Thursday, May 22, 2014

Endings



Today was a bittersweet day. Right now there are so many things coming to an end -- some joyful, some sad. I’m usually pretty even keel, but today, in a moment of sentimental indulgence, I cried for all of it.

For living in a house that is packed with moving boxes.

For my boss, who encouraged me to stay home today so I could be there to greet the kids when they came home from their last day of school. (Celebrate with brownies and ice cream, she said.)

For the memory of sitting my kids down and telling them that we could no longer afford to stay here, that we would find another place and it would be lovely and they could help me pick the house.

For having to choose my words so carefully -- never mentioning that their father had emptied out their trust.

For the recognition that I’ve stood on this precipice for so many years, and now that I’m finally stepping off, it’s only to land back on Kansas soil.

For the privilege of sitting in a metal folding chair in the school gymnasium to watch the end-of-year awards ceremony.

For my daughter, who was called to the front of the auditorium five times.

For the many children, my son included, who sat expectantly and whose names were never called.

For the teacher, who leaned over to me during the event, to let me know that my daughter had waited until the last of class to tell her classmates she wouldn’t see them next year, and that the tears streamed down her face when she told them.

For the realization that she had borne this news silently for so many months.

For all the awards ceremonies and field trips and class parties and field days I couldn’t attend because I was working or ill or simply trying to hold it all together. And for the times I took off work and did attend.

For the loss of that dream – the always-there mom I wanted to be, the hearth-and-home family life I had imagined, the freedoms and choices I assumed I would have.

For my amazing, gentle children, who have brought me joy which surpasses anything I might have imagined in my youth.

For the graduating fifth graders, who held the privileged seats on the bleachers in the back of the room, who walked out of the auditorium for the last time ever, smiling and reaching out to high five the younger kids sitting cross-legged on the floor.

For the fourth graders, who hooted and jumped with joy as they were called to rise and take over the bleachers in the back.

For that one small boy, who was accidentally pushed to the ground in the melee, who got up and walked uncertainly to the bleachers and took a seat by himself on an empty stretch of bench. (Don't worry small boy, it gets better. It really does.)

For the sadness I felt at leaving behind this school, the teachers and staff who have been with my kids through all the crazy-scary-heartsick years, who kept an eye on them and scanned the parking lot during recess and checked in with them daily and hugged them and knelt down to their level and spoke sweetly to them.

For the one teacher especially, who believed in my son.

For the middle-aged woman in a purple sweatshirt who smiled kindly at me as I stood in the grocery aisle, looking at boxes of brownies through tear-filled eyes.

For the sunshine that warmed my face and make me blink as I walked out of the store.

For all these things my heart swelled and broke.

For a moment I stood there in the parking lot -- a woman on an ordinary day in a no-name town in the middle of a big expanse of prairie -- and reveled in the full force of all these emotions. Then I got in my car, drove home, made brownies and sat on the porch, waiting for my kids to come home. My beautiful kids.

Today was a bittersweet day.




Then and now






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33 comments:

  1. This made me cry on the damn tram. Xxx xxxxxxxxxxx much love.

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    1. Here, have a tissue. I have plenty. xx

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    2. I hope you will consider auditioning with one of your pieces next year for Listen To Your Mother, if there is a local show year you. It would be wonderful for everyone to hear your words aloud. XO

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    3. Kristine, we do have a local show and I actually recently met/befriended one of the organizers. I found out about the auditions the day after they happened! I was bummed, as I would have loved to have auditioned. Next year.

      I would love to read/hear the piece you chose for your local show. x

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  2. I felt every line of your post. Bittersweet indeed. love to you xxx

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  3. My heart is so full for you right now. ♥

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  4. Tears here as well. Here's to the lessons you've all learned and the promise of a fresh start, permeated only with the happiness and love you have for each other. Here's to creating new memories, fresh and bright xoxoxox

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  5. Big hugs, hun. I know those feelings well. I cried buckets when my time came, but then found a place and a people that were even better. You can do this.

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  7. I am thinking about you today. I know you will have many happy moments to come and a fresh beginning for your family.

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  8. You are astonishing woman. Wherever you and your children land will be the best place there is to be in Kansas.

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  9. Oh Kristin. Heartbreaking and yet still hopeful. I shed a tear too. So much love to you as you step off into the unknown. (And what a great boss you have, by the way... I am sure your kids will always remember those ice cream and brownies). x

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    1. I have the best boss in the world. All my colleagues are wonderful. And I'm so glad your comment finally worked - yay! xo

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  10. I can't see what I'm typing any more but oh my. I cry. Beautifully bittersweet, Kristin. I ADORE the freshness of your new blog, how can it be I haven't seen it in this format? (please tell me it's only recently or I will be too ashamed that I haven't visited you here for so long, relying only on Farcebook to find you)

    And a big ol' shoutout to that Universe of magic and mystery. Darn it and its untold plans for us all! But in the end, all shall be well... Right? What heartfelt children you are raising. I know you mightn't think you have done all the things you planned/expected you wanted to be and do as a mother (I know that one well - I had to put away all my ideals too 10 years ago as the landscape of my mother heart changed irreversibly), but I can promise you that they could not possibly feel that lack. You are so present. And your pride and devotion and respect for them shines through everything you write about them. They are two monumentally lucky souls! xxxxx Good luck and excited for you for your next, clean, fresh, crisp as an apple chapter! Much love, kindred friend.

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    1. Thank you, K, for you beautiful words. How thoughtful and gorgeous you are. And how funny you say the same thing -- about not living up to the ideal you once held -- because to me, your love and devotion and engagement with your daughter is so apparent. Hmmm...how easy it is to see those qualities in someone else, yet often so difficult to see in ourselves. x

      The blog makeover happened about a week ago. I love it too. :)

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  11. You my friend are a warrior. Always have and always will. xx

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    1. So nice to see you Brenda. Much love to you. x

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  12. This post made me cry - tears of sadness and tears of happiness for you and your children. For what you have been through and for your future.
    Wishing you everything you wish for yourself - and lots of hugs !
    Me

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    1. Now I feel bad. I've made everyone cry. :)

      xx

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  13. Well spoken. When someone can feel you through your words. .....

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  14. Such a powerful and beautiful post
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

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  15. You do know that the poetry in your soul makes the world a better place for the rest of us, don't you?

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    1. Wow, what a gorgeous thing to say. Thank you. x

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  16. I didn't cry (yet - holding back the tears), but smiled as I know you are now truly on the 'next stage' of your life's journey.
    Another challenging road ahead but one you will face with strength, pride and wisdom. And with two wonderful children by your side.
    I salute you K, you are - and I have said this many times before - an inspiration to us all.

    LCM x

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  17. Hang in there K, better things for all 3 of you are just over the horizon. I can feel your pain in this post and yes it bought tears to my eyes, but it also gave me pride that I know you, the strong woman with the softest and most caring centre surrounded with love and light by a world full of friends and those 2 most beautiful children who have all of our greatest and none of their father.

    Sweet, dear K, sending cyber hugs and lots and lots of healing love and light while you go through the move. xxxx

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    1. Thank you, K. You're such a beautiful soul. x

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  18. Lovely- keen eyed, big hearted and beautiful xxxx Merry trails.

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  19. Sorry to hear, but sending my best wishes that what is coming is going to be grander than what is left behind!

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  20. Sending lots of hugs your way, I see only great things ahead!! xx

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  21. Yes gorgeous, you made everyone cry, but they are tears of empathy, pride and hope... tears we are proud to share with you.

    One step, breathe, one step, breathe. We will always be there holding your hand from our hearts. no matter where we or you are. xx

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