Thursday, November 30, 2006

love thursday confession

As stated before, I am tired.
And the problem with being tired and blogging, is that it is hard. For me. Because before NaBloPoMo, I didn't write very much when so freaking tired. But I made this contractual obligation with myself, you see. And I was determined not to break it. Even if I type gibberish, which, upon looking back over the month of posts, apparently I felt at liberty to do. And again, here.
But the real crux (nice word, that) of the problem with being tired and blogging, is that I don't usually feel compelled to write and share something every single day. Some do.
Some things I write about are easy. Cupcakes are easy. Other things that I write about, I think about for a day or two. Or more. Like many who blog, I assume.
But the following 'Love Thursday' words? I wish I had more time to form them, to tell you more from my heart what I mean. But I am tired. And I am a slave to the contractual obligation to self.
Today I was working with a woman I do not know very well, but I do admire and respect her; she has years of working with babies and mamas, toddlers and parents. Between the classes, we were chatting, and it came to pass that I mentioned Bubbles was not my second child, but I had had another son. The statistics were quick to follow of course: Elijah, 13mos 11days, two and a half years ago, myriad of undiagnosable delays, undiagnosed growth disorder, mystery baby, very sweet, very interactive, died from....well, bronchitis. And tracheomalacia (if they're still listening). Yes, it is hard. Yes, our whole family still suffers. Umm....yes, and...umm...this little guy on my lap, Bubbles, see him? Well, yes, he is just what our family needed.
And her response was shocked and sweet and kindly and maternal and then she said,
"It must be easier though, now?"
"Easier?" I glanced at Bubbles. And at her. (?)
"Well, easier not to have to deal with all umm...that. all those...issues...I guess. Easier that way."
I said, "Well, it is my family's history. It just is. And the healing is a lifelong process."
I don't think I answered her question, but you know what? It was a stupid question. I have come to learn (and someday perhaps will accept) that people often say stupid things. Nice people, too. Stupid, stupid, stupid-ass things.
So I got over myself and was fine for the rest of the presentation. (Until later in the day when I was stuck on an entrance ramp with my car alarm going off every time I touched anything but that is really another story!)
But let me share something with you - to any of you who are left reading after the month of posting whether I had something to say or not - My son's death was not relief for me in any way. I did not feel released from his needs - I felt lost and without purpose for years.
His death was not and has not ever been anything grateful in our family. No, I don't sit around thinking, 'thank goodness we don't have to deal with a wheelchair!' Sometimes I sit around calculating how old he would be (3.8yrs, can you believe it?).
I have never, ever felt that my life was better because of his death. Honestly, I did worry often about who would take care of him if we died before he did. The thought would make me worried, scared, sad....and then angry at the world for shitting on him for being different.
But never did I feel that his death was a blessing. Some think that way. I do not.
If anything, and let me be perfectly, crystal clear about this, when you are the parent of a child who has more needs, different needs, special needs, quite often the response is to love that child just a little bit more than your other children (whom you would never, ever compare in the same realm). Because he needs you more. You bet he does. What with the world shitting on him and all. So don't be fooled into believing that some child's death was a 'blessing' or 'relief' for the family, just because he was living a different kind of life than yours.


Supergirl, 2 yrs, Elijah, 8 mos.


Lin said...

When I read your words about Elijah, I feel sad that I didn't get to meet and hold this dear little boy and amazed that he was able to teach you and your family so much about love and life and through your words, he has also taught me.

Does that make any sense, G?

Anonymous said...

I wish I'd sat next to you by chance and happened to chat about your family history. Would I have said something awkward - mostly I think I would have listened. Why do people find it so bleeding hard to listen? I lost my baby and some responses have made me gasp and reel. Then there are those that pretend a life never happened. When I talk my babies name still gets stuck in my throat. Too painful. I think you're a courageous mother and your story has guts and heart. I just stumbled on your blog and through your milky-tired-haze you've managed to inspired me. Please keep honoring Elijah's life with your words.

(that photo - he is just the sweetest, squidgiest and most perfect baby boy!)


Anonymous said...

I'm glas Elijah was born to you.

I want to hug you.

Anonymous said...

I mean "glad" sorry...

gwendomama said...

lin, yes of course. it makes sense and keeps me inspired to share what i write rather than secret it away.
and anon-yes, i wish that you had sat next to me. please tell me more about your baby.

Hannah said...

Every time you write about Elijah I always end up in tears, I doubt there could be any greater loss than that of a child.

Jenijen said...

What lin said.


Green Kitchen said...

I keep wanting to comment, but never seem to have the time to think before writing, so excuse any lameness. I think what I've wanted to say is that I'm sorry you have to deal with residual crappiness. They're fuckheads, I tell you, even if they are nice people.

And, those have got to be the cutest, biggest cheeks of all time.

Anonymous said...

I like that you asked... well, it's not a dot on what you've lived through - oh here I go again diminishing my grief. Anyway I lost my baby boy at birth. He was perfect, my body failed him. Left the hospital with empty arms and full breasts. Cruel. I've never experienced such a tidal wave of grief. I have a gorgeous feisty daughter (my first child) and I have just given birth to a delicious baby boy. I can SO relate to your comment that the next child is what your family needed. Although my loss is different, some of your words just speak to me. I find myself nodding my head as I read.

Geener said...

Sweet picture. Was thinking the other day about when Elijah was mesmerized by the lights on our Christmas tree, and how excited he got as I held him and he heard Dh's voice.