Posts Tagged ‘comfort’

Friday, April 15, 2011


Yesterday was an even more stressful day than usual for Ceecee at work.  They tend to get that way the closer to the end of the school year it gets.

I knew she needed something to pick her up and I came up with an idea as the day went on.  She’s a kid at heart, so I decided to let her get out of her “grown-up” responsibilities and just let her be a “kid” for a while.

During my free period on the afternoon, I ran over to the dollar store and picked up some sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and a coloring book and crayons.

After work, we went to this little hole in the wall place downtown that has the best greasy sandwiches in town (yes, we’re not supposed to be eating that stuff) and got orders to go.  then we walked to a nearby park where I gave her the things I bought and let her “play.”

The park is adjacent to the local Double A baseball team’s stadium and we saw that they were getting ready to have a game, so we walked over and bought tickets, purely on spontaneity.  It was a great afternoon and evening of fun, and it just came out of loving her and knowing her so well.  It was simple and inexpensive, but it made memories and reinforced my love and the idea that I will always be there for her.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sometimes, when things happen, they happen quickly.  Today was one of those days.

For some time now, I’ve been hoping that maybe Ceecee would be willing to look for a different place to live.  Where we are now is a great place in many ways, don’t get me wrong. 

We picked it out together, even though we were splitting up at the time, and it has a really cool floor plan and a great view.  Ceecee has done a great job of decorating and setting it up to be very stylish, and it has her personality all over it.

On the other hand, the walls are paper thin and a lot of the people who live here party at night and sleep during the day, so that doesn’t work well.  Beyond that, there’s just the constant reminder of the painful part of our recent past, and I’d really like to just start fresh in a place that we picked out to share together and has always just been ours.

We’ve looked at a few lofts, and even started to fill out an application on one, but never really felt like any of them were exactly what we wanted.  Today, I was browsing online and found out that one of the more desirable properties that rarely has available units had one come up. 

I made an appointment to see it, and while we were there, Ceecee whispered to me, “I think this is the one!”  I took the application, filled it out on the spot and went straight to the office and turned it in.  It’s going to be ours!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sometimes it feels like no matter how much joy and newness we’ve found, the past will never let us go.  We’ve come so far and overcome so much and it’s truly been an amazing, wonderful journey.  At the same time, we both keep figuratively looking over our shoulders and waiting for things to begin to crumble.
These six months have had the highest of highs and some of the happiest moments of my entire life.  They’ve also had some real challenges and every time we allow ourselves to begin to think we might be in the clear to keep moving forward without any setbacks, we seem to run right smack into another setback.

Today was a tough one, to say the least.  Some things came out that weren’t supposed to come out and they were serious enough to threaten all that we’ve been able to build since last August.  It was a painful and frightening day and it reminded me how fragile our love still is and how much we really have come through.

On the other hand, it ended up being an opportunity to reaffirm, in the strongest of terms, our commitment to one another now.  It was a chance to show each other and the powers of Hell itself that nothing will come between us or destroy the love we are building.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

There’s good eating, and then there’s good eating!  Lately, we have been eating extremely well!  This is not good for our physical fitness and running, by the way.  I mean, we are supposed to be maintaining a certain level of fitness and eating and drinking whatever we want is not exactly compatible with that.  Even so, we are enjoying life immensely right now.

There’s supposed to be a big snow storm coming in, so we’re prepared.  We made sure we had groceries on hand and those groceries include orange juice and bubbly  I made Chile in the crock pot this evening to eat tomorrow (and the next couple of days, potentially) and Ceecee made pan seared tuna and scallops in butter and garlic for supper tonight.  Now we’re just crossing our fingers and waiting for the phone call to tell us that there’s no school tomorrow.

Friday, December 31, 2010

What a day for reflecting and being thankful.  What a day, period.  Make that, What a day, exclamation point!

It’s the last day of 2010 and I’m completely overwhelmed.  First of all, we’re back home.  We left a little early yesterday to race an oncoming winter storm.  It was moving from west to east and we didn’t want to take a chance on getting stuck, so we headed out and beat it back to Springfield.

It caught up to us after we got here and we’re pretty much snowed in, which is just the way we like it.  Our loft is right downtown, so if we need anything, we can walk down to the Bistro Market or any of the downtown eateries, but we’re warm, we have a great view, and we have everything we need.

Most importantly, we have each other, and a love that just keeps growing.  It keeps getting deeper and richer and I’m treasuring every moment of it.  Today Ceecee said I’m the peanut butter to her jelly.  That about sums it up, I guess.

It’s new year’s eve and when this year started, I had no idea that our marriage was nearly at its end.  I had pretty much been numb for so long, that I wouldn’t have known much of anything about what was going on in Ceecee’s heart or in her life.  I was just going through the motions most of the time because I wasn’t healthy and didn’t have any idea what to do.

Of course, the Spring was when our separation really began.  Ceecee hadn’t moved out yet, but she left me emotionally before she actually found her own place.  I spent the first few months trying to figure out how to stop it all from happening and the next few months changing, getting help, and learning to love her and winning her back.  By time school started, I had moved in to her place and we were gingerly putting the pieces back together.

The plan for the year we are calling the restoration tour was birthed then and it has gained momentum with each passing month.  There has been so much healing that I can’t possibly even attempt to chronicle it all here.  In the background, there is still pain and fear.  It comes from what we went through and some things we’re still dealing with, but it becomes less important as time separates us from it all more and more and we continue to make things new.

