Thursday, February 12, 2009

Birth Day, II

One of the reasons I started a blog as opposed to just journaling with a bic and a nice leather-bound book was that I couldn't for the life of me figure out how I was going to address things in a journal. Would it be simply talking to myself? (Yawn) First person, following "Dear Diary"? (So age ten!) Should I narrate through third person? (Good Golly.) I never really liked writing letters or "talking" to Maddy. I do occasionally (see: what we include in the book at the annual candlelight ceremony) because it makes an incredibly difficult situation a bit easier -- especially when two people are involved in the editing. I started blogging because it was easier to write when I thought about someone else reading it, even though I sincerely thought the only people reading my blog for a while were those googling things like "cat liver problems" and oddly getting plopped into my life. (And I hope your cat's feeling better, by the way.)

But days like this I'm just confounded on whom to address. I guess I'm just plain stuck on where to even begin. Even though I know you're all there, days like this I feel as if I'm talking into the wind.

:::

It was such a milestone to reach one year without her, last February. To get out of the way the "well, last year I was pregnant," and "last year now I was going to the hospital" and so on until boom. Like tracking in your own snowy footprints from yesterday, back out to the trash. Now I can safely look back and say "last year I was gritting my teeth" but at least no one died.

But, strangely, the circle kept looping around. There was my birthday, right on the heels of remembering Maddy's death -- now just a harbinger of how dusty my ova really are, and how ludicrous my dream of two children was and is. Mother's Day, where again, I begged people to just leave me the hell alone, and I gardened in silence. Another beach vacation, this time without crying. Fall, holidays, a meager snowfall, and here I am again. Poised to ram my way through an ugly sequence of days, only to start the circle once more.

I'd like to say I've come a long way, or time has indeed healed the wounds. I'm much less angry than I was last year, and I suppose that says something. I suppose I'm more resigned -- to her death, to my feelings of universal betrayal, to the paradigm shift that occurred in my mind's eye about life and hope and wishing.

It dawned on me this week that in truth, I no longer wonder about what it would be like to have her here except in some really ephemeral and brief way. I'm not sitting around today saying to myself, "She'd be two." I've always had a difficult time daydreaming about Maddy and I've never subconsciously dreamed of her save for one memorable nightmare. I did for a few months after she died -- I could see the blurry outline of a little girl, blue eyes, blond/brown hair . . . and then I'd interrupt and point out to myself that she was blind. So that blue eye thing got scratched, and then I'd realize with her enlarged heart she'd be tethered to a machine, and with a liquified nervous system . . . she wouldn't be here at all. And the vision would vanish. To the point where I simply don't envision anymore. She died, she wasn't built to last more than six days, and all my consciousness now accepts that, apparently.

And yet I find myself, still, missing her. Missing her at six days. Missing the shock of hair and the clenched fist and the serene expression that at the time I imagined evolving into something dainty. Missing what my family was supposed to look like. I may have accepted that she could not possibly be here, but someone was intended to, and perhaps never may be. Missing watching my older daughter interact with a younger one. Missing normalcy, communicating without wincing or withholding or tapdancing, discussing children without shuddering. Enjoying myself without always having to share my drink with the Big Elephant at my side. Celebrating birthdays and anniversaries and holidays, not plowing through them. Missing my old body, missing the way I could daydream.

Maddy is frozen, at six days. What kills me is that Bella, somehow, has aged during this mess where I've been a zombie and I've tried to figure out how to walk again. I feel rather tuned into her again, but I lost a year -- at least. She was frozen at two and a half for the longest time. It's only recently, as I explained to her months and years and (gulp) fractions, that it struck me she is four and half. You have no idea how many times I think three. I lost three.

I lost my thirties. I really feel an entire decade has been laid waste by my naive attempt to have a family. It started poorly, there was joy in the middle, and it ended with catastrophe. What I wouldn't give to go back in time, sometime around Bella circa 15 months, and whisper in my ear, "Be content with what you have." Because I was. Completely. But that's a post for next month.

