It’s not valiant. It’s not noble. It’s not brave.
It’s broken and hurting and a
bit lot of a mess.
But it’s Real. And it’s True. And it’s part of my story which just happens to co-incide with this blog hop – the one where I tell everyone that the times when the list of Thankful is hardest to put together are the times when the exercise is most beneficial.
So here’s to the benefits…
Ten Tears of Thankful
It’s definitely been a crying-y kind of week, what with being drunk and a hot mess last weekend, on the anniversary of losing Jesse (our first Neverborn) and then trying to get back into ‘work mode’ to make the week happen, whilst facing the dreaded next weekend (that’s this weekend) because it’s when I should’ve been making sure my bag was packed and saying goodbye to social media for a while as I prepared for the imminent arrival of Sam (our second Neverborn).
Instead I’m noticing things like how easy it is to cycle home from work, because my legs aren’t being impeded by a large, pregnant belly. And how much I really, REALLY don’t want to keep being updated about anyone’s Mommy Adventures via email. And how I’d love to be thankful and happy for friends posting their sonogram pictures on Facebook, but it makes me die inside and I want to be a million miles away on a desert island with wine and no Facebook and no responsibility to keep it together.
I’m noticing how easy it is to waver between excitement and engagement in the everyday, the mundane, the fun, sparkly, shiny stuff of life, and absolute desperate misery (or guilt, for not feeling miserable more often).
I’m noticing that as with ‘take-home’ siblings, the second gets left out. Because when I miscarried Sam, I was hurting too much to acknowledge it. I refused to take a pregnancy test to confirm retrospectively (because I knew – every symptom was there. I didn’t need a piece of plastic and a dye marker to confirm what my body was telling me – that I’d had a few, fleeting, glorious weeks of pregnancy (when I’d also been too scared to confirm) and that once again, my baby had died, and was leaving me). I didn’t write a poem, like I did for Jesse. I didn’t even commit the date of loss to memory (though the day I remember clearly – it was the day before Mother’s Day. What outstanding timing) for months, through sheer not-wanting-to-make-it-real-ness.
And yet, there have been Good Things in amongst all the brokenness and agony. But they’ve mostly been things which have (or nearly have) made me cry. And I’m not a cry-er, as a rule, but this week the defenses have been well down, and my heart has been exposed to every brutiful moment.
Katy Perry’s song ‘Roar’. A couple of weeks ago, I HATED that I liked a Katy Perry song. But now that Kerri showed me (and everyone) the most awesome video of it, and how hope-filled and jam-packed full of wonder it is, I love it. And I love that it’s about picking yourself up, dusting yourself down and carrying on.
It came on the radio in the van on Monday (the morning-back-at-work-after-the-weekend-before), when I seriously doubted that I could do it. That I could do anything. And it took some serious pep-talking from several very wonderful friends to even get me to the stage where I could consider the Next Step to take. But this song came on, and though I could barely see the road through blurred eyes, I knew at that moment that I’d make it through the day, one Next Step at a time.
And I did.
I’ve been honoured and blessed by friends who are willing to share the Truths of their own struggles – deep, dark ones at times – to show solidarity, and that they Know. And these friends have held me up with their spirits and made the week much easier to bear.
That I had the opportunity to explore ‘Gods Plans’ with my church group. And that they understood when I explained to them, quite frankly, that I think The Plans suck. Bigtime. Because of all this (and more). And that I struggle to accept that they’re ‘perfect’ and wish I had less belief, because then I could dismiss it all and put it down to ‘life being utterly shit’ rather than knowing that somewhere, of this, Good will happen.
Because whatever that Good is, and however it happens, what I want is to not be the wife of a depressed Husby and the mother to two dead children. I don’t want this. Do. Not. Want. This.
I got a very precious hug from a friend there, at the end. She doesn’t ‘do’ gushy on Facebook or (like me) in person, really, but she Knew, and she cared and helped to make things a little better. She went out of her way to say lovely things about just letting everything happen how it happens for a bit, and not to be too hard on myself, and to take care. And it hugely mattered, and really made me feel cared for.
And if I’m busy recognising the wonder and more-precious-than-diamonds value of good friends, I must mention some incredible bloggy friendships which have become more than ‘just about the blogs’ and who have supported me HUGELY when I’ve been at home, alone and unable to connect with anyone in person: Dyanne and Chris, who bore the brunt of the drunk, all-filters-off version of me, who offered comfort and sage advice and compassion, and were wonderful beyond words. Kristi, who ‘gets’ me beyond the realms of the ‘oh, this is similar’ and right into the ‘OMG! Are we the same?’, and who has been a constant source of support, care and amazingness. Christine, who is ever-ready with common sense, caring, and prayers. And Julie, who is more honest than anyone I know or have known, ever, who isn’t afraid to be honest, and who does it totally amazingly.
I was inspired and very nearly cried at a link to one of the bravest, most ‘alive’ flash mobs I’ve ever seen in my life. Danced by Deborah Cohen and her medical team prior to a double mastectomy because cancer happened, it is utterly, completely six minutes of brutiful worth watching.
Did you ever get one of those times when you just look at the horror in the world around you and despair for humanity? I found the perfect antidote – a young man, just fresh into college, who openly wept when confronted with his parents’ mortality, and who has a history of caring so, so deeply when others are hurting that he’d quite like to bring the injured parties home to have them looked after in what he knows is the safest, most wonderful place of nurturing and good example. And who has a HUGE amount of compassion and understanding for others, even if they seem like highly irritating human beings. Come and read all about him here – I challenge you not to fall a little bit in love with his wonderful soul.
I’m going to spend Sunday afternoon with Niece and Neff, which will be wonderful, but probably also quite difficult. Because of them. But not because of them. Because I’d like to have given them a cousin by now. Because Niece was SO excited last year when we said we were trying for a baby, and she wanted to meet the baby RightNow, and it feels like that might never happen. And because they’re two such wonderful, glorious children who are almost-but-not-quite-mine that it hurts my heart and makes it soar all at once.
As I type, Husby is washing the pans to make dinner. I our kitchen. With our gas. On our oven. All of which we can just about afford (once the snaggles are all dealt with). But over there in America, where it’s Thanksgiving soon, there are families facing a really tough day of hunger and lack and the desperate grimness of having so little on the table to be thankful for. The ever wonderful Jill Smokler (a.k.a. ScaryMommy) has started a project to match donors with families who will otherwise be without at Thanksgiving. Come and see what it’s all about by clicking the link below.
Alternatively, for those of you who aren’t American at home, but who still have a heart for those who are going desperately lacking through life, consider whether or not you have the free funds to support my favourite local charity, which operates a hugely needed food bank, and offers basic furniture to those in need of such items, as well as taking donations for ‘Christmas Completed’ – an event which ensures families have presents to give to their children at Christmas, where otherwise none would be forthcoming.
Or to nationally recognised ‘Crisis‘, which supports the homeless of the UK.
Lastly, and on a wonderful, upbeat note, I’m thrilled to pieces to have such a wonderful friend as Zoe, who sent me a package full of Awesome Things Which Come In The Mail. This was mainly in response to my panics about Winter (still hating the idea) and included (amongst other goodies) foot warmers, toe warmers, a photo of gorgeous Skip, a sticker from Skip (‘Wag more; bark less’) and some postcards full of her wonderful words and care. It absolutely made my day. There were no tears for this one.
I really truly hope that tomorrow I can bring you a happier Ten Things. I’ll try. Promise.
Now show me yours so I can go and be thankful without crying.