Friday, January 7, 2011

Onward Grieving Soldiers

Tiptoe. Tiptoe. On tiny little tiptoes the day is approaching. Her birthday. The day of her death. One year ago. I think about it defined by the date and the day of the week, and the latter is today. One year ago tonight, this Friday night, right about now, I was in full-blown panic mode. It would be another hour or so before I called my doctor, and another hour or two beyond that when we had the fateful last sonogram.

I want to puke just thinking about it. I want to scream and cry and claw my eyes out all over again.

What difference is it that it was a year ago, not yesterday? What do the past 364 days provide, besides maybe a little perspective? She's still gone. She still is never coming back to me, to us. And I miss her no less, want her no less than I did one year ago. My heart is still shattered beyond complete repair. Despite our new lovely wonderful baby, he is not her, and she is not him. My heart just keeps growing and exploding in so very many ways.

I think back on this year, the hardest and longest of my life. My relationships with just about everyone have changed, mostly for the better. My marriage is growing stronger, and the bond with my entire family has been galvanized, too. The way I parent E, and now O, is much more intense and focused and appreciative and patient.

I am not perfect--you'd think after my second-born being dead, I'd become the most caring and attentive and patient parent out there. Well, at least I thought I would be. Turns out I'm not, despite my best efforts. And I still reflexively reach for the wine when the boys have gone to bed for the night. (Well, when E's in bed and O's down for his first stretch of sleep. Let's not pretend he's sleeping anywhere NEAR through the night yet.)

And still time marches on. The old saying about never standing in the same river twice just about sums up my life. Everything looks the same around me; I am so very different, it seems, every single time I do the same old things. The constant is me, loving my husband, children, friends and family; grieving deeply my daughter who I held for not nearly long enough.

I found myself in a children's boutique today. Out in the suburbs; a rare outing all by my lonesome.  C took the day off; he stayed home with the boys while I took a little trip. This was the kind of store that has lots of precious things; I'm not one to dress the boys, so much, in precious clothes. Even my newborn fashion sensibility leans towards the funky and the Star Wars-inclined.

But oh, the little girly things. I think it was the tiny pale pink tankini, printed with sunglasses and complete with butt ruffle, that did me in. I'm a sucker for a butt ruffle. You can take all your flowery headbands and tights and handbags and fill a slow boat with them, but butt ruffles really punch me in the gut.

I always, before Calla, railed against the princess machine. Truth: she could have been a princess astronaut. I would have personally fashioned her tiara and scepter for her spacesuit.

I miss her. I miss what could have been, who she would have been, our life with her.  Some might think it's silly to miss someone I never knew. Maybe it is. I'll take silly over devastated any day.


  1. Oh Mary Beth, I know. I just know.
    Butt ruffles get me every time as well.

    ps: word verification was sting. Oh yes, it stings.

  2. I understand this...butt ruffles and princess astronaut and all. Thinking of you...and remembering Calla.

  3. know that many people are remembering & missing calla. sending love to your family.

  4. For me it's the sleeper with the safari animals. Not that I wouldn't put my daughter in them, but they get me every time.

    I'm thinking of you. My year was only a few days ago and I can't really figure out why it matters. It's just another day in the long list of days that he has been gone. I don't understand why it hurt so much to get past. Part of it is the celebration of the new year by everyone else while I am trying hard to hold onto the small comforts I have, but the rest I think is the turning of the seasons and the reminder of where I was this time last year. I can non longer say last January; I've already been through a winter, spring, summer and fall without him. There are no more events to mark that have not already occurred. In the end, he is just farther away and that is what hurts. That I have to move on and he just won't.

    I hope this week hasn't been too hard on you, take care.