Empty house.

I’m waiting for the Tylenol PM to kick in.  And I’m up way too late which means that tomorrow has a great potential to suck.

Remember how, two Christmases ago, I was up to my neck in moving and grief?  Remember how I was overwhelmed with parenting and couldn’t even catch a breath to realize, really really realize, what had happened?  Remember that part?

So here I am.  Facing a third Christmas alone.  And completely grateful that we had the good sense to have kids when we did otherwise I’d be like every other single, broke, fat girl in America with my pint of cookie dough ice cream (or, in my case, just the cookie dough) and a DVR full of Glee!  I heart Glee!  Glee!?  Where have you been all my life?  If I didn’t have kids, the whole thing wouldn’t be real.  I mean, if it had been just us and then just me how different would that have been.  Completely.

I remember, that year, being angry.  Angry.  Really angry that I didn’t get the chance to get into bed and pull the covers up and cry.  That I had to get up and feed kids and change diapers and nurse a baby and drive to preschool and shop for Christmas when all I really wanted was to take to my bed.  And wear black.  And have somebody worried about me.

Here’s what’s happening now.  I am working.  And I like it.  I think I’ve said that before.  I’m really good at it I think.  It really is my only marketable skill so I may as well do something  with it.  On the nights that I have shows, the littles are farmed out to family.  Tonight they are with my mom and dad.  Happy for all concerned.  When this first started, me working and them sleeping somewhere else, I relished it.  Spread out in bed with all the pillows.  Nary a cartoon, goldfish cracker or size 11 sneaker to be found.  I worked.  I slept.  Repeat.  And it was good.

Today, months later, I come home to an empty house.  Tree lit.  Toys still scattered. 

And I can’t sleep.  It is 2am and I can’t sleep.  Two Tylenol PMs and…nothing.  Not so much as a droopy eyelid.  (Prince Ambien, why have you forsaken me??) 

I miss the littles.  There.  I said it.  I miss their little snores and their footie pajamas and sparkle toothpaste. 

And now I have the time.  To take to my bed and cry.  And wallow in the misery of being husband-less.  I am beyond angry.  I want to be drained of this poison.  I miss him so much but at the same time I want to move on.  But then I feel guilty for wanting it and mad at myself.  And mad at him.

There.  I said it.  I am mad at Stephen.  I am angry at him for leaving me.  I used to complain to him when I had to do the dishes AND give baths, the last right before he stopped being able to use his legs.  So then there’s guilt.  The guilt that comes with thinking that just because he had the stupid cancer didn’t give him the right to not contribute.

I guess that’s why I’m crying.  I am feeling sorry for myself because I hate the thought of dating but I hate the thought of living alone.  Ever.  And I’m mad at him for putting me in this situation and then I realize how stupid I sound.  Almost as stupid as making your dying husband do the dishes.  Or wanting him to.

Or wishing for a normal life.

Or wanting to wake up from the nightmare.

Or hoping and praying on a rainbow to be the statistical anomaly.

And then you wake up, three Christmas trees later, to an empty house.  And you can’t go back to sleep because you know that for the first time in a long time, it’s okay to cry.

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