Friday, December 28, 2007
About Two years ago Stevie decided she wanted a water bed. What she really wanted was one of those terrible 1970's monster water beds with stained wood and smoky mirrors. Retro can be fun but that was just way too over the top for me. We settled on a conventional bed with water coils. She found one on craigslist that someone had been storing for several years. It was in a guest room and was nearly new. She paid cash (275.00) for it and we brought it home in Aly's truck.
I bought her pink flannel sheets and a really pretty duvet cover from Ikea. It was girly and beautiful and soft and squishy just like her. Last year it became "The white bed" when she decided to get rid of everything pink. A big white down comforter, a down mattress pad, big white pillow, and a micro fleece blanket in pale beige that I use to throw in the dryer for her to get her warmed up.
She spent the last days of her life in that bed, trying so hard to get better or simply let go. I slept next to her and told her stories, prayed and waited for something wonderful to happen. She wanted to die there but I was too afraid and I couldn't let her go. When we came home from the hospital the first thing I did was change the sheets and climb in with her pillow and her soft blanket. Her very best pillow was put in her coffin with her.
I have been sleeping in that bed for eight months now. I feel closest to her there. I read to her, I talk to her and I try to dream about her.
A couple nights ago I noticed a smell. I had smelled it before but couldn't figure out where it was coming from. I stripped the bed down this morning and noticed a big wet spot under where I sleep. Now after having three huge babies there is always the possibility that my bladder gave out but it wasn't likely. I unzipped the bed and found moisture where the water coils are, there was also mold, and that smell. I can not understand how the top got wet, the coils are zipped up in a plastic bag...
Needless to say there is a leak someplace and the mattress has to go.
I cried my head off. Then I took a deep breath and heard my thoughts say, "This is the beginning of letting go she is helping you" So I am letting go of one more thing again.
I took Noah out to buy a new mattress. It has been a while since I have purchased one new and holy-moly I was in for a treat. My first car cost what this new mattress did. It will still be the white bed and I will still sleep in it surrounded by the trees on the walls, in the room where her clothes and her memories are still. One step at a time.
Stevie and I have an unusual attraction to water. I need it but fear it. I need to be out on my boat but I do not like being out in the deep end of the pool, lake or ocean. The only thing that can calm me is a bath. I am happiest when I live close to water. Stevie loved the bath from the time she was born. She began swimming as a baby, no fear, ever. She loved the boat, the pool, lakes, oceans, rivers, streams. I always had water dreams right before Stevie got sick, I have not had a single one of those dreams since she died. Tonight I am emptying the water from the bed we shared. Water connects us, she made it rain the night she died.
In heaven I think my girl lives by an ocean where she can hear the waves and can wake up with the smell of salty air. Or she lives in a big open house on the edge of a forest with a calm lake that she can walk to, a long dock that she can sit on, and a tiny red row boat she can take out on the water.
I hope I get to share that heaven with her, I hope she is saving me a place.
Tomorrow I will be sleeping in the new bed and I will continue reading Sleep Pale sister, I would say it is ironic but she hated when I misused the word. I want her back every day but I will have to wait I guess until it is time to go back home.