Sunday, August 24, 2008

1 dog, 2 parents, 3 girls, and 4 goldfish

We have officially made it to the 'American Dream'.

Own a home ~ check

One furry dog ~ check

2 working parents ~ check

One American made gas guzzling SUV ~ check

Membership to 2 Mothers' Clubs ~ Check

Membership to the aquarium and zoo ~ check

Successful camping trips for our summer vacation ~ check

3 frozen casseroles in the freezer ~ check

The first trip to pet store to purchase GOLDFISH ~ CHECK!!

Today we loaded the girls into the car and took a trip to Wal Mart. Yes, you read that right...we didn't just hit any old pet store. We went for the gold rings...we hit the quintessential store....Wal Mart. And....we loaded two smiling girls and 4 terrified goldfish into the car. Those poor fishies....they have no idea what they are up against. Forget the crazy girl in Nemo...nope we've got one better...we have Caroline :):) Just kidding! She hasn't started shaking the bowl, yet. Our new centerpiece is a beautiful fish bowl, complete with amazing fake plants. What better digs for our four newest family members. Nemo, DOri, Elmo, and Cookie Monster are busy getting settled into their new window on the crazy world, we call home. Hopefully we won't traumatize them too much :)

We have officially run our girls into the ground! Friday night was our first official Back to School Night dinner, as parents! The girls had the greatest time running around with a million other kids, jumping in two jumpy houses, and playing with all of my wonderful students. I have to say there are MANY, MANY, MANY reasons why I LOVE teaching middle school. The first one has to be the great students themselves. I love that they all come sit with me to eat their dinner, excitedly telling me of their weekend plans. The runner up I have 50 built in babysitters who love to chase, I mean follow my girls around...ALL night!! After an exhausting evening of fun we all fell into bed. Now my question for you is...when you go to bed late, exhausted do you A. sleep in late and relax or B. wake up really early?? Now I have always chose option A...but not my girls...nope they prefer option B. So, Saturday morning they awoke before the sun, ready to run! Ella had grand ideas for daddy to jump out of bed and build her a tree house. Being the awesome daddy that he is, he of course jumped right on it. After the required coffee intake, of course :) So, now we have a partially built tree house and one daddy who is full of grand ambitions. Look for pictures to appear soon. Our afternoon and evening were spent at the beautiful Vartan pool. WOW, this pool is a parent and child oasis. It has the best set up for the kiddos which of course allows all of us parents to relax, just a little bit!! One exhausting weekend later we now have....two dreaming daughters and one set of happy parents falling into the regular Sunday evening humdrum as we prepare for another fabulous week!

As I was leaving church today my friend approached with news that she had been working with a mother who just lost her 6 month gestational premie. She came to me to see if she could share my name with the grieving mommy. Of course I said yes as I passed along my email, phone number, and blog url. When I laid in my hospital bed waiting to deliver Leah, my friend Becca offered me the same resources. And I never called. Never picked up the phone to connect with someone else who had walked my same path. I don't know why. Was I afraid of the map she was going to give me. Afraid to face the reality of my grief. Afraid to cement my role as a grieving mother. Afraid to share my grief. Why are we so afraid to share our grief. Maybe it is not we...but me. Why am I afraid to share my grief? I hate making other people sad. Hate seeing the pitiful look in their eyes. Hate taking the wind out of their sails, the sun out of their sky, the joy out of their eyes. And yet not sharing my grief is in a way, denying my daughter her rightful place in my life. She is a living part of my life. Even though I never got to see her take her first breath, hear her cry her first sounds, or share her first smile...she is still a part of my life. still my daughter. still a wanted and loved human being who lived in my womb for 6 months. still my baby. Lately I have been struggling with the question of how many children I have. How do I answer that question? I have 3 daughters! 3 beautiful amazing daughters. 2 who live with me here on earth, 1 who lives in the arms of Jesus awaiting my arrival to heaven. I love the song by Mercy Me, I Can Only Imagine. Every night I try to imagine Leah's life...imagine her joy and love. imagine her peace and tranquility. imagine her here with me today. What would my life be like right now. and yet when asked that question...sometimes I answer 2 daughters because I don't want the eyes...the looks...the sadness to enter my day. It always lives in my heart and my soul but sometimes I don't want it to enter my day.
Many wishes for a great week! In hope....


amygrrl said...

it's me... amy here. the 'resource' becca offered to you those months ago. becca and i got together today and our conversation turned to you and our mutual membership in the loss club and the little plaques at the park that sit so near each other. i hope you don't mind that she pointed me in the direction of your blog. so weird how things work that way.

anyway, i wanted you to know that i'm here. and i'm reading. and i get it. i'm 3 years beyond you, but not at all removed. and if you want to talk, you can email me at amydan at gmail dot com. or if you still have my number... call.

and if you want someone to hold your hand when you go to that park and see that plaque, i'm here. it was really hard going at first. and sometimes it still is. but that little piece of metal is avery's space. and other than her little box of ashes, it's all the space in the world that's just hers. and there's comfort in that. it makes her real. and in a strange way proves her existance in world where noone but me really knew her. a world where she was just a blip in everyone else's radar but was and remains the center of who i've become.

and now the tree we planted is huge and i take my girls there and it's good. and it feels right.

anyway, grief like this isn't something you get over or past. you just get through. and you will. and there's no peace or understanding or any of those things that people say to try to comfort you. but there is acceptance. and it will come, just in it's own time.

Sue said...

Melissa -

When I am asked about how many grandchildren I have, I usually say 5 granddaughters, (Sammie, Ella, Caroline, Leah and Brianna). I don't always share about Leah, but when I do it seems God has put the right person in my path. I often end up meeting another grandma that has a grandbaby in heaven also or a mother that lost a baby years ago.
I would like to go to the park with you to see Leah's plaque.
Love, mom