Feeling Bubbly?

Hold on, Loyal Subjects.  The Royal We is about to ramble.

If this kind of thing bothers you, then I will give you a moment to politely X out and move onto another one of your favorite blog sites.  Or Facebook.  That’s always a safe choice.

Cricket, cricket.  Pause, pause.


So as I was saying, I’m about to puke all over you with a bunch of sentimentality.  I hope you’re ready.

I’ve had the most wonderful day.  I woke up at 10 a.m., which is an extreme rarity for me.  I’m usually up at 5 a.m. drinking coffee on the porch and listening to the cute little birds sing.  (These same birds eventually come and deposit their bowels on my freshly done hair weave.  No kidding.  Really happened.  I’ll tell you about that another time.)   I hung out on the porch, stalked my Facebook and blog stats, drank a Bloody Mary, did some homework, went to a dynamite barbeque, and then walked home.  All in all, today was fabulous.

Then I talked with my kids on the phone, like I do every evening when they’re not with me.  They’re with Devon and their step-dad, Felipe, in Santa Cruz, California, for the next eight days for the Fourth of July holiday.  Today, they went walking on the beach, picked up some seashells for my collection and were getting to stay up super late (this is a novelty for them as Devon and I are sticklers about them going to bed early, even in the summer).   They sounded happy, just like children should be.

And then Kate said:  “Mommy, I really wish you were here.  Are you feeling bubbly or sad?”

I think sometimes that Kate is connected on a first-name basis with the boss of the Universe.  She is seriously one of the most intuitive kids I’ve ever met.

I nearly cried on the spot.

You see, Devon and the kids and I used to go to the Monterey Bay area at least twice a year.  I even have an entire scrapbook dedicated to those vacations.  Those were some of the happiest memories of my life.  And now he’s there with them, without me.

Huh.  Just when I think I’m totally at peace with my life and content to be alone, my daughter has to go and say something like that.

I can’t even believe that things have changed so drastically sometimes.  This is not how I ever pictured that my life would turn out.  Here I am, happy, healthy (F U cancer.  I kicked your ass), and content with the way things are… and I’m not with my kids making memories with Devon and the bambinos in one of my favorite spots on this earth.  So depressing.

Do you know how I feel?  Please tell me I’m not alone in this.

If you’ve been through a divorce, amicable or not, this shit can creep up on you at the most unexpected times, whether it’s been 6 years or 20.

I guess that’s what dealing with the death of a loved one feels like.  You can feel fine for a long time, and then that feeling of loss can just hit you like a freak car accident.

No, Devon isn’t dead.  Thank God.  My alimony and child support would suffer too much.  I’d be living out of a raunchy motel room faster than you can say, “evicted”.  Seriously, I don’t want him dead.  He’s too important to the kids, and even myself, I dare say.

But our marriage is dead.  That seriously sucks, even six years later.

So what do I do with these super sad feelings?  In the past I would just shove them down and not deal with them.

But now?  I write.  In fact, I write about them and share them with you.  Then I go pull out that Santa Cruz scrapbook and waste an entire box of Kleenex.  I might even take a Xanex and fall asleep.

Tomorrow I will wake up at 5 a.m., drink my coffee on the porch, listen to those diabolical shit-dropping birds and reflect on how wonderful my life and memories truly have been.  I will think of things to be thankful for, like my health, my kids’ happiness, my positive future, amazing barbecues and bacon.

I’ll probably blog about all of that, too.  Having the purpose of helping others face their divorce with transparency and strength is a pretty good reason to exist.

Blessings, Emily

A rainbow seashell? How appropriate. Devon, don’t feel guilty. Just make sure to get some pretty seashells for my collection and send lots of pictures of the kids. Oh, and write something for the blog. Anything. Peace to you and Felipe.


6 thoughts on “Feeling Bubbly?