And then we get to today: It's a birthday, for sure, and while I'd like to honor that, you see it's the crux of the problem. It's the tease before the push down the stairs. The sleight of hand that makes me feel euphoric before cackling with laughter and cutting off my air supply. The reminder that beauty and bliss and nirvanna could so quickly be consumed by horror and despair. The cruelty of the moment -- of this day -- still haunts me. This year I'm less inclined to throw a trash can through the window of the universe (probably because I'm tired of lugging the damn thing around), and like I said, I guess that's progress.

I'm trying so hard to just miss her -- not all the peripheral grief that comes with her loss, but today it's difficult. Everything is compressed into a few hours -- if you really want to calculate, it's located in about 20 minutes. 20 minutes of holding a beautiful baby and thinking I had it all, before the first faint, unassuming sign that I was about to lose everything. I'll be honoring the start of those 20 minutes this afternoon, and the subsequent six days of sliding down Mephistophele's rabbit hole. It's the least I can do.

It's not happy, but it's her Birthday. And I love her and miss her terribly.

48 comments:

Ahuva Batya said...

I'm crying for and with you today, Tash.

Lacri said...

I'm sorry Tash. I know that cruelty. All I can say is that I'm so, so sorry. Wishing you peace and comfort on your little girl's birthday.

furtherrecords said...

Oh Tash, I wish I could give you all that you want. I'm sorry.

missing_one said...

*hugs* Holding you and Maddy in my thoughts today.

Melissia said...

Happy birthday to your beautiful girl and abiding with you today and during the coming days and nights.

Mrs. Spit said...

Sitting with you.

Missing Maddy with you.

Hugs.

Brenna said...

By writing about Maddy publically you've gained a community of online friends who understand a good bit about what you're going through. I'm thinking about you today, too, and sharing in your tears.

Bluebird said...

I have no words. But I am crying with you. I'm so, so sorry.

G$ said...

Much love to you and Maddy and Bella and Mr ABF today and always.

xo

c. said...

In some ways, I miss the intense emotion, the anger, the overwhelming grief because it was the tether that kept me anchored to that little boy I lost. And I wonder, as I sit here crying while reading your lovely, lovely post, if letting go of it all isn't another loss in and of itself.

Holding you and your family so very close, Tash. I'm sorry. Just very sorry. XO.

ezra'smommy said...

Holding you and Maddy close in my heart today.

Michele said...

I have no words of wisdom. I crying with you today. I'm thinking of Maddy today. And I'm holding all of you in prayer and close to my heart.

luna said...

such a cruelty. this is so achingly gorgeous, tash. exquisite and incisive.

remembering maddy with you today, and for all her days here with you.

luna said...

also, I agree with c. letting go of that pain and anguish until just the resignation settles in feels like another loss altogether.

loribeth said...

*sniffle* What an amazing post. I'm sorry, Tash. I miss many of the same things too.

Shinny said...

Happy Birthday beautiful girl.

I wish that this never happened to anyone. Know that I am thinking of you and holding you in my thoughts.

erica said...

Gorgeous, heart-rending post, Tash.

I've wanted, often, to hurt the universe back, too. A friend suggested throwing dishes at the wall, but I never have - breaking crockery isn't nearly hurtful enough.

Thinking of you and yours today and wishing things were different.

Beautiful Mess said...

Beautifully written. Thinking of you and your beautiful Maddy today. Sending you hugs and peace.

jen @ negative lane said...

Thinking of you and your family today.

Mommy (You can call me OM) said...

I'm here. I'm sorry this hurts so much and that we don't simply get to hold our babies.

Aunt Becky said...

Holding you all close. And helping you throw stuff around.

Hope's Mama said...

You honour your second child, little Maddy, so well through your words Tash. Be proud of you today, you are in people's thoughts the world over.

Dalene said...

Thinking of you and Maddy today and each of the next 6 days.

Which Box said...

Oh, Tash.

I have no words, just the tears leaking from my eyes and the huge lump in my throat. Thinking of you and your family today, this week, always.

Sophie said...

