Once again, I find myself writing after a relatively long hiatus from Gracie's blog. As I drive around between schools during the day, I think about lots of things that I would like to post here, and the time just never presents itself. When I go for such long periods without any blog posts, it is almost guaranteed that I am also not reading too many blog entries. I see them pop up on my google reader, but I don't have the time to spare to sit and read. Sometimes I get a quick chance to read, but don't really have time to comment. It makes me feel very alone and disconnected from everyone. I don't like that lonely feeling. :-( Luckily, school is almost over, and I might be able to reclaim what is left of my life!!
It has been cold and rainy here this week, but last week brought us beautiful spring weather. Most of the week, the sky was the most vibrant color of blue with a few wispy white clouds here and there. Right now, our trees are the most beautiful shade of bright green; nothing compares to seeing that shade of green against the electric blue sky. The sun was ever present and warm, and most days there was a gentle breeze blowing. More perfect weather could not be wished for...and no other weather could remind me more of the day that we buried Gracie. It was such a weird feeling that I carried with me all week as I soaked in the sun and the warmth...ever present in the back of my mind was the fact that it was the same exact weather we had on August 5th. It makes me wonder if the most perfect of weather days will always bring me back to August 5th.
As I was driving the other day, I saw a cloud unlike any other cloud I had ever seen. It was surrounded on all sides by other clouds, all of which were pure white. The cloud in the center was rainbow colored. I have never seen anything like it in my life - it was simply amazing....and beautiful....but of course, only an illusion. By the time I got the car stopped to take a picture, the illusion was gone. :-( But, I couldn't help but wonder if it wasn't a sign of some sort from Gracie.
Sticking with signs from Gracie...I wonder if anyone else sometimes has trouble interpreting the signs like I do...of if anyone else wonders "is that just a coincidence or is it really a sign?" I have had two questionable signs over the last couple of weeks. Music and coolers. As I was randomly shuffling through my ipod last week, I listened to the words of a song that I have heard maybe just a handful of times. As I really listened to those words, I realized how perfect they were for Gracie. On Sunday, as I was adding music to my ipod, I realized that somehow only 2 of the 11 songs on that CD had gotten transferred over from the computer - the other 9 were somehow left off. How in the world did that happen...and why? Shortly before Christmas I mentioned a display of styrofoam coolers in one of my posts. (The connection goes back to our meeting with the funeral director, whose free infant service included a free casket that essentially turned out to be nothing more than a Styrofoam cooler.) I was in the same grocery store last week...and in the exact same location was a new display of coolers - regular/real this time, not Styrofoam. Some BLMs have specific signs....some have butterflies, some have flowers, some have trees...now I am starting to wonder if coolers are going to be a regular sign for me. Seriously...where does this stuff come from? How do I turn it off???
Sometimes I wonder if the signs are just desperation on my part. Most days I am 'okay', but some days I feel nothing but desperation for answers to all of the 'why' questions...and desperation to just have Gracie here with us, alive and kicking. We are 9 months out now, and sometimes the loss just feels so much different than it did 5 or 6 months ago. Similar to the difference between acute and chronic injuries, I suppose. There are days that I still wonder if I was ever really pregnant. Don't get me wrong - I know that I was pregnant. I have medical records and photographic evidence to prove it. I have an attic full of shower gift and stacks of totes full of pink and purple clothes that I certainly would have never purchased if a baby had not been expected. But shy of the material evidence, my body shows no physical evidence of pregnancy, and never really showed any once I was about two weeks beyond Gracie's funeral. How in the world could I have spent so much time preparing for the greatest moment of my life, all to have it just vanish, literally into thin air??? How does it all just disappear??? I wonder quite a bit about how different the last 9 months would have been with her here. I wonder if we would have spent time in the NICU, and I wonder where she would be in terms of motor development. I wonder what her little personality would be like. As I wander from classroom to classroom during my work day, I occasionally take a minute to just take in some of those rooms and some of the kids in them...and I just wonder. I look at the two babies in our lives that are just 3 months older than Gracie should have been, and I just wonder. Despite the many people who belong to this club with me, I think every day about the painful fact that I am still in the minority...and I wonder what it would be like to have gone through life without knowing this pain, disappointment, loneliness, heartache and occasional bitterness...and how easy it should have been to go through life without knowing any of it. I think about all of the women that I have 'met' over the last 9 months and how grateful that I am to have met them...but I also think about the fact that we all existed, in our own worlds - completely oblivious of each other, until those peaceful little worlds were shattered into millions of pieces. I think now that we all were obviously destined to 'meet' each other and become part of each others' lives, but I wonder if there wasn't an easier way for the universe to arrange the meetings. I think about how absolutely lonely I would be if this had happened 20 years ago before technology made our community possible. I think about how, on some level, it will be so weird when pregnancy ending means coming home with a baby...since we don't really know what it is like to do that. I hate that I now think about everything in life in terms of statistics, and how much heavier I weigh 'slim' odds...for everything. Sure, I have survived this and I will continue to survive it...I will continue to get up every morning and go to bed every night...but it has changed every single thing in my life. Nothing is the same, nor will it ever be. Good, bad and/or indifferent, the world will always look so much different than it did before July 31, 2009.
I don't really know what to think about the whole Mother's Day thing. Blah. The weather here had gone back to cold and wet by Sunday. We got up early and went for breakfast, then went to the cemetery to do a little clean up. It was so cold and windy by the time we got there that we only stayed for about 10 minutes. It certainly goes without saying, but I should not be going to the cemetery to visit my daughter on Mother's Day. It's so completely backwards. And the recognition of the fact that I am a mother....it was there from some people. It was there from the people who matter in my life, but I couldn't help but feel that some of the wishes were just simply out of pity...which made me feel pathetic and pitiful. I know that they were really all primarily out of love, but seriously, there has to be some degree of pity there. Blah. I sincerely hope that all of you have peaceful IBLMD and US Mother's Days...I hope that many of you were able to say that you had pleasant days and that you were able to make some pleasant Mother's Day memories with your families.
I close tonight feeling like I have written a book, but not really said anything. If you have gotten this far, I wish you a good week and weekend. Many hugs and much love to all of you...