Friday, 12 May 2006

Simple words.

I have to spend today cleaning, getting more groceries and opening back up the house since the kids will be back tomorrow. They're excited to come home. I missed them so much. Everyone is anxious to get back into routine and we're all more than anxious to get on with life. Or begin our new lives or start over or make up time or whatever it is that we're doing, because it's all new to me.

Jacob sometimes seems as if he has the inside edge, like he just knew exactly how everything was going to play out. Career-wise he's slightly shaken because he put me first. He doesn't do that. I don't want him to do that. God always comes first with Jake, no matter how messed up his life is. And he's at a crossroads now inside his heart. I think the sabbatical will be a good thing if he gets approved. Cross your fingers. It might be long delayed because he is supposed to submit his plans the year before it is to take place. At any rate he still has a month's worth of vacation and a month of education weeks he can take if things get too hard for him. He is so strong but he's taken a hard look at his actions and he told me God must have decided I am rather special to push me to the forefront of Jake's life so consistently. I tell him he was sent by God to look after me. Maybe God knew how much I would need Jake. And Jake very simply reminded me that if I believe in God's forgiveness than I will have it.

But frankly I don't know what the hell I am talking about anymore. It's complicated and half-stupid and half-wonderful and I know how to be a lover, a mother, a wife, a friend. I don't know how to be a girlfriend, a divorced woman, a single mother or one of God's children.

It's like the first day of preschool and I don't know where to sit.

I've had some strange calls too. People wonder if having been away from Trey for a whole week might make me miss him too and maybe they think I'm going to bounce back to him once again.

I'm not. I don't miss him. I haven't missed him for the first time ever. It doesn't feel weird anymore because I'm not up in the air anymore. And I try not to dwell on the dark spots even though sometimes they swallow me whole.

And I asked Jake for help, for figuring out how to do what he does, to live one day at a time and not get caught up in trying so hard to wait out the present in hopes that the future will be better or different and he smiled and went into his televangical parody in which he presses his hand on your forehead and raises the other up to the sky. Then he cracked up. It wasn't the time for that, I was being serious.

He told me if you don't take the time to find life and laughter and fun out of every single day on earth then what a waste.

And Bridget, life is too good to waste. There is too much out there to do, see and feel and it's all for us. It's a gift and we'd be foolish not to accept it.

I think I'm mad at him for not telling me this back in 1997.

    And history books forgot about us and the bible didn't mention us
    The bible didn't mention us, not even once
    You are my sweetest downfall
    I loved you first , I loved you first

    ~Samson, Regina Spektor

Wednesday, 10 May 2006

He's all about the journey.

Last night I walk into the house after being outside for a long time gardening. I hear loud music and I go into the kitchen and Jake was there singing along at the top of his lungs to "You and Me" by Lifehouse. Oh so passionately singing his heart out. At the top of his lungs.

Here are the lyrics:
    What day is it? And in what month?
    This clock never seemed so alive
    I can't keep up and I can't back down
    I've been losing so much time

    Cause it's you and me and all of the people with nothing to do
    Nothing to lose
    And it's you and me and all of the people
    And I don't know why, I can't keep my eyes off of you

    All of the things that I want to say just aren't coming out right
    I'm tripping on words
    You've got my head spinning
    I don't know where to go from here

    Cause it's you and me and all of the people with nothing to do
    Nothing to prove
    And it's you and me and all of the people
    And I don't know why, I can't keep my eyes off of you

    There's something about you now
    I can't quite figure out
    Everything she does is beautiful
    Everything she does is right

    Cause it's you and me and all of the people with nothing to do
    Nothing to lose
    And it's you and me and all of the people
    And I don't know why, I can't keep my eyes off of you
    and me and all of the people with nothing to do
    Nothing to prove
    And it's you and me and all of the people
    And I don't know why, I can't keep my eyes off of you

    What day is it?
    And in what month?
    This clock never seemed so alive

I managed to record a lovely 15 second clip for future blackmail purposes on my cell phone, not for the amusing solitary culinary karaoke that I was not aware he practiced, but for the incredible conviction with which Jacob was singing the words. And when his folks come I'm going to show his mom and thank her for having him. And then I'll show the girls back home so they can fall over dead with jealousy. Because he sings well and all but oh my God the feeling behind it.

A welcome distraction from the mounting intensity around here, for Trey and the kids come back on Saturday.

Not going to become the porn blog.

