Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tonight

*this was written last night, but I couldn't post it until this AM because Blogger was down for a little while

Crickets chirp, and the frogs sing loudly, their voices streaming in through damp screens as the night darkens. Rain drips from the tin edging on the roof, splashing down on wet grass. The refrigerator hums.

The kitchen floor is the color of honey, the lights from the ceiling bright and crisp upon it. Our black cat lies on the floor, stretched on his side, perhaps feeling the coolness of the century old wood on his slick fur coat.

There is a pan on the stovetop, with olive oil coagulating on it, salt and pepper mixed in, and a spatula lying on top of that. Soon, I will run warm water into the white sink, and squirt yellow soap in, and watch the bubbles form. I will wash the pan, and dry it on the blue towel that hangs on the stove, and replace it into the cupboard.

I can see the breadboard, with three colors of wood, and the bag that holds the bread that Greg baked yesterday afternoon when it was so hot. He ran the fan, blowing from the 550 degree oven straight out the door, so that we would not make the house hotter than it already was.

Upstairs, Liam sleeps, and I can hear Greg singing quietly to Aoife. They are in the rocking chair together, he having taken over the routine that was once mine. They are happy together.

Night is falling on my home, and everything is peaceful here. My day was fine, and probably tomorrow will be, too.

Meanwhile, halfway across the country, there is a family that has just been blasted apart. Just a few years ago, their daughter, Elysium, died just before birth from a cord accident. This Mother's Day, my friend discovered that she was pregnant again, for the fourth time. After the initial ultrasound showed some anomalies, they pursued further testing and were recently given a fatal diagnosis for their little boy: Trisomy 18. It is unlikely that their son will make it to term; if he does, he will die shortly after birth.

So while the crickets hum, and frogsong fills my ears on this warm summer evening, I am surrounded by the ordinariness of my babylost life, where my life has slowly pieced itself back into something that I call normal, where happiness dominates and peace prevails. And somewhere in the midwest, this family is blinded by the light of the freight train charging haphazardly towards them at a thousand miles an hour, and they cannot stop it from coming.

My heart feels so heavy for them.

21 comments:

Janya said...

I am filled with chills at the thought of that train barreling down on this family.

I have a friend whose baby died 30 minutes after birth. They knew she was going to die. Maybe this is what she had, Trisomy 18. I've been afraid to ask.

This friend of yours will be in my thoughts today.

Meg said...

Janya, you took the words out of my mouth. Except my friends baby died 1 hour after birth. I have also been afraid to ask if it was this. I just know he had kidney and other problems.

I really feel for that family and if anyone can help them through this again, it's you and your team, Carol.

Laura said...

Carol,

Will you please tell these people they are in my thoughts and send them my love? I so remember that place, and I can honestly say, as horrifying as it sounds from the outside, and would sound to me had I been standing on the outside instead of the inside, these children are such a gift. Each day becomes something fun you can do with your baby, something you might not ordinarily do or ever do again, because for that day, they are with you, they are alive and the life they have to experience may be short, but it's protected and pain free and they will experience it through you. You really learn to live in the moment.

I wish this family the best and the power to live each day that they have with their son to the fullest.

kate said...

I am so very sorry for your friend. I don't have any words of comfort, because none exist. I will be thinking of them...

Be sure they know about Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep....

Shannon said...

I am also sorry to hear of the family in Missouri. I wish them strength during this difficult time when they feel like they have none, and the support of family and friends when their strength fails them.

Jen said...

Carol, please let this family know that a complete stranger to them is weeping for them, thinking of them, and wishing she could take away some of the pain. My heart aches for them.

Awake said...

Carol, please tell your friend there is another midwesterner here, thinking of her and her family on this night and many nights to follow.

We pray in our house and she'll be in those prayers.

Thank you.

charmedgirl said...

my main thought is, isn't one enough?? WHY ANOTHER?? i know there's no why to it, but that's the gut-wrenched reaction. it's also to curse, but i'll spare you that.

janya and meg, your friends are probably sitting around wondering why no one asks. they (probably, like most of us) want to talk about their babies.

midwestern friends, i am so sorry.

rebecca said...

I can not imagine what you are going through and I am so so sorry. Please know that I am thinking of you and my heart truly goes out to you.

Mama said...

Carol,

please also express my deep sorrow to your dear friends. I can only send love and support, and wish that I could be there with them even as a stranger and wrap my arms around them and hug them and cry with them. They and there babies are in my heart, and I can only hope that all our babies have found each other out there in the universe and in the stars.

Also, I am pretty sure that Dr. Leobel's first loss was because her baby had trisomy 18. Still she carried her baby knowing that her child would die.

please give all my love to your dear friends.....I am so so sorry. I wish that there was more I could do or say.

Meg said...

Dear Midwest Family,

I am so so sorry for your sadness. Every time I read this story, I cry. I'm sure you're crying, too. I know you love your baby (and your little Elysium) and he knows it, too. You are giving him this time of love and nurishment and comfort. He may not have a long life, but it will have been filled with love and his family. That's more than some other kids get. I will pray for you. I hope you have many people around you to support and comfort you through this heart wrenching time.

Rebecca said...

Our hearts are with you as you process this sad, staggering news. Know that I will hold my son a little tighter tonight, tell him I love him just one more time and watch him sleep just a little longer as I think of this family saying goodbye to their own son. The love and kindness of strangers is with you, sad family, and we mourn with you too.

Hennifer said...

Dear Family,

My heart breaks for you today. I cannot imagine the decisions and emotions that surround a time like this. May the world around you be compassionate and generous through these times.

Like myself there are so many who send you their warmest regards without knowing you personally. Your pain speaks to my human heart and I shed tears for the child you have known and will continue to know and love for the rest of your life, present or not in this earthly world.

blessing,

Aimee said...

I wish you peace as you, using Carol's metaphor, stand on those train tracks and stare. May you find the strength in your soul to get up once again. I'm so sorry for what you are going through.

Sara said...

There are no words for this. All I can say is that my heart aches for you. I wish you strength and peace. You are in my prayers.

Rachel said...

I am so sorry to hear for the loss this family is going to and already enduring. I cannot understand what this family is going to go through nor do I have words for them other than, they are in my thoughts and prayers.

allyson said...

I am left speechless and full of sorrow at the pain and sadness this family must be enduring. While I know words too often seem hollow, I hope the family can take some comfort in the sure knowledge that they are in my and many others thoughts.

Kerri said...

Oh, I am so so so sorry you are experiencing this unbelievable, unimaginable pain. I will not stop thinking of you and hoping that in some way you will feel love from across the miles.......

Heather said...

Dear family-

I am heartbroken that you are facing this horrible time. It's so ridiculously unfair, especially with what you've been though already. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers for peaceful days ahead.

Janya said...

Dear Carol,
Since reading about your friend and her baby, I have done some research on trisomy 18. This child has given me the gift of education; has taught me something I may not have taken the time to learn about were it not for this special baby's existence. Also, from reading these comments, I understand how many babylost mothers want to talk about and be asked about their babies. I am more aware and less afraid all because of this one baby. What a gift.
Blessings to you, your friend and all her children,
Janya

stephanie said...

I am thinking of this family and sending them my love. My heart truly aches for them. I wish there was more I could do or say; I hope that the words of Carol's bloggers will be provide some comfort during this tremendously difficult time.