The Rollercoaster

*This is on my brother’s memorial blog, and I just re-read it for the first time in a long time…it’s dated August 22, 2007*

I’ve had a a pretty good week…workwise, there’s a lot coming my way, and I’m very grateful. Personally, it’s been tough…but I have great friends, an amazing family, and I talk to God throughout the day; I can’t ask for more than that. I had dinner with my parents tonight. My Dad barbequed pork chops and vegetables, and it was delicious. The three of us chatted, argued a little (we’re still us, after all), and just had a nice time. A friend of mine told Layne last week that when I’m not around my family, I gush about how great they are…like, constantly. I thought about this a while, and you know what? I do. I feel so incredibly blessed to know these people…they inspire me, they challenge me, they support me in whatever I chose to do. I did nothing to deserve being born into a family this evolved. I work hard to deserve them…I really do.

As many of you already know, Kevin and I are getting divorced. This decision was not reached lightly, and I have nothing but good things to say about him…but sometimes, something you thought would last forever just doesn’t. And you’re left wondering what you did wrong, how you could have saved it. In the end, I’m grateful for the experience, I’m grateful for the opportunity to grow and to understand this new kind of pain. It’s loss, like when Tyler died…only this time, I’m on my own. I have so much support, it’s true. But there’s no one who can understand the hopes I had in my marriage, and feel the loss I feel with this knowledge that the life I was building for myself, the future I thought I had, is gone. I’m shattered.

After the dinner with my parents, I went to my good friend Nicole’s house. We sat on her couch, drank lattes from Starbucks and talked about our lives and our relationships, just like we always do. I love Nicole, because I know she’ll always be there for me…but she’s not afraid to tell me what she thinks. And she always tells me. She’s amazing. Just before I was going to leave for the night, she had me come upstairs with her to see her two sons, because “they’re so cute when they’re sleeping”. They’re adorable when they’re awake, so I had to see what she was talking about. Sure enough, those little tiny boys in their little tiny beds were quite a sight. They both looked so innocent, so trusting, sprawled out, no covers on. Whenever I see babies or little kids lately, I feel like crying because it reminds me of when Kevin and I were trying to get pregnant, and I worry I may never get to be a Mom now. But when I looked at those sleeping little boys, this time I thought of my Mom, and how she must have looked at us when we were sleeping. How she wanted to protect us and keep us close to her forever. How her heart must have swelled to see our little bodies sprawled out on our beds, no covers on, fully trusting that everything would be ok and we could sleep with no fears and no worries.

You know, I’m scared to someday be a parent. I’m terrified that I may have a child who might be taken away from me like Tyler was taken from my parents…and then I’d be in pieces like they are. And I’m scared to never be a parent. I worry that I’ll never be stretched in that way, I’m worried that I’ll never feel the amount of love my parents have for me for my own child. I also worry that I’ll never get married again. For the first time, I truly believe there could be someone meant just for me. Someone who’s passionate about his dreams, and supports me in mine. Someone who makes me laugh until my sides hurt, and holds me when I cry. Someone who inspires me to do my best…who encourages the best in me, but also accepts the worst. And while I think that this person definitely could exist, I’m terrified that even if I were to find him, I might not see him for who he is, or he might not see me…or we might dismiss each other and never truly give it a try. I think about these things a lot now…maybe too much. Will I make the right choice?

The thing is, though; whichever way we chose is pain. And beauty. Sometimes all at once. I think that to live your life in avoidance of pain is a mistake…pain finds you. But once pain finds you, you’re able to feel it and know joy. If we never had the pain, how would we know when we’re not in pain? And so, I chose pain, I think. I chose the hard choices. I choose the complicated, the difficult…the rollercoaster. there’s a great scene in parenthood, where the Grandma is talking about how she used to go to the carnival. Some people liked the kiddie rides; up and down, up and now…so boring. But she liked the rollercoaster. The long, long climb up, the pause at the top…the short drop down. The rollercoaster makes your stomach jump up into your throat, it makes you feel that excited tingly feeling in your limbs, it makes you feel like throwing up. Point is, it makes you FEEL. In my life, in spite of all the pain I’ve experienced, I am so incredibly grateful…because I’ve also had such elation.

So, the future??? I have absolutely no idea. But I have the greatest family in the world. I have friends who listen to me rant and rave, put up with me when I’m manic, and hug me close when I cry. And I have a relationship with my creator that is growing stronger by the day, because I’m learning more and more how much I truly need him. I am blessed in every way. I’ll take all the pain if this is what I get in return.

-Brianna

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