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.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm a finalist in a blogging contest!!

http://www.beliefnet.com/Community/2009/08/Vote-for-the-Blogging-Contest-Winner.aspx

Please go to this site and vote for me in the Beliefnet blogging contest. I am a finalist out of over 100 other bloggers....I can only win with your help.

Thanks so much for reading....and for supporting me on this rocky journey.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sir Felix Ferdinand.... our "Baby" (We just call him Ferdinand)


He is here...our rainbow puppy....

Never have I encountered such a dear peaceful puppy. He is so sweet and follows us everywhere with his big paddy paw feet. He is smart and funny, and loves to cuddle for hours. He is gentle and observant and has the softest fur I have ever touched. He looks like a woolly stuffed animal...and never objects to being loved on.

He seems to know he has a job to do...that he must heal our broken hearts...

He is right on task...

I have nothing but love for him. He sleeps by the side of my bed, where my fingers can stroke him in the night and he licks my fingers softly and I fall back to sleep knowing all is well. I wake up early to take him out and feed him, and then brush his wonderful fur coat while he literally purrs with delight and total submission to my attention.

I carried him in a sling yesterday, and he just looked at me with his wise brown eyes and snuggled into my chest while we walked around.

What a sweet baby....I'm so thankful for this opportunity to heal through his love.

I love hearing my children laugh with him, he loves to play with them, but is really careful not to hurt them with his teeth. I'm starting to wonder if he is an angel in a dog body...sent to care for us all...to give us back some of the joy that was stolen from us all.

Born on the 19th of June...he is a Gemini...the sign of the twins. Could it be a coincidence???
He arrived with a purple collar....another coincidence??
He seems to know...
everything that we need him to be.

My rainbow puppy is here.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Grief turned inward...


So...I am "supposed" to be getting better..."supposed" to be getting over my babies dieing...."supposed" to be moving forward....

I smile more. I laugh more. I do more. I hold back tears more. I try to think about ANYTHING else. I am moving forward. Doing my life. Doing Yoga. Walking every day. Homeschooling my children. Playing ABC go Fish...and Clue... Getting a darling, fuzzy, wonderful puppy to love. Being a good mother, A good wife, A good cook. Being outwardly patient and smiley with family, friends, neighbors.

So...why did I hack my hair off in tears? Jagged clumps on the floor of what was once beautiful, long, chocolate and caramel colored wavy hair.... Looking worse with every chop. Why did I start ripping off a tiny mole on my neck in complete agitation? Leaving me no choice but to call my doctor to have her remove ALL my tiny little moles to prevent me from doing it again. Here I am biting my nails, and the skin around the bed of my nails creating painful hang nails....Basically ravaging myself quietly.

Went to my hair dresser that I see about...oh...once or twice a year. Took off my hat and begged her to fix what I had done. "Why did you do it?" was her question. I just shook my head and shrugged, not wanting to explain that what I really wanted to do was to shave it all off. To be as ugly and wretched as I felt inside.

She was able to layer it nicely...lots of curls...it looks much better. It feels lighter. No trace of my hack job--except that it is much much shorter.

My doctor, cutting off my moles, asked me "Why are you having these removed, they look fine."
My reply? "because I keep ripping them off."

She looked at me and said..."I'm worried about you."

"Don't be. I'm doing fine...a lot better...really." And I smiled and laughed a little..holding back the tears.

And that's what I tell everyone. I'm doing really good. I'm doing just fine. Getting better...see my clean house? See my happy family? See my wholesome cooking? See the folded laundry?

The weeded garden?

See?

You see...I am finally doing what I never could do before....I am neat...I am on top of it...I am in control. Do you like what you SEE???

I am in control of SOMETHING!!!!!

and my curls are laying in the garden...

and my scream is silent.

A good, clean, silent girl...for the first time in my life.
Nothing wrong here....nope...not a thing. All better.

silently bleeding. with a smile.

Somehow, it seems to me that tears are a lot more healthy than this repressed walk that satisfies and comforts the masses. I think I'll take it back....my right to cry. There isn't an alarm clock that is set after a loss that says "O.k....you've been sad about this for your allotted amount of weeks, now, BE HAPPY!!!"

No. No, that isn't how it works. There are days of sunshine..and days of rain filled skies. They balance each other. I think the days of sunshine are all the more brilliant in contrast to the days of gray clouds. Pretending that the clouds aren't there, when they ARE, is just denial...denial of reality.

I am getting better....and my babies are dead. I smile more each day...and I still find myself overcome with grief. I help other mama's who have lost their babies find some reason to go on, just as they help me. We are on this path...we have loss, and love, and tears and smiles. None are present without the reality of the other side.

Give me my tears...and let my curls grow again.

The smiles will come later, slowly at first...and then more frequently. But I will never be the me I once was before I was the mother of dead twins. I am a new me....a me that "gets" this kind of pain...this kind of heart break. This me is someone who can hold the hand of another...and understand without question.

