August 13, 2010
do you remember
Yeah. Me neither.
Pulling out now from a pretty dramatic emotional slump. The last few days have been... well. They've been.
It never really registered with me before that being sad makes you so tired. Maybe because I am usually a lot of other things at the same time. But grief alone is exhausting. It is wringing me out like a damp rag, nearly dry. And I can tell you with confidence that if it weren't for the other babylost mamas, and survivors of trauma and grief of all kinds, whose voices have found their way to me through the darkness and ether -- I would not have been able to get out of bed this week at all.
Late last night I was laying in bed thinking about Noah, as I often do. At this time last year, I was laying in bed and worrying about what would happen when he was born. I worried about when I would start to really show. I worried about what my family would say. I worried about what other people would think, the looks they would give me when they saw his dark skin next to mine, no ring on my finger, no daddy in sight. Where I come from, that's three strikes. I knew we would both be out.
And it made me angry. Wildly, ferociously, mama-bear angry. How dare those strangers and acquaintances and even friends judge us? How dare they look down on me, and my innocent baby? After all the shit I've been through! After all the heartache and violence and grief! I worried, too, that we would never get out. That we would be stuck in that backwoods town for far too long, my poor boy awkward and alone in a sea of identical, ignorant faces. But I was determined that we would escape. I would work my ass off, do whatever needed to be done, to get a handle on my issues, and save up some money, and get us out of there.
But that's as far as I got, in my worrying. It was all too much to grasp, beyond his birth and infanthood, and the stand I would have to take just to get that far. (Though I never actually got that far, after all.) So last night, when I was struggling to express again my feelings of love and committment to a child who was no longer there, and I heard or felt or imagined Noah's little voice saying to me, sweetly, "Thanks, mom!" the words washed over me as a fresh wave of loss and grief. Because in a world where the best things of life weren't wrested from me as soon as I'd receieved them, I would have heard his voice for real, and a thousand times, saying those words to me. When I helped him reach something on a high shelf, or when I bought him an ice-cream. When I folded his laundry for him, or helped him clean his room. When I gave him his allowance, or let him borrow the car. When I told him, in no uncertain terms, what an extraordinary, irreplacable person he was. When I kissed his cheek, and squeezed his hand, in the last excited moments before his wedding... "Thanks, mom!"
All this, I wanted to do for you, my love.
All this, and so much more.