We have talked about it countless times and it has never been a comfortable conversation. Not for me. I feel a pit in my stomach; a desire to assume the fetal position and sing lalala while plugging my ears to avoid participating or hearing the other side. I feel uneasy and anxious and heavy.
My reaction isn't out of fear. It's ... it's something else.
I have always carried this tiny bit of resentment with me everywhere we have gone. My husband. Hockey.
His dream. He has given me more than I could have possibly asked
but he also forced me to sacrifice and walk away from things I worked
for, my dream.
I never imagined that over the years his dream would in some ways become my own.
I didn't expect to fall in love with life overseas. I didn't expect to fall in love with the game of hockey. I didn't expect to fall in love with being a stay at home mom. But I did.
When we talked about the end, it was always in the abstract. This chapter will end, a new one will start. Yada, yada, yada. It was all in the distant future, years down the road. It wasn't real.
Until this season.
He went into it confident it was his last. I went into it in the fetal position singing lalala while plugging my ears.
I stayed there until December, when reality backhanded me across the face.
A lot of craziness surrounded us at that time and we realized that if we were going to salvage what little sanity still remained, changes had to be made. He made his plans. I made mine; I had stumbled upon a job opening with my former
employer. I wasn't sure I wanted or even needed the job, but I submitted
my resume. Within days, our wheels were in motion and it was all coming together. We started to feel a sense of relief and maybe even a little excitement.
Unfortunately almost all of it came to a halt when my husband tore his MCL. Suddenly our days were consumed by physio appointments and trips to the hospital. We hardly had time to dwell in the disappointment of it all.
But it wasn't entirely lost on me.
I was headed for another round of uneasy and anxious and heavy ... because he was done. His plans fell apart, he was facing a long recovery, and he wouldn't be coming back. It meant the end of the season and more than likely, the end of his career in professional hockey.
It wasn't in the abstract anymore. It was real.
The chapter I was clinging to was coming to an end and it was time to start writing the next one, ready or not.
The job I wasn't sure I wanted now seemed almost necessary.
Fortunately, the opportunity was mine if I wanted it.
As everything else seemed to fall apart, this one thing came together. Someone, somewhere was guiding us, albeit not so gently, into life after hockey.
We talked it over and agreed that I should accept the offer. I couldn't leave my husband to fend for himself for the remainder of the season, but we had to make this work.
We decided that I
would make a quick trip home to meet my new team and complete any
necessary training, then they would wait for me to finish out the
remainder of the season in Germany.
In late-February, I said goodbye to my boys. I boarded a plane. And I cried my little eyes out.
Tip: If you want a row to yourself, be a blubbering mess during the
boarding process. No one, I repeat, no one will want to sit by you.)
spent the twelve hours it took to get from Frankfurt to Seattle and the better part of my nine hour layover trying
to compose myself. I am not kidding. It took that long. I was that
I frequently joke about needing a break
from the boys. Admittedly, there are times when I am not joking - sometimes I really do need a
break. But I only ever need a couple of hours to myself to
recharge. Then I miss them. I crave them. My whole heart is missing when I am not with them.
I have only left Linden for just two nights, and I was only an hour away. I
have left Calder for one night, again just an hour away. And it nearly killed me.
This time, I left them for three weeks. And I was a world away. Legitimately.
I basically went to Mars.
Stop by tomorrow for more on our next chapter and my trip to Mars ...