Saturday, February 23, 2008

Keep Each Other Warm

Living in love is bittersweet
You've got to have faith on a lonely street
But I'll be walking beside you through it all.

When we're blown by the wind
Torn by the storm
We'll always have the love we need
to keep each other warm

The rest of the holidays was just about the three of us. No commitments to anyone else. We were the ones who needed love and support. The rest of the world can (and did) get along just fine without us for those few weeks. Until now, the miscarriage incident was private business - I didn't even want to discuss it with my own mother. Support groups - fuhgeddit. Being isolated was better than pouring my heart out to the wrong person accidentally or worse - getting platitudes and advice. My way of healing was waiting until I was damn good and ready to talk and not one hot second sooner.

We celebrated Christmas across two weeks. Christmas Eve was visiting the priest in the confessional and then dressing up for Mass that afternoon.

(Aside: people hear "confession" from Catholics and think we're beating ourselves or perpetuating guilt about every little thing. Nothing could be further from the truth, and it was especially helpful this year. Think of all of the angst and stress that comes with the holidays. Aunt Suzie from Syracuse doesn't like Cousin Clara and they fight at dinner. Or someone else is creating drama. Or something happened between relatives that you still feel bad about. Everyone has this. Now imagine being able to talk to someone who will go to his grave before revealing what you say. You can lay down whatever's on your mind and leave without it. That's what confession is for and believe me, it was what the doctor ordered for us this particular Christmas.)

Christmas morning was for presents. Our daughter got her first tricycle. Pete got an assortment of things from Nordstroms. (Had to replace some of those hideous ties that I either burned or gave to the cats as toys.) I already had what I wanted from Ticketmaster! But since all of my records and tapes are still records and tapes, I found a copy of The Essential Barry Manilow in my stocking to hold me over until I can digitize my music collection.

January 19 was a goal. The one starting point I could believe in. Barry isn't God and he doesn't need to be. That concert represented a fresh start to a new year and was a reminder that the tough couple of months we were going through would not last forever.

December 31 we emptied a couple of champagne bottles (maybe it was 3 or 4?) after the baby went to bed and we watched Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest countdown to midnight.

(Aside: if there is ever a really comprehensive biography on Dick Clark, I'm preordering it the moment I'm able to. Most people don't realize what it takes to recover from a stroke. He not only survived, finished rehab and recovered as much as he was going to, but then got back out in front of the camera! If Seacrest has a brain, he's taking notes for his own career. He has to be one tough human being and that's something a lot of people could learn from.)

The alcohol went right to my head (serves me right for not eating much that night) and I started babbling with Pete. We had spent a week listening to the Barry CD and I was going through all of the memories attached to those songs, and that spread out into memories of other music, much of which I posted earlier under the "Beautiful Music" titles.

He's listening quietly with a dazed smile on his face. I thought he was plowed too but it was more than that. I finally ask him, "What? You're staring."

"I haven't seen you this happy in a long time."

It's just another new year's eve
Another night like all the rest
It's just another new year's eve
Let's make it the best

It's just another new year's eve
It's just another ault lang syne
But when we're through this new year you'll see
We'll be just fine.

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