Thursday, September 5, 2013

This Normal

Yesterday morning, clad in a tank top, t-shirt, sweater and coat, I pulled into the parking lot of the local insta-care. Dizzy, pale and sleepy, I stared uncomfortably for a moment at the parking lot across the street. When Jesse died, that's where I parked. The funeral had been so massive that even an hour early, I was forced into the cramped parking stalls of O'Reilly Auto Parts. It was there, in that oily, perpetually pot-holed lot that I really lost my shit for the first time. After the funeral, I practically seized in the drivers seat. I slammed my hands on the steering wheel over and over. Bang bang bang until welts rose up on my palms but I couldn't feel them because I was numb with grief and anger. I was so angry. Angry at Jesse for being gone and angry at myself for not being around more and angry at all of our friends and practically anyone who knew him because I figured someone could have done something to help him.

I snap out of this memory just as quickly and painfully as I snapped into it. I trudge into the clinic where they draw my blood, poke my finger and stare at me in bewilderment at the results. My iron is at staggering low; 4.7 compared to the ideal 12. The nurse can't figure out how to turn down the air-conditioning as I sit shaking like a leaf on the papered table. I leave with a list of prescriptions, a promise of test-results on Friday morning and advise to come back in a few weeks so they can draw more blood. Mostly, I ask just one question: If my blood is so low, why do you keep taking it?

Chronic Anemia is a hilarious disease. Your body see's red blood cells as foreign entities and destroys them. If you think about it, it's like being allergic to yourself. Between the Macrobid, iron supplements, folic acid, and glucosomine (for my knees), I am in a perpetual state of nauseous.


I'm in a sort of frenzy. Once you decide to leave a place, you start to obsess over the place and especially over leaving it. There are certain parking lots I'm going to miss and there are others I can't drive far enough from. I feel completely disconnected and homesick for a place that isn't yet my home. I'm often rambling on about how we have to beat the cold. October 1st is a set date, period, no budging because it's going to get cold.

My mom thinks I've got a sort of post-traumatic stress; that maybe that's why I'm in a frenzy over getting the H out of dodge and doing it so quickly. She says maybe last winter took a toll on me. She also says worst case scenario, we can't leave by October and Kade does well this winter. But actually, worst-case scenario, we can't leave in time and Kade doesn't do well and spends an entire six months in and out of hospitals again. Toddlers shouldn't live in hospitals. I digress.

We made the decision to sell most of our belongings. We decided, simply, that unless they held sentimental value, we didn't need to bring them with us. We agreed that we would take the car and pack it as full as we can. And that's it. I suppose it's symbolic; getting rid of everything that was mine or his and starting over with things that are just ours.

It's a bit surreal to have Him coming with us. I've slipped into a comfortable pocket with this boy. It's a familiar, warm, and strangely new pocket. It's right between where we used to be and where we will be. And a lot of new-found patience, respect and trust have us giddy as school kids. It's extremely comical, this old, worn out and somehow shiny new relationship of ours. We're amused. How did we end up here? When we're in the grocery store, Kade tells anyone who will listen that he has his Mommy and Daddy with him. We give each other sideways glances and smirk. We're proud of one another, we're proud of our son, we're bursting with pride and excitement at the thought of what we're about to accomplish together. Together.

Today, I made chicken alfredo while He was home for lunch. I stirred the spaghetti and listened to the two of them play in the next room, racing cars and acting out some sort of dinosaur attack. We sat down at the table and ate and cracked open a pomegrante and laughed and I couldn't help but notice how normal it felt. 

While I'm running away from everything familiar, I'm holding on to this normal. This Normal.

Onward, to the land of Rain and Coffee.