The Empty Room

Have you ever had a moment in your life where you can just remember it forever and ever? Yes, I know I have a ton. I’m the type of person who actually really does marinate in the moments – where I know that exact moment will never come back again. I actually stop and say- yes this is one of those moments, take a picture so you can go right back to it… even in 20 years. I hate being able to feel every single moment in my life, but God do I love it too.

I remember I just gave birth to Hudson and Howie could not spend the night in the hospital with me because he had to be home with Jules- where, in her mind, she was still the only child. I was laying in my hospital room with my itty bitty baby boy that I prayed for every single day and I could not stop crying. I didn’t want to leave the hospital. I didn’t want to ever leave my baby. I didn’t want to share Jules or Hudson. It’s hard to explain, but I remember wanting them to be my babies, but not together. I was frightened of the chaos that was about to hit. I was afraid to feel all those other moments that left a pit in my stomach.

In that empty room, nothing else mattered. I wasn’t jealous, or obsessive. I wasn’t angry or resentful. I wasn’t on social media comparing my life to everyone and anyone. I didn’t feel trapped in my anxieties and insecurities. I wasn’t in fight or flight. I was content. I was elated. I was infatuated with bliss. I felt complete. I was the most happy I’ve ever felt. I didn’t have to answer to anyone or feel rushed. I wish I felt that more.

In that exact moment, the world actually slowed down for once- or maybe I just slowed down. I just laid there in silence with Hudson tucked away in my shirt. I can actually still hear the silence. I haven’t heard that silence since that day. Those few hours were the only few hours that Hudson, my second child, didn’t have to share me. I had that with Jules. Not with my second and that makes me a little sad. But for that small but big moment, it was just him and I.

I remember telling the nurse that I was hungry and she told me if I wanted to walk to the cafe she would watch Hudson. Don’t worry, she told me she would get me food, but I felt like I was higher than a kite and that I could apparently conquer the world with my euphoria. Keep in mind I just gave birth the day before so it wasn’t a fun walk, but I did it and I also finally didn’t have gestational diabetes so I could eat carbs and sugar like a normal non OCD human. I came back and saw my empty room. Hudson was at the nurses station, Howie and Jules were at home, and my family left. I was alone. Myself and God. I broke down crying.. full out sobbing, like a real baby in a literal diaper, sobbing. I took the picture of the empty room as a reminder for me to slow down. To breathe. To marinate in the moments. To stop rushing and trying to please everyone. To stop trying to make everyone happy. To listen to myself and just be. I took the picture to remind me how I am at my roots- without kids, without a husband- but who I truly am with all my memories from life engraved in my soul and my heart. Those memories have shaped me into who I am today.

Tonight, after our little family mediation (howie was working), Jules fell right asleep and little Hudsie crawled under my shirt onto my belly. We read a story and in that moment, I got to be with him… in silence. No competing or screaming or fighting or playing or yelling. Because that’s what 3 and 5 years old do hourly. Ok every second really.

He picked out the book, “Welcome Little One.” Of course this was the book we got when he was born filled with all his little birth stories and details. This, of course inspired me to show Hudson all his baby pictures (and send all of them to my sister hahaha) Cue the empty room.

You might have an empty room picture. A picture that makes you cry, smile and feel so grateful. That moment felt like a warm Sunday morning with no agenda, no one to answer to, that first sip of coffee, that feeling when you’re super cold and you first go into the hot tub, that feeling after you finish a yoga class or a massage. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt that content in my life than those moments after birth.

I have a million “close your eyes” and “empty room” memories, but this one gets me hard. A few more that hit me hard- my Gramps locked himself in his car blasting Rod Stewart and he wouldn’t let anyone in- but me. He was afraid to see my Grammas headstone and when he took my hand to go see her, he tried to dig her up and curse God for taking her first. It was then that I prayed for a love like that. When my first real actual love drove away for what I knew would be the last time…ever. I knew I would never see him again. It was like he died and I needed to heal that part of me. When I got to hold my Grampas hand while he was tubed and already gone- I told him he could finally go be with the love of his life eternally. Giving birth to my first baby. Finding God. It’s these moments that create us. Those moments put us together like a puzzle.

That empty room spoke to me. It said- so this is your purpose. Don’t forget your roots and who you are. Don’t answer for anyone but you and God. Stop and breathe- even if you have to hide in the bathroom to gain composure. Set a good example for your kids. Tell yourself you’re beautiful and strong and believe it. The world is chaotic and fast and scary, but it’s also full of love and happiness if you keep your heart open and believe, you will see. Be the best version of you and if you have a bad day, who cares because God invented tomorrow. Remember that moments don’t last, but memories do and some will be good and some will be bad. The bad make us stronger. The good make us grateful.

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