Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: Taking Stock--Now With a Bonus PS!

Holy cats. The phrase "what a year" does no justice to this abomination. But that's not entirely true, is it? Never black or white--always just gray, gray, gray.

One year ago tonight, C and I spent a quiet night in watching "Up," hanging on the couch; I'm not sure if we actually saw midnight, but Calla was alive and, um, well? in my belly. I can't say with confidence, though, that she was well, because she died not a week later.  And thus began the worst year of my life.

And while it did end well, and we ARE on a new path, things were really, really rough throughout the past 12 months. Learning to live without my baby was the worst lesson to learn. My entire life was so completely altered, in every possible way.  Finding out I was pregnant just two months after Calla died was thrilling and excruciating, and the next eight months or so were nothing short of psychological warfare. It was a constant struggle to stay focused, positive, hopeful, all while deeply and desperately grieving my daughter.

It wasn't just me, either. I sat helplessly by as so many of my friends and family members struggled with life-altering happenings, too. Two friends hospitalized for mental health, one family member hospitalized with a life-threatening medical emergency, one family member battling a mothereffer of a disease, one friend losing her job, one friend serving a man with a protective order, the death of a father, a breakup, C's mysterious health issues cropping up again and again. I'm sure I'm missing more significant things, but I'm on a bit of grief overload . . .  Peel back the onion skin a little further, and there's three more dead babies, a preemie whose life was in the balance for months,  . . . and the whole time, I was a basket case.

That's not to say 2010 didn't bring some wonderful things, too. Baby O tops my list, but there was also a family wedding, a family engagement, friends and family members with new babies, friends with new pregnancies, a new adopted daughter, a new job for a friend, a new family puppy (not ours), and hope for the future. (Oh, and toilet training. That one's a mixed bag.)

But by far the most positive thing to come of 2010, besides, of course, Baby O's safe and most welcome arrival, is the realization that I have some wicked awesome friends. This year has brought me a new crop of posse-love, whose friendship I can't imagine my life without. People who have held me up without asking a thing in return; dragged me through this year whether I was able to stand or not. Friends I've made through this here blogosphere, if you will. Complete strangers who tell me things I need to hear to keep going, who listen without judgement and understand. No longer strangers, this world has gotten just the littlest bit smaller, in the very best way. How I wish it didn't take my daughter, and their own children dying for us to be in each others' lives. But here we are.  Old friends cropping up when I never thought we'd meet again, coming into my life at the very right time to hold my hand. And of course my closest friends, rallying together to help me find some semblance of the old me. My best friend, holding my hand every single day of this effing year.

So where does that leave us? Like anywhere else. Not totally wonderful, not completely horrible. Just here. I am so very sad, so very happy, so very grateful. Wishing all of you a peaceful and healthy 2011, and maybe, just maybe, a happy New Year.

ETA: Oh jeez. I wanted to write something about how I started this year feeling like Baby New Year, and now feel as old and grizzled as the old year's Old Man is always depicted next to that rosy-cheeked new one. Also, I wanted to include the earthquake in Haiti (which happened just a day or two after Calla died), the oil spill in the Gulf, the tears of hope I shed when the last Chilean miner was aboveground . . . but it came out all wrong.  So those things too.


  1. Amazing post and so accurate. I am hoping that 2011 brings you much joy!!

  2. Michelle, I added in your good news after I edited this. I know your 2011 will be awesome :)

  3. So happy to be able to be there.
    Love ya!

  4. Merry New Year, Mary Beth. Birthing two babies, in two different ways, in the same year, wow. I feel like you need all of 2011 to process that, and recover from pregnancy after loss. I feel like I am still recovering from that anxiety. Much love to you.

  5. My brain is mush, but I wanted to say that I look forward to reading more from you this new year. Thinking of you and all you've done and continue to do. Much love.

  6. Yeah, what Angie said. Just wow. Your year was..... wow.
    I am so glad to have found you, but I wish it didn't have to be like this, for either of us.
    Missing Calla with you.