Wednesday, May 07, 2008

May flowers

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There is no stopping the coming of the days. The beginning of May. This day...this week...there is no stopping them. And as they approach I walk toward the well and peer down. But I'm afraid to climb in. I'm afraid I'll fall to the bottom.

The familiar dance of pain and grief is here during the beginning of May. But this time I dance with a beautiful baby boy in my arms. The familiar dance is somehow unfamiliar...with awkward steps like that autumn dance so many years ago. All elbows and knees and toes in the wrong places...moving unpredictably out of rhythm with a white carnation on my wrist.
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Keep screaming Myles. Fill up this space where I used to sit and sob...where I used to scream into the silence for my sweet little babies...your big brothers. Make as much noise as is possible for a little human being...so there will be no mistaking that you are here and healthy and life goes on. Keep reminding me.

Keep asking your questions Sam. Keep imparting the little bits of wisdom you learn from school and television and your friends. Keep me anchored to the here and now...

"The stones are so the people know where the babies are buried, right?"

Then there are the explanations that other people die...not just babies. But if we're lucky, we get to live really long lives. "My grandparents were in their 80s when they died."

"How old is grandpa?"

Give it a rest kid. Give ME a rest. We can talk about it after the beginning of May if you want.

"I hope WE live a long long time."

So do I.

And then we started digging and the crows started squawking. "Do you hear that crow laughing at us?"

"Mommy, did you know that when crows make that noise they're not laughing at us, but they're saying go away, this is my territory?"

Stunned, my shovel stops mid-dig, I look at the overturned dirt in the flower space above our dead babies, and I reply, "That seems about right."
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The petunias are white wave petunias. They will, according to the sales pitch, grow quickly to cover the entire area. I can return them if they "don't perform as expected." That's funny, considering the circumstances.
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I can't think about them though I so desperately want to. I want to hurl myself down into the well and curl up and cry for a while.

But life goes on. There is a house to clean, a job to do, family to care for...life to live.

Someone once told me that time would drag me along in life whether I wanted to go or not. And that's how I feel. Dragged along. Time hasn't healed the hurt, it's just put distance between us...made it more of an effort to go to that place. I want to find my way there...to feel for them the way I think I need to. I just don't have the time or the energy.

I honor them in other ways.

But I'm not sure it's enough.
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It all used to spill out of my brain through my fingertips onto the keyboard. But now it's as if it's all clogged up. So I write in stilted half sentences...try to shake it all loose...bits and pieces that may or may not make sense together appear and I can't edit or delete them. It is what it is. I never claimed to be a poet.
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8 comments:

Awake said...

Oh hon, I don't think its clogged at all. I think this was beautiful. And I think you are doing enough. Hug tight to your boys. I'm sure the petunias will bloom beautifully for your children. Thinking of you.

JMB said...

I've been thinking about you, and wondering how things would be this year. I agree with Awake, it's not clogged at all, it's where you are now, what you are now. I wish that I could say something inspirational, or comforting, but I'll just offer up my thoughts and far-flung support.

Tash said...

Catherine, this is beautiful.

"Time hasn't healed the hurt, it's just put distance between us...made it more of an effort to go to that place. I want to find my way there...to feel for them the way I think I need to. I just don't have the time or the energy."

This encourages me and saddens me at the same time. And in a way, only a year out, I know how you feel. Thinking of you and yours this week.

Shinny said...

Big hugs to you my friend. I know that is not enough to make the hurt go away. Keep writing and keep loving all your boys. There is no right or wrong way to grieve or remember them.

If there is a place beyond, they will know you still remember them and would rather have them helping plant flowers then have flowers planted for them.

I hope that made sense. Know that many are remembering them with you in the month of May.

Take care of yourself and you know how to find me if you need to talk.

Anonymous Eater said...

I'm glad to "see" you. I have been thinking about you in these early days of May. I read your blog and wanted to express my condolences for Alex and Travis.

"I honor them in other ways. But I'm not sure it's enough."

It is difficult to want to express your love to your children equally. I saw my mother struggle with it and all of her children were living. I have read about your struggle with two children living on in your memory and heart. From a child and sibling, though, I didn't want my mom to hurt from feelings that she wasn't loving me enough or a sibling more. And I'm pretty sure Alex and Travis would feel the same. I don't think they would want you to feel this ache.

You honor them through the MOM project, through their gardens, by remembering and by being their mom in your heart. And, for whatever it's worth, I think you're doing a pretty darn good job at it.
All the best, M

Jillian said...

I remember this day two years ago. What I was doing, what you were doing. I remember three days later, what I was doing, what you were doing.

Just know that today I woke with Travis' name running through my head, then Alex's then yours.

You honour your kids, all of them, every day. The moving on, by dragging or under your own power shows how much you want to survive and live for Sam and Myles and how much you won't let Alex and Travis be the reason you aren't living. Only a mother's love could be that powerful.

Grieve the way it comes - grief is one thing that just can't be faked and is really hard to do wrong. It is what it is (to quote an expert;)). Anyway, I'm proud of you for making it this far. (((hugs)))

Julia said...

you are where you are, and you don't sound clogged to me. But what do I know?
Kids say some heartbreakingly beautiful things...
I wish you some time for yourself, time to go where you wish to go, where you need to go.

Kendra's mom said...

This is almost exactly how I feel. Even though you don't think so, you express it all so well. I feel as though life has dragged me through March and April and I need time to stop and think and feel.