what the hell

I’m sitting here at Starbucks, watching the baristas pace behind the counter, answer requests, open and close the sandwich oven, talk into their headsets… I keep closing my eyes, like “How is this where I am?”

Now, I know what you might be thinking if you know me………. of course I’m at Starbucks, why am I wondering that??

Thats not exactly what I mean.

How am I here, at this particular Starbucks, on this particular day with this computer, this vantage point, this… perspective.

I often do this. I will be sitting at a stop light, in the car line waiting to pick up the girls, on our back porch and that wave of “holy shit” hits me.

I remember feeling the, catch-my-breath, looks like I am looking at my life through a window “holy shit” after I realized I loved him and I needed to speak up or forever hold my peace. A few days after Shayne (finally proposed!!) and I were engaged and I kept staring at this gigantic diamond. After we got married and would catch myself looking at him, thinking, “There he is. Thats my husband.” That one time I had to sit in a nearly empty apartment without him for 30 days when we had just moved from Chicago to South Florida (that story!). After we found out I was pregnant with our first child. When he got fired from his job in Amarillo and we were resentful but… relieved. After Audrey and Brooklynn would go to sleep at the same time and we would wake up next to each other from a full nights rest, realizing we had and feeling like we just conquered the world, and would take advantage of the moment. Those “holy shit” moments that catch you off guard, surprising, two parts bewildering, a whole lot perplexing.

Is this my reality?

Yes. Yes it is.

Anything and everything you have done, said, chosen, has led here.

But even having this grasp on the logic doesn’t stop these moments from coming and certainly has not made me feel less confused by the state of the union that is my life.

I remember having a moment similar in high school. Ive even referenced this before.
I had auditioned for region choir (if you don’t know what that is, I’ll just save you the explanation and say… big deal choir) and as they called out names in this huge auditorium in front of everyone and I wasn’t being called, I knew I probably needed to start packing up my things. I wasn’t that mad. I just wanted to get out of there and get my walk of shame over with.
Well, turns out they hadn’t called my name yet because my audition had made the top 10.
My name was called and it was like “What, theres another chick with MY name, how rude?!” In that little moment in my life, my face just about fell straight off my head and I looked around stunned and said out loud in front of my peers, “What the hell?!”
Defining moment. Foreshadowing of my life…

I don’t know. But, seriously…

What the hell!?

Call it not giving myself enough credit, not taking responsibility… whatever the psychology of it is, I genuinely can’t believe my life sometimes.

Is that ok? Am I being irresponsible and naive?

I sit here and part of me wants to look around at these people in here and scrunch up my face and yell, “SERIOUSLY?! WHAT THE HELL!?”

At their (loud) conversations, their complaints, their heads in their phones instead of talking to their spouses.

But really, just mostly at where I am…this, all of it…  in the moment.

What the hell.

I don’t know what other word to keep describing the… disbelief.
But it comes and goes more often than any other emotion. Disbelief. Confusion.
I’m swept away in bewilderment.

The days following the 16th of April, I would catch myself staring off into space and my internal conversation went something like, “What. What is this? How? How? What?”
My eyes would squint and Id try to focus, the truth is beyond what I’m experiencing, surely this isn’t really…happening. Over and over and over…
And I would stop and shake my head in disbelief, as to shake the reality, shake the thoughts, shake it all from my brain. Shake it away.

The what the hell moment came in full force on his birthday, Monday the 16th.
Also marking 9 months since he has not been here.
The days prior were excruciating, but the day was beautiful for him.
Thankfully I was surrounded by his sisters and they felt it important to their own processes to be with us and celebrate him. Sadness, guilt, frustration all rose up from my belly and into my throat every time I reminded myself of that…the 9 months has passed. Its his birthday. He’s still not here. Or coming back. It hasn’t gone away, or “gotten better” with time.
It rises up and causes me to squint, shake my head and look out into the space in front of me in pure confusion and pensive thought. Sometimes it turns into anger, sometimes it prison breaks out of my eyes and rolls down my face. I let it be.

I’m still sitting here, with a toddler asleep in my lap and just thinking, I’m not here, sitting with you all at Starbucks, eavesdropping on your conversations, watching you sip your lattes… I’m sincerely trying to figure out in what universe, what reality I am in that this is all ….supposed to be.

I’m constantly trying, attempting, to make sense of the impossibly senseless.
Tell a widow one more time the impossible is possible…….




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