweet and caring friends all over the globe, I feel I can process these deep issues a bit more. (And I think the next months will be full of various reflections from my past four relationships.) In fact, I feel like I must process them and get to a good place before I go to Switzerland.

My life continues to take these different turns. I thought I'd be planning a wedding sometime in the next year and now I'm planning on how to get my life into a few suitcases and boxes. I thought I was ready to embark on having kids and starting that family and instead I'm off to a remote village in the Alps where I just won't be dating a lot. I thought I could buy a house and create a home and start a new phase of my life that I feel so ready for, and now I'm off to a new direction not planned, maybe not ready for, and full of new challenges.

But yeah, I guess that's just what we call courage, eh?