NaBloPoMo: All Things Connected

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BlogHer July NaBloPoMo July NaBloPoMo

This post is brought to you by the NaBloPoMo July prompts from BlogHer. This month, I am writing about connections. 

Today’s Prompt:  Do you think all things are connected?

I absolutely believe all things are connected. Have I ever shared with you the story of how Greg and I fell in love? Well, I think it’s up there with some of the best connection stories ever. If you’ve heard it, I apologize for the repeat; however, it’s proof that all things are connected.

In 1999, I was preparing to perform in my high school musical. My friend Wendy (who had cancer) was granted her wish, and with that wish, she went to Myrtle Beach. My grandparents lived there, so I was always connected to the area; however, after she passed away, I felt drawn even more to the beach just because of that one visit.

Almost seven years later, I moved to Myrtle Beach to join my (then) boyfriend who had started school at Coastal. I had just earned my Master’s in Teaching and had a dream to work in a school there. Within two months, I had a long term sub position, a ring on my hand, and a teeny apartment. Money was tight, so I kept up my “night job” of training at a call center. Soon, stress, age difference, and life paths got in the way. I found myself in a less than ideal situation, and all alone far from family.

When the evil started, I hid in fear. I lied to so many people about what was happening to me, and covered bruises. I couldn’t hide the broken finger, so instead, I told people I was playing with the dog and fell. Luckily, through it all, a dear friend (who I hope didn’t believe me lies, but was just waiting for me to have the courage to be as smart as I should have been) stuck by my side.

That friend, Elizabeth, introduced me to her co-worker, Mallory, after about a year of living in Myrtle. We met at the (infamous) Beach Wagon one weekend and then soon after had a gathering at Elizabeth’s house following Mallory’s move. It was at that gathering that I met Greg and Nurin, even though I don’t really remember too much about the meeting other than Nurin was in on our shenanigans of mentos rockets and she still had long hair then. I was too busy drinking a fight off.

Mallory, Elizabeth, and Me
Mallory, Elizabeth, and Me

I was enjoying time with “my girls”, but inwardly oh, so broken from almost two years of living lies and hiding my pain. After going home for Christmas that year and spending a lot of time with my best friend, it was clear that I needed to break off the engagement, the relationship, and get a new place to live. I felt like I had the courage and was ready to make moves happen.

The worst night of my life behind me, my relationship was done. The ex was moving out, and not just out and down the street, but back to live with his parents. Mallory  and I had formed a bond over line dancing and bad beer, and she just so happened to need a new place to live, so she moved in with me to ease the burden and help heal my heart.

It wasn’t long before I jumped into someone else’s life, as was pretty much my “love life story”, and was trying to blur the physical and emotional pain by finding someone I thought cared about me. A month later, I found out I was pregnant with Arianna. Mallory talked to Nurin talk about options. It’s so weird to think that she had no idea she was providing “medical” information that would have meant a certain beauty wouldn’t sing her a song about being her “Aunt Rin”, but it’s just another connection. The things Nurin told Mallory scared me to death, worse than I was afraid of being a single mom. So, I decided to again hide and Mallory and I kept a big secret for many months.

One down and out day, Greg popped back into my life. He came to the rescue on one of the hottest days of the summer and picked Mallory and I up when her car had broken down. Although he had no idea I was pregnant, something clicked that he really needed to rescue these girls and help them get home. He’s the only person (of oh, so many) that answered our call. Later that same weekend, we spilled the beans that I was pregnant. He started hanging around more, but never really got close with me. I didn’t feel like he didn’t like me, I just felt like he had no real desire to get to know me.

What I didn’t know is that he did, but just didn’t want to get in the way of “what I had going on”. Hmmpfh. He eventually found himself a someone. A few nights before I had Arianna, he needed a friend, and I was the one he called to talk.

The morning I went into labor, Greg happened to be crashed on our couch, only because of the chance instance that he’d been “on a break” from his someone. First, he got mad at me for walking up the stairs to wake Mallory instead of waking him up to get her. Then, he demanded he come along with us to the hospital and await Arianna’s birth.

Greg carrying Mallory’s purse so she could capture the moment of me in a wheelchair in labor.

Greg stuck it out with us through all 15 hours of “labor”, and met my parents just moments before I was whisked to the delivery room. (He’s lucky I didn’t kick him out after he brought orange soda in earlier.) He was the second non-medical staff man to hold Arianna, and I think that’s when and where he fell in love.

Early the next day, he showed up. He walked me down the hall to the nursery, gave me a kiss on the cheek and said, “Good job, Mama” as we watched (our) baby girl get swaddled up after a bake in the jaundice light. He held her, talked to her, and loved her.

Greg and Arianna, love at first sight

And the next day he was at the house, helping my dad with random man tasks like putting a grill up and avoiding the pumped milk in the fridge like it was the plague. In the weeks and months that followed, he was there as much as he could be, one of the only things that would calm ‘lil Miss’ fussy butt down.

His relationship fizzled, but he went to a conference with his parents, telling Mallory and I he was going to find his soul mate. I was not happy. Didn’t he realize his soul mate was  right here? Not that I was giving him much help or hint.

Just before I moved back home to PA, our dear friend Ash (who I should give a shout-out to for helping me lose the broken) decided we should do a BBQ. Greg came and next thing I knew, everyone had gone home (or in Mallory’s case to bed) besides Kendall, him, and me. Tired and emotionally drained, I slid to the floor on the kitchen and next thing I knew, Greg was by my side. He put his arms around me, gave me a “thank God I wasn’t standing or I would have fallen over” kiss, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Greg & Me, First Photo Alone

If that doesn’t tell you how I believe in connections, I don’t know what else could. Greg, I thank you for taking a chance on me and for never putting me in the “friend zone”. You’re an amazing man, and (sorry, besides the kids) the best thing that’s happened to me.

Do YOU believe in connections? 

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