I've been thinking lately that maybe it would be nice to be one of those people who remember everything that happened on any given date in history. You know, those people they periodically interview and quiz on the inane morning television "news" shows? Because eight months ago, clearly, I was oblivious to any and every little detail of my life. That is to say, I can't remember what happened that fateful week Calla died.
What I do remember is it was shortly after New Year's, after the blur of the winter holidays. We must have been coming down from that whirlwind. And I remember it was cold. Bitterly cold, slushy, and we were headed down the long road to the heart of winter. I delivered her on January 9th, but learned she was dead on the 8th. It was a Friday, late at night.
I remember all too well that night, that weekend, those sights and sounds.
I remember going, on that Wednesday before, toddler in tow, to the shopping mall, obsessively searching out a bracelet I'd seen a few days earlier. I remember feeling like a lunatic, bringing my wiggly son to a shopping mall, all because I wanted this bracelet I couldn't find online and I had a 40% off coupon and it was good only that day and I was, as you can tell, obsessed with this damn sparkly thing.
I remember the British-accented salesman telling me I should be pregnant always, because I looked so lovely pregnant. I remember saying, light-heartedly, "Oh gosh no! Don't wish that on me!" If only he knew. Did he curse me?
I remember going, on that Thursday night, to the photographer. Somehow during the holiday festivities I remembered I was close to my due date, and we'd better get a move on with these prenatal/maternity photos before the baby arrived. The three of us trooped off on a dark Thursday night and our photographer took dozens of family shots, shots of me and my giant belly. The night before she died.
Or was she already dead? When, exactly did the panic start to set in; when was the last time, exactly, I felt her move? I have no recollection.
I wonder all this now, as I obsessively track Petit Trois' every move. Why wasn't I worried back then? Were there signs earlier in the week that I ignored? Was she squirmy and active, gradually slowing down, or was it all of a sudden, out of the blue? Was I THAT naive that I didn't give it a second thought if she was moving less?
I really can't remember.
What I know now, however, is that week, those last days, are the dividing line between what was, and who I was then, to what is, and who I am now. The calendar block barrier between innocence and loss, happy anticipation and waiting for the other shoe to drop. The former, clearly oblivious pregnant woman, and the panic-at-the-drop-of-a-hat, give-me-some-m&ms-so-I-can-feel-this-kid pregnant me, now.
As Phish once sang, 'Take the highway to the great divide.' If I could, would I go back? Some time-travel fact-finding recon? I just want to remember, without actually having to remember.