Today I have incredibly chapped hands. I think the hours of digging in the garden and the hours carving our Halloween pumpkin yesterday took their toll on my poor fingers. So I pulled out the True Blue Spa Mega Butter my friend H bought me as a pamper mommy gift when I was expecting Alex. I had dumped it in the bottom drawer of my filing cabinet upon returning to work, in one of my "I can't deal with this right now" acts of cowardice. I saw it today and thought it would be great for my hands.
It was the only lotion smell that didn't make me want to throw up while I was pregnant. I would sit here and talk to my fellow pregnant co-worker, taking off my rings and rubbing the cream into my hands. I vaguely remember my belly being big and heavy. Even more vague is the memory of my Alex wiggling and kicking. But it's still there in some deep dark recess of my mind.
The now mommy co-worker walked past my door on her way to the office kitchenette. Like so many times before, I half expected her to stop in my doorway for a chat. But she didn't even look my direction. I could tell she was hoping I didn't speak to her. We just don't have anything to talk about anymore, I guess.
It's been a year since I carried the secret that would be Alex with me. This time last year is when I shared my secret with my friends at work. This time last year was so full of happiness and anticipation. This time last year was magic. Sadly, the familiar scent of my hand lotion just didn't bring any magic with it. Nor did the return of my co-worker from her extended maternity leave. It's looking more and more like the life I had is gone for good. On some purely academic level, I guess I knew this. But it is always an emotional blow when the news reaches my heart and soul again and again. Perhaps that's what it takes for me to accept it or deal with it or reconcile...whatever the term du jour may be.
The tears are coming today for some reason. Maybe it's the stress of other things weakening my ability to keep it all together. But I find myself without a smile...without joy. Today is just a bad day.
I took a little hanging Jack-o-lantern to the cemetery for Alex's grave yesterday and sobbed. This isn't how this is supposed to be. If I can't even get through Halloween, how am I going to get through Thanksgiving and Christmas? I am tempted to boycott them altogether. I know I should be ready to count my blessings and be thankful for what I have. But there is this sadness and anger that fills that space where happiness and thankfulness used to reside.
So I overcompensate and make a production of buying Sam a Halloween costume and hanging up Halloween decorations. And I smile but don't speak to the new mommy co-worker. And I use my True Blue Spa Mega Butter. And I sit here and remember. And I cry.