Jon of All Trades

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Here it is: Our last IUI attempt didn’t work.

We are done actively trying to have kids for now. We cannot put ourselves through any more heartache, so we’re declaring a six month moratorium on any and all family planning discussions and decisions.

I wrote a whole thing about this (that I just re-read) and I’ll probably post it next week. I hadn’t allowed myself to grieve over the latest failure, so I was sort of waiting to discover how I felt afterward before I posted it.

The truth is, by this point I’m so sick of feeling sorry for us that I think I didn’t post it because I couldn’t handle picturing the look on everyone’s face while they read another incredibly personal diatribe from me that ultimately broke everyone’s heart. I’m amazed by your love and support for Kristin and me, and I wish I had better news to tell you. But I don’t. And I couldn’t bear the thought of having to react to your well wishes yet again (as strange as that sounds).

And now I hate everything. But I soldier on. It’s all you can do really, and the hardest part is that the universe doesn’t seem to want to let me mourn this anyway. What am I talking about?

My mom grew up with two brothers. Her brother Gary was two years younger than she was. Her brother Mark was 12 years younger than she was. She’s very close to both of them.

In 1985 Gary elected to have a hair transplant. Something went wrong with the anesthetic, and Gary was rendered an invalid. He survived, and I use that term extremely liberally given how limited his life became after this medical tragedy, for nearly 29 years afterward. He passed away on December 7, 2013.

I have no personal memories of my Uncle Gary as I was three and a half when he became an invalid. But, and I wrote this in a personal remembrance book we prepared for his memorial ceremony, I’ve always felt close to him because I always saw how everyone lit up when another round of Gary stories got going. He was a man who loved women, loved drinks, played a mean set of drums, and had a mischievous, impish sense of humor. Everyone tells me how much I would have loved Gary had I known him. I already do.

When I got the news of Gary’s passing, it was the night before I was to fly to Pennsylvania to lead a 3-day company training in one of our field offices. Gary had passed in Chicago. I knew I had to make it to Chicago, so I kept in touch with my parents and resolved to make it there no matter what. And then I proceeded to get rip roarin’ drunk.

I made it to Chicago on Thursday. Gary’s memorial was Friday. Conducting the training was exhausting. The memorial service was emotionally draining, yet cathartic and soothing. I flew home early Saturday morning. Went to a beer festival Saturday afternoon. Sloppily and drunkenly confessed all the things weighing on my soul to Jason that night. Flew out Sunday afternoon for another 2-day company training. Returned home Wednesday morning. Attended meetings all day Wednesday afternoon and all day Thursday. I write this Thursday night unsure of how this piece will end.

For two weeks I stuffed my feelings deep inside a locked drawer within me too afraid to open it again after yet another failed IUI. I should have just fucking let it all out like I did before because this is way worse. I’m all angst, no release. I sometimes cry about Gary, sometimes about the endless soul crush of infertility, sometimes about the frustration at my job, sometimes for reasons I can’t even pinpoint. I’m a fucking mess. Yet despite the exquisite and non-specific nature of the pain I’m feeling pretty much all the time, I’m simultaneously sort of nonplussed by it.

I’ve written so much about everything that’s plagued me this year, I’ve grown worried I’ve betrayed the mission of this site. It reads “Insight | Wit” in the title bar of the homepage, but sometimes I think it should read, “Insight | Misery Porn.” My goal was to write more personally, sure, but it wasn’t to open the door to a seemingly inexhaustible supply of anguish. Whether my writing reflects the current reality of my life, or whether I’ve chosen only to write about the things that have gotten the most attention is worth examining, and is another conversation entirely.

What I do know is that whether I had chosen to write about it or not, this was an incredibly challenging year. I feel like I say that every year, and maybe it’s just a condition of adulthood. All I know is that I cherish the good moments even more now. Even now, after more disappointment at work and totally drained from being home for only 24 hours during a stretch of 4 cities in 11 days, I sit in my beautiful home with two little meowing jerkfaces I adore on the couch with me, doing what I love in writing it all out, listening to Frank Black & The Catholics on my record player, drinking a craft beer, and waiting for my wife – my favorite person – to come home.

You keep going because what choice do you have?

Life sucks, but it’s better than the alternative. So if you see me, I’m probably fighting off something from within my own head. But it’s better because you’re there.

Thanks for being there.

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3 Comments

  1. Spicy Bitch December 23, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Thanks Jon for being so real. I know that my life is exponentially better because you are in it. Thanks for being an incredible friend all these years!

    Sincerely,

    Your Spicy Bitch

  2. Zach December 23, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Hang in there buddy. You and Kristin are the cats meow in my book. You guys are lucky to have each other and a really nice kitchen.

    Sincerely,

    Zach K

    P.S. Sometimes I scream cry into my pillow.

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