Monday, April 23, 2012

Earth Day...

Yesterday was Earth Day.

For those of you who know my story, you know why that day is important to me.  Three years have passed since we lost our twins.  Three years have passed since I discovered that there really is something beautiful to be found after we die.  Three years have passed.

I feel a little bit like a war veteran who has just come home.  I've seen things the "normal" people around me have not seen.  Felt things they haven't felt.  Questioned things they never thought to question. Been through things I hope they never have to go through.

I'm a changed being.  Tender.  A little frayed around the edges.  Bruised.  Scarred.  Maimed.

But I'm here.

I'm here.

Yesterday, we spent the day walking.  Talking.  In the seclusion of river, woods and fields, we found some laughter, shared tears, memories...

We took turns holding our rainbow girl.  How healing is the presence and solid vibrancy of a rainbow baby!  In moments of intensity...heart breaking longing...we would hold her close.  Feel her skin.  Thanking life for giving her to us.  And then, blinking back tears in the knowledge that some of our fellow sisters and brothers of  the loss world have not been given the opportunity to feel that comforting balm.  It pains me so deeply to think that such a painful void would remain empty for so many.

In that...I know I am ever so lucky.

I don't say blessed at the moment, because that would imply that someone decided I was worthy of my girl, while others remain unworthy...and that, to put it solid horse-shit.

I am lucky.

So very very lucky.

I wanted to thank everyone who put Simon and Alexander in their hearts yesterday.  I wanted to thank the people who called...who sent  I wanted to thank the people who took pictures and drew their names in the sand.  Thank you.  It isn't blood that defines family.  It's love.  It's thoughtfulness.  It's holding someone's hand in support.  You are the people who do that for me.  You are my family.

I love you for that.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Slip Sliding Away...

I've been crying a lot this month.  Sobbing actually.  There are lots of reasons for this...all of the reasons linked to the same events.

I'm weeping because they would have been three this month.

I'm wiping my eyes because I could have had twins.

I'm sniffling because I feel guilty for wanting something I can not have.  Ever.

I'm gasping for air because it still hurts that they are gone.

I'm feeling my heart race because the agony of that pain has short circuited my body's electrical patterns.  Maybe permanently. 

I'm holding my face in my hands because I'm supposed to be all better, according to others, now that my lovely rainbow baby is actually HERE at my breast.  And yet....I'm still crying inside.

It's not that I don't feel the soothing balm of rainbow baby loveliness.  It's not that she isn't AMAZING in every way.  It's not that.  It's that I lost my twins.  I think I thought it would stop hurting somehow.  I think I thought I really wouldn't feel the pain so acutely anymore.  I think I thought that after three years....

I'd maybe...forget?

Or maybe I'd...just smile at the memory of people who should have been...but didn't get to BE?

Or perhaps I'd...just....

be stronger.

But I'm not. 

And that has to be okay with me. 

It's April.  It hit me hard today as I walked in the woods with that amazing man who, for whatever reason, still seems to love me like there is never going to be a tomorrow.  Our little miss V. was on my back, gazing at the world around her in a perky little bonnet.  Her big blue eyes competing with the sky for brilliance.  Her sweet milky aroma bringing a smile to my lips.  I held the warm, strong hand that has never left my side for 17 years.  I watched my cutie pie sheepdog lope up ahead to catch the disk flying up ahead of us every few hundred feet.  *my husband has a thing for folf...*  And I saw them....

Purple and yellow flowers.  They are here again.  Because they are here every year at this time. 

Purple and yellow flowers.  All over the woods. 

And I remembered. 

I remembered dying.  I remembered seeing our twins.  Holding them.  Talking to them.  Not wanting to leave them.  I remembered.

My throat closed up. 

I gripped his hand. 

And I said..."They would have been three years old."

He knew what I meant.  We stopped and looked at each other.  I saw him looking at our 7 month old daughter.  Our rainbow.  I saw the tears well in his eyes and took note as the muscle in his jaw set to work. 

There are two people on this earth who miss two people not on this earth more than we can bear.  There is a family in the mountains that remembers it is not complete. 

There is a hole that isn't filled by other babies.  No matter how perfect and wonderful they are.

Our rainbow girl is a new person.  She isn't a replacement.

She isn't a substitute.

She is our wonderful baby girl.  We adore her.  She is lovely and enchanting in every way.

To think she could replace our little twins is ludicrous.  She didn't replace them.  She is her own person.  She should have had twin brothers who were three years old.  Twin brothers who would have made her smile just as her other wonderful brothers do.  It could have been that way. 

It could have been.

Instead,  it isn't.

And that makes me weep every time I see purple and yellow flowers.

Time passes so quickly.  It moves right past us.  When you have lost a child, others want to have that mean that you are "all better".  That you too have moved on.

That isn't how it works.

You remember.

