Sunday, November 15, 2009
The Story of Me ~ Part 3 ~ A Bumpy Road
When I left off last time, I had just lost my mom. I've got a few more "bumps" ahead in my life road but then it gets better, I promise!
Well, remember when I said my (then) husband and I were doing well and had even decided to have another child? Also remember that I felt my body go in to shock at being told that my mother was not going to survive? Well these two things collided big time. Turns out I did, in fact, get pregnant right around the time of my mother's passing. Unfortunately my body didn't deal with it in a normal way. All pregnancy tests (both urine and blood) were coming up negative and there were weekly trips to the doctor to try to figure out what was wrong with me. I was given meds, injections and all kinds of stuff before the doctors AND my body finally registered what I had already known. I was "with child." Unfortunately the meds and the injections and everything else my body went through were quite harmful to a fetus and this new life didn't survive. Consequently, neither did my marriage.
I'll take most of the blame for this. In reality, we were just too young. We should have never married in the first place. I don't, for a minute, regret it though. I wouldn't have my amazing Jennifer ~ and for her, I'd go through hell and back again. Anyhow, I messed up the marriage. I really did... you see after the loss of my mom and then the loss of the pregnancy I was in a really bad place mentally. I decided that the more you love someone, the worse it will hurt when they are no longer there. My solution was to push everyone away. If I didn't care, it wouldn't hurt. The closer I was to someone, the harder I pushed.
I think a lot of my family really didn't even notice. I mostly acted normal on the surface. My dad certainly didn't notice. He moved on rather quickly although I think the "moving on" started before my mom was gone (that's a story for another day). My sister Joey didn't notice ~ she had her own life and her own problems to deal with. My other sisters and brother lived out of state so they really didn't notice.
Jennifer was fortunate to be young enough not to notice that Mommie was staying later and later at work and that a lot of the weekends she went with Daddy to see his family while Mommie stayed home. My husband did notice. Everything with us was now a fight. There is a part of me that always knew we shouldn't have married and now I wanted out. I wasn't quite strong enough or maybe aware enough at the time to just say "enough." My solution was to pick fights. If we fought enough surely he'd do something or say something bad enough for me to have a reason to leave. I needed it to be his fault. It wasn't a pretty time and while my ex is certainly not without fault, he had the calmer (and at the time saner head) and he sat me down and we decided to end the marriage before we wound up hating each other. It was as easy of a divorce as you can get. One lawyer, lenient terms and it was done. We remained friends for several years ~ until he started dating his current wife. She was not comfortable with our level of friendship. I can't say I blame her but it caused the kinds of problems that normally happen in a divorce. It just took a while longer. Years later, we all get along for the most part. We are both now happily married and Jen has 4 parents who love her and could show her what a marriage should be. So while I still mourn the loss of a child I will never know, things really turned out for the best I think.
Of course while all this was going on a few other things were happening as well. Since my mom was not here to watch Jennifer, we put her in daycare. It worked for a while but about the time she turned 3 we had some issues with her daycare provider and enrolled her in private school. University School in Broward county is a wonderful school. It actually starts with preschool at 3, preK at 4 and so on until you get your PHd! It's all part of Nova University. It was a difficult school to get into but between Jen being very "gifted" and the fact that my sisters best friend worked there (eventually becoming principal), we were able to get her in.
When my ex and I first split, I stayed in the townhouse we owned and he moved in with his parents. I was able to make the mortgage payment and take care of Jen and I. His child support went to pay for her school and helping out with some of the other stuff. It was all working out well until the next bombshell dropped.
I lost my job! I worked for a very large worldwide company and I guess times were a bit tough for them. They had just gone through a merger and technology was changing. Our department had to let someone go and even though I had seniority I was the one gone. There was some bullshit reason given I'm sure but the reality of it was that I knew too much. My boss's boss was doing a lot of things he shouldn't have been and I knew about it. I won't go into a lot of details but I could have made him lose his job as well. The coward didn't even come into work the day of the layoff. I even had physical evidence of his wrong doing and considered turning it in, but I just didn't have it in me to be that vindictive and in the end it actually turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to me.
This layoff, of course brought about some other changes. Jen and I ended up moving in with my sister Joey while my ex and his brother took over the townhouse. Financially it was the necessary thing to do but it was quite an adjustment for all of us. As I said though, it turned out to be a good thing. I ended up getting a job for a computer sales company. Turns out one of my former bosses at the big ass electronics company was now working for this company and when he found out I had gotten laid off, called and pretty much offered me the job on the spot. It was a good job. We were a small branch of a larger company based in NY. I learned a lot working there ~ had a lot of fun ~ and ended up meeting a really cute future software engineer named Richard. But that wouldn't happen for a few years to come so you'll have to wait a bit for that story.
In the mean time Jennifer was growing up ~ smart and beautiful. She was well adjusted. Loved living with my sister who's boyfriend (now husband) also ended up moving in as well. We were our own little strange but happy family. Because of our circumstances Jen and I ended up closer than most I think. We really relied on each other and she was much older and wiser than her young years. She was also totally spoiled (completely my fault) although never rotten. In my mind I had a lot of making up to do with her. While I had never really pushed her away, I hadn't really been the mom I should have been while recovering from my mom's passing.
I made the decision not to date. This was partially because I really didn't want to be involved with anyone ~ remember love still equaled loss in my mind ~ plus Jen was all I really needed. I was happy and content in my life. We had our own routine and I didn't have to answer to anyone else. Life was good.
Another good thing happened right around this time although I didn't think it would be good when I first got the news. My dad was dating ~ and it was serious. I didn't know too much about this mysterious person. My ex actually met her before I did because he was still bowling on a league with my dad and my dad brought her to the bowling alley with him one night. All I knew was her name was Patty and she was YOUNG! And now my dad was bringing her to a family get together. I was all set to hate her. No one was replacing my mom. Well the happy ending to this part of the story was that as much as I wanted to despise her, I just couldn't. No one could replace my mom but she didn't try. Have you ever just met someone yet feel like you've known them all your life? That was Patty for me. From the first day it was an easy friendship. I can tell you that I tormented myself over it. How could I be this disloyal to my mom? But over time, I came to realize that the relationship and love she and I would develop was an entity all it's own. They got married in December of 1983. It was a beautiful ceremony with Jen as flower girl and me as the photographer. Her gift to my father was to surprise him by flying my brother in from Texas. At the time my brother Sonny and his wife had Mary had already divorced although they were still in touch. She and daughter Trish actually came for the wedding and they ended up back together and remarried not long after.
I felt after losing my mother, that I had also lost my father because he was off doing his own thing and Patty really gave him back to us. We were a family again.
Life still had another bump instore for us and it wasn't long before we lost my grandmother (my dad's mom) to cancer. It was hard to see her sick because all of her life she was young and vibrant and lots of fun. You never wanted to bend over any where near her cause sure enough your backside would feel the sting of her hand ~ she just couldn't help herself. And you NEVER want to fool around while playing cards with her ~ she took her gaming very seriously. We spent many many fun times as a family playing games ~ usually for $$. She really would be missed by all of us.
Stephanie Pierceall 9/10/11 ~ 7/86
I'll leave you here for now. I will tell you that some exciting days are ahead for me. I will have some crazy times, will find the love of my life, move here and there, and add some amazing characters to my family. You'll just have to stay tuned.....