This past weekend John-Michael and I went to my sis-in-law's baby shower. They are having a boy, finally after 3 girls! This was going to be special for us, Jaxon and his cousin were going to be close. But God never authored for Jaxon to be here for long. This is a hard pill to swallow, to say the least. It's been almost 4 months and I still ask God, why? It is a dangerous place to be yes, but it is real, and I don't think I'll ever stop asking God why. But I do believe He is good, and He keeps His promises.
A couple of months ago, my sis-in-law, Kathleen asked if they could name their son after Jaxon. We were both so happy to hear that. Sebastian Jax. I love it, and I can't wait to meet this little guy.
So we drive down to good, old SA on Saturday about noon. I was in a good place- I can't quite describe how I arrived in this good place. God's strength is the only answer I have for that. We stopped in West, TX to get some goodies from the famous Czech bakery. I got a cinnamon twist and a pulled pork kolache looking thing. JM got a pecan roll (so much better than mine!!) and pepperoni rolls. And we got our nieces a dozen mixed berry, cream cheese kolaches. Indulgence always makes for a good time ;)
When we got to SA, I soaked it all in. It has been years since I've been back. We lived in Converse, which is just north of San Antonio. I do miss visiting, but I must admit, I like Dallas better. ;) Anyway, we stop at The Forum, a shopping development located as you get to Converse. I wanted to get Kathleen some nautical deco to go in the baby room at Hobby Lobby. We found perfect things for Jaxon's nursery there, and I wanted Sebastian to have some things like his cousin Jaxon had. So we find the perfect frame, and a sign saying something about "I'm the captain." It was cute, and perfect. We all know that new babies call the shots ;) Well, I'm pretty sure that's how it goes. I'll know firsthand soon enough.
Sunday came, and I felt good. We felt good. Kathleen called and said that they had forgotten the Jello (they made cute little blue jello cups with little sailboats made from life savors.) We stayed with his mom, Rachel, so I stayed behind to help her finish her cute little pickle rolls and JM left to grab the jello and head to the shower. So, Rachel and I finish up and we head out to Aunt Gloria's for the shower. I have to tell you, I don't know JM's family very well. I am closest with his sister, Kathleen, and his mom, Rachel, but anyone else, I am not. We have not spent a whole lot of time with them, first of all because we live in Dallas, but I think mostly because there is always drama. I think most can relate to this. Drama, drama, drama!! I am glad we have managed to stay out of it… I like peace. But, I have missed developing a relationship with Aunt Gloria, JM's father, his cousins, and even his sister. Hopefully that can change a little.
Anyway, on the way out there, Rachel asks me how I am doing. The real how are you doing, not the fake, surface layer, "how are you doing?" I tell her I am doing as well as I can be. Which is what I tell most people. There is something about going there… I just don't want to go there with many people. Especially on the way to a baby shower. Common, I'm happy today… let me be!
So this is an issue I have had to learn how to handle. When I am happy, I let myself be happy. I don't go there because people (completely unaware of what they are asking of) ask me to. I know it's easy to because you want to be polite and answer their questions, but that will rob you of your good days. I know that when people ask me this, they have best of intentions. This is a tricky thing to talk about, and I'm still trying to figure out how to navigate it. The fact is, every day I feel different. It is not something anyone can figure out, myself included. Just take me at my word when I say I am doing the best I can be. If I take it further, then I am ok with talking about it. Even if I take it further and I cry, that means I need to. But if I don't say anything else, that means I don't want to go to that place today. So I left it at that, and she rambled on. And I'll leave it at that ;)
We get there and I love it. We look at the cake, the decorations, the food. It looks fabulous and perfect. And then it happens… In walks a woman with her little baby boy. In his car seat, looking all cute and like a boy. Crap. I immediately turn to go to the opposite side of the room. I start looking at the food again, which is tucked away in the dining area, away from most of the people. JM follows me. The baby starts to cry. I grab my mouth and face the wall. CRAP!!! It happens, here comes the flood of emotions that I haven't learned to control in public yet.
That was supposed to be me. That was supposed to be us, carrying in sweet Jaxon to his cousin's shower. I was supposed to be the one with a crying baby boy in his car seat. Pulling him out to comfort him. That was supposed to be me and Jaxon. This would have been his first trip to SA. His first trip to Aunt Gloria's. His first long car ride. The first time he would meet his daddy's side of the family. Was I fooling myself for thinking that I could do this?
No. Kate said no. I saw Kate on Tuesday, and described the scene to her. She said I am not fooling myself for recognizing that I had been feeling happy and chose to be brave enough to celebrate. And I have to remember that.
JM saw what had happened, and was standing right next to me. He wrapped his arm around me and I took a deep breath. I refuse to have anyone see me doing this. In no way was I going to take the attention off of Kathleen. I took several deep breaths, wiped my eyes, and we headed toward the door. There were many people there by this time, so we went outside unnoticed. We got to the car and I let myself loose it. Sobs and ugly cries came out. I left, JM stayed behind.
As I drove, I slowly began to remember where I was and remembered how to get to familiar places. I went to my old neighborhood, my old elementary school, and took the back roads. I drove to a familiar highway and went to Rolling Oaks Mall. This mall used to have giant horses everywhere, but they are gone. Bummer. I parked and sat in the parking lot, reading Angie Smith's book I Will Carry You. I figured, well if I am going to be sad, then I might as well take advantage of it and get it all out. You learn to be a productive cryer.
I must have been sitting there for about an hour until I had to pee really bad, so I got out of the car and went inside the mall. Wow, so many memories here. So much has changed. I thought about that girl in high school. You remember, the girl that thought she was safe. Nothing bad would happen to me. Not that I ever said that, but it was just something I assumed. I think we all assume that at some point. But life happens and eventually we realize that we are not in control.