Friday, October 28, 2011

Bundle Up

The frost has settled in here. It snuck in overnight, causing a scramble for coats and boots, hats and mittens this morning before school. We worked out the minute intricacies of how each new zipper and fastener works, looking for the secret jimmies and tricks to getting outside quickly. Car seat straps adjusted for extra bulk and seat backs covered for boot kicks.

It is a cold, sunny day in the East. The first thrilling glimpse of winter is here. Today is a day when a hat is not optional, a fleece jacket alone won't cut it. The first step along a long, cold path towards darkness, and heaviness, and snow-covered months. And while the solstice isn't technically until December, winter settles in much earlier than that around here.

Everything seems harder in the winter. More bundling. More time to get places. Less sunlight to cheer us on through the chill. Dirt and wet in every corner, trudged in on heavy boots, muddy paws and dripping mittens. But for now we're just at the beginning. We look at each other and make winter jokes about snow brushes and shovels, try on our coats from last year and search for matching gloves. The frost is novel, and the sunlight glinting on icy leaves is charming.  For now.

We have four birthdays to celebrate in our home this winter. C is turning 40 next week, in a few days actually. Then a week later O will be one. One whole year. Then my birthday, in February. Only E was born in the warmth and sunshine of summer.

Of course Calla's birthday is right in the middle of winter. At the beginning of January, when the calendar turns to another new year.  Forever I will associate the coldest depths of winter with her death and birth, that freezing night in January when I wanted to burn myself alive.

And so looking to winter, feeling our corner of the Earth turning away from the sunlight, makes my heart a little heavier. My soul is bundling up, fortifying its reserves for the long season ahead. There are some wonderful warm oases sprinkled throughout the upcoming months of our frigid desert winter, and during the dark days I will lumber, head down and hopefully, towards them.

Right now it is sunny and cold, but soon it will be gray and icy, and simply going outside will seem like too much of a bother. Right now the chilis and soups and breads and oven-baked dinners are satisfying. Right now winter seems survivable.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Spoken Word Blog Round Up

OK, here she is. I am so excited to see everyone else's videos that I can ALMOST get over the seasickness of watching mine. Also, I find it strange that my eyes look brown, when in real life they are blue.

Thank you so much to Angie for putting this together, and once again encouraging me to do something I'd never attempt on my own. Not only attempt, but persevere when my techno-literacy is at an all-time low.

A word of caution: there are a few f-bombs scattered in throughout. Gentle Reader, if you are sensitive, you may want to sit this one out. You won't cry, but you might cringe. Maybe this says something about my personality: I did not choose a beautiful thing, I chose an ugly thing. Ooh, subversive.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

In the spirit of backpedaling . . .

I'm not, really, backpedaling. I've just been thinking about what I wrote yesterday, and I feel like I was being a brat and taking cheap shots.

You know I absolutely adore you babyloss parents, right? You know I think you are amazing and wonderful and have quite literally saved me so many times . . . and I wasn't dissing the actual Remembrance Day, yes? I hope you do. Because I love you and would rather melt my face off than hurt your feelings.

And anyone who might be reading this who isn't a babyloss parent . . . you know I love you also, right? Even if you feel awkward around me or feel like you don't know what to say, or are just reading this to find out if I've imploded yet. Or if you do ask and do care, I carry your thoughts like good luck charms in my pocket.

It all comes back to the damn Eff Beez, doesn't it? The root of all of society's collective ills. Or, my ills I guess. I just miss my girl and sometimes that comes out as grumpiness. Sorry, friends.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Remembering Whether You Like It Or Not

I am now officially the worst blog poster in all the land. Or, maybe just the laziest. Or something. Time just slips away and there I am at the end of the day, a blog post fully composed in my head and completely trapped, unable to get HERE.

This past weekend was the Remembrance Day; its official title escapes me but you know the day of which I write. We lit our candle. We thought about all the babies so  many of us are missing. I posted some words on the Livre du Visage, and well, if just felt a little hollow. My friend Sally wrote about this a bit, and I'd been mulling it over in the meantime, too. I have a lot of friends who are truly excellent babyloss friends. They remember Calla and are not afraid to talk about her, to ask me how I'm doing, to let me know they're thinking of her. That's not to say friends who don't ask or talk about it are NOT excellent--you know what I mean, right?

**OK, clearly my writing skills are diminishing. Twice I've asked you if you know what I mean without actually writing what I mean. Again, worst poster in the land.**

So when I was posting these little snippets, 140 characters or less of babyloss wisdom and wishes, it felt a bit like, oh I don't know, I was RAMMING it down everyone's throat. HEY WORLD! Look at me! I'm STILL SAD! And HERE'S WHY! And by Saturday night when I was lamenting blowing out her little candle . . . it felt like I'd pushed the limit a bit too far.

But hey! Everyone else gets to write about their kids there, why can't I, right?! I mean, just because my only daughter is DEAD doesn't mean she doesn't matter. I have to read about everyone else's kids' soccer games and first words and first days of school; the least I can get (and I do mean the least) is one day to remember that my child was alive once, and mattered and was loved. Is loved. Does matter.

I don't want a stupid candle or balloons or ribbons or anything else but her. My challenge is to not call the candles stupid out loud, to not roll my eyes and feel like I'm being thrown a bone by one lousy day. Because it's a beautiful thing. It's a day for parents like me, us, to make something collectively wonderful out of the collective awfulness. It is, apparently, too much to ask that she could have lived.

If my tone seems a little brutal, it's only because I am so missing that girl these days. You know, the whole stages of grief thing. It's funny, you don't experience those stages in a linear way--it should be called the Mobius strip of grief. Just when you think you might have found a way out, you're right back where you started--angry, sad, confused, or maybe still in denial.

And I'm not just pissed off for myself. Mt pissed-offedness extends to all the babyloss parents who are right here with me. It sucks and isn't fair and I don't give a SHIT that life's not fair, it's still not fair.