Another 20 Year Milestone

On April 26, 2000, I got my tubes tied. I had to fight like hell to get it. Everyone saw this unmarried 20-something of Mexican descent in LA County who did not want to have children. They laughed at me. They tried to get me to get a psychiatric evaluation. They kept telling me I was too young and that I would change my mind in 10 years and then where would I be? Quite annoying. Even on the operating table before they put me under, they asked me if I was sure. I said I was. I knew I wouldn’t regret rendering myself sterile. I was right.

Now that I’m a widow, I know getting my tubes tied was a good decision. I can’t imagine trying to parent a fatherless child while I’m grieving as well. Heck, I’m glad there were no cats left that had to accept the loss of such a great Cat Daddy. Plus, depression runs in both my family and Kevin’s. We didn’t want to pass that trait along to another human being. (Not to mention the child would have an increased risk of suicide!)

Oddly enough, after Kevin died, I was told a few paternal aunts were under the impression that Kevin forced me to get my tubes tied. (Yeah, because a relative’s first concern after hearing her niece’s husband died should be the niece’s fertility status!) They were informed they were wrong.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that childfree women actually enjoy sex more after sterilization, either theirs or their male partner’s. Childfree women who aren’t sterile often fear pregnancy the way some people fear death. Personally, the thought that all that fun could result in having to get an abortion put a little damper on the act. My Catholic upbringing taught me that only abstaining from sex until marriage was the only way to avoid getting pregnant, because birth control has a failure rate. (I was also taught that condoms were useless because some STD’s could still get through.) That stuck in my head, and was part of what prompted me to get my tubes tied in the first place. Plus the fact that my maternal family is quite fertile, and my Grandma got pregnant while on birth control.

So here I am, in my mid 40’s, still grateful that I’ve been able to forego hormonal birth control for two whole decades. It’s saved me quite a bit of money over the years, especially considering I didn’t have health insurance for many years on end.

To any woman in her 20’s who doesn’t want kids, you probably won’t change your mind, especially if you’ve known since you were a kid that you don’t want to be a Mom. Fight for your life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness! I did, and it’s still one of the best things I ever did for myself.

It was 20 Years Ago Today. . .

No Sgt. Pepper here. 😉

20 years ago today, April 6,2000, I stood on a cliff in West Maui and married Kevin. I still smile when I think of that day. Giggling as we held hands and walked behind the minister on the way to that spot. People noticing us and cheering because we were getting married.

It was windy, and our long hair blew everywhere. The kiss, which brings up this line from a Steely Dan song: “So in love, the preacher’s face turned red.” My “smiling muscles” hurting because I’d been grinning for a very long time.

Do I regret eloping and not marrying in front of family? No. Having a wedding with my in-laws would have been a lot of drama. My late FIL married thrice, before and after his marriage to my MIL. (He incorporated at the end of his marriage to my MIL so she didn’t get nearly what she should have. Though she did get to collect benefits once he died.) Not to mention my Large Beaner Family (meant with affection–I’d rather call myself a Beaner than a Latina/x) and the high potential for drama that crowd brings.

The day before we got married, we took a trip into Lahaina to get clothes and rings. I chose a brown dress, and he chose a blue shirt. I can’t fit into that dress, but his shirt fits me well. We got our rings at a reasonable price when Kevin used the phrase “triple keystone” to the salesman. (FIL was a wholesale Jeweler. He allowed Kevin to get his GED and leave high school at 17 as long as he worked for him. Those skills came in handy at times when he’d restore synths. His tools were passed along to a friend who will use them. Tools are supposed to be used, after all, not sit in a box out of sentimentality.)

I’d love to go back to the Hali Kai, where we stayed, and spread a little bit of his ashes into the water. That was a special place for him, long before I was born. It meant a lot to him that we went there together, and that’s probably why he decided to propose there.

I’m listening to Dish’s 80’s Hits channel. I was listening to 70’s Hits, and heard a few songs that remind me of Kevin. Right now, on the 80’s Hits channel, it’s Missing Person’s “Words.” He liked to blast this one from time to time.

I knew I was due for a sense memory attack related to music, so I decided to do that bit of self-care. (Crying while I listen to a song that helps me process the emotional pain due to the loss is really helpful.) Yesterday, I decided to take a bath and listen to music I knew would most likely make me cry.. I decided on Stevie Wonder’s “You and I.” It’s from the album “Talking Book,” which we listened to a lot around the time we got married. (In fact, somewhere on a hard drive there’s footage from this time, where I walked around the condo we rented with the album in the background.) Have you ever cried so hard you have to remind yourself to breather? That kind of crying. I refuse to call it “ugly crying” because I’m supposed to cry like that over the loss of my soulmate, according to my friends.

Today, I’m wearing a shirt with the famous logo for Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of The Moon.” It’s still hard to listen to parts of that album, because that was another one of our favorites. “Great Gig in the Sky” still gets me.

It was a complicated marriage that ended with his suicide. I’ve had 6 wedding anniversary’s as a window now. They’re getting easier. I just have to remember that I have to have a good cry at least once during this time of year. And his death day, and his birthday.

Well, I used up half my lunch to write this, so I’m going to spend a little time away from a computer while I can.