I’m a Riser

Last night I had a dream that my mom gave Misty (my dead cat) away while I was away somewhere. I was sobbing in the dream, so hurt and pained, angry with my mom for ever thinking she would give away one of my little babies. I writhed in my sleep, and I remember faintly waking up and touching my eyelashes to see if I had actually cried in real life. I did. It made me feel like a child.

Its’ always hard to wake up from those dreams. How do you start your day by trying to work through complex emotions of depression all because you had a dream about your cat that died a few years ago now? I’m supposed to jump into yoga and get on with my day with this confused feeling of depression that stems from nowhere but your own subconscious?

I think part of it is unprocessed feelings towards my moms involvement with my cat’s death.

Misty died my senior year of college, about a year or two after my first cat died. Mom had forgotten her outside, and she spent the night under our deck. I don’t blame my mom for that, it happens. Misty used to be a stray, realistically she would have been fine out there. But I think Misty was bit by something. When I came home and found her under the deck, she had a miserable meow that was more than her just not having water for 12 hours. Her neck was swollen, she was taking painful, heaving breaths.

And we left.

We went up to see Lauren that weekend, so as soon as I got home from college we were supposed to turn around and head to West Chester. But I wanted to see Misty first, and that’s when I found her under the deck. I immediately started crying, I was so worried about her. But we left because my parents didn’t want to spend more time in traffic.

When we came home that Sunday, Misty was my first priority. She didn’t look any better, and she had taken to staying in the basement. I asked Mom if we could take her to a vet. Mom said no. If Misty was going to pass, she would pass on her own time. Because putting Tequila (our other cat) down was too much for my Christian, life-loving mom.

But in my eyes, instead of allowing Misty to pass on her own, my mom was being selfish. Be it not wanting to pay for vet bills, not wanting to have to put Misty down a few years later, or not wanting to take care of another living thing in the house while I was gone, I felt my mom had selfish reasons for not taking my cat to the vet, not allowing her live.

I hate to say it, because I love my mom and I think she is a good person. But I do blame her, in my mind at least, for Misty dying so soon. If I could go back, I would take her to the vet on my own and do whatever I needed to to make sure that if should could have recovered and lived a few more years, she would.

It still pains me that I couldn’t be there with her when she passed, as is. I’m sorry, Misty. You deserved more.

*

This is the second time I’ve been in tears in about 24 hours (third, if you include my dream).

Yesterday I was upset about my damn birthday plans. My birthdays never pan out the way I want them to. It’s either close to Mother’s Day so no one can do anything, or it’s near finals week so people aren’t home. So, not to get into that, I’m already disappointed with my birthday this year. But that’s not the point of this part of the blog.

As I broke down in frustration and self-pity, Andrew was right there beside me. I could see the pain in his eyes at my tears. I know he always wants the best for me, that he wants me to be happy. And it many ways, he is responsible for my happiness. Between the massages, the millions of kisses, the laughing-so-hard-I’m-crying, I’m very fortunate to have met him.

One of my favorite things about him, one that I overlooked in my previous relationships, is the support he gives me. I’ve always seen myself as fairly strong, but I can’t describe the feeling of relief the comes with just being able to bare your soul out there to someone. To be vulnerable and to need someone and have them be there for you in every way imaginable.

I’m reminded of it everywhere. When he rubs my back at the end of a long, stressful day. When we talk about our future together. When I listen to “Riser” by Dierks Bentley. When we watch one of our shows and the main character kisses his hospitalized girlfriend. It’s like I can feel Andrew doing the same for me in those scenes. I know that he has my back any time that I need it.

And it’s just so freeing to know that I have someone who will work his fingers to the bone for me, hold me through the bad times and dance with me during the good times, someone who will pick me up when I need it most, dust me off, and hold my hand until I get back on my feet. “I’m a get down low so I can lift you higher.” That’s exactly how he is.

He loves me unconditionally. I will be forever grateful for his love, for his support, and for him. I look forward to spending the rest of my life in the arms of my soulmate.

 

 

I Will Try

It’s strange when it hits me.

When I roll over in the middle of the night and lay a hand on your chest. When I blow you a kiss as you drive off in the middle of a rainy Sunday evening. When I scroll through my own social media posts. And it happened today.

It’s strange to me just how much I love you sometimes.

I’ve been in relationships before, said “I love you” to people and thought I meant it. In some ways I had to realize what true love really is, what it means. Maybe it’s different for other people.

For me, true love is making goofy faces as you walk past each other at the gym. It’s crying in the car because you’re both laughing so hard at something the other said. It’s driving 4.5 hours to a wedding you couldn’t get into just to make sure they stay awake for the drive, then driving his hungover butt home the next day.

It’s waking up in the morning to a million kisses on my cheeks, nose, mouth, and forehead. It’s waking up in the middle of the night to apologize and cuddle after an argument. It’s knowing you can, without a doubt, trust the other person when he’s on his phone, because he makes sure you know how much you mean to him and how he would never do anything to lose you. It’s hearing the hurt in his own voice when I’m on the phone crying about some work stress. It’s rolling over in the middle of the night just to fall asleep in his arms again. It’s falling asleep as he strokes your hair, because he knows it will put you right to sleep.

It’s feeling safe in his arms, knowing he won’t let go. Knowing that when he says he won’t hurt you, he means it. It’s being respected in every aspect, and it’s feeling saved. It’s feeling whole.

As I scrolled through my instagram today, I was hit with a wave of gratitude and appreciation. In my mind, the difference is night and day between my life before I met you and after. I think back to what I was going through, what I was doing, how I felt. I was numb. I was empty. I was desperate to be loved by someone who was only using me because I thought that I loved him. I was hurt, but I wasn’t even helping myself. I was doing things I knew in my heart I didn’t want to do because I thought those were the sacrifices I had to make to be with someone.

