Oh my heart. You brought us so much joy with your love, prayers, and support at our family's big news! Thanks to all of you who sent well wishes our way. I know you will continue to carry us through whatever comes next. Especially during Maggie and Abby's birthday month, sharing the news been a powerful convergence of good and grief, hope and hardness. I hadn't anticipated how difficult it would be to be pregnant during this month of memories, every morning a flashback to how I felt at this time last year. I greet the same dark February dawn after restless sleep, pull on the same maternity clothes, work to keep the same waves of nausea at bay. But our house and my heart are full of reminders that those babies died. That this is another chapter in the story. Which is hopeful and heart-breaking all at once. We anticipated February to be a tender time in our grieving. So we wanted to do something positive as we awaited the girls' first birthday and tried to make … [Read more...] about help us celebrate maggie & abby!
Today I turn 35. For the first time in my life, I am not shocked to be here, still spinning on this precarious planet. I am not overwhelmed by the weight of my own mortality. I am not surprised to find that I have been given the gift of another year, as has always been my birthday reaction in the past. Instead I feel anchored more strongly to this world than ever. Despite the fact that most of my heart right now longs for what and who lies beyond. In the days since Abby and Maggie died, I feel as if I have walked through a swirling storm which is now right behind my back. I am standing on firm rock at the edge of a cliff, looking out over a new world, washed raw and bare. And everything is ahead of me. I am standing on the other side of terror. The worst that life can bring - because I can't tell you how many well-meaning people have felt the need to inform us that losing a child is the worst thing that can happen to a parent - has happened. We have held two dying … [Read more...] about the other side of fear
He's turning four tomorrow, our tender tough middle son. Four is such a small, soft birthday. He will not remember it. I may not either. Already I squint into time's rearview mirror, unable to remember the toddler that he was, the baby, the newborn. All of them escape me. I cannot decide whether this is memory's failure or parenting's gift. All I can see is the child in front of me, as he stands today. I want desperately to know the person he will become, the teenager, the young adult, the man. I want life to guarantee me that I will be there for it all. I crave this certainty with a mother's ferocious heart. And yet I cannot know this. Time makes no promises. So I celebrate each year's passing, lighting another candle on his cake, gleaming under his gap-toothed grin. I promise to delight with him each August as he turns another year older, unfurling another chubby finger to inform the world of his whole age. Four. . . . Is time a betrayal or a blessing? Perhaps it … [Read more...] about four. the fullness of time.
Today I will rise early. I will slip downstairs before anyone else stirs. I will open the front door slowly, without a creak. I will step out onto the dewy grass with bare feet. I will listen to bird song and tree wind. I will close my eyes and try to breathe. Tonight I will go to bed late. I will pull out the small box in the bottom drawer of my desk. I will read the sympathy cards, trace the edge of the picture, run the rosary beads between my fingers. I will whisper a prayer under my breath for a baby that was never born. I will be the one who remembers. . . . Tomorrow he will rise early. He will creak open the bedroom door to spy through the sliver. He will brighten when he catches our sleepy eyes. He will shuffle bare-footed to the bed and slip between us in the still-warm sheets. He will smile thank you when we sing a quiet happy birthday. At evening's end he will curl into bed with a new book and a gleaming baseball bat leaning on his nightstand, waiting for the … [Read more...] about this is a love story