Bloom by Kelle Hampton

Bloom by Kelle Hampton

Author:Kelle Hampton
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: 2012-07-08T16:00:00+00:00

Brett was gone for seventeen days, the longest stretch of time we’ve ever been apart and definitely the most trying for Lainey, who asked for him every single day. And as much as friends sympathized with me when they heard I was managing a new baby, a two-year-old, and this giant ball of posttraumatic stress on my own, it was actually a good experience for me, like boot camp is good for forcing a young soldier to unlock all the hidden strengths within him. At the close of every day, after the tears and midnight feedings and cleaning up after a toddler and telling her how many more days until her daddy came home; after shedding a little more sadness and grasping a little more acceptance on my own, without the assurance of Brett’s presence, I proved to myself just how strong I was. And I was far stronger than I ever knew. Surviving seventeen days as a single mama of two, still half grieving/half greeting, became a minuscule version of the grander picture—and I was making it. I could do this.

My cousin Joann—the same cousin who jumped on the bed with me back in the day when I thought vanilla vodka and a bag of marshmallows complemented each other—had booked her ticket to come be with me just a few days after Nella was born. Joann’s not really my cousin. She’s married to my cousin, but Cryderman blood runs thick and when you marry a Cryderman, you, by default, inherit all Cryderman qualities, including but not limited to a compassionate sensitivity that can move you from laughter to tears in six seconds flat, a self-deprecating sense of humor, and the innate ability to shove crap into drawers and closets ten minutes before company arrives to fake a clean house. Joann heard my girl’s first cries because my dad, in a moment of brilliance and glory, thought to call her from his cell phone in the delivery room right before that last push. And although that call ended with happy tears and a promise from my dad that he’d call back with her birth stats, the call that followed wasn’t as happy as she had expected. When my dad told her that Nella had Down syndrome and that she needed to get word out to the family as soon as possible, Joann says she left the high school basketball game she was attending, drove home, told her husband she didn’t want to talk about it, and climbed into the shower where she sat down and cried until no tears were left. You see, that’s another Cryderman quality. We cry. We wear each other’s pains as our own and when there is sorrow, we cry like it’s an Olympic sport. “I have to get to her,” Joann said. “I have to get to her now.” So a ticket was bought and Joann arranged to arrive appropriately while Brett was away.


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