Tag Archives: sad things

Radio Silence

Remember that time, a couple weeks ago, when I was all “ha ha ha! I made up a funny song about winter and I love the Muppets and Lambchop and stuff…” Remember? To be perfectly honest with you, that was kind of like a desperate attempt at keeping my head above water.

One last gasp before I went down.

And down I went. Into depression, like quicksand.

Too many metaphors, Cho (that’s what my brother used to call me, pacifier hanging out of his mouth, and sometimes I call myself that in my head). Water, sand, sinking, it’s all too much. But none of it’s clear to me either. Because depression is like that.

Suddenly, or perhaps not so suddenly, but eventually, I was unable to muster up the energy necessary to do even basic daily things… forget about writing (for fun– I didn’t want to get fired after all, but even writing at work was hard). I mostly just sat around, laid around, moped around. For quite a while.

Things are back on the up and up, the sun is shining a bit more often, some of my flowers are blooming (some— it is Wisconsin, after all), and I feel like my mood is making some progress.

Crocuses are done… now I’ve got blooming hyacinth, but only one daffodil so far. Enough rain, need more sun!

I had a therapy appointment today and it was pretty good. He helped me to realize that it wasn’t an all of the sudden thing, but rather a series of relatively big stressors in rapid succession (as an example, I had to cancel my last therapy appointment because I had to go to the dermatologist to have my crazy hands taken care of and I had to take Curls to the vet because her pin sites were oozing… so there’s that) and I have a plan for continuing forward (you know, time spent outdoors, learning to (gulp) meditate, and blogging).

Ultimately, I know that my life is a good life and I have a million and four reasons to be really, really happy. But I also know that sometimes my neurons don’t fire quite right and even getting out of bed in the morning (or off the couch or floor in the afternoon or evening) is unreasonably difficult. I don’t know why it happens, but I know that it will probably always happen, off and on. So I have to baby step my way out of it.

What then, pray tell, ought my bloggy baby steps be?

Amazing things, that’s what. Things worthy of my obsessive attention, anyway. Amazing is relative, after all.

I posted some tough stuff recently and I broke my soul or something. (Also, I’m crazy over-dramatic.) So for now, a little bit of positive. I started a list of A to Z amazing things that I’m super (read: overly) into in a way that was totally inspired by my friend Lara’s April A to Z Challenge… but very, very late. Because now it’s May and I feel like I can move my fingers again.

I can’t make promises regarding frequency or consistency, but I will do my best. So join me, will you? And soon we can discuss everything from General Lee’s surrender at the Appamatox Courthouse (also The Alligator and apple butter) to the deliciously hilarious Derrick Zoolander (what is this?! a center for ants?!!).


Most importantly, thanks for hanging around despite my recent silence. Either people still check in every once in a while or I have a LOT of bot traffic. Because I can’t tell the difference, it totally makes me feel good. So thanks, whoever you are, bot or not-bot, you’re awesome to me and I appreciate it! (For the bots out there, that’s: beep-boop-beep-beep-boop.)

Curly doesn’t seem to mind all the moping 🙂

I’m a Little Teapot

Perhaps sometimes there really is no silver lining. Sometimes something is just plain terrible.  The unexpected ending of a life, a relationship.  However, that doesn’t make that thread any less important in your tapestry. It’s still there and even though dark and gloomy doesn’t feel good, it’s part of the picture, it serves a purpose, whether or not it’s something we can understand. The story I’m about to tell you is like that– it’s sad, I don’t understand it, and neither will you, but I did learn something and that’s what I need to tell you about.

In 2000, my friend Nate passed away– suddenly and tragically, just days after his high school graduation.

Nate and I grew up together. He lived just two houses down the street and I think he spent as much time at my house as he did at his own. His parents were my parents and mine were his. I went to family reunions with him, we played GirlTalk with his cousins, and he played Ninja Turtles with my brother when my sister and I were making him do too many girly things. Our families were incredibly close and we all loved Nate. When he died, we were stunned.

There are a lot of things I remember about Nate– the last time I saw him, his big bright smile and blue and white striped shirt, the celebration of his life, his beautiful life, at his funeral, his football number (64), the day we fished for catfish (and I actually ate it!), and the first time I laid eyes on Janet’s beautiful furniture (she was the most sophisticated woman I had ever met)– but none of these things are as poignant as the wake. That wake will stay with me forever and ever, for a number of reasons.

First, the line. The line to see Nate wrapped around and around the building. So many incredibly sad people, lined up to say goodbye, lined up to tell CJ and Janet how sorry they were, lined up to shed some tears. It was a line from here to eternity. I have no idea how long we stood in that line. But I know how I felt every moment. Scared.

I remember the body. How it was only the body because Nate was not there. He looked like Nate, he was dressed like Nate, but it obviously wasn’t Nate. It was more like a wax museum statue of Nate. His soul, his self, the thing that made him Nate wasn’t there.

I remember my parents. They. were. so. sad. I remember my dad crying and touching Nate’s face. I remember my mom hugging Janet while Janet cried, “Beth, our baby! Our baby is gone, Beth!”

And I remember being alone with my grief for just a moment. Tears streaming down my face. Recognizing Nate in that coffin and knowing that this was real. I remember the way it felt for my parents to be busy dealing with their own grief and unable to deal with mine. And it was hard because I needed someone to comfort me.

And then someone did. Two someones did.

First, the nurse.

She was a tiny little lady in a pristine white nurse’s uniform, complete with the little white hat. She had a box of kleenexes and she handed me one. She hugged me and said, “It’s ok, baby girl, you let it out now.” And I did, I let it all out– the tears, the snot, the sobs. I couldn’t stop and I didn’t care. I just needed to be sad.  She was an angel on Earth, I wonder if she knows that.

Second, the judge.

Nate’s grandpa, Janet’s dad, was a judge. He was a big, tall, regal-looking man and if I gave you three guesses as to his profession, judge would have been one of them. You just knew he was important and decisive. And he was the second person to hug me at Nate’s wake. And he told me, and I will never ever forget what he said as long as I live:

“God made use like teapots. Crying is how we release the steam.”

Yes, God made us like teapots. And crying is how we release the steam.

Have you ever heard a more beautiful analogy? Have you ever just needed a good cry? Have things ever gotten to the point where crying was the only option, nothing else would do? Because God made us like teapots…

I spent days, weeks, a good long while completely stunned and a lot of that time is very blurry. I remember coming home from work and my parents asking me to sit down while they told me the news. And I remember crying. I remember the skirt I wore to the funeral. It wasn’t black. I remember being at Pioneer football field. I remember the song those four guys sang. I remember being sad. But most of all, I remember that God made us like teapots, and crying is how we release the steam.


Click here and scroll down to read Nate’s thoughts on living life with no regrets.


Number 64