Archive for June, 2012

Birthday Boys

Today is our boys’ birthday. One year. I feel like I should have something big and important and life-lessony to share but I’ve left my heart on the page many times before and today there are no words.

Today is for remembering the fellas. For reflecting and giving them all of my time and attention and awareness. For mourning what happened a year ago, and what should have been. Today is even for celebrating. It’s a complicated day that leaves this mama a little unsure of how to navigate it but I’m doing my best.

Every day of this last year they have been the current, the energy running through my mind and life. Every thought and word I speak has a little bit (or a lot depending on the day) of RDO in it. If you know me, you know my boys. They are my heart, my little loves, everything I want to be when I grow up.

A few months ago I was walking to work, listening to The Bird and The Bee and the song “Birthday” came on. I knew immediately I wanted to share it here on this day. It feels just right- a little bit of angst, a lot of love, a fun tune- a complicated, more-to-the-story birthday.

Happy Birthday Rudyard, Desmond, and Oscar. I hope you’re doing something really fun today. I wish we were spending it together. Your mama loves you and misses you so. xoxoxo

Broken

A year ago tonight, May 31st, 2011, my water broke. That is to say, I broke. My babies’ safety and security gushed out of me as fear and panic rushed in. Rudyard’s sac emptied as I sat on our couch, eating a slice of homemade pizza. As I ran through the house screaming, searching my wallet for my doctor’s number. As I walked, knees-pressed through the hospital parking lot, desperate to get inside.

My heart, my hope, the promise of protection I offered my boys, motherhood…it all just broke down and flooded out of me and into the pool of amniotic fluid collected at my feet.

This week has been especially hard as Jeremy and I relive those moments. Last year there was a shred of hope, prayers pouring in, the certainty a miracle was coming. This year the days loom before us, heavy. The miracle didn’t come. Our boys are gone. The shock and fog have faded enough to expose us- raw, pained, broken.

We saw a documentary recently about the widows of the NYC firefighters that died on 9/11. In it a woman shares about a trip she took to Rwanda out of a desire to connect with women there, widowed after genocide ripped through their country. These women had not only lost their husbands, but their children were taken or killed as well. What touched Jeremy and I so deeply was watching the Rwandan women share how they deal with grief. They periodically reenact their trauma. The women take turns hiding in the grass, as they did after running for their lives. Other women come and find them and lead them to safety. The grieving women collapse as they’re being lead. Overcome with grief they curl up on the ground and sob, unable to believe they will make it through such devastation. The other widows gather around them and pour water on their heads, helping them up, holding them, assuring them they are not alone. Their grief is honest- big and dramatic. It holds space in their lives and is totally culturally acceptable, expected even.

I’ve thought a lot about those women this week, as memories crash around my head. I’ve wondered what it might look like to reenact the trauma of last year. Should I scream and run around my house again? Should Jer run those same red lights to get us to that hospital parking lot? Collapsing and curling up on the ground seem like the most natural things to do right now. Sobbing is a given. I know I even have friends who would help me up off the ground and hold me, no matter how uncomfortable such unrestrained grief may make them. I have already learned I am not alone.

I am broken but so are you. So are we all. Tonight, I’m picturing you reading this and I’m there with you, holding you up, telling you you’ll be okay, that you’re not alone. You’ve been beaten and bruised. Life hasn’t been kind to you but you will continue. You will still be standing tomorrow. I know because you told me so.

It’s now past midnight, now 366 days since my water broke. I’ve survived another day and so have you. *group hug*