Sunday, September 20, 2009
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.
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."
Posted by Emerging Butterfly at 5:05 PM
Thursday, September 17, 2009
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.
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.
Posted by Emerging Butterfly at 12:05 PM
Monday, September 14, 2009
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
"I just want you to know that I don't want to go to any more parties like that."
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.
Posted by Emerging Butterfly at 10:24 AM
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.
Posted by Emerging Butterfly at 5:47 PM
Thursday, September 3, 2009
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.
Posted by Emerging Butterfly at 11:10 AM