Monday, July 25, 2005

New Normal


Today I realized that my normal could be considered freakish to some.

Today I realized that I'm completely out of touch with normal reality and I don't know how to behave in polite company.

Today I reviewed the drawing for my son's headstone over breakfast.


Which brings me to my next question...

Why do people have such a hard time with the words "dead" or "died?" My baby died. My baby is dead. It may seem harsh and it may not fall in line with the way things are "supposed to be." But dancing around the words doesn't make them any less true or any less final.

I have to admit that I had a hard time saying these words for a short time after Alex died. I almost choked on them when they would come out of my mouth. Not because I was sad about what they meant to my life, but because the words themselves were almost offensive. Those little words held were the worst profanity...words you don't say in polite company. And I really don't understand why. Heck, even my three-year-old understands getting sick and dying...and talks about it quite openly if he isn't distracted by Thomas the Tank Engine.

I'm 33 years old and there are obviously still words that have some mysterious power over me. I know I have issues with the whole "I love you" and "I'm sorry" phrases (as my husband will probably readily attest to). But I'm wondering if there are other words out there that I'm avoiding without even realizing it.

Time to dust off the old Merriam-Webster and skim through for more personal neuroses.


Earlier this year, while I was still blissfully pregnant, Steve and I took Sam to the Cleveland Auto Show. We go every year that we can afford it, so that Sam can oooh and aaah over all the cars and trucks. More importantly, the show is highly interactive and he can actually sit in and "drive" the cars and trucks. But I digress...

One of the companies that now makes a hybrid car (can't remember which I'm guessing this idea wasn't that great of an ad campaign idea) was handing out tree saplings. Baby trees! How wonderful! We took for each boy...with the bright idea that they would grow as our boys grow. I'm a pretty good "ornamental garden" gardener (haven't yet tried my hand at the veggie garden I'd like to try), so I thought this would be a piece of cake. We kept them in the refrigerator until the spring thaw, watering them lightly as directed. The last frost came and went and we planted them and watered them and took great care with them.

Yep, you guessed it...they both died. I was holding out hope that they might make a miraculous comeback later this year...or maybe next spring. All hope was lost, however, when I realized they were so brittle that a good stiff wind would probably break them off. Ah laid plans and all that. I think I will, however, wait to plant that memorial garden all the grief books suggest. I don't think I could emotionally handle a whole garden full of dead things right now.


I figured out why my son is asking to be pulled in his wagon so much lately. In the book, "We Were Gonna Have a Baby, But We Had an Angel Instead," one of the illustrations on the last pages is the living older brother being pulled in a wagon by his mommy and daddy, while the angel baby looks down on them from the cloud above. When reading this book to me (yes, he was reading it to me, not the other way around), Sam explained that that was Sam in his wagon and Angel Baby Alex was watching.

Can you say..."rip my heart out and tear it to shreds"???


Today I got my "Alex ring" from Zales. It's a complete waste of money, I know, but it is beautiful and I will wear it every day for the rest of my life.


I applied for a scholarship to attend the First Candle/SIDS Alliance/International Stillbirth Alliance Conference in Washington, DC. Keep your fingers crossed. Steve and I both would really love to attend...and this would be the only way we would be able to afford it.



MB said...

My mom still says "When Audrey died..." it makes me insane. I hate it. I know it's true, but I'd rather she referred to that day as the day she was born.

I keep a little photo album of her pictures on my nightstand. The other day I was getting dressed and I didn't hear Gracie for a bit. I asked her what she was doing, she said looking at baby sister Audrey. So I stopped and went to go see... She was sitting on the floor with the album in her lap flipping the pages and with each one telling me "Oh, mommy, she's so pretty.." Still makes me cry.

Jill said...

They just floor you don't they? LIttle kids that is. Thay are so open and matter of fact. But that is just so beautiful that Sam like to be close to Alex and even figured out his own way to do it. Made me cry anyway...:(