Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cosmically Lonesome

I read a really sad thing today. I'm sure if you have a friend who owns a little-girly boutique/home business and has a FB page you've seen the link to this blog.  A young couple's 4 month old baby girl died. DIED. From what I gathered she just STOPPED BREATHING.  This just happened last week, and the grieving mother has been posting about the viewing and funeral. It is absolutely devastating.

I've been scouring the hundreds of comments to find out what happened to her little girl. But, from the sound of it, they have no answers. So, of course I'm on Code Red high alert panic. And of course I'm punched-in-the-gut beyond sad for this poor family.

But here's the thing. From what I've gathered, she and her family and friends are extremely (? very? somewhat?) religious. And while she's devastated, she's able to take some comfort that her baby is with Jesus. And you know what? I'm a little envious of that Faith.

When Calla died, both C and I talked about how it would be comforting to have a strong, or even doubtful, belief in a higher power, a benignly indifferent God who had a plan and a reason. SomeOne who might provide answers, or at least SomeOne to whom we could direct our sorrow, ask for solace, beseech answers.

But we don't. I don't want to get into specifics, because even for me my Faith is confusing. To whom do I direct my pleas for comfort? The cluster of energy we call the Universe? The trees and the wind? The pavement as I run over it?

Logic and reason and just personal preference won't allow me to stick with the religion in which I was raised. I am incredibly lucky to be a member of our Unitarian Universalist church where I'm able to candidly puzzle these things out. But in matters of grief, and loss, and moving forward while remembering, I don't really have anywhere to direct my heart.

Sending out much love to that grieving family who misses their baby girl dearly. That is something I understand.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Let's Get One Thing Clear . . .

. . .  we're done.  I MAY have intimated in a previous post that I wanted to be pregnant again. So, actually, no.  In romantic notions, maybe. But then there's reality: a new car for 3 carseats; college for 3 children; lack of bedroom space; lack of ENERGY; single riders and being outnumbered. Nope. Oh yeah, and the whole nine-months-of-paralyzing-anxiety-about-pregnancy thing. That nearly killed me once. I've learned my lesson.

I wonder if all mothers feel this way when they realize they're done having babies. That wistful, maybe-one-more-oh-hell-no feeling. I don't know. Is it more acute in the babyloss mamas? Because there were three babies. And now there ARE two. But there's this missing-tooth feeling; something that should be there inexplicably is not. And that someTHING is actually someONE.

I need to have a ready answer for the inevitable, "Think you'll go for a girl?!" question. Because there WAS a girl. She was here. It's not like I'm feeling wishful for some possible girl; I'm feeling sad and lonesome for my once-upon-a-time girl. So maybe all I need to answer is, "no."

I've been listening to The Black Keys lately. This song really resonates with me, for obvious reasons. It's about one of the guy's brother-in-law who died as a child from cancer. I hope one my boys always remember their unknown sister.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Merry UnBirthday

So, happy birthday to me. Yep, it's today. It is, also, Baby O's 3 month birthday today. Here he is:
Note the gigantor-ness of this dude. He's quite massive. That outfit is supposed to fit up to 6 months. Har. But clearly, he already loves to do the Cabbage Patch.

Anyway. So, how to phrase this . . . last year my birthday was also Calla's due date.  Last year I was still in the corner, licking my fresh, oozing wounds. I was still in fresh-grief dazedness. I didn't really think about what moving forward would feel like, because I was so firmly rooted in THEN.

But here we are now. And every year my birthday will be tied to my missing little girl. When I realized that her due date was my birthday, I felt bad. Who wants to share their birthday with their MOM? Boo. But I guess I'm thankful, now. I don't have her physical self. But every year, I get to celebrate her, too. My wounds are beginning to scab over; they get nicked and start to bleed every now and then. Eventually they will be a scar, a reminder of rough times in the past.

February 9th will always be our day, little one.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Time Bandit

My goodness do I not have any time these days. For anything. It's been over a week since my last real post, and I have had so much swirling around my head. I cannot, however, seem to find any time to sit down and write, what with the mountains of laundry threatening to topple, the dinner that must be made, eaten, cleaned up, the house of hair in which we seem to live. Nevermind being present and loving to C and the boys.

