Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2010...where do we go from here?


My husband is really optimistic about 2010. He believes that it will be full of wonderful things, and that life is bound to be brighter after 2009. After all...he loves helping people that have been so ignored by society at his job. He's excited to know that he becomes a more effective therapist each day. He's getting excited about creating a book with me to compliment his first. He is proud of my writing career, and believes that I will just keep thriving in it. He loves our twin puppies with gusto, and is amazed at our four younger kids exponential musical and artistic growth. He is excited for our eldest as he takes steps toward independence. He is relieved that our home mortgage has been reduced and that bills are being payed off. He loves his musical endeavors with his band, and enjoys his friends. He see's a light at the end of the tunnel, and feels a connection with our spirit babies that gives him great faith and a connection with a world and understanding beyond what we once knew.

and me? How do I feel about 2010? Honestly??

I feel less excited than my husband.

I love all the same things he loves. I am aware of all the bounty that is presenting itself. I'm totally smitten with my puppies and my children and my husband.

and my heart is still gaping and bleeding.

My eyes are raw at the corners from 8 months of crying. My chest hurts from the racking sobs. I am broken.

Last night was my mother in laws last day here. She was to fly out early this morning back to the east coast where she lives with my brother and sister in law. She was agitated, and so I sat in my kitchen on the floor with two sheepdog puppies resting by my side. I closed my eyes and just ran my fingers through their plushy manes of hair. My heart was racing. I kept trying to breathe while I listened to her complain and rant to my husband who patiently listened.

I kept thinking that here was a woman who didn't want my babies to begin with, in my home, complaining about everyone else. I wanted to shake her. I wanted to have some kind of magic touch that would open her eyes to what real pain is. What real loss is.

I've known her for 15 years. She has always been like this. I'm not saying her pain isn't valid...that her sadness isn't worthy. I'm not saying that she hasn't come upon hard times. I'm not saying I don't feel for her.

I'm saying that for a woman that demands everyone to feel badly for her situation, she is sadly unaware that the people she is so critical of around her have pretty hard lives too. Harder than she can contemplate.

So, I sat in the kitchen on the floor...with my dogs...and tried not to let my rage out. Tried not to cry.

And then, "Sara!? What are you doing on the floor?" It was my mother in law. Yeah, why AM I on the floor? WHY would I be trying to find a quiet corner somewhere away from the woman that still doesn't get WHY I am sad?

My answer..."I'm trying to find some inner peace. I'm trying to breathe. I'm trying not to cry. I do that a lot. "

"Oh."

yeah....that's it. Just "Oh."

and then back to her rant.

I know she can't help it. She is one of those people that only see's her side of the coin. Only see's her own bruises. Feel's she's justified in all of her opinions. We can all be like that at times. Our pain always hurts us most. But, while I have tried to support her and be understanding, she has never tried to understand what it was like for my family to lose our babies. She has never wanted them to matter. She doesn't like that we have memorabilia that names them. She doesn't want me to have dogs that I take with me everywhere because I NEED to.

I look at 2010 and I hear my fathers words from long ago...in childhood. Words he said to me often. "Don't believe every thought that comes into your head." "It could be worse." and "Do you need something REAL to cry about?!"

I wonder if 2010 has something worse for me. I wonder if I haven't been given enough to cry about. I look at my vulnerable, mortal family and think about the four young girls that were plowed down by a drunk driver in my town two days ago. I think about my mother in law's constant "why me??" that never REALLY wants the answer to her question because it DOES have a lot to do with who she is. I think about the babies that continue to die...and the ones that will thankfully be born safely into their mother's arms. I think about writing. I think about all the tears that 2009 almost drowned me with. I think about the gifts of spirit I've been given. I think about the man I love...his strength, wisdom, gentleness..and passion.

I wonder if 2010 will be all that he expects it to be.

I remember those words..."Don't believe every thought that comes into your head" echoing in the distance... and I am not sure which thoughts to NOT believe.

I guess...in the end, 2010 will simply be what it is to be. Nothing more, nothing less. If I don't enter it with expectation, I can not be disappointed. I guess I can only hold this thought out--
"Please...let 2010 be a year of Peace, of Healing....of open doors. Please...no more drama. No more drama. Let us heal. Let us have some joy. Some light."

I say this for all of us. For everyone who is walking this path with me, who will see these words because they care enough to wonder about what I wrote today.

Yes. Let 2010 be better. More joyful. Peaceful. Healing.

Healing can only take place if life will cease ripping off our tender scabs and give us all time to recover.

2010. Be all that you will be; but please...be gentle.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Double Trouble....

















My husband is a Gemini. Born on June 4th under the astrological sign of "Twins". He has always been a dialectical creature....seeing both sides...feeling both sides...wanting both sides....and ultimately, being both sides.

Our children do not have middle names. We always felt like middle names were more something that should be chosen by the child...giving them the opportunity to move the name we chose for them to the middle, or being able to select a middle name that felt right to them.

But....

When I was pregnant the last time...we couldn't feel just one name. My husband felt strongly about the name Alexander. I felt equally strongly about Simon. When our tiny son was born still on earth day...we agreed to name him Simon Alexander...and called him Alexander.

and then....

we found out we'd had twins. We understood that we had Simon AND Alexander. We understood why we couldn't agree. Their really were two names needed. Simon and Alexander. Our twins.

When we bought our Old English sheepdog puppy...again, we couldn't agree on a name. So, we named him Felix Ferdinand...and called him Ferdinand. He was born in June...under the sign of Gemini...the sign of the twins.

Ferdinand is now 6 months old. Last week, I took my Mother in law to a special canine store. It is the place where Ferdinand has taken obedience classes. They loved him there and are always happy to see my furry friend. That afternoon though, the owner of the store said that she'd thought of me that morning because someone had called saying that they wondered if she knew anyone that wanted a free old english sheepdog puppy that was 6 months old. I took the number because I am often approached by people wanting my puppy for their own....I figured it would only be a matter of time before I could find this pup a home.

I mentioned it to my husband casually. He asked me how old the pup was and I explained that he was the same age as our Ferdinand. He looked at me and said "Sara...it's our twins."

We went to see the puppy the next day. Sweet, matted...and a blur of black and white panda bears rolled around the snow while Ferdinand enjoyed finally playing with a dog that was as big as him. The 83 year old man that had owned the other sheepie had suffered a heart attack...now this pup was too much dog for him. Yes...much too much dog for him. Probably even BEFORE the heart attack!!

We plopped our new puppy in the car next to Ferdinand to bring him home.

"What should we name him?" asked my husband. I looked at him and smiled.

"His name is Felix." We looked at each other in complete understanding. Of course....it made perfect sense.

I bathed Felix when we got home to remove the odor of smoke and dirt from his fur. His bones sticking out prominently....starving.

I called Old English sheepdog rescue support to learn how to rehabilitate a starving sheepie....and we got straight to work.

He is filling out beautifully.

Ferdinand and Felix play wonderfully. They also fight over food...the smell of food...the idea of food....we are working on that. I've been told it will work out. They are both VERY gentle and sweet in every other circumstance. Of course food is an issue when one dog has been underfed...and another has never had to share.

Felix has two black ears, a white face and a mostly black silky haired body that looks like it will turn very light gray. Ferdinand has one black ear, and a lot more white on his chest and legs with a beautiful swirl of white among the black on his back. His hair is thick and wavy and we suspect he will be a light charcoal color when the black baby hair goes away. Felix has a silly face with abundant hair that has to be tied back if he is to be prevented from falling down the stairs. Ferdinand won't have anything to do with rubber bands and froo froo.

Born in the month of Gemini. My twins.

Gifts from the little boys I wanted so much...who are taking care of me...who are letting me know that they understand.