  1. It is a sucky feeling. Sucky like it sucks out some happiness in the “expectations for a perfect life” part of your soul. I am a firm believer that everything that happens is part of a specific plan, and damn it, sometimes I just don’t get the plan! I have oodles and oodles of respect for my ex, Greg, who is one of the nicest people on the planet. And while I can’t imagine really being married to him at this point, the thing that bothers me the most is my kids don’t have that loving family unit. You know, the perfect family unit. I throw comfort over myself knowing that what my daughters do have though is two parents who love them beyond any comprehension. I have to believe that is is enough, because it is what I bank all my hope in. I am now going to retreat to my porch, look for some birds, and shit on them for a change! Just to make me smile today. HA!
    Emily Strabala Reese, you rock!

    • My Ex-Cousin-In-Law Michelle,

      First of all, the fact that you even had an inkling of a thought about shitting on some birds is seriously the highlight of my day. I had to collect myself before responding to you. Damn, that was funny.

      Secondly, Greg is pretty dang nice. Ummmm… too nice, and you know what I mean by that. We’ll keep the reasons between the two of us.

      Thirdly, Fourthly and Fifthly, your girls are beautiful, wonderful, smart, funny and empathetic young ladies. Not only is Emily named after me (aw, shucks), they really have turned out awesome in spite of your divorce. That is a testament to your amicable relationship. I can’t imagine being married to Devon either, but we still do have a loving family unit. It just looks really different than I ever imagined. I mean, what is perfect these days? I think I know more people with kids who are divorced than those who are “normal”. Normal really means loving one another, which we should do to everyone, and I dare say, even our ex’s (gulp. I may catch some “unfollowers” for that one). That’s been my experience anyway, people.

      Michelle, enjoy your porch and your bird-dump. Maybe you and I need to take a little trip to wine country and make some scrapbooks of our own.

      Love and blessings, Emily

  2. I know exactly what you’re talking about. You, Dev, and the kids were once a happy family unit…well, as happy as you all could be in that reality. You had happy memories. You shared things. You were with your kids all of the time. That’s what sucks for me. Feeling like I have given up half of Titus’ childhood so that I could be happy. What a bargain. I understand why people stay in a marriage for the kids. It isn’t just for the kids, it is for you as a parent – so you don’t have to suffer the agony of being away from your own child/ren for any more moments than necessary.

    Can you tell I struggle with this, too? Your kid is having happy family memories without you there. You don’t get to tuck your kid into bed every night. Your kid now navigates two homes, two worlds, two families. And so do you – one existence with your kid, another without.

    And don’t even get me started on the difficulties of cultivating a romantic partnership while being a parent. When you do that before you have kids, they don’t have to witness the hours on the phone, the obsession with a new lover, the pain of a breakup when it turns out that the one you thought you might want to really be with isn’t going to be there after all.

    All I can do is go back to my childhood – enact family, family vacations, one household – those were good things to receive from my parents. But, by being true to myself, coming out, deciding with my ex-husband to end our marriage so that we both could have the love we desired and deserved, I have given my son something I was not given…you must be true to yourself.

    Today I’m MS’ing… PMS has passed). I’m overwrought with emotions for a variety of reasons. I guess grieving the loss of something good to have something better is present now as well. So, I forge on, determined to notice the beauty and blessings around me today, to continue to create a life worth living, and model to my dear boy a life of integrity and gratitude.

    • Nan, you’re such a good writer. I learned from the best. I also learned every word for “poop” that ever existed from you. For that, I’m eternally grateful.

      I guess the only thing that I can really say is that in the end, kids truly are resilient. They react and adapt by our example. If we set a good example in dealing with the changes regarding a different life than “normal”, they will follow our lead because they love us.

      I can’t wait to see what our kids will turn out like as adults. I’m betting my right pinky toe on the fact that they will be more mature, more flexible, more empathetic, more wise and more responsible with their choices than most of their peers… due to how we handle ourselves TODAY in front of them, our willingness to be transparent, and our example of strength through the most trying of times.

      Love you, friend. Be well. Blessings.


  3. Hi Emily and Devon. I’m on WordPress. Come check out my blog!! Tough one, Emily. But I love that you have a sense of humor and that you and Devon always do what’s right for the kids. And, you are so strong!!! Hang in there. Love, Amy

    • Hey, Amy! Holy cow! So good to hear from you!

      And I will seriously check out your blog. What a great outlet for you. Your two awesome boys probably give you tons of material…

      Love, Emily

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