Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The little girl who inspired me

The balloons I ordered came in and they are wonderful. I wish they were something I was ordering for graduation or a 21st birthday instead of an anniversary of the saddest time.

I am working, making little figurines that remind me of Stevie. I think she would have loved them, maybe she can see them from where she is and she does love them and she is the one who wakes me before the sun every morning to make more. I am growing fat sitting in one place sculpting and eating peanut butter. I don't care.

The red tulips are up. I thought they were gone but a dozen of them found a spot to bloom. The single pink tulip is still standing in the garden I made for Stevie, my heart breaks when I look at it, so pretty and fragile, so alone, so strong.

I have to write the page about Stevie for the book tonight. I have put it off until the very last minute. What can I say that I have not already said a million times? What words can I find to comfort a mother who is reading this book because she knows her child is going to die or has died? What words would comfort me? There are none.

I guess I will tell her,

I know it hurts, hurts so bad you just want to close your eyes and stop breathing. I know everything you believed is falling away and the thought of never seeing your child again is an agony of the soul. I know that these are your darkest days...

Does it get any better? Well little by little normal creeps in and you find yourself doing all the old things again, maybe you wonder why you do them, what the point is really but it is like you are in automatic pilot and you just do. You get your appetite back, you are able to drive your car, do the grocery shopping and kiss your other children good night without falling apart.

You start sleeping, you might go back to work, you might even try to have another baby. None of these things make it hurt any less or replace the part of you that is lost but it makes the time go by.

One day you wake up and run a few errands, get your hair cut, have lunch with a friend and you didn't once cry or feel like you were going to throw up. The drive home is hard, you feel a little guilty and wonder if you are starting to forget. Within two minutes of that thought you break down and realize you have not, you just took a little time out to be an alive person, the kind of alive person who can have lunch with a friend and cry all the way home.

I don't know what it will be like in the years to come, I just know that this year has been horrible. It is not as bad as watching your child suffer and die but it is a very close second. Part of you knows the pain and suffering for her is over but yours is just beginning. The heart wants what it wants and it wants a child to touch and kiss.

If I can survive this I can survive anything. I am knocking on wood because I don't think I could bear to lose another child but other than that everything else seems pretty small in comparison. I think I could climb a mountain, fight a grizzly, get leprosy.

Most women my age are trying to find themselves, lose weight, save for a face lift or a tummy tuck. Me, I am just here. I know I need to find happiness to survive so I breath Noah in try my best to be in the moment with him. I try my best to get closer to Aly but she pushes me away so full of something that only she can sort out. The thought of sex or a relationship seems so unreal, it takes to much energy I am no whole enough, there is not enough of me for it. I can not give like that, I am too selfish now.

My studio is so bright and beautiful, I don't know why it took me so long to give this to myself. I don't know why I always crowded myself into a dark room, a place no one else wanted. One morning I was laying in bed wondering what I would or could do to make my life a little nicer. I thought to myself "I would have my studio in a sunny room, with lots of work space, big tables, shelves full of my hoarded supplies" A little voice said, "then why don't you just do it?" That little voice would not let me say "I can't because..." Instead it challenged me, dared me and I did.

Was it Stevie helping me move forward? If I sit here and believe that then I am filled with such love and longing to kiss her cheeks and say "Thank you thank you" If it was just me daring myself then good for me.

I wonder what she is doing? I wonder if she sleeps, eats, sings, runs, floats around in the universe, dreams, plays, has people who love her where she is. Does she miss home, does she remember having auburn hair? Can she see me in the tub reading her books?

Oh this life such a strange thing.

Thank you Stevie for all your gifts, even the little bag of Burt's that I teased you about. You are lovely, your heart is so good, so pure. How did I get so lucky to be loved and to be able to love someone like you. I just wish I could have a little more of you.


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