My twins are watching. My twins are here.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Daddy's girl

Yesterday, I drove my husband to work because I was going to have our breaks repaired. They hadn't been sounding very good, and with winter in full force, it seemed that we needed to shell out the bucks to have them fixed. It was estimated that it would cost us about $60.

So, I dropped off the car, and decided to walk around for about 2 hours while the brakes were fixed. I opted to take a long walk to a nursery that I knew would have some special ornaments for the tree that we were planning to get this weekend. It was further than I might have chosen to walk, but...I was killing time.

It was a pretty warm day...about 20 degrees. Ferdinand and I happily walked along. We finally arrived at the nursery, and mulled about in the parking lot because it hadn't opened yet. We were about 10 minutes too early.

Finally they opened their gates, and we went inside to enjoy the winter wonderland of trees filled with wonderful ornaments....all kinds...all colors...

We walked around slowly. Ferdinand was mellow after our long walk, and didn't seem to mind that I would stop and stand for several minutes as I admired the ornaments, taking note of each tree...that way, when I went around a second time, I would just pick the ones I liked best. I wanted to get an ornament for each child...including Simon and Alexander.

There were so many to choose from. I waited for them to speak to me...to reveal the perfect ones....

Finally, I was ready. I started to collect the ones that really seemed to embody the spirit of each child. They were perfect.

And then, I heard my cell phone ringing. It had been two hours...and the owner of the auto clinic, Nick, was calling.

He didn't mince any words. The mechanic had started looking at the breaks. They weren't just bad. They were ruined. ruined. It would easily cost $800 or more to repair them, and it would take longer than a day to do it. It would take at least a week to get the parts.

I asked if I could make payments, and his reply? "No ma'am...I'm really sorry...but, we just don't do that."

"But....it's almost Christmas...." was my lame answer.

yeah. Almost Christmas. Five children to buy gifts for. One car. no brakes.

I told him I'd head back to the store...that it would take me about an hour.

"ma'am....I can not let you drive this rig home....the brakes are gone. If the last one gives out, and it's about to do that, you won't be able to stop. You'll crash. I can't let you drive home."

I hung up the phone. I put all the ornaments I'd picked so lovingly and carefully back on the trees. I left the store.

and I started to sob.

and sob.

I knelt down and buried my head in Ferdinand's shaggy mane of hair and just started to scream. He licked my hair gently. It was the only part of me he could reach.

I knew I must look crazy to the passing cars.

I knew it wasn't "o.k." to just have a melt down in public.

But...I couldn't help it.

I tried to pull myself together. Pulled my cell phone out. And called my father.

Now, this is a good place to explain that I don't call my father for help because He's not one to give it. I've known that my entire life....his motto was always "why does your need have a claim on my wallet."...I first heard that at age 6.

But there I was, calling him. More for mechanic advise than anything else...maybe he would know of a trick that would buy me time until we got our tax return. maybe.

I expected fully to be told he couldn't help. wouldn't help. That it was too bad that my life was so hard. Karma...you know....my fault.

but...

he surprised me.

"I have a credit card we can put the costs on...don't worry sweetheart. It all comes from the same source...it's going to be o.k."

a mixture of guilt, and elation came over me.

Here was a man I'd understood all my life wouldn't help me...helping me.

Here was a man that always made me feel that my hard times were simply karmic payback making me feel like his little girl.

Here was my dad...being my dad.

calling me sweetheart....and MEANING it.

and I was grateful. and confused.

and a little angry. and a whole lot....sad.

Where was he for the past 35 years? Where was that tender voice all of that time?

and why....why was it here now? how did he find it?

how did I deserve it?

How could I ever repay him?

Not just in money...but....ever...on a psychic level? How can I repay him for the hand that picked me back up off the ground when I was feeling that inner scream of too much piled on top of me... "NO! I can't take ANYMORE hardship! I just CAN'T! I am DROWNING!!!!"

and then...my daddy was there; reaching down with a warm hand and a gentle smile... after a life time of wanting him...a life time of needing his love.

I spent today walking around with my husband...using our feet and the bus to get our errands done. We know our car is getting fixed...and Christmas won't be canceled...because, all of a sudden, for some wonderful reason...

I have a daddy.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Finding reason within turmoil



nine o' clock.

The sound of giggling in the bedroom next to mine tells me my children have not fallen asleep yet. Should be a few more hours of that before silence envelopes the house.

My husband is rehearsing with his band tonight. He is a drummer in addition to being a therapist, artist, dancer, author, athlete, father, lover.....

nine o' five.

A plane flies overhead...I can hear the rumble of its engines as it takes people away to the somewhere's off in the distance. It is finals week at the University...some of the passengers are likely to be students who had their last final today. Off to somewhere.

My puppy is laying next to my feet. His shaggy mane of fur feels cozy on my cold toes.

nine ten.

My heart is heavy.

I was less than gracious when told there was band practice tonight. I didn't want to share my husband. Didn't want to be alone. again.

The word "bitch" came to my mind as I fussed around the kitchen getting dinner ready in my disappointment and anger.

He works so hard. Sometimes overtime. He is on call 7 days a week, from 9 to 9. He gets more and more requests for relationship counseling after hours.

Don't get me wrong...I'm really proud of him. He's a truly amazing therapist, and a wonderful musician, a talented athlete, an inspiring writer....he's my best friend. I think he's great.

But...I didn't want to share him again. Not tonight.

I wanted to know that we would be together. Just talking. Listening. smiling.

maybe laughing.

maybe just...being.

But he had to go.

nine eighteen.

The heater just clicked on. It's frigged outside. The kind of cold that bites your breath on the inhale, and freezes your nostril hairs. Frostbite cold. Hypothermia cold. Colder than death.

The windows have a thick layer of ice on the inside...too cold to keep it at bay.

I think about the families that can't afford to pay their heating bills.

I think about my husbands job...and how it allows us to heat this house. To put food on the table. To have a cozy place to sleep. I think about all the writing I do, to help pay the bills, to buy Christmas gifts for our children.

We both work hard.

It's important to play hard too.

My husband knows that. He knows that in order to be the husband I love...he must BE the man he IS.

but I was mean about it anyway.

I didn't want him to go.

There are tears in my throat.

They are really always there. It doesn't take much to coax them out. A change of plans. something unexpected. Too many voices needing something I don't have. Too many bill collectors.

The absence of my babies.

nine twenty-five.

The toilet flushed. More giggles. The buzz of the computer.

Breathing.

Breathing.

He knows how to care for himself...so that he can BE himself...so that we can be...WE.

His example is a lesson...

I need to care for me too.

To do the things I need to do.

Yoga.

walking.

writing.

smiling...yes.

smiling would be nice.

There is this cloud that lives over me. It keeps blocking the sun from shining. Sometimes, I can see the rays of light peeking through, and it makes me so happy to know that the sun is really still there.

shining.

Sometimes, if I forget to think, I find myself smiling over little things...like a spoon put away with hardened pancake batter...or a load of dishes put in my an 8 year old that was exactly 3 plates, a cup and a few spoons...while the entire sink is still full. I smile over my puppy suddenly bouncing into the air...straight UP.
Or hearing the word "lasterday" come out of the rosebud mouth of a sparkling eyed boy.

I smile when I hear the familiar sound of my husbands car pull in front of our home on this frigid night. Because...that means I can tell him I am sorry for being un-supportive of his need to care for himself after a long day of giving to everyone else. It means I can hold him close...and try to let him know that it isn't that I didn't want him to release his tension through the rythem and funk of his music...rather, it is simply that I miss him.

I miss him.

I know he misses me too.

But, ultimately...I feel in my heart that I am really glad that he didn't let the fact that we are REALLY REALLY missing each other prevent him from being every part of who he is.

He is a giver.

He needs to replenish himself in order to face each day.

He is a lover.

