Thursday, October 7, 2010


My friend came over yesterday, for a cooking lesson. I make a mean tomato soup, and she wanted to know how to make it. We went to the store together, which was a nice change, getting out of the house and all. My food stamp money for the month became available, and I needed to pick up some items, so buying tomatoes for a yummy pot of soup was my treat. She has been giving me rides on crummy, rainy days, lately, to and from the bus stop, so I felt like it was the least I could do, to say thank you.
While the tomatoes roasted in the oven, we sat and talked. She wanted to know how I met David, and how he proposed. I got giddy re-telling our love story. I always do. I know I was going on and on, but once I get talking about something happy in my life, I tend to yammer. I also got flushed, and my voice started to shake. My mother has the unfortunate skin flush problem happen to her as well. I remember watching her give out communion at church, when I was a kid, and being horrified at how she looked like she was breaking out into hives. The gene is strong, apparently.
After I recounted every detail of my love story, and proposal, and wedding day, she asked to see my wedding photos. I happily jumped up from my seat to grab my album. She gasped as soon as she opened the first page. She said.."oh my gosh..this does not even look like you!!" My heart sunk.
 You see, this is the second person to tell me this in a matter of years. My wedding anniversary was on September 28th. We have been married for 8 years, together for 10. I know I have changed a bit in the years since we had our wedding. I have had three children in those 8 years. We have endured financial hardship for a lot of those years. Things are especially tough right now, so the stress is very evident. But this is the second person to tell me that I am unrecognizable. Maybe they are right. I know I look different. The years have added pounds, and worry. I guess maybe I do look like a different person.
Inside of myself, I feel different. I was looking at my wedding photos, and realized that I don't seem to sparkle like I once did. I felt, on my wedding day, that life was lying out before me, with infinite possibilities. I was excited that I was beginning a journey, with a wonderful partner, that could only get better and better. That is the way it could only go. Things would just steadily improve, as they do on TV, and in movies, and books. The excitement in both of our faces was evident.
Yet, things have gone quite the opposite. Things have become increasingly difficult. At times, it is unbearable. The excitement I once felt about the future is now replaced with worry, and concern for it. The road that was laid out before us seems to be constantly roadblocked and impassable. I miss my handsome groom. I miss our carefree times. I miss looking in the mirror, and seeing my sparkle. Now, I just feel disappointment in myself, when I stare at who is looking back at me. I feel insecure about friendship's now. I never was in my life. I feel that as my girls grow, they too will be horrified by their mother's flushed cheeks, and hive marks.
Maybe this is a blip on the radar screen of our life. Maybe this will give us strength, and compassion, and make us unbreakable. Maybe the day will come that David and I can smile, and look into each other's eyes, and give that knowing look to one another, that we made it, and we got through all of it, and we came out OK.
Maybe soon, I will look into the mirror, and recognize myself again.

1 comment:

  1. i challenge you to find anyone who still rocks the sparkle they had on their wedding day, 3 kids in and countless worries later. i couldn't even think about getting in a workout or finding a cool outfit (or anywhere to where it to) until my youngest was almost 5. hang in there lady.. this too shall pass.