Monday, January 5, 2009

A page from this chapter: Lifesavers

We will be moving from Lubbock this Spring or Summer. I still have time and I'm not saying goodbye yet. But, I know the time is coming so I've decided to begin recording highlights (and lowlights) of our family's Lubbock Chapter. I hope this will be a series of posts. And please forgive the journaling and sometimes brutal honesty. It wouldn't be my blog without the drama.

When we came to Lubbock, I was pregnant with a capital P. We drove south on I-27 past the crummiest, most industrial area. All I remember was grey earth, grey buildings, and grey telephone lines. Presumably, that wasn't reality since it was a bright, blue-skyed summer day.

A few weeks later, I stood in an "office." (Read, "rented corner space in a run-down, strip mall; it's only neighbor a cigarette shop with bars on the windows.) I wore black flipflops and a red maternity top and white capris. I had an hour and a half to memorize that outfit as I waited in line to make an appointment with a Medicaid social worker. I was appalled at the plight of the already down-trodden with their fate resting in the hands of state beauracracies everywhere.

With the blinds drawn, I watched People's Court and waited.

Enter: Ray of Light. My Blue Sky Boy, born November 17, 2004. I was in love with you from the moment I saw you. You looked up at me with slate-blue eyes and a wrinkly forehead. You had me at Hello, Baby.

But I was sick. I didn't snap out of it. I couldn't think straight. I didn't even know I wasn't thinking straight. I was blessed to stay in love with you, but not with myself. I sat on the bathroom floor and made fists so hard, I pressed tiny half moons into my hands with my fingernails.

Lifeguard: A phone call. "Can I come over? Right now." C. shared her experiences and honesty and egg salad sandwiches with me. She brought the best bread and by some miracle, I didn't overcook the eggs. I began to understand the preamble to "Men are that they might have joy." (See 2 Nephi 2:22-25). As I talked about it, it solidified. I took a shower while she held the baby. She left me with wet hair and an opened view.

Lifeboat: Queenie invited us to Family Home Evening and introduced us to our first real pal-around friends. Finn made a small carrot cake just for me for my birthday one year. Hemingway gave me a tulip. Around Christmas time, Hemingway's J sent me home with his Sudoku games. Cat taught me how to make THE best raman with fresh vegetables. Pang gave blessings and called to follow up. After one Thanksgiving, we went for a walk. Pang said we could all live together and share the cocaine. (Okay, he actually said we could share the COOKING, but a boy from Hong Kong can be misunderstood.)

And I officially broke through the ocean's surface and breathed bright, fresh air.

P.S. I asked my B if I should publish this, and he paused and said, "Well, it's personal." If that's not a green light, I don't know what is! No, these experiences shaped the arc of of my progression here, so they're in.

P.P.S. The flipflops were "Locals." Hollah, Katri!


Katri said...

If the "flipflops" were "Locals," then they weren't "flipflops"--they were slippers. :) I'm glad you're still enjoying (?) them.

jamesrivergirl said...

All Hail Her Treeness!
Oh yeah, I remember that now. Forgive my Howlie-ness. And yes, I AM still enjoying them! (4 years later, plus at least 3 more) But they are wearing thin. Hint Hint. Size 9 1/2. Black.

Josh and Aleesha said...

I am so glad you are doing this. Lubbock is one of those places that you never know how much you liked it until you are gone. I cry everytime that I think of it and pray that we can find away back.

jamesrivergirl said...

Oh, that's sad, Aleesha! We miss you. I have to remind myself that so many people are moving on just like you and me, so if I stayed, it wouldn't be the same anyway. It's a transient Camelot.

HeidiAnn said...

I so get it..sigh
And I love that I know the people you were writing about.

Love ya