Marsha King-Lane 9/12/50 – 11/13/04
13 years… I can’t believe it’s been 13 years
How can it feel like so long ago and yesterday at the same time? How can I feel so removed from this experience, while it is always so present? How is it that life is so different since then, yet I am so eternally connected to this date? How are the words “my mom died” still so foreign to me, while that reality circumferences my life in every way? Death is the most natural unnatural thing to happen to us in life. It bottles up pain and joy and injects both into moments like a intravenous drip.
I miss you Mommie, now in new ways. Yet I am strong in new ways too, I’m more strong than I knew I was. And this year I celebrate differently, this year I celebrate the woman I’ve become. The woman you birthed, the woman who looks like you. And I know for the first time since you’ve been gone, as I’ve done so much #SelfWork, and I’ve lied steadfast before the Father, that you see me, because you see me through His eyes, and you are proud.
How often can you say you remember where you were one year ago to date? Well today, March 3rd has great significance for me.
March 3, 2012-The End of Foolishness.
A normal day at home quickly developed into an argument. I called my then husband 0 to 60 for this very reason. He could be calm, watching the game and a question on how he wanted his eggs cooked could create a storm equal to Katrina. He is holding our son Caleb who was not yet a year old as he begins to yell obscenities through a closed door. I ask him to open it so we could talk reasonably. Then it happened… he opens the door, with Caleb in one arm he takes his free arm and pushes me forcefully in my chest. I slammed into the wall behind me. For a man with a thin frame he’d always had such physical force. That thrust propelled me so quickly into that wall, all I could hear was the ringing of my right ear drum. Then pain flooded over the right side of my head and settled quickly into my shoulder.
I’d been in so much physical pain already. Caring my son at age 37 came with its own challenges. But they were coupled with recovering from the fibroid surgery just one year before my pregnancy. That surgery and years of digestive issues left me in constant, continual and persistent pain for the full 10 months of baby baking.
To top it off my scheduled C-section had gone wrong. After blacking out during the procedure and not being able to wake up some six hours after my baby was born, I was told that I had an epidural drip in my body. This is where the anesthesiologist missed my spine and had this strong narcotic used to numb the pain of birth racing through my veins well after I’d given birth. I was barely coherent when first introduced to my joy bundle, my first born child.
As I began to come to, my head began to pound and pound and pound again. This was not a headache, there was no ache here but an all consuming, every part of my head, level 10 non-stop encompassing pain that left me unable to open my eyes. Again coming from the epidural leak. That headache was present everyday of my son’s first year on earth.
Fast forward to that moment eleven months later. As I slammed into that wall, the intensity of my already present headache screamed up the side of my head like a wild banchie. That slam reawakened every fiber in my being that was already sore.
Gaining my senses after my confrontation with the wall, I gathered myself and a surprising calm came over me. Standing at the closed door in a gentle voice I said, “Oh you’re going to jail today.” Seconds later the ex flings the door open, storms out in full speed spewing, “I’m not going to f$&ng jail!” He then takes things to a different level. He flings 11 month old Caleb at me. As my baby flies almost horizontal in the air I thankfully catch him. Holding him close my mouth is dropped open and stuck in that position, I am at a loss for words.
The ex quickly gathers his belongings as I close my call to the police. I then received the tongue lashing to match my physical lashing. “You bi$&ch, you bi$&ch, how you gonna call the cops on me?” Still out doing himself he comes close to my son’s face and speaks into his ear, “Your mamas a bi$&ch and I’m gonna tell you that every day of your life!”
I rockedCaleb frantically speaking into his other ear. “Noooooo baby boy, we rebuke that in the name of Jesus. You will not become that. You will be all that God created you to be. You will not grow up in a hostile environment. You can be anything you want to be.”
His father is still spewing horrid things and cussing like a crazy person but I hear nothing but the sound of my own voice speaking life over my child. The door slammed with my past on the opposite side of it. I walk to the door to lock it and hear a sure, definite and strong voice speak to my spirit, “It is over, it is final.”
That was the last day I allowed trouble in my home. That was the last day I lived with foolishness. I wasn’t going to wait for the slap, the kick, the stomp, because they were definitely coming. That push into the wall with my ear ringing was enough. This happened only 2 weeks after I’d been tossed to the floor “accidentally” as the ex yanked a wallet out of my hands. This train was about to derail and quickly. Without a destination or a plan, without money or a support system, with an infant in tote, I took the emergency exit. Blind faith and direction from God was all I had and would prove to be all I needed.
This was the end of madness, this was the beginning of newness. March 3, 2012
With the 4th of July weekend coming to a close I realize how ready I am for it to end, and it’s okay to feel that way. I’m kinda big on allowing yourself to be wherever you are. I can personally attest to the harmful effects of stuffing feelings. My mother died 10 years ago, and somewhere along the way I stopped feeling a lot of the grief behind that loss, and stopped processing the heartache my family created over treatment I received after her death, I guess because life kinda required it. I had to go to work, or clean my house, or go to the grocery store. Those norms of life didn’t make a lot of room for sorrow. Oh and I forgot to mention, I was directly told to get over her death. I’ll let that marinate. Yes I was told on the one year anniversary to her death, “you should be over it by now.” Those words are still as astonishing today as the day they were spoken.
So I stopped feeling that pain. The bad thing about that is I stopped feeling a lot of things. Numbness appears helpful in the moment, but it tends to stop circulation. That circulation doesn’t only cut off bad feelings, but it cuts off good feelings too. To this day I have to make an effort to feel. So in whatever stage I am in, I attempt to allow myself to be there. I think it’s a little insane that so many encourage you to stop feeling what you’re feeling if those feelings are any where near pain. It is deemed by some as a representation of a lack of faith. But Jesus himself wept. He sat and cried in a sorrowful moment. So to encourage someone to not feel pain is not only unhelpful, it’s not biblical.
Today and this entire weekend has been rough for me. As I mentioned yesterday in my poem In a Moment, the 4th of July is really hard for me. I was married on that day with the intention that it would for a lifetime represent the fireworks of what was then my life. Family and friends use to gather to my beach side condo to see the fireworks over the shore. So excuse me while I don’t really want to celebrate this day of independence that independently represents to me the ending of my marriage. Sidebar, my sorrow over this day is in no way a longing for my ex-husband himself. I know, that I know, that I know, that I made the right decision to walk away, to protect my young son and myself. But let there be no doubt that even right decisions are painful on days like this. This is now the second major death of my life, my mother, and then my marriage, because divorce is in fact a death. A death of a structure, of a vision, of a dream, of a family. Today I am sorrowful that my son will never remember his beach side home. He will never remember his parents being in the same home.
However… while I’m being in my feelings, I’m just not going to allow them to determine my future. I won’t get stuck in them.
The moment that I feel myself falling into the abyss of those feelings of loss, like they are going to stain the nucleus of my cells, like they will be the place of my burial, there is something inside of me that rises with snap shots of things unseen. My son may not remember that old beach side home but he’ll remember his future one. He may not remember his parents being in the same home, but he will remember one of peace and warmth and love, even if it is run by his single parent. I see the home that I will own. I see him in his activities, growing, learning, abounding and reaching.
So even though yes I’m ready for this weekend to be over. And yes I can celebrate those cute posted pics of babies in red, white, and blue. I acknowledge that I am in process of sewing back together my heart and life that currently sits in hues of red and blue. I am yet reminded that I will have a new day of sparkly explosions of light. I will keep my chin up so that I can see the coming fireworks in new horizons.