He needs to love himself in order to provide love to all the eager faces in this house that need his love.

He is my friend.
He is his friend too.

nine thirty eight.

contemplation.

understanding.

peace.

There is that golden ray....the sun is still shining. somewhere.

Maybe I will see it in full force again soon.
I have to trust that I will.
Grief wants to shut that possibility out.

But...something else is helping it to shine through.

I hear the sound. The sound I've been waiting for.

He is home.

It is time.

He will understand...he always does.

It's what he does.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Universal Laughter

Last year at this time, I was worrying about final exams. Last year at this time, I was wondering why I didn't get my period, and assumed it was because of the stress of final exams. It wasn't.

This year, my expected date of arrival for my period came and went. It had arrived like clockwork ever since June of last year, where it's presence was the mocking reminder that my babies were gone---and has remained that way ever since. Until this month. When it was late. For 3 days. Which was LATE.

I assumed I was pregnant. I cried about it...because I couldn't imagine going through it all over again in the exact same time frame...it would be like last year was happening all over again. It would be like walking in a dream that had ended as a nightmare. It would also have been wonderful...and we started to feel excited. Excited enough to talk about how wonderful it would be if that was what was happening.

But, it wasn't happening. Because yesterday afternoon, my late period arrived in full bravado. Mocking me. Snickering at my reaction. Relishing my feelings of loss for something that never was. Guffawing over my heart break for something I wasn't even planning on. again.

No...I am not pregnant. And, it wouldn't be responsible to try to be pregnant next month. Or the month after. Or probably ever.

Because I live in a different world, in a different time, with limited income, and limited space.

But...the inside of me doesn't line up in an equal sensible manner.

There is the practical part of me that uses a diaphragm for birth control, works hard every day as a freelance writer, and cares for the family that needs and loves me. There is the side that feels overwhelmed by the amount of laundry and dishes and just plain, all out MESS that five boys and an eclectically oriented husband can create in only moments. There is the part that budgets and sees the bills and depth of our dept after a series of unfortunate shit filled events.

That part of me knows there isn't space...or time...or money for another baby.

The romantic and less sensible part says "You are a great mother. There is always enough love, time, space, and money for another baby. There is always a way. always."

But...it really doesn't matter what either part says, because the reality is that I am NOT pregnant, am not trying to be pregnant, and am still in recovery from the loss of Simon and Alexander. It isn't time. It isn't now. and it never was.

So...if that is the case, and it just IS what it IS....why do I still feel like I hear the universe laughing at me?

Why am I crying over something that never was.

maybe...
I am crying because it might have been.
could have been.
if only.

if only.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Alterations in life


It's been a little over 7 months since I gave birth to my first twin, Alexander on Earth day....6 months since we discovered we had a twin named Simon. 4 months since I held a furry 8 week old puppy in my arms who was born around the same time as we lost our babies forever.

Tomorrow, my 6 month old puppy, Ferdinand...spirit dog...gift from the universe...helper and companion...licker of tears, and provider of warm morning cuddles and never ending attentiveness...

...will be neutered.

Part of me feels that such an AMAZING dog should add his perfect genes to the pool of Old English Sheepdogs before him. After all...he is smart, gentle, has perfect conformation, and is downright gorgeous!!! Not only is he the perfect canine...but...he's almost human.

That's when I understand....it is about more than his genes. He's here for a reason, and he knows it.

I hate to sound anthropomorphic....but....he's not just a dog.

He will be happier as a neutered male. Less tense about his bones (a recent development that showed up with the testosterone that marks him being an adolescent), less apt to try to mount me when I'm making dinner (believe me...he's really big, and that constant attempt makes cooking a lot harder.) and less anxious when he is learning a new trick (also new...)

It needs to be done.

He is ready.

It is time.

Every male in my house (6 of them) has been wincing over the idea of having our big beauty altered. It seems to really....well....bother them.

funny....the only thing that bothers me about it is that so much time has passed. He's 6 months old. The time flew by. I barely noticed how fast it all went.

I'm still in the hospital holding my lifeless baby.

I'm still mourning in a field.

I'm still watching balloons sail away in the sky.

I'm still peeking at my new puppy for the very first time.

I'm still there.

back there.

Being forced to be here...right now....simply because life demands that it is so.

My furry friend is 6 months old.

He is doing his job well, but more than that...he is my best friend.

and tomorrow, the only thing I am thinking about is that he MUST be o.k..

He must.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Making Tradition Anew...

Tradition.

It's one of those things that families tend to have. Bring the past into today. Memories of what was once into the now.

Not all traditions have a legacy of years and years....not all traditions were carried out by our grandmothers, and their mothers before them.

Some traditions are new, have never been done before, but you know that they will always be tradition, because they are THAT important.

I can see that this year will be bringing some of those traditions, new ones, to our Christmas spirit. Because this year....and every year after...I want to remember two little boys that touched my life and changed my heart forever without ever taking a single breath of air.

Christmas could never be Christmas without their presence. Traditions will be made in order that we can enjoy their light forever.

What will they be?

I don't know yet.

I don't know...

But I will recognize them as they make themselves known. Traditions will be born. I want them to be the kind of traditions that will live on in their brothers. Celebrations of love. Of light. Of hope. Of awakening.

and we will embrace what they gave us all. From the smallest to the most profound of gifts.

Christmas...the celebration of light, of hope, and awakening. Solstice...the celebration of light, of hope, and awakening. 1st dawn...the celebration of light, of hope, and awakening.

The traditions will embrace each of these....in memory of Simon and Alexander. Two little boys that we will never forget.

Because they are too important.
and that....
that is how tradition is born.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Something to be Thankful for...


Last year at this time I was pregnant. I didn't know it yet, nor would I have had ANY reason to suspect such a thing was possible. Nevertheless...it was true. Pregnant.

I do remember thinking it was odd that my nipples were so sore. I do remember feeling really positive about the future. Our future. My future.

I remember studying for finals week...and making pie...and all the trimmings. heh heh...of course we all know that the PIE is the best part.

We'd been to Hawaii that summer, and I was feeling positive that I'd go back one day.

I was super thrilled that our country had voted for a man of integrity and brains. A man that seemed to have a heart...and a conscience. Finally...a good man in office. It had seemed almost impossible that it could be like that after 8 years of nail biting!

I remember feeling really good about my body...I'd been working so hard to find myself under the layers that had accumulated over the years of baby bearing.

This year is different.

This year...I know there are still reasons to feel thankful...but...

Mostly...I feel sad.

I'm being proactive about it, so don't get me wrong...I'm working hard to feel my blessings through and through. I'm working hard to remember that it could be so much worse. So....in an effort....here's a list of the things that I am SO very grateful for...

My loving husband...I couldn't bare to live in a world without him and the depth of his spirit.

My 5 living, happy, silly, brilliant children...who bring the sounds of laughter, music, dance and joy to every day. They are brilliant boys that fill my heart with love.

My twins...gone from this earth, but ever present in miracles and memories.

My sweet Ferdinand...my helper...my companion...my fluffy and devoted fur-friend.

My home...thanks to President Obama, my mortgage has been reduced to a do-able amount that will allow this drowning household the ability to find some footing without losing our sweet little home.

My friends...Baby loss mothers who KNOW this brand of pain, and have held my hand through the tears and screams of agony...and my long time journey pals who love me for reasons I will never really understand.

My work...a gift from an experience that I never wanted to have that led to writing work I never dreamed possible. I've become a contracted writer...simply because my heart MUST write.

My husbands job...which gives us a stable income, and a place for him to share his wisdom and understanding.

My husbands band...providing him with soul nourishment in the form of brothers from other mothers!

The food on our table each day....delicious and wholesome.

A soft bed, a warm husband...and a farting puppy(the smell is comforting in a strange way...it means he's there...gross...but true.)