Much as I tease him about it online, no, Jacob doesn't really mind if I write about him to the extent that I say it bothers him. I do that to protect him. Hello, this blog has practically become his fanclub. He's that awesome. I really need a new word, I've been using awesome since 1982. I think his ego gets a boost from the good things he reads that I think, even though I tell him these things every day now anyway. It used to be more of a surprise for him to read what I was thinking about him because we were with other people then. He says he likes it better this way. And I try to keep it um...sort of clean because his family reads, my family reads, and that's just yuck.

And speaking of fun, this week the email group has been offering up sacrificial lambs for celebrity lookalike month. I got Hannah Spearritt from S club 7. Just make the hair longer and that's me. So bizarre!

Jacob got a young Robert Redford. Which is close except add like 5 days beard growth.

Although put together it looks incestuous. It's not I swear. Jacob is my age.

Too funny. Next week is porn star lookalike. That's going to be so funny. We have topics that make the rounds just to keep everyone connected. It's a great way to keep in touch with the far flung friends and close ones who are working weird hours.

Update: I couldn't resist, I had to find a less-composed pic of Redford that would look more like Jake. I think I got it. I even did a double take. Wow.

Tuesday, 9 May 2006

He really does read this.

I got a phone call from Jacob a bit ago asking me to please not put intimate details of our life up here. Sexual ones I think he meant. Because he really doesn't want everyone to know how easily he can make me scream.


This is better than when I played telephone in grade three.

No seriously. I try to not be gratuitous and keep it in relevance to whatever I'm talking about.

But seriously. You put the new Tool album on the CD player and give me a glass of wine and I am your porn star for the night. Jacob is starting to beg for mercy just

He's not really as innocent as your typical preacher.

No, in fact, he's just a bit of a hair puller. I have confirmed he has a total fetish for my hair. What a riot.

Now that was gratuitous.

:) Happy Bridget.

Sunday, 7 May 2006

Because I can't not tell the world about this, even if it started as a fight.

Yesterday I had so much to do. Grocery shop, look after the gardens. My cabbage roses are coming up everywhere. I don't see the moonflowers yet but it's earlier. The coriander appears to be poking through too. I think the freesias are toast. And the backyard isn't going to make it. The grass is miserable. It's such a shady backyard it doesn't have a chance. I'm still going to rip up what's left of the grass that doesn't grow and do flower gardens and even a rock garden. An arbour, some vines. The lilacs. Gardening has been so cathartic I can dream about it at night instead of everything else.

Especially when 'everything else' is treating me like a china doll.

We had our first non-Trey-related fight. We've had some terrific yelling matches in the past however. Mostly with Jacob hollering about why on earth I would stay with someone who threw dishes at me. Or about why I hadn't called him sooner and he could have squared off with Trey instead of only coming in to pick up the pieces afterward.

He has a knight in shining armor complex because I gave him one. He says it's instinctive, genetic, a guy thing and that it just happens. He said it's an overwhelming urge. No other girls I know get treated quite like this. They change their own tires, carry their own groceries and aren't treated as if they might break in half.
Sometimes I think I got so used to turning to him for help that he feels obligated. All I have ever had to do with Jacob is hesitate for half a heartbeat and he would materialize to throw his coat over the puddle and take my hand.

He denies. Vehemently.

I protest. I was going to go buy a reel mower because the front yard is getting long. He said he would look after it.

He points out physical differences. So what? I asked him if I had ever emasculated him ever, and why he felt the need to play this role so....stereotypically nevertheless. And I'm not a feminist. Quite the opposite honestly.

He said,

I need to do this to show you that I'm capable. That I am strong and you can depend on me. It's symbolic. It's not about the stupid mower Bridge. It's about you discovering that you aren't alone and you don't have to do all this stuff. We're together now. It's fifty-fifty and you don't have to ask for help. I'm here and I'm not leaving.

I'm an adult. Apparently a very stubborn one. Bickering continues. I finally turned sideways to stare out the window and bit my lip because I really don't want to argue and I forced myself not to twirl the hair because I wasn't in the mood to be coy, conscious of it or not, and yet it was still the most relaxed argument ever. I can trust him, he's not going to throw plates or walk out and I can be as angry as I want. I become submissive. He gives the frown.

I burst into tears,

Don't look at me like that. I can't stand that frown. Don't be disappointed in me.

He finally got mad. He forgets I'm skittish. I become exactly what he says I am, fragile, breakable. My words? Useless.

He says I'm not useless, I am beautiful. And that he had no idea he had a look that stops people cold like that.

I point out that I get tiresome. I have so many flaws. I'm not so beautiful.

He stops talking very loudly with his frustrated orator voice and dropped to a whisper. And I will never ever forget that moment because if I get hit by a bus tomorrow well, it's okay now.

