Our mini vacation to the beach was actually an opportunity to meet a group of women I have been chatting with online for the last five years...since I was pregnant with Samuel. They have seen me through the best and the worst times in my life so far, and I imagine they will be there for many more. Though realistically I know people drift apart and it is hard to maintain online relationships, I still hope that we can stay close for another five...ten...fifteen years. They mean that much to me.
It seemed strange...overwhelming...to finally meet these amazing friends. But I really felt like I needed to see them face-to-face...a sort of test of myself. I'm not sure what exactly it tested, but I feel like I passed whatever the test was.
I even held a baby. A gloriously alive baby boy. My heart skipped a beat when Steve held him too, and that brief moment of what-might-have-been snuck up on me so that I had to excuse myself for a little cry. But I only felt the tears on two other occasions and I was able to control them until I could release the frustration and sadness in private. It was...in a word...good.
Recently a friend asked if I was truly OK...or if maybe I was trying to avoid something by cloaking everything in false cheer. And I really took some time to ponder if that is what I'm doing. The best answer I can come up with is, "I don't think so."
I know I'm distracting myself with the house project (which I promise I will post pictures of later). And I know I can't outrun grief and sadness. But honestly...I feel ok. I have felt for the past couple of weeks as if I have finally wrapped the grief up into myself...rather than the other way around. I am excited about things again. I am finding happiness in doing things again. I'm even wearing makeup (I know...shocking!).
I still miss those two little souls who didn't get a chance. But I'm finally able to see that I didn't disappear with them.
And I'm finally realizing that I don't need to replace them with another to feel hopeful about my life. I will be ok even if I never have another baby in my life. It's strange to say that, since I was so desperate to have a baby before. But there it is. I'm ok.
Back to the point of this post...
I met these women...my friends...and they all said that they thought I would be louder...more authoritative. I think I was like that before. I was so sure of myself. I had all the answers. For a moment, I wished they had met me then. But then I realized I LIKE who I am now. I know more...and I feel more. So while I mourn what I lost, it is possible that I can celebrate what I have gained as well. Yes, there are still things I need to work on in order to become the person I really want to be. And I will always wish for more happiness and less sorrow. But it's not all bad...the not being able to go back to my previous life.
I'm kinda glad you didn't meet me back then.