My life is full of little blips. Little moments where life seems to stop or pause, and then starts back up. My life would resemble the EKG of a heart patient if we could print the details. The decline and then the pause followed by an upswing. I always think there is an upswing, it may be almost unperceivable, but there will be an upswing. Your blips help to make you who you are; they change and mold you, and you have to try to find the upswing in the situation.
I was in first grade when I found out that prayer doesn’t always work. School was difficult for me at best. Concentration was a problem. I could zone out and look at the ceiling tiles for hours. Counting each square in the line and then counting how many squares it took to cover the width of the room, by the time I was done dissecting the individual details of each square, the lesson would be over and I would have no idea what was happening. The teacher would have us do our assignment at home and would give us Muppet stickers if we did well. I would lie in my bed at night and pray that the next day would be the day that I would get a Miss Piggy sticker. I would tell God that I was trying to do good and if I just had that sticker it would mean the world to me. The next day we would get back our graded assignments and there would be no sticker for me. I would start to cry a little; my 6 year old heart, broken, over God’s slight. I never did get the Miss Piggy sticker, but I got other things. I learned that day dreaming and making up stories was fun for me. I learned that when I looked out the window I could see shapes and pictures in the clouds that my mother was never able to see. I learned to read and I became fast and good at it. My skills may not always get me the Miss Piggy sticker I want, but they may get me something that I didn’t know I needed. Upswing.
I fell in love when I was in high school. He was older. He was a bad boy. He had a bad home life. I was a teenage vixen full of hormones. I was pregnant and I was terrified to tell my parents. I was about four months pregnant when mom finally broke down and said, “Heather, I haven’t bought tampons in a while. Are you pregnant?” There was some crying, snorting, and snotting that quickly took place, but I was relieved that mom had finally said something, because I know that I would have waited until the last possible minute. The problem with teenagers is they don’t think logically. My friends laugh hysterically when it is brought up, but my original birth plan involved a Taco Bell. “I’ll have two chicken soft tacos, a pintos and cheese, and a newborn, please.” I worked there a couple nights a week and in my teenage pregnant vixen brain I devised a plan. When I went into labor I would tell my parents that I had to work. I would give birth in the Taco Bell bathroom, and then bring the baby home and tell them someone had left it by my car. My parents were kind people so it seemed obvious that they would just let me keep the newborn. Mind you they wouldn’t let me have a dog. This plan was conceived and destroyed in a flash, but now when I hear about a baby being born in a college dorm or a bathroom, for a split second I understand how this happened. I know the revulsion of having to admit your sins to the people you want to please the most. Being afraid is serious business and leads people to do strange things. I was one of the lucky ones. The love my parents showed me never dipped. There was no blip; just a steady love that I feel to this day. I gave birth (in a sterile hospital) to a dark haired baby girl who changed our family forever. She is smart and funny. She is weird and obsessive. She is loved and beautiful. Upswing.
Life is full of blips.
I moved out and quickly got pregnant again. He and I shared a bed that was made up of old mattresses piled on top of each other. We wrapped ourselves around each other and pushed the world out. The relationship with my mother faltered, but one day she showed up on my doorstep and we started to heal. I was 18 and pregnant again. I gave birth (in a sterile hospital) to a skinny bald baby. She is creative and weird. She is loud and full of opinions. She is loved and beautiful. Upswing.
I got a divorce and was crushed that being divorced and living in a tiny apartment was the track I had let my life take. I knew the desperation of chasing after my husband’s car as it sped down the driveway; rocks digging into my feet as I begged him to stay. I wanted to hang onto the family unit we had created, but I mostly didn’t want to feel like a failure again. Daniel ended up being a great friend and dad, and if not for divorcing him, I wouldn’t have Trey and Saidee, who have made me laugh and helped to erase the length of that driveway. Daniel and I, even to this day, make better friends then we ever did lovers. Upswing.
A broken leg, a move, job changes, and a water heater that refused to work were all little blips that ended in upswings. The thing about blips is that in that moment time feels like it is playing in slow motion so you may not notice the upswing until the next blip makes its move.
Mom died and our world crashed in around us, but I think back to the day of her funeral. A group of friends gathered together and created a meal so the family could eat and fellowship. We were numb and I never properly thanked them for what they did for us. They laughed and cried and lent support in ways that only the best of friends can. During the long December of that blip I knew that they loved me and would laugh with me. They were my upswing and will be my upswing for many more years.
Damn I am a lucky girl.
Upswing, there is always an upswing.