I saw the invitation from Angie on Thursday morning, and I've been attempting to write this post ever since. Opening, rewriting, saving, staring, deleting, closing. Where the hell am I, anyway?
Ironic, that this call to write comes hot on the heels of my decision to stop tracking the days since they died. It was making me feel sad, and stagnant, so I traded the tickers in my sidebar for simple memorial buttons. And I had no twinges about it.
Will you judge me very harshly if I say I don't miss them like I used to? Not that I don't miss them--of course I do. But it's not the same as it used to be.
I don't look around and see where they're not. I don't resent my space or my nice clothes or my paychecks spent only on me. I don't obsess about how big they would be or what milestones they would have achieved by now. I don't worry that total strangers can't have the faintest idea whether I'm a mother or not. That they might look at me and see just another fairly pretty twenty-something who seems to mostly have her shit together. I think the reason I don't worry about that anymore is because I've realized that it actually is who I am now. I've realized I'm not fooling anyone, including myself... because it's no longer a lie.
I've got necklaces and initials. I've got two boxes of baby clothes in the back of my closet. I've got their pages on my blog, and indelible ink on my left thigh: two little doves I designed myself. My wrists are bare, but if I didn't know better, I'd swear their names were written there too. An invisible list. Indelible in its own way.
S has seen my tattoo, and the pictures that hang by my bed. He hasn't asked who they are, and I haven't told. I will, eventually. But not yet. We've been seeing each other for two months; long enough that I realized yesterday it will hurt if we break up. The thought made my stomach drop. It means I'm invested now, you see.
My babies often cross my mind, but for the most part tend to move on quickly. A smile and a nod--they get it. Mama's busy. And anyway, they've got time. They understand forever. They know we've got all the time in the world.
I feel like they each took a piece of my heart with them, when they left. That it is with them, that piece, wherever they are. Always. Except they didn't leave behind a hole, as I first thought. Clever thieves! They filled that small but gaping space with eternity instead. I simply didn't recognize it right away, couldn't sense the shape of it, was confused by its unfamiliar weight. I did not know, at first, that what I thought was lonely emptiness was really the vast wholeness of all things.
Last year's posts: Lissie. No-No.