The ability to home school in a country I am proud to live in, with a leader I'm not ashamed of.

The knowledge that there is something after all of this...that I have seen...that waits for me...a golden place of love....when it's time. and not before.

My babies are gone. Babies I didn't know I wanted till they were here. Here against the odds...and gone just the same. Gone in spite of the thumbs up from smiling doctors and midwives and the happy kicks. Gone in spite of the joy that awaited them. Gone...simply gone.

and yet...I am grateful they once were here. Growing inside of me. Bringing magic and something new to my heart. Grateful for their life altering wisdom and growth.
Grateful for the flowers of purple and yellow that filled the spring and summer...and that still peek out of pockets of frozen ground...amazingly...

Yes...this is a different Thanksgiving.

But one to be thankful for nonetheless.

So very thankful.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Matter of "Maybe"...

Yesterday, my husband and I spent a wonderful afternoon walking in the Blue Mountains with Ferdinand who was in his element with the thin layer of snow that had fallen in the night. It didn't snow much at our home...but in the mountains near by, there was a little more. It was really beautiful.

I mention this, because at some point, I started to feel a little bitter later in the day. Bitter because it was Sunday, and the mail was not going to come. And, because the mail was not going to come, it also meant that my spermicide for my diaphragm was also not going to arrive. And, because THAT was true, it also meant that the swelling feeling surrounding my heart from our romantic and soulful walk....was going to go unsatisfied. It ALSO meant, that I had to face the fact that we are not trying to have a baby, which is why I use spermicide in the first place.

I don't like the unknown.

I don't like gambling.

I want to KNOW what is happening. In my mind, I want to say: yes, or no. Not...maybe.

That's why I said to my sweet husband that I wanted to get my tubes tied this morning. Not because I don't desire a baby with every part of my being. But...because I also do not desire to go through the hell of losing a baby. ever. again. I don't want to have to go to bed without making love to the man I am so fiery passionate about just because I don't have spermicide. (a side note...there is not a store in town that sells the stuff. Not one. You can buy ANY number of condoms. yuk. But not spermicide for a diaphragm. No...if you are a woman being proactive about her fertility, who doesn't want chemicals in her body screwing with her system or any device that goes about killing her babies at 5 1/2 months unexpectedly, you are screwed. Or...more accurately. NOT screwed.

So....I said this to my guy....and he looked so puzzled. He seems content with the "maybe" that a diaphragm offers...and the suspense of having to wait... He's content with a surprise. But...the problem I have with a surprise at this point...is that a surprise for us is viewed as an ACCIDENT by everyone else.

and that....is almost the most painful part of having lost Simon and Alexander. Everyone else viewed them as an accident. Everyone else felt sorry for us because we were pregnant. Everyone else felt that they were a mistake.

and then....

they died. and no one else could understand the mammoth immensity of our families loss. because, if they had been a mistake.......well then, what's the big deal about LOSING them?

We have five living children. WHY would we add more to that?

that is what everyone else seems to feel.

and knowing that.....knowing that my babies were seen as accidents....well...I can't stand the thought of going through that judgment again. I can't stand hearing that I am TOO fertile for my own good. Too fertile...and as my MIL said, might as well take out my uterus!!

I feel like if I am going to say "Maybe", I might as well say "YES!" and let everyone know that it was "YES!" No matter WHAT their opinion might be about it.

I'd want to scream it from the mountain tops "YES! I AM HERE...AND I WANT YOU!"

Not...."maybe...if you must."

Not...."maybe...if you slip through the barriers I've set up to stop you!"

There is the general sense of surrender in my husbands open position. I know he will be supportive if my diaphragm "fails". I love him for that....but...I do wish we were in a position that no one could judge. I wish money was no object. I wish we had more room.

I wish.....that it was simply "yes."

Because "no" is such a final word. A word of oppression. As my father always said..."Don't you understand the meaning of the word "NO"?! NO!!!!"

I prefer saying yes to life. and if I can't say yes, I guess "maybe" really IS the next best option.

So for now...I'll wait for that spermicide, and we'll say "maybe" together.

and maybe....we'll find a "yes" after all.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Of cabbages and kings...

I woke up this morning to find a big shaggy dog lazily sleeping where my husband is usually found. When he felt me stir, he opened his eyes behind his fluffy mane and stuck his warm tongue out in a yawn. I smiled and rubbed my eyes noticing how tender and raw the delicate tissue felt.

Yes...of course they felt raw...I'd spent most of yesterday sobbing.

I could hear my husband playing his guitar upstairs...moments of solace before he had to leave for work. I swung my legs over the side of the bed and Ferdinand hopped easily onto the floor. He's getting quite large...he no longer needs a pile of laundry to get up on our bed, and it seems that he enjoyed the warm spot my husband left beside me quite a lot.

I let my sweet giant baby outside, and slowly climbed the stairs...I am NOT a morning person by nature...and my puffy eyes were making me want to crawl back into bed because they felt so tired.

I entered our cozy little living room, and smiled at my husband. He was playing the song he'd created for our babies. It's a jazzy, lively melody. No words, but a lot of feeling. He had come home last night to a wife with tear stained cheeks, and a tremble left over from heart wrenching sobs.

Why?

Well...aside from the fact that I cry pretty easily now a days...aside from the reality that my arms still ache for babies they will never hold...aside from physiological symptoms of depression and anxiety that are at times completely debilitating....I've been doing really well. But not yesterday. Yesterday, I was given a writing assignment from a regular employer who likes my writing style. She wanted me to interview a few ladies for a human interest piece. No big deal, right?

But it was. I read the assignment, and quickly called the first number. A cheerful sounding woman answered the phone, and I asked her if I might talk to her about her company. She asked me if I could call back in 10 minutes. I was actually relieved, because I had suddenly realized that I had NO IDEA what her company was all about! I usually do a little research before I delve into an interview like that! I agreed to call back, and quickly linked to her site. I read her story. I clicked on a video that explained her entrance into the line she had created. There was her baby. Her premature, 25 week old, 1 pound infant. Only 2 weeks older than the sweet, tender, lifeless baby I held in my arms for 15 hours on Earth day of this year. One of my twins...the only twin I ever saw.

Her baby was a mirror of my son...transparent skin, fused eyes, precious tiny feet and hands. But alive. fighting for life.

Her pain and fear were so acutely real to me. Her daughter had lived, while my twins had died...but for me, it was unbearably similar. and heartbreaking.

I sat here, choking on my own breath. I knew I HAD to call her back. I couldn't NOT call her. So I dialed the number and tried to sound normal...but I knew my voice was cracking, and I explained that I was having a hard time composing myself because I had lost my twins in the Spring, and that her daughter had only been two weeks older...

She was so understanding...crying with me... Just as I could feel HER pain...she was feeling MINE. We talked for a long while, and I wrote her story down while wiping away the tears that were flooding my face. I felt so much joy for her that her daughter had made it. I wished my twins had made it too.

I wrote the article behind a waterfall of salt water tears... and sent it out this morning.

Sometimes I wish life was more like a fairy tale. Where cabbages and kings dance with fairies and shooting stars. Where babies never die, and happy endings are the norm instead of the exception. Perhaps there is a happy ending for me...one that I am blind to at the moment. I am so aware of all the mammoth blessings that embrace my life. I sometimes feel like a spoiled child crying because she didn't get another chocolate chip cookie. But sometimes...I feel like I was GIVEN two cookies I didn't even know were left, and was so delighted that they were MINE....but then...a big cookie monster rushed up to me and ripped them out of my eager hands and devoured them in front of me, rushing off to steal more cookies from other happy people who would be left with only crumbs. Leaving me without my cookies...knowing how sweet they would have been...and knowing that I would always want those cookies back, and that I could not protect anyone else from losing their cookies.