Thinking of you and yours today, Tash. Take care.

Waiting Amy said...

Holding you and the ABF family in my heart.

Kathy said...

Thinking of you and your family today on Maddy's birthday. Tash, you will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers in the week to come.

Thank you for always sharing so openly here. I for one am grateful that you chose to start your blog instead of journaling privately, as your thoughts and words have helped me so much in my grief and healing since my Molly was born and died last year.(((HUGS)))

Amy said...

Big hugs to you all.

niobe said...

Thinking of you. And all the time that's been lost in one way or another.

charmedgirl said...

it used to confuse my brain sometimes when you used to talk about regret and how it related to getting pregnant with maddy...but i think i'm starting to understand. and i'm starting to get it, how the love and longing is (duh) still there and yet...yet.

there's really nothing to say, except thinking of you and maddy.

that whole "not built to last more than six days" thing...i mean, how do you reconcile anything with that? jesus.

Bon said...

that 20 minutes...they become cruel to look back on. and the lost time, not much better.

this was a thoughtful post, Tash...and that last line? i know you do.

i hope that next year you look back on a turn of seasons that brought more peace. for me, it was year 3 that marked it. i hope that for you too.

thinking of Maddy and all of you.

janis said...

Thinking of you, Tash. And your family. I wish I have words. But I am choking upon your words.

CLC said...

Thinking of you and your family, wishing things were different.

The Turtle and the Monkey said...

Oh Tash..The words are so beautiful. I understand not being able to see her as on older child. I do the same thing with Noah. I try and then I remember all of his medical problems. I was always torn during his short life between fear of him dying and the fear of him surviving and suffering. I can't even imagine what he would have been like. He will always be 3 months old.

You are in my thoughts and I hope you find some peace today. Thank you for such a beautiful post.

sweetsalty kate said...

"This year I'm less inclined to throw a trash can through the window of the universe (probably because I'm tired of lugging the damn thing around), and like I said, I guess that's progress."

This is .. well, it's just perfection in words and sentiment. I'm breathing deeply and feeling this so much, and thinking of you and Maddy and the family.

Here's to progress.

Gal aka SuperMommy said...

I've been thinking about and holding you all day, Tash, just a little from where I can over here. I'll keep doing so in the days ahead.

"Enjoying myself without always having to share my drink with the Big Elephant at my side." That's it... I have a feeling it probably always will be just a little, even years from now.

Sending love.

kriswaldherr said...

Oh, Tash, this is so heartrending. I'm crying for you too. lots of love.

Ya Chun said...

I find my reasons to blog much the same. The feedback.

Today on the radio, the DJ mentioned Mother's Day. It was a stab to my chest.

I hope you celebrated with love and joy, for the love that Maddy has brought to your life. That doesn't change.

Thinking of you and you family.

Dayna said...

Much love to you Tash.

Julie said...

Tash: this is beautifully written. I was thinking about your 20 minutes yesterday. I'm sorry.

Newt said...

My heart breaks for you all over again, Tash. Holding you and Mr. ABF and Bella in my thoughts.

Betty M said...

I'm so very sorry. Offering to throw a rubbish bin or two in sympathy.

O.S.B. said...

Just found your blog today, and was really touched by your words. I lost my baby to miscarriage at 16.5 weeks 53 days ago, so while I know it doesn't compare, I do understand some of your feelings. I wish you peace of heart today and the next 6 days and forever.

MsPrufrock said...

Oh, Tash. This post has wrecked me. You and your family are in my thoughts, as always.

Natalie said...

Thinking of you and Maddy.

I feel like that often... like things are frozen in my mind at that point in time and I turn around and all this time has passed and I don't really know where it went.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

I was thinking about you all day Thursday. What a beautiful birthday post--raw and honest--and I'm just so sorry, Tash.

angie said...

i am just now catching up on some blogs, and god, this is one of the most powerful, beautiful and intense posts i have ever read. thanks.

Anonymous said...

(((((Tash))))))

Love to you, hubby, Bella and Maddy xxxxx