Friday, August 19, 2011

Life - one year on

Last week my grandmother died. I've been trying to write about it ever since and I can't. I'll sit down and start and then realize I can't do it. Not yet. Most people can count on one hand the number of people in their lives that are solid, like a rock, loving them through everything year after year. When those rocks begin to slip away, one by one, it can feel like you're standing on the edge of a chasm.

It ocurred to me yesterday that last week, while I was gathering with family in Texas, that the one year anniversary of the assault came and went. I'm not sure it matters, except that, wow. One year. That means that in another week it will have been one year since the criminal investigation opened. I thought it would be wrapped up in months. And yet I'm still here, waiting. Still married, technically. Still sitting on the edge of a future I can't yet grasp. And every day he gets up and puts on his business casual and goes into the office and works, chats with his colleagues, sits in meetings.

Life can be so bizarre.

Do you remember when you were young and planned out your future? What it was going to be like? I was going to get married (check), have two kids (check) and spend my days writing, cooking wholesome meals, working in the garden and generally living happily ever after (uncheck, uncheck, uncheck...).

No one's life ever turns out the way they would have writ it. Ever. And that's okay. Because how boring is a smooth ride on a straight road?

I have so many posts swimming around in my head/heart/gut. I have so much I want to write out. But I simply don't have the time right now. Being a single parent is an exhausting, relentless motherfucker of a job. I keep thinking, "I will write that when I have the time to really craft it, to breathe life into it." But then the days roll into weeks and months and I can't steal the time away. So for now, this is my writing. Short, simple, sporadic.

I realized today that I am waiting for someday, as has always been my habit. Things will be better when _____ (my divorce is settled, I can move, I can return to Australia, etc.).  But in the meantime it's been a year, and that's a whole lot of life to wish myself away from. A year to spend with my kids, a year to heal, a year to not have to hold my breath each time I walk through the front door, a year to learn how to be myself again, know how good it feels to relax and unkink all the parts of me that were scrunched up.

One day, a phone call will come in the early morning. Someone will have read in the paper about the charges. I will be dumbstruck despite expecting it for so long, and then my life will slam into forward motion and leave me breathless.

Until then, every day I get up and learn the lesson of living in the moment and appreciating the beauty I do have in my life. And then I walk into the basement and realize my son has left the door to the freezer open. All night. And everything inside is thawed. I curse under my breath and promptly forget all the zen crap. Then the next day I get up and learn it again.

Life is generous like that, giving us countless opportunities to get it right. In the meantime, don't wish yourself away from your life, right here and now. It's all we ever have.


  1. Ah Kristen, I am so sorry about the loss of you Grandma.

    One year . . . wow . . . at times it can feel like such a long period of time . . . other times it just flies by.

    Thinking of you!

  2. Time is such an unusual thing. The whole time flies when you're having fun cliche is so true - and when you're not having fun it seems to drag but then somehow it's a year later and you don't know where that time went.

    I saw on your FB that you were happy to have everyone together even though it was a sad occasion and after tweeting with you I've realized that it must have been her funeral. It's the only silver lining to such awful times.

    Thinking of you and your family, K.

  3. Yes. Here. now.
    This one precious life.
    What to do with it?
    What to do with it - within the constraints/beauty that is motherhood?
    I too, look to the day when ....(insert fabulous life moment here).
    I'm slowly learning to be present and content in the here and now.

  4. So sorry about your grandmother. Famiy is HARD. When it's good, when it's bad.

    You sound so strong. Be proud of yourself for that. It's inspiring.

  5. Sending you big hugs. One for your grandma and one for you. Every day is precious.

  6. Oh K, I am so so sorry to hear that your Grandma passed away. I remember when I lost mine many years ago and the hole that left in my heart. Thank you so much to taking the time to think of me yesterday and leave me such a beautiful comment when you were suffering your own grief. xxxx

    I hope with all my heart that soon, very soon, all the shite will be left behind and you can move forward, free of the chains that bind you to the past.

    Much love from me to you. Hugs from Perth xxx

  7. Oh lovely! So sorry to hear of your loss. My Grandma & I are kindred spirits & I know I will be utterly gut-wrenchingly devastated when she passes away.

