I guess it’s time to close this year and I resist the urge to curse it. This year started out with genuine promise; I tested positive and found I was pregnant with Daniella. My husband and I were cautious at first, and eventually fell head-over-heels in love with our baby. All the cautiousness and joy and hope in the world did not spare us any when she was born painfully early at 23 weeks and she went to join her sister Emi in Heaven.
All the things I believed and all the things that carried me through my first loss became hackneyed. No longer did phrases like:
God does not give you more than you can handle
Everything happens for a reason
Prayer is powerful…
…have an effect on me. Their meanings and comforts were lost on me. The God of all comfort seemed distant. How could I have picked myself up again after my loss with Emi and had the courage to try again, only to lose this baby? The moment I became hopeful with each pregnancy, I lost the baby. With Emi, a doctor told me to relax and trust this pregnancy and at 19 weeks I finally did. Only three days later did we get the news that something was possibly very wrong with her, and many things were. With Daniella, only after I purchased a crib and changer did it all go to hell. And so, I learned that the moment I have hope, the moment I expect good things, bad things will somehow happened.
This shook me to my very core. Why have hope? Why get up and try again?
It did not help that after Daniella died I was told that there was ‘restructuring’ going on at my job and that I might be let go. And then when I showed my big guns and threatened a legal route as a solution (this smelled like pregnancy discrimination to me) a position suddenly (magically?) appeared…and then I was fired.
Fired, only to be home with all the time in the world to lament not having Daniella and not having a job. Of course a deep sadness came over me while my husband was coping better (like most men do). And I felt like I was being left behind…again…just like with Emi.
2008 somehow found a way to bring more pain and sadness than 2007 did, and I did not think it possible. So here I am on the last day of this year and I am searching deeply within to be thankful for something…and I can’t…I just can’t. This year broke me.
I’m told that trials make you a better person somehow. How am I better? How can I possibly be? I don’t see it yet. Instead, I am fighting to not be bitter or sad or angry or feel like a walking target for bad things. That is the truth. I won’t lie here. I won’t lie to you. I don’t think I am ‘ok’. I don’t think I am ‘dealing’.
I will tell you this. I am going to look into counseling to help me deal with all the hurt and the fear of future hurt. And I am going to continue to be brave and to fight for the baby or babies that we want. And I am going to take care of husband and take care of myself for him. I have cooked and cleaned for him and done the minimum as ‘half’ a wife, as a shadow of my former self. I am going to make him feel loved again. When we make love I will make love to him like the first time, because he deserves that from me. He deserves that passion because he has been nothing but good to me and nothing but brave. I am going to talk about a happy future with him like I already see it. I am going to hold his hand and act like a real partner in this relationship because I have allowed this hurt and pain to take away my joy and to consume me for far too long. I don’t know where I am going to find the strength and the courage I need but I am going to have to.
And my faith – which has suffered the most – I am going to work on. I resolve to trust in God again. This will take a lot of work on my behalf; it will take all my will and I will probably stumble often. But after searching within, I remembered the true tenet of my faith: God is Love, and I believe that. God did not want my babies to die; God resents every tear I have shed.
And I have been self-centered. I have. I have allowed myself to believe that I am a victim and the only victim of terrible things. The reality of life is that terrible things happen to everyone at different times. A divorce, or a terminal illness, or a foreclosure, or war, or famine, or genocide….those are all very terrible things THAT HAPPEN EVERY SINGLE DAY. And I have allowed myself to go into this little bubble and just think of me and my pain. Let’s be real, I have had a lot of tragedy bestowed on me in a very short period of time, but happiness can still be found.
Life is also beautiful, I hardly remember how to be honest, but I know at one time I believed it, because it was for me. And when I did, that is when my husband fell in love with me.
I can’t tell you how often in the last few months my mother and grandmother have cried over the phone with me. I can’t tell you how that pains me. I can’t ever articulate how my heart breaks for them. These ladies hardly cried when I was growing up with them, it takes a lot to see them even tear up, let alone cry. They miss my girls, they wish they were here as badly as I do; they too pictured them here. It’s just the enormity of my pain and the change they see in me that is killing them and tearing their hearts into pieces. They want their spunky daughter and granddaughter back. They want to see glimpses of her at the very least…Mom begs me to fight back and to have hope. She swears she sees me with a baby in my arms. I just need to hang on. I have to choose to be happy; I have to do my part.
It just can’t be all negativity all the time. And that is the trap that grief sets for us; the trap that I fell into. Do you give in? Do you just succumb to sadness or do you fight it – and keep getting back up, over and over – believing that a good day will come.
I’ll be honest; right now I don’t know how successful I might be at all this. I just don’t know. But I know that I want to be happy again, and not just somewhat or a little. I want to be truly happy and truly joyous – I’m talking bursting-at-the-seams happy here!
So I have been rambling on and on with no clear direction and no clear purpose. I don’t even know how to end this post, much less what to make of this year! So I won’t judge it. And I certainly won’t overlook that Daniella brought us so much joy and she taught us that in spite of all the pain we felt with Emi, our little black hearts and our crushed spirits were able to love her so dearly and soar with wings we did not know we had. And so my sweet babies – that I love so dearly – showed us that we are capable of finding hope and happiness again. And for that reason I’ll give 2009 a shot.
Emi and Daniella – I love you so deeply – every day and every moment I just love you. You both showed me that I am resilient and there might still be some happiness left to experience.
After all this too shall pass…