Monday, December 20, 2010

Note: it late and I am certain this will make little to no sense in the morning. My apologies. 

The problem with baking treats is that you are guaranteed to eat some of those treats. I have developed my own mathematical equation today. For every 100 treats made you will eat that means that I am inevitably going to eat 15 treats today. And then I will be sick. But it will be a good sick. A really really good sick.

I have been baking all day. And while baking I have been listening to great Christmas music. And now that the semester is OVER, finals are history, my grad school application is submitted and the wedding I was baking for is finished - now I am free to think. Think of something other than school and stress and to-do lists.

And sometimes thinking gets me in trouble.

Sometimes thinking leads to feelings - big overwhelming feelings that feel like they are crushing me. And that usually leads to memories- good and lighthearted, dark and threatening. That sounds a bit melodramatic... I mean, the word threatening is a pretty big word.

Not one you should just throw around.

And yet, I am choosing to let it stay. You see, when I am alone, thinking of the last year or eight - those memories can be just that - absolutely threatening.

People say that grief comes in waves. And I can attest to that. Sometimes I can be moving along just fine - happy and at peace with life right where I am at - and then WHAM - out of nowhere I am knocked over by it.

In the beginning it wasn't even waves. It was just like the ocean. I didn't even have time to come up for air before the next one knocked me over. I remember one day where I literally felt as if I was going to die. It was so big and dark and overwhelming and I just thought I wouldn't make it through this. But that ends. I can promise that. That passes. I remember several days where I felt "carried." As if some ONE was lifting me and carrying. Those are sacred, beautiful memories.  

I get emails and calls from women going through the same thing. And that's why I am writing about this. I don't necessarily love spilling my agony on the www. However, I know what its like to feel alone in it all. I spent six and a half years carrying a secret alone...without a soul on this Earth to confide in (well, I choose that part.) That's why I am and will be sharing my part of this story - and although I don't intend for this to take over my blog, I hope to still share recipes and stories of my funny little guys, I will be sharing my story here.

The waves still come  - but they are smaller, definitely less threatening, and more and more infrequent. That's the good news. It won't last forever. 

What works for me? Step into the pain. I spent a long time trying to run from that kind of hurt. But believe the bill collector it will always find you. Lean into the pain. Sit in the pain, feel it, and then move on. That's what I do now. I have a good cry, mourn for what's lost, what will never be, and then get up and clean my kitchen...because after a long day of baking, my kitchen definitely needs it.


Rachel Holloway said...

A few things--
Andrea--you are so loved by so many people--even if they don't say it often. I hope you know I think about you all the time (not in a weird stalker way, promise!) But I think about how strong you are and what an amazing person you are--

Another make the MOST delicious treats ever. I would eat way more than 15 if I were in your kitchen! lol :)

Michael & Wendy Mecham said...

Andrea- You are an amazing, strong woman and mother! You have been through so much and are such a great example to soooo many of us on the www. Thanks for sharing and I hope you know that there are many who think of you and pray for you. Keep Smiling =) We will have to get together when Cari and I come down there in March.

Rachel Chick said...

You are beautiful, Andrea. I'm so impressed with the woman you are.

Lori McPherson said...

Congratulations on finishing your grad school applications!!

Sounds like you have become quite the wonder woman in the TEN years it has been since we were lunch buddies! Jeez-O TEN YEARS!! YIKES!

Keep on truckin', Wonder Woman. You are doing just fine.

Also, those little boys are just adorable. I love seeing your photographs of them.

lynsey said...

my best friend,

much like your fabulous cupcakes, you are perfect! i know you're rolling your eyes but really....i mean this with all of my heart.

i know your intentions with sharing your story is to help those who are going through anything similar to what you've been through. you are going to help others to feel less alone, and more understood.

if there are some who are worried about your sharing it because they don't want "dirty laundry" aired or whatever...well clearly they don't know who YOU are. i have never seen someone go through such a hard situation with such grace and caring, even caring for those whose actions have caused so much pain. this is your path and your story.

if only everyone could do it with the kind heart that you have...the world would be a better place. :)

it takes courage to do this and i'm so so glad you have it and are going to do it. so proud of you and love you more than you could ever know!

Lori McPherson said...

Oh, and P.S.

If you don't air out your dirty laundry, it just keeps getting stinkier!!

Air it girl. Even if it does not help anyone else it will help you to put it behind you.

It will though, it will help many. The World Wide Web is such an amazing tool for women (and men) to come together and realize that they are not alone. That they are not so different than everyone else.

Elise said...

Sometimes you just have to write it down. To get it off your chest so you can move forward. While it will always be a part of your past, and in a sense a part of you, you can learn to rise above it. I just want you to know that you are thought of and loved. I am so glad I was able to meet you and get to know you a little. I am yet amazed by how strong you are Andrea. You inspire me.
And your desserts are delicious!

Beverly said...

Andrea, what you said reminds me of some advice I got when we lost our baby boy. One woman told me 'face your grief, don't run from it, because grief will wait for you and it will come back at the most inopportune moments.' I think that is SO true, as you have said here. Good luck, I love keeping up on your cute family!

amandamenghini said...

I miss you so much! I hope you are doing alright...You always find the best way to say things. Even if they are hard things. I hope you had a good Christmas and lets get together soon. Even if Katie and I have to drive all the way to your house surprise you...