Bridget, if I could have made you with my own hands I wouldn't have done anything different.
Speechless. Still speechless and I got a chill writing that down. Speechless.

I point out the lack of lawnmower and the late hour.

Well, I pointed it out after I spent ten minutes staring into his eyes, wondering what I had ever done in my life to deserve Jacob. Because that will remain the single most beautiful moment of my life until the day I die. I can't make that clear enough and if everyone who reads it dies from the pall of jealousy, well, I don't care. I am changed forever.

I could not even catch my breath. He is beautiful.

We went and got the mower together.

Because nothing says forgiveness like a 7:45 pm trip to the garden centre at Canadian Tire.

Saturday, 6 May 2006

Wasabi Bridget

Jacob majestically refused to acknowledge the invisible spectre of the unbirthday, preferring instead to shoot for a romantic dinner in which I didn't have to lift a finger. Perhaps this was payback for the nice dinner I made for him the night before. Either way there's a wonderful amount of give-and-take going on, and I'm enjoying it to the fullest.

He put every string of white lights up that he could find, and even a few green ones from Christmas. He covered the ceiling of his screened-in porch with the lights and put out a low table and some cushions. He lit a single candle and poured some wine, and then surprised me with sushi.

I love Sushi. That would be putting it mildly, really. I get very enthusiastic when sushi is on the table. So we broke our funky take-out chopsticks and started choosing. I was exclaiming over all the cool choices (crab! shrimp! Oh eeeeeel! wee!) and I plucked up a bundle, dunked it in the wasabi and took a huge bite.

Yes, I was so excited I forgot to mix the wasabi with the soy sauce. I have done this before. I swear I am not a masochist.

Stabbing wasabi pain radiated right up my nose and exploded in my head.

Owies owies owies.

I covered my whole face with my napkin, my hands. I was trying to find a way to unhinge my body from the horrible pains in my head. And yet I couldn't stop laughing. Jacob didn't know if I was choking, laughing, crying or what to think. He finally stuck a glass of water in under the napkin and yelled for me to drink it.

Then I really started laughing. You know what happens if I'm laughing and I drink something?

Bridget should not be allowed out in public.

When I stopped laughing and caught my breath again Jacob started up. Laughing that is.

He laughed for a good ten minutes. AT me, not with me. So happy to be the entertainment I am.

When I regained my wonderful unladylike composure that I don't posess (keep up with me!) we continued eating only Jacob mixed the soy on my behalf. And he totally robbed me of wasabi. Thief. The food was so good and so was having another three-hour dinner.

Now if I can just make it through a day without making a spectacle of myself I would be a happy girl.

Oh, he just walked by. Still laughing. Grrrr.

Friday, 5 May 2006

I can hear myself breathe.

Today was my birthday. A rather quiet affair. No cake, no party and no fuss made. Because that is how I wanted it. It was the 'unbirthday'. I haven't answered the phone except to talk to my kids. No one else. Jacob went to work. I wrote again, I window-shopped. I left the gardens covered because of expected frost. I did almost nothing.

Sort of like the not-quite-mental patient from earlier in the week thrashing in an ocean of despair, I rode the wave of quiet routine to shore and then sat like a lump in the sand basking in the total and utter boredom.

Because I am an all or nothing type of girl.

It was awesome. I'm going to go and pour one glass of wine (just one, I'm not a masochist, people!) and toast myself for making it through one of the hardest years of my life. I'm kissing thirty-four goodbye.

Happy birthday to me.

Thursday, 4 May 2006

What? I have flaws?

Is it possible that nothing happened to write about yesterday? Pretty much. I got a few phone calls, one being from my dad who told me to slow down.

Yes Dad. No Dad. I'm fine Dad.

I miss my kids even more than I thought possible. It's very hard to sound happy on the phone with them, but they'll be back on the 13th and I can't wait. They are having a blast so that's the main thing.

Yesterday was sweetness and light in comparison. I did very little. I wrote some, I read some, and I cooked a really nice dinner for Jacob. And I thought about the fact that I can live with his faults, and he can live with mine. I make him sound like he's perfect, my rescuer, my knight in shining armor.

He is those things, to me at least. But he is human, he has faults too. Who doesn't? He sleeps with the windows open. Brrrrrr! He will not grocery shop until the only thing left is a ketchup packet in the fridge. He has this way of frowning when he's disappointed with you that would knock you flat if you're paying attention. He listens too hard. Sometimes I wish he would interrupt and just spill out his thoughts but he waits until I have prattled on and on, going off on tangents and eventually forgetting my point. And when I finally stop talking he waits a few beats just to make sure. And then he considers his thoughts. I bet it works in his counselling sessions but I sometimes want to argue with him a little faster.

