Each time I open this page to write, I falter. I hesitate between writing something like I might normally write and writing something that is more truthful and personal. Here is my compromise.
On the surface, everything looks the same. I am dressed, wearing make-up, caring for my boys, having girls night out, taking pictures, paying bills. Three mornings a week William and I can be found walking our loop at Town Lake, feeding the ducks. And dinner has miraculously appeared on the table most nights, and our clothes are clean, and on a nightly basis Don makes me laugh so hard I almost cry. Almost.
But beneath the surface, beneath my heart, there is a river whose depths cannot be guessed at, save by another mother who has already navigated them herself. See, in my sparkly Target flip flops and my new haircut, I am navigating the rapids. I am not alone, far from it, but my company watches for me from the shore. Here on the water, on my own private river, it is just me. Just me who birthed a baby who wasn't ready yet, just me who felt her go.
I am so blessed, most definitely by my own mother who came and spent ten days with us in case I felt like crying. I am so blessed to have Don, my rock of a husband. I have come to believe that husbands who are spiritual leaders are few and far between, and I feel rushing gratitude that he is my partner. And I am so blessed to have my sisters, Catherine and Melanie, and my best friends, the kind of friends who didn't call before they came, who just showed up unannounced with lasagna and champagne and chocolate.
So, please understand if, when you ask me how I'm doing, I brush right through with, "Fine. And you?" It's not that I don't want to talk about her, the loss, it's just that there's too much to say. And for the record, I'm doing great. There is real and true joy in my life. There is also longing. I have a child whose face is hidden from me, whose cheeks I cannot touch. I'm as fine and sorrowful as that.