    I needed to read your post today though. I'm all melancholic about the state of things in my life. Tired of the struggles & wishing for more well, sunshine but I can't and shouldn't wish away the here & now. We are still here, we still breathe, we still love and we need to find light & laughter in even the mundane & stupid like throwing out a freezer full of food. Thank you for continuing to share & enlighten. I love hearing your inner workings. Xxxxxxxx

  8. Fucking amazing post darling, and I am sorry to hear about Grandma xx

  9. So sorry for your loss. I only got to know my Nana as my other grandparents died before and just after I was born. I loved her so much and still miss her ... even though I'm a big kid now. And she would totally disapprove of my lifestyle and worry about me being divorced, but I still wish she was here. And I wish I had been able to meet/get to know my other grandparents. Hey, maybe one day I will!

  10. Cuddles & sorry about the news of your Grandma, grandparents are so precious, you're lucky your children got to meet her.
    I'm only new to your blog (few months) so i clearly have more background blog checking to do to work out where you're at, sounds like a very turbulent year you've had. Wishing you balance & some results too, for now, let yourself stop & appreciate your Grandma. I know about wishing life away, my husband is always away but i refuse to wish to speed it up just so he's home, love Posie

  11. My condolence. And what a touching post. EVerything you said is so true especially that fact that things always don't pan out the way we plan it to. It sucks but I guess thats how we are compelled to live, really.

  12. Living in the now is the trick... the now is all we have and is darn precious.

  13. I'm really sorry about your Grandma, chick. Wouldn't it be so good if we could hang on to the people we need?


  14. It can be so hard to live in the now when the now feels like limbo, but it's all you can do.
    I had to laugh at the freezer scenario, just last week my 7yo left the fridge open in our garage overnight! It's just what they do obviously! Ha.
    Big hugs to you xx

  15. I am so sorry you've had to say goodbye to your Grandmother. My thoughts are with you and your family.

    It's sucks that a year on, your ex is still free, that you are still legally tied to him. But (hopefully), yo are a year closer to being free of him, a year closer to him being a locked away for a very long time, a year closer to coming back to Australia, a year closer to your happily ever after. Good things WILL come. I have to believe it, for people who survived the things that you have. Good things will come.

  16. I'm so sorry about your grandma, too.

    And you're so right about waiting for someday. It's hard not to think that we have so much time to do things.

  17. Kristin, I am sorry to hear about the loss of your grandmother. *HUGS*

  18. Great post!
    Understand completely that you want to get closure, and want to move on...
    In the meantime, LIFE happens!
    Wishing you life in the moment, every moment!

  19. I'm sorry I have been somewhat absent lately. And I am so sorry to hear you lost a rock last week when your grandmother died. Lots of love to you xxx
    I can hardly believe it's been a year. The portrait you paint of a man going in to work in his business attire... business as usual... Far out, that knocked the wind out of me.

  20. You're right. Thank goodness for a new day every day. I am so sorry about your grandmother. Next month, it will be a year since I lost my grandma, and she was a dear woman and amazing role model for me. Thank goodness for those people in our lives and that we had them for a while. It never seems to be enough.

  21. So sorry to hear your sad news. Massive hugs and sending you love and yes you're right. Living in the moment is probably one of lifes biggest lessons. It's something I too have learnt a lot about recently. xXx

  22. sorry about your grandma. yeah, wow, a full year. that went quick, yes it did.
    love and light...

  23. Hi there, so sorry to hear about your Gran, sorry that such an important anchor in your life is gone. Our "changes" happened at almost the same time, so I have felt your pain, and walked with on your journey. If there is one thing I have learnt this year that I can share with you it would be " You are not designed by your past you are only prepared by it" You are often in my prayers

  24. Sorry to hear about your grandma. I stumbled across your blog via Digital Parents and have been blown away by your raw yet honest posts about your life. You are an amazing writer.

  25. Hi Kristen,

    I'm sorry about the loss of your grandmother. Losing someone close to you is just awful and I hope that you are being gentle with yourself in your grief and this difficult time.

    And don't give up on advocating for yourself with the awful situation with your wasbund.

    Take care,

  26. Sorry to hear about your grandma. Hugs to you! I personally like all that "zen crap!" ^_^!

  27. As always, sending you all my love. May it all come together for you eventually. You deserve it.

  28. I'm just catching up on your story on Veronica's blog. I'm so sorry you've been through such a difficult time and that you've now lost your Grandmother. Domestic violence is so hard to understand. I think the fact it is someone you love is what makes it sting so badly. I hope the blog community love is helping.

    Visiting from DP Blog Carnival.

  29. Love that this is straight from the heart and that you are moving forward, accepting life and appreciating what you have right now. As tough as your journey has been we can all see what inner strength you have and I admire your resolve to be better. So sorry about your grandma - it makes us rethink things doesn't it? N x


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