What I Remember

I've been remembering a lot lately. The spring weather, the shifts of cool and warm days, the crocuses and daffodils, the tree budding outside our apartment, it all has me recalling springs past.

First, I remember myself last year. My swelling belly, and the way I would walk slowly down the sidewalk on the way to yoga class. I remember walking past women pushing strollers and, even if it was only imagined, I could feel their eyes on me, could tell that they knew so much better than I what was in store for me.

This time last year I was full of so much apprehension and worry, so much anticipation of what was to come. I was approaching my last month of pregnancy and everything felt uncomfortable. My hips ached and my back seized. My legs twitched at night on the couch as I watched my belly move with the pushing from inside.

I was so afraid of what was to come, so scared that I wouldn't know how to be a mom. I was afraid that I wouldn't know how to love this baby growing inside me. I was afraid that I would change. I was afraid that I wouldn't like who I would become.

April 2009

This time last year I cried a lot. I missed my mom a lot. This time last year Greg and I painted the nursery. This time last year I woke each morning in the early hours. I would lay there in the dark, Greg sleeping beside me, and I would put my hands on my belly, feel the swirling pushing and pulling within, and I would close my eyes, pray in my own sort of way, for all of this to be okay.

And it was.

Next, I remember two years ago.

It was my second April in Chicago. It was our first month living here in this apartment. Greg and I were ridiculously in love and we would sit out on the deck in the evening, holding hands, talking about all the things we planned to do in the years ahead together. I was six months into my job in hospice and still trying to find a place for it all in my head and in my heart. I went about my days, driving to visit patients in Greg's little, green Honda, driving home again trying to make sense of life and death and all this stuff in between.

At the very end of the month Greg took me to dinner at the Drake Hotel. It was two days before we were leaving for Jamaica, our first ever vacation together. I thought we were going to a media dinner, that we were meeting a PR rep for the restaurant.

Instead, Greg got down on one knee at the table, asked me to be his wife. I didn't cry, I just said yes. I'd been waiting for this. I'd never wanted anything more in my life.

Engaged

And then I remember three years ago. My last spring in Los Angeles. I was living in my little apartment by the beach. I had quit my job and was writing all the time. I was just two months away from graduating with my masters. I was seeing clients in a clinic in the evenings, crossing my legs carefully as I sat across from them in little rooms, listened to their stories.

Those days I was full of hope and the feeling that the world was truly opening itself up to me for the first time in my life. I was about to turn 29.

April 2007

Each morning was the same. I got up, opened the French doors to the balcony, to the bright California morning. I made coffee in the kitchen, checked my phone for messages and then sat down at my computer. Before I began writing I would read my email. I would always scan the list for a name I knew would be there: Greg Boose.

We'd met through a website we both wrote for, had never really met. Greg and I sent each other long emails every day, about our lives, about love, about what we wanted in the years ahead. He was two hours ahead of me in Chicago, a city I'd never been to. Each morning I looked forward to the email I knew would be there waiting from him.

I don't know where I thought it was all going, couldn't have imagined that one year later, two years later, three years later, we'd be getting engaged, would be about to have a baby together, that we'd be watching that baby take her first steps.

All the things we said we wanted?

We have them now. And more.

10 comments

10 Comments

  • Julia
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Undeniably my favorite post of yours in the past two years. Love it 🙂

  • Posted April 27, 2010 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Oh, thats so nice to hear. Thank you!

  • Posted April 27, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Claire! I remember all those memories!!
    Thank you again and again for taking us along with you on this amazing and wonderful ride you are having through life 🙂

  • Posted April 27, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Ha…youre welcome! Thanks for being here!

  • Wendy
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    I can’t tell you much I have enjoyed reading your words as you lived all these moments over the past few years. If I haven’t said it before, let me say it now, I am inspired by how incredibly brave and strong you are and have been…not to mention I admire the openness, honesty, and introspection you display as you share your life through your own words in this blog. Thank you Claire!

  • Posted April 28, 2010 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Oh, thank you so much Wendy! Those are such nice things to hear!

  • Lee
    Posted April 28, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Claire – you write so eloquently, and your posts almost always give me goosebumps. I love how you look at life and how you reflect on the past. You have a beautiful family – I only hope that I will have similar experiences to you one day.

  • Posted April 28, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Oh, thank you for such kind words, Lee!

  • Angela Copeland
    Posted April 30, 2010 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    I fondly remember reading your California posts every day and wishing I, too, had a little apartment on the beach with french doors… I loved reading about your book writing and getting inspiration from your dedication and insight. Your blog has been a lovely addition to my daily rituals for the past few years. Thank you for that. You’re a remarkably intelligent and clever writer.

  • Posted May 2, 2010 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Oh, thats sweet. Thank you Angela! So amazing that you were reading me all the way back then.

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