Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Loving Conor: A Clairvoyant’s Memoir on Loving, Bonding and Healing by Tami Urbanek @tamiurbanek

Monday, November 4, 2013

As I continued to put away the groceries, my mind shifted from my childhood to the summer I turned eighteen when I went to a party with my friend on the Army base. She and I walked into a room full of cigarette smoke, a pool table, and a few guys who had no dates. They weren’t saying much; they were drinking, smoking and playing pool. I saw Nyle for the first time laughing and drinking margaritas out of a pitcher.
I was enticed by his tall, slim build, bluish eyes and sandy blond hair. He looked like he was enjoying himself and when he noticed me standing there, he smiled, sending my stomach into a swirl of butterflies. I wanted to get to know him and it was easy to quickly join in the fun.
Eventually, we began talking and we ended up in my car where we could be alone.
He said he liked me.
“Why is that?” I asked him.
“You’re different.”
“You tell all the girls that,” I said with a laugh.
He laughed too. “Maybe; but it’s true.”
After that night, we began dating exclusively and within a few months, we moved in together. Very soon, I found myself pregnant and we became engaged. Within five weeks of my pregnancy, I began bleeding a small amount. I was afraid that I would miscarry and I made an appointment with the doctor.
The doctor didn’t seem worried about me miscarrying and he sent me home with instructions to watch for more cramping and heavy bleeding. Unfortunately, the next week, I did have more cramping and heavy bleeding and when I returned to the doctor, he told me that I had miscarried. Even though, we had not planned on a pregnancy so early, I had started falling in love with the child, whom I always felt was a boy.
Returning home, I crawled into bed and Nyle crawled in with me, holding me as I cried for our unborn baby. I never knew how Nyle felt about the miscarriage; we never talked about it. In that moment, we decided to get married anyway, despite the miscarriage. This choice would change my life forever.
We were married in front of a judge and had a celebration ceremony that spring when we had the money. We lived in a tiny 500 square foot apartment nearby the Army base where Nyle worked every weekday. I found myself jumping from job to job, never satisfied with anything. Earning minimum wage was the norm for me until I was hired as a telemarketer, earning $10 an hour in early 1993. The problem with telemarketing was that I wasn’t very good at it.
“Hello, Ma’am, may I tell you about…” The phone died. The customer hung up on me.
“Hello, Sir, may I tell you about this prod….” Another dial tone.
One part of the job was that we were expected to pressure the customer who didn’t even want our phone call in the first place. I always felt so guilty about that.
“Hello, Ma’am, may I speak with you about this new opportunity?” I asked the woman who answered the phone one day.
“Well…I’m in the middle of something right now…” she replied. I could hear in her voice that she was elderly and her voice was shaking a bit.
“Oh…well, I’ll be quick. You see we have this great package that you can purchase at a very reasonable price! Let me tell you how you can most benefit!” I continued, reading from my script.
“Well…perhaps I have a small amount of time, but I don’t know…” she said, clearly not wanting to continue, but too nice to say so.
I saw my boss on the phone listening in on one of the calls, and I had a strong feeling that he was listening to mine. Though I knew I’d get in trouble for it, I ended the call anyway.
“I understand, Ma’am. Thank you for your time.”
As I hung up the phone, I looked over at my boss. He hung up the phone and quickly walked in my direction with a look on his face that said, ‘What the fuck?’
“Why did you do that?! You could have sold her,” he yelled.
“She wanted off the phone,” I said.
“So? You can’t do that!” He stomped away.
I gladly ended my shift and never returned to that large room with rows of tables, computers, and telephones.
Within a month, I went back to work at McDonald’s. The same McDonald’s I worked at in my earlier teen years. I felt since they knew me I could quickly become assistant manager and earn more than the minimum wage they pay all beginning crewmembers. I also signed up for two college classes at the community college and I was excited to begin working towards my degree in education.