Yes. I am getting better---and my tears are allowed to keep falling in the sunshine. That is how rainbows are made.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Panda puppy...cuter every day.













This is our puppy on my birthday...August 9th--he is 7 weeks old and will be comming to our home on the 14th...isn't he a sweet little panda!!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

pushed under again...

I can hear the wind blowing through the trees in the night air. A storm is coming. The kids and I took a walk this evening, watching the storm clouds move in slowly as we walked, the wind picking up, the air getting cooler.

The boys are now in bed, with teeth brushed and stories read...and I am here, typing about the weather. But really, it isn't about the weather. The weather is just the catalyst for the story of my heart right now. It is the metaphor for how I feel right now. Like a storm is brewing. Like the rains of my heart are about to burst open in a massive outpouring.

What do you say to a person when they tell you you are lucky to have not been carrying girl twins since they had to die? As if it was more acceptable that they died because they were boys, and I already have five sons. What do you say to a person who means well and doesn't know what to say to such a horrible nightmare situation so says something unconsciously ugly to you?

I quietly replied that I love my boys...that they are sweet and tender and wonderful...and that I would have loved twin sons in my arms.

She waived that away with a laugh..."yes...but at least they weren't GIRLS...that would have driven you insane!"

wow.

The things people say.

unbelievable.

It makes me want to stick my head in the toilet and drown myself just to prevent people from saying things that rip me apart...because, just for the record in case it has escaped anyone...I want my baby boys back. I was happy to have more boys. I would have been just as happy to have girls. I wanted my babies!!! It didn't MATTER to me if they were male or female...they were my babies; and I want them back.

Someone made a mistake...a terrible error...babies aren't supposed to be born dead to their parents. I am supposed to be the lady that is "made to have babies"...isn't that what everyone always told me in response to my big healthy beautiful family? Isn't that the purpose of these wide hips and large milk giving breasts?

It isn't selfish to want my babies back. It doesn't matter that I already have five sons...that doesn't make my twins disposable. We ALL wanted them. We were excited. We were ready.

I'm going to go and hide under the covers and let the lightning and thunder muffle my sobs...the universe can cry along with me....but the one thing I am sure of is that it will stop raining before my heart stops crying. A good thing...because if it rained as long as my tears fall we would all be covered in the sea.

I wish someone would build an ark for me. Sometimes I am so afraid I will drown in this grief.

Maybe my new puppy will like to swim. Maybe he can be my life boat and bring me back to shore.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Just DO-ing

Painting. That is what I have been doing for the past two days. Just painting. Nothing artistic or anything like that...nothing that required any focus really, or talent. The covered porch on my house was showing signs of chipping and peeling from the hard winters and blistering sunny days of the past few summers. So, I got out the scraper and the sandpaper and the primer...and went to work.

I had this idea in my head that if I could focus on nothing, and just DO that I would be able to feel less lonely for my babies, less anxious about waiting for my puppy, and less melancholy about the future.

Scrape, scrape...sand, sand, sweep...prime...

I decided I wanted some new color on the porch...a new dimension to my home of grass green and yellow green...so I picked the color of vanilla ice cream..french vanilla sans the specks. A nice deep soothing simple color to compliment the house that is the brightest color in my neighborhood.

The paint had a lovely thick texture and I spent a fair amount of time just stirring it around staring into it's opaqueness. Not thinking. Just DO-ing. hours and hours passed...I was outside painting by the light of a lantern that flickered with the illusion of candlelight. Then, I woke up with the sun to paint again. Stopping only to feed my children and make sure my sprinkler was positioned in various spots around my yard throughout the day...I painted and painted...amazed at how many coats were needed to cover the light yellow green that had been on the boards before...4,5,--- 8 coats!

Not thinking...just DO-ing.

At 6 in the evening, the work was done. I couldn't even pretend that there was more to do. I stood there looking at the clean, freshly painted porch..admiring how it looked so soothing to my eyes. I wished I could paint it again.

Instead, I called to my boys that we were going on a walk to watch the sun set in the gully right after dinner.

We walked down into the meadow, where the first rays of pink were settling around the mountain line in the distance. Entering the field I kneeled next to the rock that would be the place we will soon spread the ashes of one of our twins...the only twin we ever saw or got to hold. I put some purple and yellow flowers on the rock and closed my eyes, trying to find the quiet that I had held while painting...

I love you...I love you...my heart beat with the rhythm of the words...I love you.

Walking away from the rock I looked up and saw a silver balloon sailing away up into the sky. My 13 year old saw my smile and commented that he has always found it strange that people enjoy seeing balloons float away even though it usually means that somewhere there is a small child crying that they lost their balloon.

My youngest son laughed and said "Look Mom...It's going so high! It's going to heaven!! It's a present for our babies!"

I squeezed his little hand...and walked on with my boys.

Just DO-ing.