Or at least remember the point I was trying to make.

Wait. These are my faults. Or at least they look like my issues when I write them out. Yes. I like to be warm when I sleep. I like to know there's food in the cupboards in case of emergency. I don't like that frown, never have, because Jake rarely disapproves of anything and when he does it isn't the end of the world, but you know you screwed up. He can be harsh. And my give and take needs of fighting for my life every time I have an argument are drama queen tactics he waits out with amusement.

He's very annoying but I am as well. I had no idea that bad habit of twirling my hair and looking at the floor when I'm trying not to be obnoxious and to measure my words was so compelling to him and in the past week I have learned it is a powerful weapon which is totally unfair to him, I know. Twice we were in a group of people and I did it and then I noticed he lost his train of thought completely. He let me listen to him rehearsing a speech for a dinner and he lost his place. What a riot. I shouldn't do that but I really needed the funny release. He asked me to find a habit that isn't so devastating (who's the drama queen now, I ask you?) Jerk. Kidding. He's adorable. I can't even stand it. Like cute overload sometimes and I want to pinch myself black and blue.


Hell has a Ferris wheel but so does heaven.

Did you know that? I know it now.

Details. I hardly know where to begin. 24 hours brings nothing but more screaming trips around the wheel and yet as a writer, part of my non-working routine is to force myself to blather on at the same time every day to keep the creative gears from rusting.

My kids are on a plane right now with my husband. He cashed in some emergency vacation time and is taking the kids to the farm to play catch up with their cousins and run and stay up too late and have fun because this was not a good kid-vironment. And Trey is disappointed and bitter only because I came back to him with a hole where my heart used to be and I couldn't meet his gaze. I truly believe now that he hoped I would come back wanting him and I tried. The routine felt good but we fought under our breath for more than half a day and I relented on the trip because I'm not fit to parent anyone right at this moment. Trey told me to go be happy. Then I promptly had the biggest panic attack ever. Why?

Because I felt like an addict. I needed a drug and the drug is Jacob and it took what felt like hours to get through to him at his office to talk to him. I'm relieved that the kids are in a happier spot and Trey can have the support of his family right now and they don't have to deal with me. I couldn't do it. I couldn't go back to real life. It was tense and miserable and I was miserable and I set the mood for everyone and sometimes that is a tall order.

So I ran out on it.

I can't wait to see the good-mommy emails. Or the WTF are you doing now? emails. Because there's so much here. There's a long long history and more than one great love. Geez, that's why it's hard. Trey and I have ironed out most of the creases (well except this GIANT one down the middle of my life). We have slow-danced through the kitchen and had food fights and drawn on each other with markers and fought and cried too. I can't say it enough when I say he's not the bad guy. He doesn't hold any less of a place in my heart and yet I'm so used to him. Not in a taken-for-granted way but I can come up for air with him. There's a release every now and then. I didn't think to consider that he wanted all of me back. He didn't think about it either and it's not so smooth. Stupidly I thought I could handle everything. I am the luckiest girl in the whole world to have had two soul mates to love all at once and it seems like it shouldn't be so hard but it was.

They will be back in 10 days and oh my god I feel like my arms have been ripped off. I have never been away from the kids ever. It's a relief that they don't have to see me so upset because I don't want them to see that. I don't want to see it.

But the best news?

Jacob has withdrawn his transfer. He's right now working with his committee to have coverage so he can take a sabbatical, which is a 6 month renewal break that a minister can take after 5 years of service. The timing was perfect, they had yet to vote on his replacement for SA. Now they can vote on the minister who will cover his leave instead. They just want him to get through his hard time and come back to them whole. Much like I want to be again.

Is this fate or what? I see it so clearly today.

Trey asked me if I would contact the lawyer this week and begin whatever procedure we have to go through for an amicable divorce. He wants weekend custody which works for him and me too. Day to day life with Jacob and the kids won't be difficult. The euphoria of being alone with him isn't clouded by daily routines, chores and the kids needing 150% all the time-he is used to that, he's been here doing that with us. He's fixed things and had too many dinners to count and been a male influence when Trey has been a workaholic. He loves my children. They love him. It works, gloriously enough and I am thankful for that because the kids have to come first. Please, I have heard the collective commune remarks already. And yes, Love is what it's all about. All the way around.