Very soon after I was hired a McDonald’s, several other Army wives and I took a bus out to the field training area for a special lunch with our husbands. I sat on the hard bench waiting and waiting for Nyle to come meet me. All the other husbands met their wives while I sat there alone, feeling rejected and angry. Tears stung my eyes as I looked down at my lap.
We had not been getting along. He was drinking a lot and was usually intoxicated from 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. Friday until Monday morning. We constantly fought about money. We had talked about trying to conceive again and I was trying to keep one job longer than two months. It helped that I had begun working at McDonald’s.
Finally, Nyle came walking towards me, but I was already so angry that I didn’t have a lot to say. I was also embarrassed that the other wives had been looking at me oddly because I was the only one sitting there by myself. I attempted to cover up my hurt and anger and pretended to be happy to see him, though I’m sure he saw anger in my eyes.
“Let’s go take a walk,” Nyle said.
We walked away from the benches full of seemingly happy couples.
“Maybe…maybe we shouldn’t try to get pregnant,” he said.
My heart dropped into my stomach. I stayed silent for a few minutes, “Ok, well, I don’t think I am pregnant, so yes, ok.” I didn’t want to return to the other wives and husbands with red-rimmed eyes, so I held in my tears.
However, I was pregnant; I just didn’t know it yet. A couple of weeks later, I discovered I was pregnant and I was about six weeks along by that time. I was excited while Nyle only pretended to be excited.
Our relationship stayed the same over the course of my pregnancy. Not much changed in his drinking, though we did move from that tiny 500 square foot apartment to the larger one.
During all of this, I was falling in love with my child. I knew I was having a daughter. There was no doubt about that.Unfortunately, due to my exhaustion, I needed to drop out of college.
I was eight and half months pregnant and on maternity leave when Nyle came home for lunch one day. Right before he left to go back to work, he tenderly placed his hands on my stomach and said, “Now, you need to hurry up and come out so I can take my leave.”
Placing my hands over his, I kissed Nyle, remembering how it was this side of him that I first fell in love with.
Later that day, I went to the Commissary to buy some groceries. Walking down the aisle with a cart full of food, I suddenly thought that I had lost control of my bladder.
“Oh my God,” I said out loud, realizing my water had just broken.
“SHIT! SHIT! My water broke!” I said to no one in particular as I waddled over to the customer service desk, sucking in air and hyperventilating.
“My water broke!” I said, again, to the two women behind the customer service counter. I was not in any pain yet, but I was scared out of my mind.
The two ladies looked at each other in surprise and one of them immediately walked around the counter to help me. In my panic, I wasn’t hearing them clearly and all I could think about was the eventual pain I would experience. I think one of them said she’d help me. As one woman left, the other woman also came around and guided me outside to the front of the store and stood there with me. My head was spinning and I was just following directions, rather than thinking for myself. In what seemed like seconds or minutes, I wasn’t sure; the woman who had left brought her car to where I was standing and opened her passenger door. I quickly sat down on the seat she had covered with cardboard. I was immensely grateful for the assistance as we rushed to the base hospital. I wasn’t sure who was more scared at that point…her or me.
I was immediately admitted to the hospital and the nursing staff called Nyle who called my parents. I was frightened and in pain, but I could not wait for my daughter to arrive. My labor was only six hours long.
Later, the nurse brought in my crying baby and all I had to do was gently place my hand on her head and she immediately calmed down. The nurse seemed surprised, but that moment embodied the bonding we had already experienced before her birth.
I gazed down at this amazing child who meant everything to me. I stroked her head and smelled her skin, breathing in her beauty as I rubbed my nose against her cheek. Next to me was Nyle, smiling down at Bethany. In that moment, I thought we could be a happy family.
Sadly, I was terribly wrong.
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Genre - Memoir
Rating – PG-13
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Quality Reads UK Book Club Disclosure: Author interview / guest post has been submitted by the author and previously used on other sites.


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