Infantile talk....transferring babies into cookies....but, isn't that the fairytale image? The little ginger bread boy that jumps out of the oven never to be seen again?

How I want a happy ending. But, the story has been told. There will be more stories in my life, and I'm sure many of them will be happy.

But I can never change the way THIS story has left me broken.

I understand SO much I never wanted to understand.

and so much that I could never turn away from.

I wrote the article; and I KNOW that I was meant to, because I understood how important it was that it be told with feeling...with empathy...with love.

Abigail....I am glad you made it. Thank you for being. You are a miracle.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween fun....

















Here we are....whimsical pumpkins, fun costumes: Marvin Martian, Deadpool from X-men, A werewolf "pimp", a Scottish lord, a greek goddess and god with their lovely little Pegasus angel pup. A great Halloween, with the ghosts of our babies in our hearts and on our minds....

Friday, October 30, 2009

Chocolate dinosaurs and Pumpkin Cheescake...

Tomorrow is Halloween....my boys are thrilled...the idea of going around filling up a bag full of candy is just about overwhelming to their little hearts.

Today, we are dressing up for a costume party...so many wonderful creative costumes...I've even dressed up our dogs.

But...there is this yearning to have a little chili pepper and a sweet pea pod resting nearby. To hear their gentle breathing. To know it will soon be time to nurse again. To be burdened with leaking breasts.

To know it would have been their first Halloween.

Enough.

It's too hard to live with all the could have beens. I keep hearing a song with re-arranged words..."Could have been so beautiful, could have been so right, could have held my babies, all throughout my life..."

But...the could have beens won't ever be.

We won't get to laugh over the sweet little costumes I would have made for them.

Their brothers won't tease them lovingly with chocolate dinosaurs or gently rub just a taste of pumpkin cheesecake on their little lips.

It would have been such a treat to have my twins here with us now...but instead...life has played a trick on us instead. My heart has been egged and T.Ped by the universe. My candy stolen.

all I have left....is my breath.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Oh...and one MORE thing....


Grieving.

Such silence outside while my insides are literally screaming in pain.

Smiles for the people I pass by on the street as I walk Ferdinand from store to store in his handsome service dog vest....it's purple with gold paw patches on either side. Yes...of course it is....

Tears on the inside while I gulp for air just to make it through the anxiety of being "out".

Strength on the outside when I express that my eldest son was saddened by the absence of celebration from his grandfather when he graduated in spite of his head injury.

Sobbing on the inside because the void is so familiar...so familiar.

Laughing on the outside when Will Ferrel catapults himself into the mouth of a t-rex in a valiant gesture of bravery.

Terrified on the inside because it looks like more death to me...more death.

Cozy on the outside in a sweater given by a dear friend.

Freezing on the inside ever since the spring when everything changed.


So....do I want any stress? Any surprises? Any more drama?

no.

NO!

So....I am saying "no" on the outside...because I am bellowing "No!!!" on the inside.

Oh...and one more thing....if you hear me say no...take heed. Don't try to wheedle and poke a yes out of me. I may tear you to pieces if you push another mangled raw spot.

Got it dad?

Don't try to make me feel bad for saying "it's not a good time". It is NOT a good time.

Got it dad?

Don't try to act like you don't understand my hesitation. My hesitation is valid.

Got it dad?

Don't think I don't love you. I do love you. I also love me.

Got it dad?

It is not a good time. I am saying no. Not now. Another time please.

it isn't time to add one more thing to this pile of crap I get to wade in.

How bout we wait till I don't cry every day.

How bout you understand that I need time to heal.

and that you can't suddenly jump in and be daddy when you've worked so hard to not be daddy.

Not now.

Not when I am bleeding profusely from my heart.

I am too vulnerable.

I am too weak.

Hear my "no." and let it be.

Feel my pain, and you will understand.

Until then....

no....not now.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Angels...





My angels...

Gone too soon.

Is it true that six months have passed since the nightmare of losing you began?

Alexander...birthed on Earth day; April 22nd....Simon...taken on the 28th of May..a month of hiding inside....holding on....

why!???!???!???

We would be having so much fun--if only you had stayed.

How I wish you had stayed.

I cannot seem to find a way to feel like it was "good" that you left.
No way to feel like the positives and the blessings are better than had you been allowed to stay. There HAVE been blessings and positives in SPITE of losing you...
but not because of losing you.

I cannot make sense of the "WHY!!!" that screams in my chest...even six months later.

It is stuck in me....that "WHY!!!"

and there are no answers.

My angels.

How I wish you were here.

Angel wings as gifts....as reminders....
you were here...once.

and it mattered. YOU mattered. you always will.

My angels.

I love you.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What if...?


What if there was no sorrow

and Angels could be seen...

What if tomorrow was a star-burst

and yesterday a dream...

What if I could hold your hands

and feel the beating of your hearts...

What if we were all together

never to be apart...

What if there were no worries

no pain, no loss, no tears...

What if we were open

to a journey without fear...

What if I could have you

in my arms each day...

knowing that you would never

have to go away...

What if knowing peace

was the only thing we had...

What if loving kindness

could chase away the bad...

What if I could have my way

and bring you back to me...

what a crime, because I know

that you are truly free...

I will cry, and I will bleed

You can fly and soar...

I will lose, and be in pain

you will hear me roar...

I will stumble, rise, and fall

you will witness all my loss--
and know I can take more...

knowing you was worth the rain

the beauty always there...

though I can't hold you again

and life really isn't fair...

I love you

I know you love me...

it will always be that way

for all eternity...

yes...

for all eternity.



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fifteen Years...




Tomorrow is my fifteenth wedding anniversary.

If I close my eyes I can almost see myself 15 years ago...I was in the kitchen...pulling my wedding cake out of the oven with my dearest friend and we were talking about how I used too much vanilla (in her opinion). We set the last layer out to cool, and I started clipping the prettiest daisies so that I could decorate it in the morning. I had decided to make my own cake for many reasons, but the one that sticks in my mind had to do with starting this new life with my new husband as authentically as possible. I wanted everything to be real. I didn't want a big, glorious wedding...I wanted it simple, and lovely...and honest. To celebrate our union with a cake that contained anything but the most real ingredients would seem somehow, to me, like a lie.

As the many layers of white chocolate cake cooled in various places (it was a small apartment...) I went for a walk with my friend...my dearest of friends...and my new brother in law. We walked up a mountain that is called Mount Jumbo. I had to pee desperately, but was young and shy and so, in spite of my brother in law claiming that I should just pee behind a bush, I instead opted to keep my poor bladder full and aching. My four year old son was a bottle rocket of energy and he raced ahead of us under the moon. I looked out over the city and wondered what my soon to be husband was doing....

In the morning, my friend got up at the crack of dawn to frost and decorate the now standing tiers of sweet smelling cake. We went to the beauty parlor where my hair was curled and braided up off my neck and filled with daisies....again...chosen for their simplicity and grace. My favorite of flowers...the humble daisy. I remember looking in the mirror and smiling because I really did look like a bride.

We arrived at the church...I dressed my son in his white shirt, his black pants, and his green and gold cape (he had insisted on a cape...) I put on my dress...hugged my sweet friend...and waited for the sound of harp music to end and for my father to take my hand.

In some part of my mind...I think I fully expected that my fiancee would have second thoughts, and would decide to not show up that day. So, when I turned the corner, and saw him standing at the alter with a gentle smile on his face...I almost passed out.

He came. He still wanted to marry me. He'd had time to think it over....but he came anyway.

We said our vows, which were basically explanations for how we had come to this moment in time, and ended with what we felt was the vow that summed all the others up in one...."Till death, do we part."