It was all bullshit. And thank god I see that now.

My life changed the day I met you. I’d never really believed in soul mates before, but I know now that you’re mine. We’re too alike, right down to June 20, 1987, the anniversary that both of our parents share.

I didn’t know it yet, but I met my future husband back when I was 19. And when I met him again when I was 22, I was finally ready for him. I was ready to appreciate all that he is, all that he does. His heart of gold just waiting to be loved.

The other day I remembered that, as I flirted with him the night of my sister’s engagement bar crawl, I took a snapchat of the two of us. I jokingly captioned it “my future husband” and put it on my story. Little did I know how right I was.

We’ve been talking since May (officially dating since August), and we’re already talking about moving in together when his lease is up. Some people may think we’re moving too fast, and while I want to enjoy the moments as they come, I’ve never felt surer of a person. I told him I loved him while I was drunk in his car just three weeks after making it official, and I don’t regret it. He later told me he knew he loved me on August 13th – just two days after our first date. It’s right. Even Nana told me that she and my grandfather got married just six months after knowing each other. “When you know, you know.”

And I know. This is the man I want to be with for the rest of my life. Waking up in his arms, his soft breath at my back, on a lazy Sunday morning and not having to say goodbye just a few hours later.

I thought I was whole. I thought I loved myself. He shows me so much more. He completes me. And I’ll never be able to show him how grateful I am to have him, but I will try my hardest. As long as I live, I will try.

shawcaps

Love

And I Can’t Help

Your arms around me,
security, not a cage.
With your sleepy sigh at my back, I smile.
I know you will wake as soon as I touch my phone.
And you will pull me closer to you,
hot skin warming my everything.

*   *   *

Our mornings and nights we spend wrapped around each other, and our days we spend roaming your city. There are a million places you want to show me, and I can hear the disappointment in your voice every time I say that I’ve been there before with my sister. You want to be my first for everything, to show me why I should love your town as much as I love my own.

The thing is, I don’t always love new surroundings. I love familiarity. So being in this town that boarders both new and familiar, with my hand firmly in yours, or your arm draped around me, it makes me love the place more than I ever did.

You cater to my every need with a playful smile and a happy heart. We hop from place to place, just enjoying each other’s company. The playful flick of my toes against your shin, your goofy grin as you hold my hand in yours on the bar top, the sweet cheek kisses as we make harmless jokes at each other’s expense. It’s the same scene at every bar, champagne bubbles caressing my lips as we remain mentally wrapped up in nothing and no one but each other.

Your love and support astounds me. You haven’t said it yet, but I can feel it. I wiped a lash off your cheek and told you to make a wish, and you looked at me before you blew it away. I asked what you wished for, and you refused to tell me. “I want this one to come true,” you smiled. And I smiled back, my eyes falling to the floor as I blushed. I feel it.

And your support… you’ve never even thought of knocking me down. And every time I say something about myself, you correct me in a loving way. You have no idea how I haven’t been snatched up by someone else before you, why others would pass on such a soul. That’s how I know it’s right. From playing video games in your messy apartment on a Friday night, to teeing it up at a driving range for the first time, you have never laughed at me for trying new things. You have always been on my side. I want you on my team forever.

At the end of the day, after we’ve made a simple dinner, had a few beers, and watched an episode of our favorite show, I’m in your bed again, head on your chest, falling asleep as you stroke my head. And with each sleepy twitch and each deep breath, I realize I’m falling more than just asleep.

First Dates and Second Weddings

It took all of my focus to keep my hands from shaking every time I took a sip from my glass. I sat there, cross-legged, waiting for your arrival.

Nervous shakes grew into playful banter and genuine laughter. I glanced at you and was overcome with this urge to kiss you right then and there, but I knew if I did we wouldn’t even make it out of your apartment.

So I waited. And in the morning I woke up in your arms, to the soft, melodic sound of your breathing, fast asleep. And I smiled.

* * *

The shakes came back as I stood in a wine red dress in a room full of strangers, sipping my cocktail as fast as I could. You disappeared in this sea of strangers, but I found I wasn’t drowning just yet.

A fake proposal and real tears around the room, the buzz finally started to hit me. With your knee touching mine, you made sure I was having fun and I made sure you knew I was, that you would be too, as you grabbed your napkin.

And I grabbed your hand and led you to the dance floor, where I could see in your eyes that you were entirely too nervous about how you would look.

As the night drew on and the collection of stirring straws grew larger and larger, I could see the light in your eyes. You felt comfortable finally, in your own skin as I tugged at your tie, the smile on your face as wide as your heart. You pulled me into a slow dance, prince and princess at our own private ball, your lips sugar against my ear.

Up in arms and hand in hand, the wind toyed with our hair the whole ride home, the fresh air cool against my skin. Your head against the seat, your cool blue eyes finding me when it wasn’t, your sweet words floated in the breeze.

We trudged up to our room, lying against each other as I started to drift off, feeling at home in this foreign room, in this strange town, with nothing and no one but you. Once again, I awoke with your arms around me, a love song in my head, and your sigh at my back. Your soft murmurs became a new song that I love to sing as you traced my back with your fingertips.

***

This time you had the shakes as we drove through the rolling green hills I call home. It was your turn to sink or swim in a sea of strangers. You floated.

Your blue eyes sunk into me, butterflies zooming through my belly, and you smiled when I hadn’t made a joke.

“I’m just happy.”

Me too.