Sunday, May 11, 2008

Breathe them and weep

This morning at around 2:45, I started to get a little anxious.
Why yes, we were up! After spending the last few days crashing by midnight (a complete waste of a luxury hotel, say I), there was some unspoken force that kept us up last night long after the babes were bedded.
It was, perhaps (or of course) the visceral memories of that exact time of this exact day, four years ago.

Four years ago.

Those words are so strange to utter, as it always feels more brutally recent than that.

So there we were, watching some James Bond movie; attracted to the cable like media-deprived moths to a spotlight. There has been a spotty -at best- wifi signal, so we have had to resort to other methods of entertainment. I was inanely interested in the movie - I say this because I never really watched many James Bond movies before. But the combination of not being able to sleep, not being able to stay awake without distraction, and having stayed at a house two doors down the beach from Pierce Brosnan a few years back when our children met on the beach in Hawaii and played...I guess this made it interesting enough to stay up until 4am to watch it.
After the satisfactory typified Bond ending (actually, way before the ending, just as three am passed), my heart was racing and my throat was tight. I remembered some little peach-colored pills that a friend had given me. "Take only half", she had said, "calms you right down."
I knew at least six people who had taken this stuff on a regular basis, so what was the big deal, right? If I can get to sleep, isn't it worth it?
I got up at 12:40 pm.
Oh yes I did.
I mean sure this was after falling asleep around 5 am, being woken up by my little rooster at 6am (and 7, 7:30, 7:52, 8:15, 8:38, 8:54, 9:19, 9:31, etc, etc ,etc...) and putting pillows over my head so I could sleep, but still. No more peach pills for me; if needed, I'll stick with my usual checking out standby of slightly too much wine.

So, this is mother's day 2008.
This is what it feels like to be a mother who has and a mother who has lost. This is what it feels like to be a mother who has lost so much - her child, her brain, her way - and has found her way back to a place in which she can breathe.
A place where less time is spent with my memory, frozen in time forever...gasping little fish-mouthed boy...I couldn't save...I deserve not this title of 'mother' children not deserving me for their pathetic and fearful leader...some time, but less.

More time is spent hugging the tangible children...holding them close...breathing in their little kid scent...wishing I hadn't yelled...wishing I had kissed them more today while they were awake to notice...wishing simply...that they will grow up.


Sabrina said...

You absolutely took my breath away with that post . . . Astonishing and so powerful.

Cassey said...

Really great post. Thanks.

Boss of Seattle said...

My friend, how proud I am of you. You must be proud too. You ARE complete. You are here. You are growing into your beauty more and more with each day. I commend you for all of your hard work and dedication- to your children, and yourself. You are a gem.
Love, Julia

jenijen said...

I love you, Gwendolyn. You're an amazing woman, mother, friend, human, spirit.


Denise said...

I love you too! You simply kick ass my friend!

The Governor said...

I hope somehow you've found peace this week. Thank you for the beautiful post.

Tricia said..., for you and yours.