Sunday, May 30, 2010


This Memorial Day weekend is the first in many years where it's been an actual summer-like experience. Warm, not-humid temperatures, sunny, lots of planting and time spent outside.

We went to the cemetery on Saturday--C, E and me. Way back in the dead of winter, only a day or two after Calla died, I remember driving around the cemetery with Mili, hearing the gravesite details without actually listening. I did a lot of nodding and whatever-ing from the front seat. I remember thinking Mili had a strange, sad job. C and I laugh now about all the available plots, and payment plans, and "the discount." One such plot was next to the creek. Mili let us know it was the last one next to water, and for a mere $150 a square foot, we could have it. Oh, but there's a 1000 square foot minimum. And no, that doesn't include the, ahem, "stone" to go on it. And that, of course, didn't include the discount.

We passed on that one.

Anyway, I also remember her saying something about planting and placing flowers. Apparently we can't plant anything in the cemetery, and if we do, there's no guarantee it won't get mowed over. HOWEVER! For $3500, we CAN have $100 worth of planting done--legally, if you will--each year until the end of the universe. Even before the discount, what a bargoon!

We passed on that too.

But this weekend, we went off the radar. One day back in the winter, C came home with lots of packets of pink-themed wildflower seeds, promising we'd plant them at Calla's stone. And oh, did we do just that.

All we can do is plant a seed and hope it grows. We nurture, we care, we love--but most of all we have to hope.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Set In Stone

Her stone is in. The ground. It's there.

We went to see it today, E and I did. C saw it yesterday and told me about how he's badgered them for weeks to get it in the ground.

I think it's quite beautiful. I'm one who makes quick decisions, I don't hem and haw over little details. But for this, I wanted it to be perfect. It's just the way we wanted it. Look, it even has calla lilies on it. Get it? Calla? Calla LILIES? Too bad I envisioned her carrying calla lilies at her wedding, wearing one at the prom, getting them on silly Valentine's Day, getting them from her father and me. Not calla lilies on her cenotaph.

Which, in case you didn't know, is a grave marker where there actually isn't a grave, but ashes buried or scattered underneath. Oh, the things you learn--see, it's not all fun and games! It's learning, too!

Moving on.

It was a gorgeous, sunny, warm spring day today. E had fun running up and down the hill at the cemetery. I took pictures as best I could and tried really hard not to be sad. We only stayed a little bit. She's not really there.

There are other little ones on her hill, too. Young children keeping her company.

It's not how it's supposed to be. No mother should see her child's gravestone.

But here we are. Here are my two children.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I just, I can't, wtf?

Are you kidding me? Guess what? I'm supposed to have a three month old daughter today. I sure as shit wouldn't be trying to trade her for beers.

Nor would I be inside buying cigarettes while C tried to trade her for beers. Second hand smoke is a leading cause of SIDS, people.

This is what I mean by "shitty parenting." More or less.

Monday, May 10, 2010


OK, I've come out of the other side of my little tantrum still intact. Some days I feel like a pressure cooker about to explode--and some days I just explode.

Anyway. Moving on.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Make it stop

I don't know if I can make it through this day. I want to skip over it and all the nonsense that comes along with it.

I have truly enjoyed spending time with my husband and son today, but I need it to end. I just can't handle feeling so fucking lonely and --well, MISunderstood means that someone even bothers to think about how I'm feeling. I just am feeling really alone and as though I'm a robot from another planet.

I understand I'm not the only miserable person in the world. I understand that my misery can coexist with everyone else's happiness and flowers and jewelry and balloons and Ooh-ain't-mom-so-great. But it really fucking hurts and it really fucking sucks. I'm done with Mothers' Day. Done.

And I'm done with all the millions of people walking around as though this is the most wonderful day of the year, and why would it be HARD for anyone, and I just get to enjoy my kids, and lighten up lady and be grateful for what you have. Get some fucking compassion, and empathy, and leave me the fuck alone. Let me be miserable. YOU be fucking grateful YOU don't have any dead kids to haunt you everyday, let alone the Hallmarkiest fucking "holiday" of the year.

Yes, you nincompoops. You go enjoy your living kids. Let me know how it works out.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mothers' Day--oh gord.

Mothers' Day. Need I say more?

