Life is made of a succession of moments. Moments seized and wrung out until there is nothing left of them. And moments missed....slipping by without so much as a touch to acknowledge that they were ever there.
Riding home from a fantastic day out at the mall with Steve, Sam, and my mom, I spotted a stray dog along the side of the highway. My husband was driving and didn't even lift his foot from the accelerator. We whizzed past and the dog remained on the side of the road. He offered to go to the next exit and turn around, but the moment was gone. The spontenaity was lost. In order to go look for the dog, we would have had to go down one exit, turn around, go back to the exit before spotting the dog, turn around, and then try to figure out where exactly I had seen it. My recall isn't that great, it was approaching 9pm, and we were all tired, so I told him to just forget it.
After my obligatory comment about feeling neglected because I wasn't heard (a running theme in my life I will have to get into here someday), the van fell silent with the contemplation of that poor dog on the side of the road. I'm not sure what everyone else was thinking, but my mind unnaturally wandered to the missed opportunities that have made up my life. Some have passed through my own choices and some, like the dog on the side of the road, have raced past before I had a chance to grab hold of them.
I think that is one of the things I am having trouble accepting about the deaths of our children in my womb. Besides the obvious sadness I feel that they lost their lives, there is a sense that no matter what choices I make, no matter how much I yell, those moments breeze past me completely beyond my control. I had hold of my boys...but yet I didn't really. They were there inside me physically...yet I couldn't protect them. Despite how much I wanted them to stay and join our family, they slipped away...just beyond my grasp.
Something, somewhere, turned on the head of a pin in that moment...that deciding moment when I could have had a living baby (or two). Someone didn't take their foot of the accelerator long enough for me to grab hold of the moment.
As sick and twisted as it may sound, even if I couldn't change the outcome, I would give almost anything to go back to feel those moments I did have. I never took them for granted, but I don't think I ever really took full advantage of them either.
My body longs to be pregnant with my boys again. My arms ache to hold them again.
It's as though something inside me says, "You couldn't have what you wanted, so you should make the best of what you got." Now that the sadness has dulled and the anger is less sharp, I wish I could go back to fully make the best of the moments I did have.
Knowing now what I didn't know then, I'd take the time to go back for the stray dog...even if he bit me it would be worth it.