“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend." - Sarah Ban Breathnach

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Loneliest Summer

Summer has always been my favorite time of year.  Growing up, I had endless freedom to explore and create my own adventures.  Popsicles, lemon aid stands, bicycles, sprinklers, crawdad catching, hiking, swimming, ghost stories under the lamp post at night.  I grew up, and I transferred my love of the summer to my children and lived vicariously through them.

Well.  CFS changes everything, doesn't it?  The Summer of No has turned into the loneliest summer.  Our 4th of July tradition when I was a kid was to spend the entire day at the beach.  We would build a big bonfire as evening fell.  We'd eat roasted hot dogs and marshmallows.  We'd pile up in camping chairs and under blankets as the temperature dropped and the night darkened.  Then we'd watch fireworks off the pier.  We'd fall asleep in the car on the way home, and my dad would carry each of us into the house and tuck us into bed.

What would I have done this year if I had been "normal?"  I would have enjoyed watching my kids in the 9 am bicycle parade, followed by water games and adult gossip at my neighbor's house on Saturday.  That night, I would have taken my kids to the secret dirt lot that is just perfect for watching the "early" fireworks.  Most of my friends know about this secret spot; we would have had little ones running around with glow sticks and necklaces, a table of snacks, and more adult gossip.  I would have gone to church with my family Sunday morning.  Then, in the evening, I would have watched my eight year old son participate in a patriotic choir performance.  I understand he was the loudest one singing in the first song, but he didn't yell.  The second song, he wasn't the loudest, but that's just because Julia was yelling, and that doesn't count.  (As described by my ten year old son.)  After that, I would have joined my family at another secret location to watch the big fireworks displayed from the city.  I would have tumbled into bed exhausted and happy after so much time spent with family and friends.

But I didn't.  Saturday, I stayed home and worked a little on my novel while my kids played video games.  I made them do a little housework; I did a little laundry.  Sunday, while the rest of the family was off enjoying the festivities (because my husband is wonderful that way), I watched multiple episodes of What Not To Wear and HGTV Design Star.

Sometimes, I really hate this disease.


Renee said...

Oh Shelli
I ache for you...I have been there ~ I remember staying home many 4th of July's and other special times while my hubby went off with the family to make sure they got to celebrate! It really stinks, hurts, and makes all involved a little sad. These losses are beyond comprehension for you and yours.
I so agree with you....sometimes I hate this disease....
Gentle hugs and an understanding nod from my corner of the world...

Anonymous said...

Wow; I understand..we are not alone in this. I am recently feeling isolated because I will not be the "clingy wife" who would be upset if my husband wants to play golf or get together with friends. However, my pain and fatigue leaves me feeling "left out" quite often. I stinks. I wish all of us a better day in the future.

Dusty Bogwrangler said...

My partner and I were only last night planning a trip to family and I was saying how 'left out' I felt last year. Frankly, I'm dreading it because I just can't keep up with what's going on.

Whichever way you look, everyone loses. But you are writing, and I wish I had the gumption to sit down and get on with my novel. You go girl!

Anonymous said...

But you are writing a novel? So cool! Maybe this dd will give you more time to do that?? Regardless, I be jealous of you! :->

Sue Jackson said...

Hi, Shelli -

I'm just back from vacation and trying to catch up. I'm so sorry to hear you had a tough holiday weekend. I've had plenty of those myself so I can relate.

I felt pretty good this weekend, except I was tired from all the unpacking, laundry, etc. associated with re-entry back to normal life. If only I could stay on vacation permanently, with no responsibilities, I could feel so much better!

I did go along to the fireworks but was totally wiped out afterward (and the next day too).

Hope you're doing a little better by now.


Shelli said...

Thank you -- I can always count on you guys to make me feel better.