I guess the old me would look to this day with benign ambivalence--I love my mother, my mother-in-law, the grandmas, the godmothers, the aunts, the soon-to-be moms in our lives. But traveling hither and yon to celebrate one and all gets wearisome. It felt a little false, as though I needed to cram a year's worth of love and gratitude into one day. I try to show the women who raised, love and continue to support me how much I care all year, but on Mothers' Day, nothing feels like enough. Maybe I need to turn off the TV . . .

Last year, on my first MD as a mother (well, an outside mother), I had a lovely day settling in to our new house, hosting everyone for dinner, and simply enjoying being with my family--most especially my almost-one-year-old son. He has been, and continues to be, one of the brightest lights in my whole life. I am eternally grateful for his little self. Being his mother is, well, I don't quite have the words.

This year, well, all I can say is UGH. It's not going to be relaxing, it's not going to be all sunshine and roses and la-ti-dah. In this order, I'm: running a race, going to brunch, going to C's family for dinner. In between all those events, I'll be under my pillow. Well, not really, but metaphorically, I will be. I can't help but be reminded of what was supposed to be this year, who was supposed to be here, who is not and never will be in my arms.

In this new reality, I can't help but look at Mothers' Day as a day of grieving. What of the babyloss mothers? What of the sons and daughters whose mothers are no longer alive, or are estranged, or are horrible? What of the countless women who would DIE for a family, but are not afforded that luxury? What of the families waiting, and waiting, and waiting for an adoption to come through, for their families to be complete? Mothers' Day, now, is just another brutal reminder of the blows we fell each day, we the loss community as one.

Maybe I can feel this way about one square on the May calendar because each day with my son and husband remind me of the wonders in life. I don't *need* a day for feeling appreciated. And in that sense, I am truly lucky, grateful, (dare I say?) blessed. And so many of my friends around me have wonderful children, mothers--be they biological, adopted, step, or in-law. Some are lucky enough to have "children" or "mothers" who are of no blood or legal relation, but fill the slot with absolute precision. These are things worth celebrating, tomorrow and every damn day of our lives.

Don't pity me. Don't look at my grieving as an affront to your happiness. I own that I'm going to be a bit of a downer tomorrow. All the lollipops and rainbows shoved in my face won't make my loss any smaller, any softer--in fact, they'll make it far more bitter and abrasive. All I'm asking for is compassion for the mothers, the sons and daughters who will be under their pillows. If you are not one of *us*, know that I envy you.

Gord, give me strength.

Monday, May 3, 2010


I have always hated when people say, "That's not fair!" Because in all reality, life is most certainly NOT fair. Not ever.

Do we sometimes get what we want, need, think we deserve? Of course. If we didn't, life would really suck. In fact, most of us get more of what we'd deem "fair" than many others.

But we also get our "fair share" of shitty things, too. Cancer. Dead dogs, babies, cellphone batteries. Bad hair, bad skin, ugly clothes. Past due notices and broken-down cars and bills up to our eyeballs. Traffic and teams losing and favorite mugs smashed on the floor. Rain on a beach day.

I've been thinking about fairness a lot lately. I could drive myself crazy thinking about how this whole situation is so much less than fair. I know, I know, life isn't fair. I never expected it to be. But this still isn't fair. It's not fair that my son doesn't have his sister, C and I don't have our daughter. It's not fair that I have to walk through my life and smile at all the other babies, be happy for everyone else, pretend like I am a normal person. It's not fair that I look like crap, feel like crap.

And then we get to the ultimate slippery slope: when shitty parents get in my line of sight. I try really, REALLY hard to be non-judgemental and, well, FAIR. And I do not want to be the person who resents other adults for their abundance of familial wealth. But for real, do NOT treat your kids like shit in front of me, because my nasty side will come out. It won't be pretty.

Anyway. It's not fair. You don't need to remind me that life isn't fair. It sure as shit isn't fair that I have one living kid this Mothers' Day and one dead. It isn't fair that I went through labor only to have a dead baby. It isn't fair that my body looks terrible and doesn't fit into anything I want to wear. It's not fair that I have to go through my life with this horrible weight around my neck that threatens to drown me whenever I'm not the most vigilant.

But so be it. Life can really suck. But it can be really good, too.