In the past fifteen years, we have lost five babies. We have had four beautiful sons to add to the one I brought with me. I gave up my mother, knowing that I had never had her in the first place. My husband has been through name after name, trying to find one that truly felt right, coming full circle to the name he was born with. Ty. We have been through parenting a child with undiagnosed mental health issues...and almost lost him due to a terrible accident. We have cried together. We have held hands through turmoil and poverty....such terrible poverty. We have believed in each other when others were shaking their heads. We have opted for a life together that was harder simply because it did not cut corners. We have hurt each other unintentionally...and worked to heal those wounds. My husband wrote a book and got it published, where it now sits in books stores all over the world. He became a wonderful therapist. I found out that I preferred psychology to medicine and have been fascinated to discover out that alternative health care healed, and allopathic medicine was good for emergencies. I've become a writer. My husband and I laugh together, enjoying the same humor and opinions about nearly everything. We cook fantastic food and eat it together. Tender gestures, and honesty, and unending compassion bind us close together. We have made passionate, earth shaking, love almost daily. We have worked through challenges most would have crumbled under. We are best friends. lovers. confidants. For fifteen years. We are one.

yes....friends have come and gone....my best friend of 15 years ago, who was my maid of honor...my eldest sons god mother... disappeared from my life 7 years ago with no explanation. Change. It happens.

I am no longer 19. He is no longer 23. I am fatter. He is balder. I am saggier. He is sexier. we are grayer. we are wiser...more seasoned. Pain and loss have twisted us inside out. Struggle has pounded us hard. Life has shown us that bad things happen to good people. We have shown life that we can make it through hell and back again.

and...I have done it holding the hand of the man that said "Till death do us part" 15 years ago.

Ty....I am sooo glad to be your wife. To be your friend...and your partner.

Thank you for showing up.

Thank you...for loving me.

Happy Anniversary baby....it's only the beginning!!

The Best is yet to come...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Running with the wind


The wind is howling like a ghost outside. Ordinarily I do NOT like that. I never have liked it, from the time of being a small child. It felt too wild. Like no one could hear you if you screamed for help. (That should give some insight to the childhood I had!---sheesh....)

But tonight....The wind is howling. Screaming really. The trees in my yard are bending with the strength of the winds pushing power. You can hear the rushing of the leaves---they sound like ocean waves pounding on the beach or like a subway rushing trough tunnels in New York!

It is pretty dark, because the full moon is covered by gray clouds that are eerily illuminated by the light of the moon that is trying to peek through unsuccessfully. Yes...I am usually anxious on a night like this...especially when my husband is out of town like he is. But, the kids were watching a movie...and I felt so restless....

I got my puppy's leash and his reflective vest and put a wind breaker over my fleece sweater, and told the kids I was going for a walk, and that I had my cell phone if they needed me. They yelled "AWESOME!!!" (I suspect they were thinking about the ice-cream in the freezer, and how it would be up for grabs.....)

I walked with my puppy who felt wild in the wind....he wanted to RUN, so run we did. I ran.....and talked to the wind....to my babies....cried...and ran...and cried....and screamed to myself....and laughed at the unusual friskiness that the wind had instilled on my sweet gentle giant ball of fur....and cried and enjoyed that no one...no one at all...could possibly hear my screams...and no one would see my fat ass running...and no one would be outside in weather like that....and it was dark and chilly and wild....

and I was free.

I ran all the way up to the water tower...which is about five miles UP the mountain...and I ran all the way down. My heart was pounding..because I am NOT a runner (see the above aforementioned "fat ass" comment...which was the name my stepfather christened me when puberty came into my life, and a generous teen happened to yell at me a few days ago on a daylight stroll as he drove by...nice...what a lovely young man...and I still have to ask the REAL question..."and WHY, may I ask...are you staring at my ass with such interest?".)

But, again-- no one could SEE my fat ass running...and so I felt free to run. Funny how hard it is to exercise when you are over-weight. everyone seems to think it's such a joke to see someone like me running. Big Breasts, wide hips, short legs....how DARE I exercise! It almost seems to scare people to see a fat person exercise, as if...maybe...there is more to being plump than just being inactive...how terrifying.

Anyway--I digress....

It felt amazing to be in that wild wind with my dog...racing around in the cool air of the night. I was not afraid. After all...the wind sounded like ghosts all around me...and I am not afraid of ghosts anymore. I have been to the other side...and there isn't anything to fear. If anything...I look forward to seeing my twins again. Not immediately..because I have a lot to do here right now...but I know they are there. I know it...because I was there too.

So let the wind howl....it is freedom....it is wild and crazy...it doesn't care about the opinions of others....it lets me scream and cry and dries my tears as quickly as they fall.

There is the sound of ghosts in the air.

For the first time in my life,that is a good thing.

yes....a very good thing.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Finding the Gift...


I woke up this morning and noticed how chilly the air was. Getting up to shut the window, I saw the dawn peeking up over the mountains, and though part of me wanted to snuggle back under the covers for a few more moments, I started to put on some fleece pants and a sweater. I gathered up a leash and clipped it on my sweet baby sheep dog. "Let's go Ferdinand..." I whispered. He stretched out a little and then plodded beside me. Usually he is the one to wake me up in the morning with his big bear paws gently patting my arm to let me know he wants to go out. In any case, we went outside and started walking down the street, heading for the gully that houses the ashes and memories of my lost babies.

The cool autumn breeze felt fresh on my cheeks and I pulled my hat a little lower around my ears. No one was stirring around us--It was Sunday after all, a day of "rest". Even the busy eager church goers were not up yet. I walked briskly, my 13 week old pup trotting politely beside me. I looked down at him with a smile. Already his downy hair is obstructing the ability to see his sparkling eyes. Soon, he will look like a mop with legs. A large shaggy mop. I thought about all the dogs I've had in my life. Good dogs, silly dogs, active dogs, sweet dogs....some big, some little....but all of them pulled. They would get attached to a leash, and suddenly, the race was on. By the time the walk was over, my arm would be throbbing for the relief of a hot bath and Epsom salts. So, it was pretty special to me that my young pup had never pulled my arm out of it's shoulder socket in an effort to move faster, move faster, move faster! No, he was happy to be by my side, even following me at times. Not in a lethargic way, it was more of a contentment to just be with me.

We were walking. And that was enough for him to feel happy about.

We were walking. And I was able to hear the breeze and the birds around me without wondering if I would be pulled in front of a car by an eager cat chase.

We were walking. And I was relaxed.

Relaxed.

Relaxed.

I laughed a little to myself as we entered the wooded gully...thinking about all of the times I'd walked here in the past 5 months. Hundreds of times. Hundreds. I thought of all the tears that had soaked into the dirt that my feet were now walking on. Thousands. I thought about all of the talking and wishing and screaming into my husbands chest I had done here. Countless.

My babies are gone.

But I was relaxed.

I walked up to the stone with my Fuzzy pup. He sat down right away. He knew the drill. He would sit, and I would kneel. He would cuddle close to me while I cried. But today...kneeling there. I smiled.

I thanked my boys who never got to be for all the wisdom I'd gained from them. I thanked them for sending me a friend to heal with...a perfect dog. I thanked them for transforming my sight and opening up the world of purple and yellow all around me that I'd never noticed before they touched my life. I thanked them for my life. And for theirs. I thanked them for loving me. For letting me love them. I thanked them for helping me understand something about life that I didn't know before. I thanked them for giving me sisters. Sisters to love, and cry with, who understand my heart, while I can understand theirs. What a gift! What a gift.

I got up and brushed the dirt off my knees and blew a kiss into the air for my babies.

I know it isn't over....the crying comes and goes. I know I will still have moments of feeling the stab of loss in my gut. That isn't something you lose. Even so, this morning when I was walking away from that rock, I knew something had happened to me. I had found that golden thread that shows you something good in life. That golden thread that runs through existence in all it's corners, high and low. I had found it's presence in my darkest loss... and there was something really beautiful about understanding that it was there. Coming up out of the gully I noticed a purple wildflower with a yellow butterfly sitting on it.

