Thursday, December 31, 2009

Closings and openings

To say I hated 2009 would be unfair and untrue, because in August the best little human being in my entire life arrived.

2009 will always be the year my baby was born. And 2009 will always be the year my dad stepped off this good earth forever.I am so damn glad to close the door on an exhausting, heartbreaking year.

This closing I envision as the pulling, the physical pulling, of a heavy old storage door. You reach up as high as you can, and you pull with all your strength. And secure it with a big metal padlock.

Slam. Click. Locked.

Thank God.

Most of you know it's the year that my dad quietly, deliberately, shuffled off this mortal coil.

I envision this closing as the firm shutting of one of those grand old dark wood palace doors, like the kind you find on maharajah's fortresses in India. Solid wood and metal. Beautifully ornamented with large brass studs so that elephants can't batter them down.

You imagine beauty behind them, but you can't see, for there are now windows. No getting around them. No getting through them. Not this time.

Solid. Shut. Locked.

At the time, it was so hard being pregnant and dealing with all of it. I wanted to drink myself into a stupor. To dip into the Valium bowl to get some distance, some rest.

But Jordan's arrival so soon after saved us. I won't be so dramatic as to say he saved our lives...but something like that.

Chronologically, though, let me tip toe through my year, before shutting it firmly.

We found out I was pregnant last December, and January, February, and March were full of excitement, nausea, hysteria, fretting about not-dead-dwarf babies, fatness, selling Nick's place, and probably a number of other things.

In retrospect, in comparison, they seems so small and silly, you know?

Then in April, my dad had heart problems, and wound up in the hospital. And got out several days later, took all that new heart medication that they'd given him, and wound up back in the hospital almost dead.

I could say he was lucky that he didn't die - but he didn't feel that way.

I look back now and know that he was just waiting to have enough strength to leave. Why didn't I see it then? Why wasn't I more vigilant?

You know that expression "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger?" I hate that fucking expression.

Because it doesn't, not always. What almost kills you can make you shockingly feeble. Feeble enough that you know you cannot go forward this frail.

And so he waited until he got his strength back. And then he walked out one final time. That was May 15.

The end of May we moved out of Nick's place. I think that's also when we learned that Nick's mom might have lung cancer.

In June Nick and I moved into our ancient new house, opening the 100-year old front door that, even when closed, lets wind whistle through.

July. July Nick's mother had a lung operation.

In August, I got bigger and bigger and a week overdue, and then, via C-secion, our Jordan arrived. Nick says that the moment his head appeared through the cut in my abdomen, he was yelling.

I now imagine it to be a, "Hello, world! I'm here!"

Right about that time, Nick's mom had her hip replaced. And his father had a long-scheduled heart operation. I kid you not.

The end of August and early September were, for me, mostly lost to PPD. October and November were hard but increasingly better.

I giggle when I type that, only because I refuse to try to imagine how they might've been worse.

December, December was probably our best month since April.

And I look toward 2010 with hope for goodness and happiness and joy. For us, for everyone.

Happy New Year, happy new beginnings, everyone!


  1. I met you this year and was inspired by your realistic outlook on things and your truth to yourself and your heart.

    Thanks for sharing with us, Lisa.

  2. Wishing you and yours a very happy, healthy 2010!

  3. Happiest of happy new years, dear one! I am glad to have known you this year, and am excited to know you in the next.

  4. Happy New Year to you too, Lisa and Nick and Jordan, and I hope 2010 brings you happiness and love and joy in large measure!

  5. Lisa, it has been a pleasure getting to "know" you via your blog. I've cried with you, laughed with you, and cheered at your triumphs. Happy New Year to you and your family. 2010 WILL be better!

  6. Yes, Happy Happy New Year, and happy, happy putting paid to '09!!

  7. Amen, Lisa, A-effing-men.

    May this next year be better for all of us.

  8. Dammit, what Lemmonex said.

    I'm a bit late to your story, but so glad to have caught up this past year, and even more honored to have met you. This will probably terrify you, but I think of us as somewhat simliar... kindreds, perhaps, at least in our quirks.

    Wishing you, and yours, the very, VERY best for 2010.

  9. P.S.? I didn't shower from Sunday morning til today.

    I knew you'd be proud.

  10. I really like strong woman friends and that is why I believe I became a follower of your blog. You have the kind of courage that I admire because you're not afraid to put it out there. Of course, it doesn't hurt that you write the way I think-but much more cleverly. :) Go into 2010 knowing you had one helluva year and you can put it behind you (which shouldn't be confused with forgetting it!). And your Dad? He's right along with you on the ride.

    Happy New year!

  11. Lisa, I'm so happy to have met you and your family this year through your blog and feel I have shared in your joys and sorrows with so many other good people. I hope 2010 is a happy, healing and wonderful year for your family.

  12. Monique Esselmont12/31/2009 7:57 PM

    It's been a tough and beautiful year all in one for you! You have such a beautiful family. Cherish your time together and embrace the year 2010. There are so many big moments in J's life. It passes so quickly. Your dad will be with you forever... Happy New Year, my friend... xoxo

  13. New beginnings? I'll drink to that.

    Here's to giving 2009 a much-needed kick in the pants.

    Hope 2010 makes you happier than you've ever anticipated!

  14. Happy New Year! I'm ready for some new beginnings, too.

    (also post as bbElf aka Panda)

  15. Happy Happy New Year, Lisa!! So pleased to have met you, and tickled we both have '09 babies.
    Happy Hugs,

  16. Happy New Year, Lisa! May 2010 bring you great joy and success.


  17. Happy New Year! It seems strange that I just met you this year.....but I'm thankful that I did!

  18. hey - tough rough beautiful heartbreaking and -warming year. sending you hugs. here's to 2010!!

  19. Can't imagine a more transition-filled year than what you've had. I wish you a happy new year! Thanks for your honesty and beautiful writing.


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