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...over-educated and under-experienced, or so they say...

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Need A Cheerio?

So it's been about 5 months since my "dumped by the dumpster" debacle (or, to be more exact, 164 days, and yes.. I'm still counting).

My brother is, though he would probably prefer I not say it this way, "the shit."  He's by far the coolest person I know.  And he has seen me go to Hell and come back shining more than once, unfortunately.  And every trip I've taken into Hell, he always seems to be the one waiting for me at the gate when I come back out.  He's just that man, and this particular time was no different than the trips I'd taken in the past -- meaning, he still found a way to be there for me when I stepped out of the fire, wounded and completely broken.

It was the Sunday after the day I was supposed to be married.  I had spent the previous day, the day I was supposed to be married, putting on a front to all the friends who had come out of the wood work to help me move into my new apartment, and the following Sunday my parents, my aunt, my cousin, my brother, my sister-in-law, and my sweet little nephew who had all planned to come out for the wedding still came out to see me.  And really... I didn't want to be seen.  I had no desire to see anyone.  I was completely broken and humiliated by the entire experience.  But here they were, trying to make something "positive" out of something beyond "negative" and... I couldn't deny them that attempt to heal me, even though I completely knew their attempt was all for naught.  I did, however, want to see my brother, and God bless him, he was the first to show up that dreadful Sunday.

He walked in and hugged me.  I didn't cry, I was just drained, and he asked me if he could help with anything, so I sent him to the computers because my brain was too fried to hook that shit up.  So he got busy working on that while the rest of the family slowly straggled into my new home.  And as they came in, they each brought "house warming gifts" that were really wedding gifts that they hadn't even had enough sense to remove the stupid wedding wrapping paper from before they gave it to me but... oh well... I didn't say anything about it.  Life was shit and that was pretty much the beginning and end of it.  And as they proceeded to walk through my new apartment, which really is a nice and impressive place (I do admit that), they were saying things like, "Oh!  Look how nice this is," all I could do was look at my brother and say, "As if I'm excited to be here right now."  And my brother, knowing exactly where I was at, simply held onto whatever computer cord he had in his hand and said, "I know."

So after all that weird bull shit, we made our way to one of my favorite gluten free restaurants (because damn it, if I have to put up with an awkward family moment the day after I was supposed to get married but didn't because of six drawers of socks and cabinets full of glad lock containers, these people are going to eat where I wanted to).  And I was sitting there in absolute darkness and was hating every minute of it.  And my brother sat down next to me, with his son on the end of the table and his wife directly across from him.  And his wife pulled out a little container of Cheerios and she handed it to my brother, and they both took turns finding ways to entertain my little 2 year old nephew who was working really hard to reek havoc and I secretly wanted him to because... well... the state I was in... someone should, and it would be much more acceptable for him to throw a fit worthy of a toddler than myself, but my brother was very good with the Cheerio timing.  Every time the nephew started to get a little rough, my brother threw a Cheerio his direction and suddenly the kid was happy for a moment.  And it went like that for a while: a tiny fit, a Cheerio, a tiny fit, a Cheerio.  So I was watching all of that, because it was way better than where my head was going, and just as my aunt said something that rubbed me wrong and I sat there trying to figure out how to respond and not sound insane, my brother leans over and says, "Need a Cheerio?"  And he planted a Cheerio down right in front of me, and I couldn't do anything but laugh, because the timing was perfect.   Yes... I need a damn Cheerio.  Thanks.

I took a couple trips to the ladies room, just to wash my hands for no apparent reason, but mostly because I needed to escape the space because it was getting on my nerves.  Each time I came back from the bathroom and sat down, my brother leaned over and said, "Need a Cheerio?" and again, planted a Cheerio right down in front of me, and again, I couldn't do anything but laugh because yes... I needed a damn Cheerio.

And after what seemed like an endless amount of uncomfortable time, the waiter finally brought the food.  And after the food was on the table, my dad said, "Let's say a word of prayer."  So we all bowed our heads in prayer, my mother sitting directly across from me, and as the prayer ended, I noticed that my mother was still bowed and very strange looking, like... she died.  And so I just sat there staring at her for a minute, and it wasn't long before the rest of the table was staring at her for a minute because I'm pretty sure they all thought she died, and then she suddenly raised her head up like she just woke up from a deep sleep.  And my dad said, "What were you doing?"  And she said, "Well, we bowed our heads to pray and it felt like such a good stretch on my neck, I decided to stretch it for a while longer."  To which I replied, "Well I'm glad that's all it was, because I was pretty sure you died right there and I was sitting here thinking about how awesome that is that my mother just died on the same weekend that my man dumped me for six drawers of socks." And then everyone at the table started laughing because I said that, and my brother leaned over and handed me another Cheerio.

I pretty much held it together the whole time, even though I was lost somewhere between screaming and crying, but when it came time to leave and say goodbye to everyone, I couldn't help it anymore... I cried.  I gave each person a hug and I cried just a little every time they said something genuine and kind.  And my brother... I think I cried just a little bit more when he hugged me goodbye, but he stayed strong, like always, and just let me be.  And I pulled myself together and I got into my car with my daughter and just as I was ready to leave the parking lot I heard my phone go off.  I picked it up, I checked the text messages, and there it was... "Do you need a Cheerio?"

I love my brother.

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