Ryan was here ...

My not-so-sweet nothings, mostly comprised of my feelings at losing my two-day-old son, Ryan David, to congenital heart defects, and to celebrate the arrival of Ryan's healthy little sister, Megan Elizabeth, and hopefully welcome another little miracle into our brood in July 2010.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


That's my new favorite word.

(Yes, I've been on a "memorable movie moments" kick.)

Seriously though, it's a good, all-encompassing word to describe myself, since I'm constantly conflicted about my feelings and attitudes toward literally everything.

I suppose I've always been this way, but my ambivalence has become much more pronounced over the last couple of years - most certainly stemming from the loss of Ryan.

But, I wonder if it's more obvious because my mind doesn't have other distractions, and instead I over-think and over-analyze every little morsel that my life is comprised of. Everything is a "should I or shouldn't I?" debate in my head - even the stupid, trivial things ... like what kind of jelly to put on my PB&J.

(Now, there's a life-altering decision waiting to be made.)

But, more often than not, it's the sad, cautious Sherry battling wills with the upbeat, optimistic Sherry. I'm not able to be as innocently optimistic about life as I once was, but it's no fun and not easy being cautious at every turn, either. I'm stuck in a weird kind of limbo, since it seems that harmony will always be too far out of my reach.

The hopeless romantic that I once was still exists, albeit in a much smaller and quieter fashion, and still daydreams about how my life could be, while the doubtful side of me clearly sees the cruel realities in my life. There aren't glasses rosy enough for the skeptic to view things the way the romantic does, so yet another conflict begins.

Hopefully one day I can resolve enough of my struggles to upgrade my ambivalent label for a much less-complicated one: Happy.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

20 Years, already?

I'm officially old.

A high school classmate e-mailed me yesterday to let me know she had received a "save the date" note regarding our 20-year, high school reunion. She figured I hadn't received one of my own since I've moved a lot and have changed my name since the last reunion, ten years ago.

I almost instantly replied to her e-mail, but I stopped myself. I then realized how drastically different my life is now than it was ten years ago when I attended - and helped organize - our last reunion. I can barely remember the girl who blissfully participated in all that planning and preparation so many moons ago.

Anyone who's ever been to a high school reunion knows what goes on at these shin-digs: Who's gained the most weight, whose hairline has receded the most, who's moved the furthest away, who's been married the most/longest, who's still single, who looks the youngest, who has passed away, who has the best job, who has the best children, and on the list goes. The popularity contest never truly ends when it comes to those people you were lumped together with so long ago.

But, I don't know that I can handle skipping down memory lane this time. I'm curious how many of my former classmates have been, of course, but I'm not prepared to handle those same types of questions being thrown at me and then seeing the horrified looks on their faces when I offer honest answers to their inquiries.

Yes, I got divorced from my first husband. Yes, I moved to Florida and then to North Carolina. (Those things almost make me seem trendy and chic, two things I definitely was not in high school.) But, then the line of questioning will eventually turn to the "so, how many children do you have?" question that's uttered countless times at high school reunions everywhere.

Struggling to answer that question once a month (on average) when presented by a stranger is torturous enough; I can't imagine how gut-wrenching it would feel being asked over and over again by prying and curious classmates. Sure, I could politely side-step answering or flat-out lie and say we have no children, which is technically true. But, I can't betray my beloved son that way. He deserves his due acknowledgement whenever the opportunity presents itself. But, if I say that we DID have a child, then that encourages the interrogator to probe further, and we all know exactly how that line of questioning will end.

Not even a simple social function like this is easy for me. All I worried about while prepping for the last reunion was how I looked and if I looked too chubby in my black dress or if I'd drunk too much. I'd love if that were the extent of my concerns this time around, but it's not.

Of course, I could go and just tell them I invented Post-Its. Has someone else sought acclaim in this manner as a means to impress their former classmates and it actually worked?