Coffee and Conversation: The Gift of Grief

 

Grab a cuppa and a comfy seat, and let’s chat a while.

It’s Monday again – time for Coffee and Conversation.

When I was six, my family was driving on a highway late at night. Streaks of headlights and taillights painted the dark. For the first time, I realized that each car held people living lives as important to them as mine was to me.

I wanted to know what those lives were, and to share my own..

Are there times of year that you find emotionally charged? Where your feelings are tumultuous and close to the surface? Where small things can lead to huge inner shifts?

As I mentioned in my posts throughout this past week, July is an emotionally complicated month for me – turbulent, surging up in joy, plunging into sorrow, lifting again…

Alive and silly, ten years after birth!

 

Earlier in the month, my daughter celebrated her birthday. She was born in July of 2004.

July of 2003 was a very different matter.

After a textbook pregnancy, our secondborn, Elijah James, decided it was time to be born, four days before his due date. Things didn’t go as expected. Eventually, forceps were used – and our baby boy, healthy only a few minutes before, was born not breathing.

Things got a little blurry for me, after that. My blood pressure tends to be low; it dropped precipitously. I remember asking the nurses what was wrong with my baby, and the nurse answering, “He’s fine, he’s fine,” as I watched them attempting to resuscitate him.

After what seemed an eternity, they got enough response to whisk him away and intubate him – I’m not sure about the order of those events, only that both happened in the four hours I spent recovering before the maternity staff allowed me to use a wheelchair to go to the NICU.

My husband went to be with the baby, and my emotionally volatile mother stayed with me. She had been with us through Elijah’s birth, and I know she was feeling protective and helpless – but she became embroiled in a power struggle with my nurse, and the conflict had me trying to play diplomat, and feeling not only raw and terrified, but also like I was the non-sentient tug of war rope in their battle of wills. All I wanted was to see my baby, and for him to be okay.

I am lucky. Elijah was awake when I met him; we regarded each other. I wrote about that meeting in my poem, “Soul to Soul”. Here’s an excerpt…

Elijah lived twelve days, and died on Friday, July 25, 2003.

I turned thirty-four 4 days later.

I’ve learned not to try to hold a balance during this month. I live a life that is peaceful, chaotic, often laughter-filled, inspiring, sometimes frustrating. I have a tremendous deal to be thankful for. I have a marriage that survived a loss that 85% of marriages don’t, and that has grown stronger, deeper, and richer. I have two living children, and they are happy, strong, curious, kind, affectionate, bright, funny, confident, independent, and many other wonderful things – the chiefest among them being that magical word – LIVING!

I have a child who lived and died in less than two weeks. He never cried, never nursed. I never held him without tubes and sensors attached to him.

His death is the most shattering thing I have ever known. And it was the catalyst for deep healing. His donated heart valves made a little girl’s life easier. His brief life made me take a long hard look at the way I was raised, and what I wanted for my own children, my marriage, and, maybe most importantly, for myself. It led me to make massive changes, as a mother, and as a human being. He is my most precious and painful gift.

I don’t know how to balance between the extremes of this month. Instead, I go for blendings- allowing the emotions and memories to weave in and around and through the life I live now, the love I share, not only with those who are here, but also for the small life so quickly ended, and whose presence has been a part of me, ever since…

It’s July 14, 2014. I’m home alone, remembering, writing, hometending, and planning a weekend camping trip. Life goes on, and I remember, and make memories, all at once…

I ask you to take a few moments, today, to look at your life, at your loves. What would life be like without them? How can you show them how very cherished they are? How can you do that for yourself? Most importantly, what are you waiting for? I’ve got a fresh cuppa something hot and sweet. Won’t you drop by and chat a bit?

Sitting up front and looking mighty grown at twelve.

 

 

 

The Huntress Stretches….INDIE-kissing Blogfest, Feb. 14

Curious? Kiss (I mean click!) here!

The Huntress Stretches

Dawning

Rose – tinted clouds

Two silhouettes ripple

Long, slow grapple of

A kiss

Tasting, testing

Predator and prey

In the same instant.

The Huntress stretches

New light caresses

Sinew and soul

Leaving her mate

Asleep in her furs

Slips into forest

Death stalks on

dew-kissed

Paws

Second Anniversary smooch, 1999….still kissin’ and still lovin’ it! ;D

 This is a BLOGFEST!

