Sleep evaded me. And the only thing that was harder than falling asleep was waking up and realizing the truth all over again.

I was alone.

It wasn’t even that I was alone – it was that the relationship I had finally believed would last had ended. And that it had all been a lie. For the first time in my life, I allowed myself to be completely vulnerable with another person, and he had been lying from the very first day that we met. I wasn’t living a lie – he was.

So the talk about being “the one” and marriage, kids, moving in together – it was all a show for the outside world.

For a while, I didn’t see a reason for waking up in the morning. I threw my sick and depressed self into mindless hours of Netflix binge-watching. It was when I started “Prison Break” and finished the four seasons in remarkable time. In fact, it was really the only “comfort” that I found. It sounds silly, but I found comfort in watching Wentworth Miller and Robert Knepper play out their roles on screen. The opening credits and theme was something dependable. I guess that’s why I felt I needed it so much. It was the one thing I could depend on when other people had failed me.

And then there were my nephews. At such a young age, they didn’t know what was happening except that I was sick. (And I was – two rounds of antibiotics and steroids seemed to be doing little for what doctors feared would become bronchitis or pneumonia.) I was exhausted – from illness, lack of sleep, and crying, but in these sweet little boys I found that I was still needed. I was still wanted. They didn’t care that I was sick – they wanted to be near me. To care for me. To bring me my medicine. To curl up next to me and watch a move on Netflix – even try and suffer through an episode of “Prison Break” just because it was what I was watching.

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When they left to go home – they live a couple of hours away – I felt that emptiness return. I also had realized something, though. I realized that in the week they had been visiting, I had squandered away precious time with them that I was never going to get back. As my infection dissipated and life moved on even with my sad ache, I made a promise that I would never, ever again let another day go to waste with them.

Since what I refer to as my biggest heartbreak (so far and hopefully ever) – I have become a better aunt and person. As I sit and type this out, I am looking across at one of my sweet nephews on the couch…and I realize that it’s time I end this post and go ride bikes with them. 

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