I can see for miles from way up here. The best part was when Jacob returned my call and I told him I couldn't live without him I could hear him smiling. You know when you're talking to someone on the phone and their words sound different because their head is splitting in half from smiling? Yeah, like that. When he came home the smile was still there. I'm watching him sleep right now from across the room and I swear it's still there.

It's weird because 24 hours ago my head felt like concrete and everything hurt so bad I was seriously considering doing something harmful to myself. Honestly I was because I didn't want to live without Jake. He's going to be horrified when he reads that but he can read this part after it and know it's okay. God answered me. Finally he answered me. He helped hold me up while I made the choice. The right one, that is.

I am okay. Just unbelieveably exhausted. But loved. So loved by Jacob. And I love him too.

Tuesday, 2 May 2006

Life very quietly.

Welcome back.

I took two whole days off from life. And it took me two days to think about what has happened in the past four.

Trey took over house duties and worked from home and Jacob took me away for two nights, up to a tiny cottage on a lake with so much privacy he was the only person I saw for 48 hours.

I'm sure behind my back they called it Operation Mental Institution since my Friday night breakdown was so gloriously relayed. That doesn't happen. I don't lose it like that.

I am calling it the last days on earth.

I very shakily started my weekend. When Jacob got ready to leave around lunchtime on Saturday I almost fell apart again. I couldn't keep doing what we were doing. I'm having a hard time keeping it together all day long for the kids and then dealing with the emotional rollercoasters all night.

So Jacob made some phonecalls, he helped me pack a bag, and we stopped at his house and he packed up some clothes and food and then we drove for a couple of hours up to the lake. It's still so cold at night so it was very quiet up there. He made a fire in the woodstove and then made me eat a sandwich and then we cuddled up in the big easy chair with a blanket and didn't move for almost 15 hours. I slept most of it. He thought a lot, prayed a lot and kept me safe. Safe from my own thoughts even.

Sunday I felt like a human being. We took a long walk in the woods, we sat on the front steps and drank tea and we talked. We both cried. He's leaving. He's leaving because I won't ask him to stay because he won't ask me to go. He held me so tight for so long. I don't want him to ever go anywhere but I will never say that to his face. God comes first for him and I can't/won't break that bond. He tried to break it and it held and he's relieved and remorseful and yet he and I both got to experience something we'll never ever forget or get over. All of each other.

And you know something? We both know that he'll be back someday soon. Maybe in a year, maybe two, maybe less. And when I see him again with my own eyes on my front porch I'm probably going to go through this all over again. The rollercoaster, the needs that well up out of nowhere. The needs I have fulfilled anyway, but for some reason being with Jacob everything is magnified by a thousand times and yet I still can't look him in the eye and tell him I need him to be here for me. That would be selfish. I threw everything away for him and I'm going to let go anyway and then I will land in the safety net and climb out and walk away. The high-wire act is finished for now.

I have been selfish enough.

And he's still cracking jokes. He said his muscles weren't big enough. He said if I bite my lip once at the airport he's not getting on the plane. He said I make him want to be stronger. Okay that wasn't a joke. He was twirling my necklace around my neck in circles as we lay in bed one night and he looked at me and he said that and kicked what was left of my heart into tiny fragments. Without trying he fixes everything only to wreck it all again. Day after day.

And then he brought me home. Home to Trey, who isn't leaving again. They shook hands. Jacob told him to look after me. That was all I heard. I walked straight through the house and out the back door and I didn't stop walking until I hit the back fence and then I sat down in the wet grass and closed my eyes and I prayed. You should know I don't even pray that much, and I'm probably not as eloquent or riveting as Jacob is when he prays. And I probably didn't even do it right because I'm pretty sure praying for him to stay without having to ask him isn't something God can really help with but I gave it my best shot.

I won't see him again before he goes. I won't be taking him to the airport. His house is for sale.

We used to joke about being so destructive together. That we would devour each other and then there would be nothing left to continue on. That we would breathe each other's air and die from lack of oxygen and that the whole thing would burn so blisteringly it would explode. That we weren't even remotely prepared for the type of infatuation we held for each other.

We were right.

When I think about places he touched me on Sunday and the way he makes love to me I forget my own name. When he tells me he loves me I can't speak. The intensity of Jacob I can't put in a box for safekeeping. He's my free bird. He traced my bottom lip with his thumb and he whispered that we would be alright but it wasn't our time. That is the picture I keep playing in my head.

Tomorrow maybe I'll have the courage to write about life after Jacob. Life without Jacob. Life like it used to be. Life strangely comforting. The only thing different is me.