28 May Mourning and a Happy Birthday
Today is the day my baby was due. The one that surprised us in the fall. And then surprised us again by slipping away from this earth before we got to meet her. My belly never grew. I never felt her move. We didn’t give her a name.
She surprises me still by quietly coming back into my mind. Tugging at my heart. And whispering it’s okay that another little girl has taken up residence where she used to be.
Maybe that’s why she was here. The overwhelming purpose in her brief life—to open my heart to another.
Today is also Todd’s birthday. The layer cake sits on the cooling rack, waiting to be iced and I try to think of words to describe this man who shares my everything. It’s not unlike trying to think of what gift to give him . . .
I can’t do it. Everybody thinks they know my husband and if they chose which of us was the better half, I know which one they’d choose. Look what he has to live with every day, after all. But I don’t love him because he’s perfect. He’s not. I love everything good about him and I love all the crap, too. Because the crap is what taught us what love truly was.
But right now, today, after this sucky year, I love him for pulling me out of myself when I was slipping off the edge of despair, following the baby into oblivion. I love him for going with me and bringing me back and not letting me go there alone. I’m all right now. And I can be sad today and happy at the same time.
This poem was written before. But it still speaks to the now.
Sometimes we lose each other
In the day to day rush
Of this task-focused life
And I forget to see you.
In the beginning
When it was just you and me
Our life together stretching before us,
I would see in your eyes
Love so deep I couldn’t find the bottom.
When everything was ahead of us we
Took small moments and
Made them into something good.
Working hard at love was not so difficult.
Now small voices clamor and dirty dishes pull on our sleeves.
Joy unspeakable has entered our union
Making it fuller and more whole and
So I have to remind myself
To catch your eye over the tops of little heads.
And see it there again.
Something deep that makes me cling to you fiercely
And find who we are together in the midst of the clutter