  • Tattoo (neonrabbit1.wordpress.com)

Laughter – Thankvember Twenty-Fifth

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Laughter – Thankvember Twenty-Fifth

Today, I am paying tribute to our family’s secret superpower – laughter!

Laughter has been much on my mind, these last weeks, and, since I’ve written two pretty nifty poems about it recently, I am going to repost them as today’s gratitude.

May you enjoy, chortle, chuckle, giggle, titter….

Last Night, We Laughed

Last night, we laughed,

Annalise and I, together.

She is 8, and I am 43

And yet we were bound

In that just-right moment

By the sheer hilarity

Of the mental image

Of unicorns…

Vomiting

Through

Their

horns

!

Annalise as a pink unicorn rider!

And, on a slightly more serious note….

 

Laughter

Tonight, I am home alone.

With the television – music and inane advertising,

The pleasant and the irksome, in turns.

The rattlehum of the heater bouncing gently

Up and down the hall.

Predictably warm, and comforting on a chill night.

The rattling ting of the dog’s tags as he moves

The guinea pigs’ deep purrs and high squeaks.

Remind me that this solitude includes them.

The slliiissshhhthump of hot water

hitting a plastic milk jug, and the

so-soft pip-pop of newly born bubbles.

The slightly discordant symphony of

Our motley collection of dishes

clank tinkle sliding into order again.

And, woven through and all around,

The memory echoes of the music

That most defines my life.

It is the music of laughter,

Of giggles, and squeals, and sometimes snorts

Bubbling, exploding, surprising.

It runs through our lives and our souls

Like a flowing river, alive, mutable

Its song burbling mirth.

It is our nourishment and sustenance

The force that connects us one to the rest.

Our not-so-secret superpower.

Jeremiah and I share a laugh after a swim in the lake.

I hope I gave you a chuckle, a guffaw, a snort, or a snicker –

 

Or maybe all of them, and more!

Laughter, I love you! Thanks for the laughs!

It’s a Blog Hop!

Balance – Thankvember Seventeen

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Balance – Thankvember Seventeen

I

seek it

constantly.

Life in balance

is a shifting thing.

Blending energies

focused within

I find my

balance

now.

Public domain image. Click for source.

 

It’s a BLOG HOP!

 

Taste – Thankvember Tenth

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Taste – Thankvember Tenth

Taste

fills me

with pleasure

or revulsion.

Frozen grapes so sweet

crunching melt on my tongue

more delicious than candy.

That first sip of morning coffee

sweet warm elixir of wakefulness

herald of connecting conversation

before we move on to our own projects.

The savory onion lentil soup

created by my imagination

blending spices, herbs, sauces stirred in

to the onion stock learned from a friend.

I made it so I could play

with taste texture scent food

making something new

something my own

blended from

other

tastes.

Annalise at 6, tasting a just-picked strawberry.

Touch – Thankvember Seventh

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Touch – Thankvember Seventh

 What does it mean, to touch or be touched?

Is it a surface thing, skin touching skin,

the soft caress of an edge of lace,

a cat’s fur warmed by the sun,

the perfection of a newborn’s cheek?

Is it the aversions?

For me styrofoam, velvet,

or the feel of socks on a rug

make me cringe.

Is it those moments of intimate connection

between partners of long standing, or new lovers?

Or is it something more…?

Does touch have depth?

Hidden meaning in

The stoking of fingers along skin

Gliding or gripping, embracing or clutching…

Is there a deeper place to know

A touch so deep that there is no need

For any physical touch?

My soul to yours

Your heart to mine

Ideas and emotions carried

In letters you read on the screen

Or the page.

I am touching you

Yes, you

Just now

In this instant

Of reading.

The Infinite Now – OctPoWriMo, Oct. 31

The Infinite Now

Time

Stretches

This moment.

This single Now

Becomes infinite.

All possibilities

Exist first and only here.

There is no other time for me

No other instant I can act in –

This heartbeat, this breath, and only this one

Holds the magic of thought, impulse, movement.

Waiting as open as the vastness

Of the Grand Canyon in the star-

Pierced near utter dark, open.

Unseen unknown landscapes

Their power soul -sensed

Wide deep fierce true

Only bound by

What I

Choose.

Grand Canyon 1

It’s A BLOG HOP!