You Think You know

By Hyla Molander
To view the video of Hyla’s reading of this piece at The Mama Monologues, click on link below:

You think you know how life will turn out, right? That’s what Erik and I thought. We imagined we’d be that old married couple, rubbing arthritic cream on each other’s knees and backs, sixty years later. We planned on having two kids. Only two. And we wanted them to be close in age, so when Tatiana was just 10 months old, I called Erik at Industrial Light and Magic, where he worked as a manager. “Erik, I’m ovulating. COME NOW.” And he did. He raced to my children’s photography studio in San Rafael so that we could make Tatiana that baby brother or sister. We would MAKE that baby. Did it right then and there, where I’d just finished blowing bubbles for a set of four-year-old twins, on my 9-foot backdrop roll. If you want to get knocked up quickly, I suggest doing what we did. Well, clearly, you have to DO what we DID, but what I meant was that after we finished, both of us propped our feet against the purple wall in my studio, so Erik’s swimmers would have a better chance. Let me tell you: the standing-on-the-head-after-sex thing works. We were elated when we found out we were having another girl: our daughters would be nineteen months apart.

At age eleven, Erik had watched his father die, so family was everything to him. We were both 29 and, already, we had everything we had ever wanted. Two rockin’ careers. An amazing baby girl, another baby girl on the way. We were even about to move into our first townhouse in gorgeous Marin county, where I would sit in my redwood lounge chair and watch our daughters hop through the sprinkler in our toy-filled backyard, while their Daddy chased them around. Like most people, we felt the stress of the move, but luckily Erik and I had finally reached the point in our relationship in which the simple FLING of the middle finger could end most arguments. We were happy. And then, on Easter Sunday, when I was seven months pregnant, Tatiana and I watched as Erik slid down the kitchen counter and lay motionless on our white-tiled kitchen floor. I thought he was joking. “Erik, get up.” Then I noticed the blood. There was blood dripping down the side of his mouth from where he’d bitten his tongue. A line of red forever painted in my mind. I called 911. But, even though I told Tatiana that Da-Da would be okay, her daddy wasn’t okay. One minute he was laughing, and thirty-five minutes later, Erik Hayden Grieve was pronounced dead. His heart shut off. Just like that. So, here I am, seven years later. And here you are. We’ve all gone through something. We’ve all experienced heartache or loss. I planned on two kids and a husband who would live until his nineties. Obviously that’s not what I got.

It took me years of therap and medic t py cation to stan before yo today, bu I always kn nd ou ut new I’d get he I also kn I’d find love again. ere. new And, as crazy as my life is now -- wh trying to finish writin my memo Drop De A y i hile ng oir, ead Life – I’m reminded every single day, when I look at my new husban Evan, an our m e y nd, nd four child dren, that I now have even more. n

About Hyla Molande t er Widowed at 29, during her sec W cond pregnancy Hyla Moland knew she h to make m y, der had meaning out of h her tragedy. Sh now does th through speaking engagem he his ments, writing f blogs and m for magazines, mo oderating a wid dowed forum on Facebook, and embracing eac moment with her new husb F ch h band and four y young children in the San n Francisco Bay Area. B After receiving a B.A. in Creative Writing fr A rom FSU, Hyla started her ph a hotography bus siness. Her combined words and ima w ages soon attain worldwide distribution in her “Wise Lit Souls” line of cards and ned e n ttle e ly posters, sen nding the mess sage that our ch hildren are bot our students and our teache Through h most recentl th ers. her released ph hoto book, Finding Light, she hopes others will be remind to seek the light in their d e ded darkest times. Hyla’s writing and interviews have been feat H a tured in Writer Digest, The Good Men Pr r’s e roject Magazin ne, Single Mom Seeking, Wr m riting Mamas, Life360, Scrib Marin Maga bd, azine, Marketi the Muse, T Mama ing The lthyPlace Men Health Rad Show. Monologue National Association of Memoir Writers and The Heal es, M s ntal dio Currently, she is working on her forthcoming memoir, Drop Dead Life: A Pregnant Wid s h g op dow’s Heartfel and lt Often Com Journey thr mic rough Death, Birth, and Rebir B rth. To connect on Facebook, Twit F tter, Scribd, or via email, plea visit: http:/ ase //www.hylamo

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