Friday, May 27, 2005

Our old tree and me

When I was pregnant with Sam, I felt this amazing connection to the world. For some reason during that time, the big old tree in our front yard made me feel like I belonged to something bigger. I felt like I was home. It's hard to explain, but the idea that our house and that tree have been here for so long gave me a sense that my life fell into a pattern of life...something came before me and something would come after me.

While I was pregnant with Alex, my world became smaller. Instead of an amazing connection to the world, I was filled with an amazing connection to my family. I thought of all the things Steve would teach Alex and Sam together. I thought of all the things Sam would do with Alex. As Sam grew to accept Baby Alex as an inevitable part of our future, I thought of all the experiences we were going to share together...the four of us. I thought of raising my boys together as brothers and friends. It was as if I was growing my own tree...I had developed the roots while pregnant with Sam and was working on the branches and leaves during my pregnancy with Alex.

It's weird to think of now, because I still feel that connection to the old tree in the front yard. I can still feel the continuity of life running through this old house...I can still feel my roots firmly planted in this place.

But the connection to my family hopes and dreams is gone. It's like someone came along and chopped my tree down and left just a big ugly stump to look at. I just can't feel growth anymore...no branches...no leaves...none of those big walnuts the squirrels throw at us. So much is uncertain. What kind of family are we supposed to be now that one of us is missing forever? Are we supposed to be a family with only one child? Is Sam supposed to be without siblings? When I watch him on his swingset these days I see the empty swing next to him and wonder what we're supposed to do now that there is nothing but roots left.

I'm told something will grow in place of the connection I lost. I'm told the roots of my personal tree are strong enough to sprout different branches as time goes by. Our family won't stop living because of this sadness. We won't ever be the same, but we will rebuild hopes and dreams together...they'll just be different than they were before. There is no way to tell what those hopes and dreams will look like right now, because we first have to take time to acknowledge our loss and grief. I have to say that this is the part that sucks...and I wish it were over already.

I suppose during the time I'm waiting to heal I'm just going to have to remind myself that the old tree still stands in the front yard.

[Please pardon my very confused metaphors and attempts to write this out...I couldn't sleep and I'm afraid I'm not making much sense]

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