Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I've been trying to live for the moment these past few weeks. I get too bummed out when I think too much of the future, even the very immediate future. Like, ah man, I have to work out today, and then I have to shower. What a giant downer. Therefore, you can see how the less immediate future could possibly put me over the edge. A long, exhausting life ahead. Attempting IVF, paying for said IVF, having IVF not work. Deciding whether or not to accept our family is one of four, with one represented by a string of plastic beads in family photos. Even thinking of eventually moving, which I would like to do one day, just exhausts me. And leaving Charlotte's pink bedroom will be hard.
There are plenty of good things, both immediate and future. I love the fall, and I love the holidays. I love Ella and love this stage she is in, cheering over every wave and grin and attempt to stand. I am so excited to watch Ella grow. Buying a pair of darling shoes that won't fit her for two years makes me a little weepy. And Ella's first trip to Disneyland this winter.
And so, for now, I am trying to make lots of little good happy memories, for me and for my family. Repeated visits to the pumpkin patch, multiple dress up occasions, lots of pictures. It's the easiest way to keep myself from purchasing a leopard print Snuggie and never leaving my couch again, simply exhausted over having to wash my hair.
For the record, I am still doing well wading my way through grief. It's bittersweet, but there is sweetness, for me anyway. I love talking about Charlotte, I love laughing over her pictures, I love seeing the cat curled up on her bed in the sun. But I want to be clear about something that has become very clear to me. My grief is easy and light, comparatively. I was given a baby who we were told would never even recognize us. We were told she would--and these words will echo in a dark part of my mind forever--"stare at the ceiling until she dies." And she was so much more than we anticipated. In hard moments, listening to her scream and cry during multiple IV attempts, seeing her so weak she could barely open her eyes, I would bury my head in my arms and sob and Zar would gently remind me "This is so much better than what we signed up for." Which was true. I can rejoice that the hard parts of Charlotte's life have fallen away, leaving only her joy and happiness and delight. And her 'tude.
We knew she would leave us, we knew we had done all we could, we knew we had made her life as happy and healthy as it could have been. And so my grieving is mostly just missing, with no regret, or fear, or guilt. Just sweet remembrance.
But here is what I want to be clear about. I would not be this way, if, heaven forbid, I lost Ella.
Reading the stories of others who have lost their children fill me with dread. I would not have peace. I would not have faith. I would not have my sanity. And that is why, even though I have lost a child, a sweet and beautiful and perfect child, that I can still praise God. I can still work out and wash my hair. (some days) I can still live this life. So don't be overly proud of me. This is a cozy, leopard print Snuggie kind of grief.