Thursday, September 20, 2012
Falling leaves. Crisp air. Rain puddles. A new school year. All signs that summer has left us, and a new season is on the way.
Fall is the season of reflection, comfort, and gratitude – as we hunker together as families, eat pumkin pie, and prepare ourselves for the cold winter ahead. But always knowing that spring, and yes, even the magical invincible summer, will come once again.
Fall for me, is always a reflection on the circle of life. And this year is no different. Today we say goodbye to our dog Phinnegan, of 15 years. Our sweet baby who has been with us through everything and never left our side. Today, he will be our last day together. And as we prepare to say goodbye to our faithful friend, we also prepare to say hello to our new baby. In two weeks, our daughter will be here. Reminding me, not only of the miracle of life, but also, that the circle continues – as the two year anniversary of my own mothers death fast approaches.
Life is not always what we expect. The ebb and flow of the seasons – and life – remind us that life is to be lived, in the here and now. That every day is a special gift. And that, we must make the most of each day we have been given. Good or bad. Hard or fun. Excruciating or filled with joy. These are the moments that make our memories, that carve out our truth, that create our legacies. These are the moments that make us who we are. Each step along the way, a unique path, a gift, a cruel curse, an amazing blessing... this is life, in all it’s harsh and wonderful glory.
I am going to be a mother again. To a daughter this time. A dream I thought I would share with my own mother... three generations of mothers and daughters. The holy grail of what I always imagined my life would be like. A picture in my head, similar to my own upbringing, with my own mother and grandmother.
But my mother and daughter will never meet.
A fact that it so unthinkable, I almost block it out of my head entirely. Sometimes I wonder how that is even possible. I was so lucky to have a mom and a grandma to build an amazing relationship with. I grew up with the love of both of these women. Talking on the phone, visiting, always a big part of each others lives. And I didn’t lose my grandma until I was 34. And even then, I thought it was too early. I figured she should have lived another ten years. So to lose my mom three years after my grandma passed away was a horrible shock. I always assumed that I would have the same three generations of my own.
I never imagined that my daughter and mother would never even meet. Even now, almost two years later, sometimes the phones rings, and just for a moment, I forget -- and think it’s my mom. My heart leaps with happiness for a few seconds, until I realize that she’s gone, and that whoever is on the other end, can never be her. It’s at this moment when I break down into tears, leave the phone ringing, and snap back to reality. My mom is really gone. But not a day goes by when I don’t think about her. I wish she was here to see Cooper grow, to help me when I’m bogged down and overwhelmed, to go shopping with me, to go out to lunch, to call and invite me over to dinner, and to crawl into bed and watch a girlie movie and have some of our favorite snacks. There are days when I miss her so desperately, I break down sobbing, and other days, when I just think of her happily. My days are mostly filled with happiness, but my sadness still comes in waves. Tides. Seasons. With the ebb and flow of life. But to me, my mom, is and always will be my home. She was my security. My faith. My unconditional love and support. She was my everything. My heart. My home. And always will be. She was my world. My first love. My biggest fan. My best friend. My soft place to fall. And my undying, unconditional love and supporter. Even now that she’s gone, I know, without a shadow of a doubt that there is nobody on this earth who could or will ever love me more. And just knowing I could always count on her, pick up the phone and call her, laugh with her, complain to her, ask her for help, and fall into her arms when something was wrong, was the best, safest, most complete feeling in the world. And something I just took for granted. Something I counted on having forever. Or at least until she was very old and the natural life cycle took her from me at the right time.
But I know my mom would be so happy to know that I am going to have a daughter of my own. That I will once again have that mother/daughter bond in my life. And so am I. I am filled with gratitude and wonder at the thought. Maybe the mix of happiness and sadness is what has kept me from blogging about my pregnancy for all this time. It’s been so raw with emotions on both ends of the spectrum, that I felt I had little to say, and that even if I did, my thoughts would be jumbled and incoherent – and filled with sadness and guilt.
This pregnancy has been one of the most difficult experiences of my life. Physically, I have had a very difficult time, and emotionally, at points I slipped into a dark hole of depression. I had round the clock morning sickness for the first two trimesters. I was in and out of hospitals, so weak and sick that I could not take care of Cooper and needed my mother-in-law to move in to help, and I worried constantly about the huge amount of medication and lack of nutrition and vitamins this baby was getting. But more concerning was the depression that I slipped into.
It’s crazy to want something more than anything, and when you finally get it, you can’t enjoy it. I was so sick and so miserable that all I could do was cry and wonder when I would ever feel like myself again. The terrible retching would never end, and was, hands down, the worst days of my life -- no question. And if you can handle the awful truth -- I even prayed to lose the baby, just so that I could get some relief. I even wondered if having an abortion would be my only possible relief -- a disgusting, horrifying thought that I hated myself for. I mean, how crazy is it to go through all these IVF treatments, to want it more than anything, to take the meds, and spend the money, and then when you finally get it – just wish it would all go away. Not my finest moment as a mother, or even as a person.
But such is life. Isn’t it? A jumbled, incoherent, mess of emotional highs and lows. Of joys and sorrows. Of past, present, and future...
And here I am today. I made it through.
The barfing did, finally, stop. The depression, did, finally, lift. The sorrow, has, finally, turned into joy.
And I wait, with much anticipation, and yes, once again, hope -- for her to arrive.
My angel, my miracle, my daughter...