Today has been another one of those magical days – a fairy tale.  It’s the kind of day I had given up on.  Here I am though, living the dream.  I can’t take the credit.  It was God who brought this about and Ceecee’s heart that was willing to be changed to love again that’s made this possible.  This was both the worst and the best year of my life, if that makes any sense.  One thing is for certain.  I will never go back to the way things were.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

When we got to Springfield this afternoon, we drove straight to Old Chicago for some football and comfort food. We hadn’t meant to leave St. Louis so early, but my knee is way more messed up than I realized.

We ate breakfast in the hotel with our costumes on, which started some interesting conversation, and we got someone to take a couple of pictures of us. Then we went to the 10K and it was really a neat experience to take in everything from serious runners who were really there to compete, to some really great and even some totally outrageous costumes. The guy who won the costume contest made a huge cage and half a praying mantis sticking up about 3 feet out of the top of it. He made fake human legs hanging over the front, and his legs were praying mantis’ legs running on the bottom. He carried that thing for the entire 6.2 miles.

About 3 miles in, my knee just started killing me. I tried to run through the pain, but I couldn’t. I told my wife to just go on ahead and not let me ruin it for her, but she just kept saying, “We’re together.” She stayed with me while I had to walk most of the last 3 miles and not only didn’t complain, but made me feel like I was the most important thing in the world to her. I jogged a little bit here and there, but never very long because of the pain. When we could see the finish line, we took each other’s hand and ran the last part together. I almost fell because it hurt so much, but I was determined that we wouldn’t walk across the finish line.

After the race, I could barely walk, so after the costume contest was over and the prizes awarded, I hobbled to the car and we went for lunch and then hit the road. It was a shame to be hurt like that, but Ceecee was so wonderful and loving that it almost didn’t matter. I was just a little worried about what the implications were and whether I would end up having to have surgery on my knee.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ceecee wrote, “I’m a 10 cow wife!” on her Facebook today. It goes back to a story we read years ago, and we even watched a cheesy movie about it on DVD once. It’s about a guy named Johnny Lingo and he lives on an island in the tropics. He is legendary for being able to make deals for just about anything, but the people from his home town say he moved away after he married a poor, ugly girl and that he gave 8 cows for her, which is a crazy amount of cows to give for a wife.

Anyway, the person telling the story decides to go find Johnny Lingo, and when he does, his wife is the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. It turns out that him valuing her that much changed the way she saw herself, and she transformed into an entirely new woman.

I can never express how much this means to me. For years, when I was frustrated with our marriage, my main source was that my love for Ceecee didn’t seem to make any difference for her. She came with a lot of baggage from her past, which is fine, but I always believed that being my wife would eventually heal her and set her free from all that.

When years went by and nothing changed, it made me feel useless and like a complete failure. Of course I realize now that I wasn’t loving her properly, and that most of my motivations were selfish, so to read that this morning on her status really made my heart leap with joy!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Ceecee took her praxis test this morning. She’s trying to get certified for Special ed. She figures that if she can’t get a science classroom, she’ll have a better shot with SPED. Then we went out for lunch with Taylor to a place called Tea Bar and Bites. It was so good!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

MAP is kicking my butt. Ceecee’s too. It’s been a really sucky week. At least she’s enjoying cooking. Man, can she make some great food. It was penne with salsiccia last night and three cheese risotto tonight. Coming home to that and a good glass of wine makes it not quite so bad.

I wish I could figure out what’s going on with her. We’ve never been like this and I’m getting worried. I know her job is stressful, but this is beyond problems at work. She’s angry all the time and she won’t let me in. How can I help her if she won’t even tell me what’s going on?

Last Saturday, Ceecee and I were sharing a picnic in Forest Park in St. Louis.  It was a bit chilly, but we had blankets and an adventurous spirit, so we gave it a go.  We also had some really good stuff from Trader Joe’s and Global Foods, a specialty food store in one of the burbs, so we were looking forward to this picnic.

We found a spot by the water before the sun went down and began to unpack the picnic basket.  I had mentioned other such picnics we had shared over the years and we reminisced a bit over these.  I was telling her about these pictures that I often look at where it was a sunny day and she was lying there smiling.  Interestingly enough, that picnic was during our separation.

The very first time we visited St. Louis, we sat in the same park and shared a bottle of wine (probably illegal, I realize) and a European style lunch of fruit, bread, and cheese on the grass not far from the art museum.  Since Forest Park is larger than New York City’s Central Park, we have shared similar experiences in many different locations and don’t even remember where they were or how to get to them now.  There’s something very romantic about spreading a blanket and pulling a cork and sharing an intimate meal of finger foods and vino.

So back to us being separated.  Even when things were at their worst, St. Louis was the one thing we never let go of.  We still went once a month, and for that one day, it was almost as if we were still Brian And Ceecee.  We still had fun, and we still had picnics.

This past weekend, Ceecee said something about it being too bad we didn’t have cookies for the ride home.  She was referring to a special memory we share of buying a box of specialty cookies at Vitale’s Bakery on The Hill.  As we drove home, we opened the box to sample the different flavors.  By the time we got home, we had eaten the entire box.  Although we are normally too health conscious to do something like that, it was completely spontaneous and we laughed and shared and enjoyed every bit of that experience.

When she mentioned it, I immediately had the thought,” I wonder if that was before, during, or after our separation.”  For a time, shortly after we had gotten back together, I obsessed over time frames and what was happening when.  I’m not sure why I thought that mattered, but I was always trying to place events and memories in context of where our relationship had been at the time.

Almost as quickly as I had the thought, another took its place.  I told Ceecee what I had been thinking and then said, “I realized that it doesn’t matter.  It’s just always been us.”  She agreed, “A good memory is a good memory.”

The challenge is to apply that to everything.  It doesn’t matter how or when or why certain things happened.  What matters is to celebrate the good and let go of the rest.  Treasure the memories we want to keep, because they will be part of our legacy, and part of what makes our marriage ours and ours alone.