Yes, just a few short months ago I had nothing but time. Time to sit and think and write and worry and obsess and grieve. Oh yes, and to grieve. Lately even my grief has taken a back seat to the very busyness of life. And when I take a minute to process that, I get really sad.

Over a year now. A year since I held my daughter's lifeless body for the first and last times. 2010 felt like a slingshot being pulled back, back, back, building tension, waiting for some kind of release. And then we brought little O into the world, and the slingshot let go. Everything whizzing by us at breakneck speed, me trying to hold on to every single newborn and infant moment. Trying to remember every silly and wonderful 2-and-a-half year old conversation. And then I realize it's not life doing the whizzing, but us.

So yes, it's been over a year. And I miss her no less. Despite having little time to sit and think and remember.

That was misleading. I think about her constantly. She is often the first thought in the morning, and always the last before going to sleep at night. But I find little time to ruminate, to wonder, to properly grieve. She stays the same little self, the same age, the same weight, and we move on and on. Having a new baby erases none of that hurt and sadness. It does, however, bring a new and different joy. But with it comes the shoulda-coulda-wouldas: what would she have looked like, have smelled like, who could she have been, who should I have been as a girl mother?

Little O has a different smell than E had as a baby. He is his own distinct little person. I can sniff him out across the room. He is delicious and wonderful and has his own babyness, different, again, than E had. it is marvelous. Oh how I love that baby, oh.

I've been thinking quite a bit lately about the word "just." As a modifier, not necessarily as an adjective. Like when I'm running or boxing or trying to contort myself into some yoga pose and everything seems too damn hard I go to, "Well, I JUST had a baby." Like I should cut myself some slack.  But when does it go from JUST to, well, just? Is 3 months still JUST? I don't know. Is a year out from my beloved little girl dying still JUST? Some days it feels so fresh and raw and oozy, and some days it seems so far away.

Funny, the times when it feels so fresh are when I can actually remember and properly grieve. When life is at its most intense and fast-paced, she seems so very far away from me.

And then I start to wonder: when C and I eventually die (pleaseohpleaseletitbewaywaywaywayfarinthefutureandbeforeEorO), who will remember her? Who will carry her forward? Who will care about the beautiful box, handmade by a dear friend (that's another post, loves) filled with all her earthly possession? Who will understand? Who will carry her forward, moving her box from home to home, ever onward into the future?

Oh gosh, that makes me want to lay my head down and just weep. Because it's no one. Even the boys, they will understand, they will love their sister. But they can't. They weren't there. They didn't hold her and their tears didn't wet her beautiful little face.

This is my forever.

Switching gears slightly, I am so annoyed with Toy Story.

When I was pregnant with E, I told anyone who would listen that I didn't care if he was anything else but kind and compassionate. I'd met, by that point, too many rotten little kids to let mine be one of them. Fast forward to age two-and-a-half, when my day of reckoning has arrived.

E is about the most awesome little kid I could have asked for. He's polite, and funny and energetic and, well, he makes me laugh and want to pull my hair out all at once, depending on my frame of mind. What with all this grieving the past year and now this unending winter, we've been watching way more TV than I'd ever thought possible. And E loves his truck dvds, certain children's shows, and, most recently, some of the Pixar movies. A current favorite is Toy Story. Do you know what word comes up over and over in that movie? STUPID. As in "Stupid dog!" and "Did you all take stupid pills this morning?"

Why you gotta do me like that, Pixar? Don't you know my incredibly verbal kid is going to pick that word out like finding the marble under the shell? Don't you know I'm going to have to spend hours teaching him why that word is NOT APPROPRIATE for ANY USE? The amount of time spent on that throwaway little word in a movie is negligible; the amount of time I have to dedicate to keeping it out of our vocabulary is interminable. Gah! You're supposed to be making my life EASIER, movies.

Don't even get me started on my beloved Tomie dePaola throwing a "Shut up!" into one of his stories. Let's just say we'll no longer be choosing Bill and Pete Go Down The Nile from the library.