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. "


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 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 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. 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 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 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.


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 "'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 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 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 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."

"'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. fault.


he surprised me.

"I have a credit card we can put the costs on...don't worry sweetheart. It all comes from the same'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 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.



He knows how to care for that he can BE 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.





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.


Sometimes, if I forget to think, I find myself smiling over little 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.




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 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." 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.

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 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 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.