I looked up at the newly lit sky and whispered..."Thank you."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Garbage Gut...



I just got home with my puppy....he has been at the vet for several days with what they eloquently called "Garbage gut". Sounds very medical right? Very official? What it means is that my sweet puppy likes to eat things that are not digestible. Rocks, grass, weeds, sand, wood chips, confetti, toys, small plastic items, flowers, carpet, string, crayfish shells....etc...etc...etc.....

So, even though my house is at it's peak level of cleanliness.....my fur baby still consumed enough crud to clog his entire system which almost killed him.

Now what?

I am on a mission. Clearly, vacuuming alone is NOT enough. I am getting down on all fours today, head low to the ground and I will find EVERYTHING if it kills me! I will also be leashing him, and closely monitoring him outdoors....because clearly I wasn't being vigilant ENOUGH. (this of course makes my children laugh because they think I am super anal about my sweet fur baby....they say I don't treat him like he's a dog... and..well...he ISN'T a "dog". He's my Ferdinand.)

I took him on the bus today...an official comment to the driver of "He's a service puppy in training" gave us a smile and total access. My heart beat slowed to a comfortable place, and he quietly sat at my feet. The world is allowing us in together. I am allowed to be with my comfort...my emotional helper.

And that.....is as perfect as anything could be right now.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Some kind of Sports team...



Where do we go from here?
Whats around the corner?


I was at an anniversary party yesterday. It was the kind of party I never throw or even go to-- even before I became an introvert. There were over 100 people filtering in and out. Three kegs, a definite aura of possible pot smoking going on somewhere hidden in a back room in spite of the dozens of children (my own included) running around in a lord of the flies fashion, people laughing, drinking too much, lots of great food, music, the smell of grilling veggies and meats, the sky a bright blue, people signing a big banner with congrats for the happy couple who had managed to keep loving each other for 10 years. Quite a feat in this day and age! A celebration. A party.

I don't like parties. Never have. I'm more of an intimate gathering type of girl. I like to have deep conversations, or play funny games. I like to laugh with a few people that I know. I like to get to know them better. I don't drink. Neither does my husband. We don't smoke pot...or anything else for that matter. I never dropped acid, or ate mushrooms....I like to feel my feelings even when they are raw and painful. I like to go to the places of conversation that become closed if substances are involved. The raw places. The truth places. I like to know that what I am experiencing is real...not induced by a substance. If I ever do get to see a fairy, I will know that I really saw it!!!

My "parties" don't offer kegs and homemade wine. There isn't a back room for parents to sneak off to while their children run around in circles--boys against girls...girls boldly kissing the boys and laughing as the boys scream in feigned disgust. No one has the glazed over eyes of mild intoxication that influences what they say and how they say it. I like balloons. Flowers. Lavender Lemonade or sparkling pear cider. I don't win awards for my home brewed peach wine. I win awards for kick ass cakes and ethnic food.

So all that difference aside, I was at this party. It was the anniversary of the banjo player in my husbands band. A sweet hippie couple with two cute redheaded kids to match their parents copper topped love. They are more laze fair about their substance use than I am...I try not to judge them...but...I don't really like it.

So, I was keeping an eye on my kids...and stroking my puppy's fur while he slept in the shade, and occasionally popped something yummy into my mouth. People watching. It's become a sport of mine. Wondering what kinds of pain are hiding behind the smiles. I wonder this because my own smile hides all kinds of pain...and I often wonder if people can see behind it. If they avoid my eyes on purpose.

A young woman that I'd never met raced up to me and said "Hey...would you watch my little girl while I go in back?" She winked at me to let me know what "in back" meant and smiled sheepishly. Now...the old me would have weakly smiled and said "sure." simply to seem like I wasn't judging and was happy to watch a tiny little girl whose mother was going to go "have fun". The new me looked at her...looked at her tiny daughter with the little pink dress...and shook my head. "No...No I won't do that for you. I just can't." She looked a little taken aback...and then rushed off to find some other person she didn't know to care for her little one while she got high.

I felt like crying. I felt like crying for all the children who had parents that were not there for them, when I am usually such an attentive mama who would have LOVED the responsibility of two more...it made my stomach turn to see the parental shirking all around me...it seemed so unfair...I felt like I could become a child napper at that moment...be like the pied piper and lead all the children away into a world they didn't even know existed, where mommy and daddy are REALLY there for you when you wake up at night from a nightmare, or get stung by a bee, or have your heart broken....

I watched as a little boy less than two years old cried as he looked for his mom in the crowd of people he didn't know. Where was she? Probably in "the back room". I looked across the yard and saw my husband cuddling another woman's tiny baby boy. He adores babies. We both do. Only...it seems that he can actually hold one without losing his mind. I loved watching him dance around with that little boy...so tiny...so new...and all I could think was how wonderful it would have been to have seen him dancing with his eyes sparkling...his arms full of two new little boys blinking up at him...getting to know their daddy. My fingers gripped Ferdinand's plush fur a little deeper and my puppy looked up at me and licked my arm. His eyes peeking out of the hair that is growing so fast sparkling with understanding for my heart.

My husband gave the baby back to the happy young mother after a final kiss to the downy little head, came over to me and saw in my face that I wanted to go. He understands...he doesn't like the whole scene of parental irresponsibility that I was watching all around us either. These are the people that never grew up. These are the people that didn't just "experiment" in college. These are parents. Parents who think they are just happy hippies having a mellow time together, and maybe that's true on some kind of level. But when push comes to shove...they aren't being very attentive parents. They aren't really there for their kids. How can they be when they are in a "back room"?

Anyway...I guess I was there too, in a different kind of "back room", the back room where I sit and grieve my babies...where I am alone with my broken heart. Who was I to judge these parents leaving their kids for the back room...after all...where I have been for the past four months? In a back room of my broken heart. I realized that it was exactly the same thing. I was alone in a crowd of people. And so were my children even though I was only 10 feet away.

I wanted to go home.

As I was gathering up my stuff so that I could join my family in the car the lead guitarist called out to me "Hey Sara! If you'd just have a couple more boys you'd be able to have some kind of sports team at your house!" He laughed and held up his glass, filled to the brim with amber ale. I looked at him for a minute...and said.."Yeah...that would have been nice...I would have liked that." The guy sitting next to the guitarist groaned and slapped the guy across the back. "Idiot!" He whispered fiercely enough for me to hear as I turned and walked away blinking back the tears.

I took a few deep breaths and walked on. The wife of the banjo player grabbed my arm and hugged me, thanking me for coming, telling me that I'm super sexy with all my curves and "tiger purred" at me in joking fashion. She always does that after a few too many. I wished her many more years of love with her sweet husband, and continued walking. There was an extra child in our car...the little girl of the lead guitarist...It seemed she would be joining us.

We drove away and my husband squeezed my hand and showed me a pair of mini drumsticks given to him by one of his band members so that he could "play" in his office between therapy clients "to keep him young and sane". We stopped at the river on our way home and I dug my toes in the sand while I watched our boys and a sassy girl play in the water. It felt good to breath slowly in the silence of nature...to cleanse out judgmental thoughts and process the day.

The sky was still blue as ever...the air crisp and warm at the same time...children laughing.

"You did really great today honey" my husband said

"Thanks..."

"I just want you to know that I don't want to go to any more parties like that."

"Me either."


It's really nice to be on the same page...to be in love...to be holding hands and growing together rather than apart..to be sober and in touch with reality....our kids are happy....and they really are sort of a team already. Maybe not a sports team....but a team none the less. And Simon and Alexander are part of that team, even if they can't be seen.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009



Thank you beautiful friends for nominating me for the Honest Scrap award...There are so many blogs I love...so many women I would nominate...but most of you have been nominated!!! Here are 10 possibly interesting things about me...depending on your mood....