You just try not to let others know you remember.  but, not for you or your well being...for them and their preference to forget what they wish they never knew in the first place.  

What a crazy world.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Fairy Dust and Race Cars...

The moments of my day have changed dramatically in the past few months.  I couldn't help but to realize this as I sat, with a small girl looking attentively at my activity, paintbrush in hand.  The small girl watched as I dipped the brush in a selected color and rubbed it carefully onto a designated spot.  Just so.  Every now and then, she would break into a joyful chattering of delight--much like the sound of a baby pterodactyl.  I would stop, smile on face...beaming at the little bundle on my left leg...and then, continue painting.

What was I painting you ask??


The idea was inspired as a reinforced box appeared in my car after my husband's office moved to a new location.  The box was just perfect and my little miss's brothers zoomed her around in it for over an hour before I saw, in my mind's eye, what it really was.  Her first car.

I imagine her tearing through town...a gleam in her eye.

And the most wonderful part of it all...the most magical that I get to pretend.  With her.  Because she is here.

When you have lost a baby.  Or babies as is the case with me...  You know how precious that reality is.  To have the option of pretending.

In the depths of loss, there is no pretending.  Anything.  You can't pretend your baby is here.  You don't get to fill your hours juggling activities.  The hours tick slowly on.  Without end.  You lose track of days.  Months.  Even years. 

The painful reality is so stark, it leaves no room for imagination.  For silliness.

I remember being silly.  I remember being creative.  I remember not knowing that I didn't know.

I found a picture of the pregnant belly that contained my twins on my cell phone yesterday.  Honestly, I am pretty sure I took it at this same time of the year three years ago.  It was what I looked like right before they were gone.  I took that photo and sent it to my husbands phone right before I set off to teach a psychology class at the University.  I remembered it...because it was the last one I took that year.  

As I painted the little car for my rainbow baby girl, I thought about the fact that I never got to do anything for my twins.  Maybe that's the part that hurts the most.  I didn't get to mother them.  I didn't get to show them how much I would have treasured them.

I held my little girl a little closer as that feeling crept over me, as it often does.  That feeling that knows all too well how lucky I am to have her here.  With me.  In my lap.

I know how fleeting this time is.  Because, even when you get to HAVE your baby in your lap, it's really only the blink of an eye before they are moving out, having their own lives.  Their own babies.
I know how precious these moments are.  The moments of shared smiles and silly box cars.  The moments of wakeful sleep and eager nursings.  The moments where you are the most important person in a child's world.

In a simple life moment, one of those moments that happens before you want it to, she will step out of her box car, and into the real world where I can not insure her safety, or her happiness.

I'll just have these pictures as a reminder of this joyful moment.  The moment wherein she was my baby.

And unlike her twin brothers, she got to be here with me.  Enjoying the blissful world of imagination.

She's here. 

I could never forget how lucky I am in that.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

It's no joke...

April 1st.

I had the momentary desire to pull a prank on my boys today but I couldn't think of anything that would be actually funny.  It occurred to me that, while not ALWAYS true, April fools jokes are more often mean spirited than funny.  The whole idea of tricking someone into thinking something shocking, whether it would be a happy thing or not, is's just not always so funny to the person being tricked.

I sound like a party pooper I guess.

When I woke up this morning, there was the little girl in me that wanted sooooo much to pull a fast one on my family.  To tell them something that would make them gasp...and then, say in a sing-song fashion, "Aprilllll Foooooools!"  But, I couldn't think of anything funny.  I couldn't think of anything silly.

All I could think about was that this is the month.  April.  This is the month that has haunted our lives for the past three years.  April.  This is the month when we lost them.  April.  This was our season of loss.  And it still is.


I rolled over and hugged my rainbow baby close to me.

And I cried.


I thought to myself,  "There is nothing at all funny about loss."

And, I breathed.  I tried to follow her sleepy breathing.  I cuddled against her downy hair.

And I cried some more.  For all the mama's who don't have the rainbows I know they wanted so deeply.  For all the mama's who know loss like the jagged rip I feel acutely this morning.

Who know how painful emptiness can feel.

I see the blue sky creeping out from under storm clouds that left my lawn damp.  The light is starting to peek out in streaming beams.

My cheeks feel taut from the salt tears that soaked them this morning.

I know my boys will each play a trick on me today.  And, I will laugh...and maybe forget for a moment how raw this pain felt in the wee hours before anyone else was awake...and I'll be grateful for all the wonderfulness I am surrounded with...and I'll know I am just about as lucky as anyone has ever been....

And they will still be gone.

They will still only be a whisper.

Their ashes dissolved into soil. 

I think I'll take my rainbow girl to the gully today.  I think I need to spend some time there with her.

It's funny...somehow I believe that she knows Simon and Alexander better than all of us.
Somehow, I believe she will understand.

It's no joke...but, it's funny all the same.  Funny in exactly the way I would expect April 1st to be.