1. I had my first child at age 15. Talk about growing up fast....wow...

2. I look just like my mother when she isn't dyeing her hair platinum/chartreuse, putting in green contacts, and starving herself....of course...she may have changed all that, but I wouldn't know due to the restraining order that protects me from her... thank goodness for the legal ability to do so.

3. I love Kumquats, mangoes, and Mexican or lavender chocolate.

4. I used to bite my toenails. Eeewww!

5. I wet the bed till I was 13.

6. I never use babysitters because I was molested by mine.

7. I hate white walls with poster art hanging on them.

8. I brought a ton of sand home from my Hawaiian vacation, and sift it through my fingers when I am sad...which is often.

9. I never wear shoes if I don't HAVE to.

10. I have never taken drugs, smoked or consumed alcohol (with the exception of 1/2 a wine cooler in my freshman year... and that was plenty!!) I like it "pure" thank you....smile.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

September


Fall already? Is it possible?

Somewhere in the past four months I must have entered into a time warp. Somewhere deep inside of me I am still in April hearing that distant voice rumbling that my baby was gone...the beginning of a journey leading me to the loss of not one...but two.

Where were the summer days filled with laughter and freedom?

The trips down the river?

The peaches ripening in the sun?

The days complaining about the heat?

None of that happened. None.

Where were the summer nights filled with excitement of lovemaking around the huge belly of a pregnant woman?

The endless waking up to pee?

The altering of pillows to find a comfortable spot?

None of that happened either.

No...I am still in the hospital room...popping kumquats into my mouth...feeling the sting of unwanted contractions. I am still holding the tiny body of my baby...lifeless.

I am still hemorrhaging even a month after that...discovering that there was another unknown person to loose. Another one....

As if one wasn't enough.

As if the universe wanted to prove that, in fact, I really could suffer even more. Yes. More suffering was to be permitted by the universe that was supposed to protect me. No. I would not die from the scream that echoed across the span of my being into the void around me.

Where did the summer go?

It dissolved in my tears.
It hid behind clouds that mocked me, pretending that spring never passed. The cool days mimicking spring. The hours ticked by, but the season stayed the same.

The fruit trees in my yard failed to fruit.

My legs went without the glow of summer; still as pale as they were on April 22nd.

My children stayed home from camp.

I never saw the musicians at the farmers market.

I sit here, looking at the calendar which claims that it is September. My baby is turning 6 years old on the 10th. He was to have been a big brother...instead...he will unwrap packages of legos that no watchful mothers eye will have to protect baby fingers from grabbing and placing into rosebud mouths in the months ahead.

I sit here next to the baby sheepdog with the plushy fur that my fingers stroke in the middle of the night for comfort when I wake up to care for....no-one.

I sit here.

I wonder if Fall will pass in the same timeless way. I wonder if I will ever find my way out of the hospital halls where the tears ran with steady fervor embedding furrows at the corners of my eyes.

I feel so tired. Maybe that tiredness is the clue that the summer has passed; without rest, without laughter, without peace. Maybe that tiredness is a sign that I need to sleep, waking up to the Fall that is and leaving the Spring that was behind.

Maybe.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Letting them go


Walking down the road that leads to the meadow where our special rock lay silently in a field of purple and yellow flowers. A procession of 7 people and a black and white puppy. My husband holding purple and yellow balloons and a small container that held the ashes, two boys holding purple and yellow candles, one holding a bouquet of purple and yellow flowers, one holding some coins, and one walking by my side while I guided our fluffy pup on a leash.

It was a truly lovely day...such a blue sky...a cool breeze...The balloons gently waiving.

When we got to the rock...we placed the candles, the flowers and the balloons around the rock. The candles were lit, and we took turns expressing our hearts to the babies we all wanted and loved. I felt silenced...unable to speak words to ears that were cremated into ashes...knowing they can hear my heart....and how it screams in pain for them to be in my arms...just to be in my arms. I whispered "I love you...I love you..." But nothing more would come. We sprinkled the ashes on the rock. My husband and I took turns placing our hand lovingly and gently on the ashes...rubbing the smudge into our own skin...making them part of us for all time. Our sweet sons placed their coins on the ashes. It was their idea--taken from the Greek myth that claims that souls need the coins to pay fare to cross the river "Styx"...I was so touched that they came up with the idea on their own, a way to aid their little brothers at least once with the love they have for them...with the humor they wanted to share with them.

We all held onto the balloons. My husband had purchased 7 balloons...7 for the family members left behind, 7 for the sons we love. On the way home...two of the balloons popped. A purple and a yellow one. So...we decided that the symbolism was that the five brothers were symbolized in the balloons that had not popped, and the two that had popped were our twins...they were going to be raised into the heavens with the strength of their brothers. We released them into the sky...and they flew up....up.........and far far away....until they could no longer be seen.

I took some of the petals from the flowers and placed them in the jar that had once held the ashes.

Looking up into the sky once more I whispered...."they are gone....they just disappeared."

My husband held me tight while I cried quietly and the boys embraced the two of us.

We walked home...and I was ever so glad to be holding my puppy in my arms...He licked the salt of my tears off my cheeks and felt so lovely and warm...I have to let my twins go...but I don't have to stop loving them...I don't have to stop wanting them...But I do have to let them go. They are on their way. I know they will stay in touch in the wondrous way of spirit. Yes....

It was such a beautiful day.

beautiful.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Early morning...

I am spending a lot of time out in the early morning air lately. The wee hours before the sun actually lights the earth with it's warmth are fresh and cool. The stars seem to shine more brightly just before they disappear behind the light that streams up in golden rays from behind the mountains--like a sunset in "rewind" mode.

I've never really been a morning person. I have woken up slowly, reluctantly, and carefully most of my life, preferring the allure of nighttime to the buoyancy of morning. When I had babies that nursed, I would cuddle them close in those wee hours, eyes sleepily opened to watch them happily suckling their breakfast, often drifting back to sleep with them in my arms; A beautiful peace over me.

This morning, I was caring for a dfferent kind of baby. Not a nurseing child, but a silly, fluffy puppy who needed to relieve himself after a long slumber. I walked around the yard with him at my side, and admired the sky's muted blueness sprinkled with enourmous sparkling stars. The birds were beginning to wake, and the dew in the grass was making my toes moist through the pink flip flops I was wearing. No cars...no voices...no lawn mowers.....no human sounds except for the flopping of my shoes in the grass.

Today was to have been my due date had my babies lived. August 21st. The day that Ramadan begins. An auspicious day. August 21st.

Instead of preparing to give birth, possibly even passing the day with a groan of irritation at being so heavy with child, I am empty. My babies are gone. I will spend the day preparing emotionally to spread ashes of what was once living inside my womb. I thought about the purple and yellow candles I wanted to light for them...and about the balloons I wanted to buy to release into the heavens; a symbol of sending them to my babies who would never see them. Who would never feel the warmth of my milk in their tiny bellies.

I was standing there in the dewy grass...the stars were beginning to fade, and tears were on my cheeks. And then, there it was....warmth. A smooth warm tongue gently caressing my damp toes. I looked down and smiled at the sweet face of my baby Old English Sheepdog. Bright brown eyes twinkling at me from behind an already abundant puff of fur. I could almost hear him saying "It's o.k....I'm here for you." I picked him up and held him. He is such a dear cuddly baby. His weight felt so good in my arms...his baby smell so reassuring.

I brought him inside and lay him down on his little bed next to my own. He flopped down and fell asleep immediately, with the quick breathing that is of a baby. I lay down in my own bed and closed my eyes...hearing his breath....with the crisp wetness of the grass still on my feet.

Yes...It is August 21st.