Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Last Day, Round 6


Last day always wrings me to the core, knowing that years ago my sweet baby's clock was ticking slowly down to nothing while I merrily bounced my way through my life. I remember the minutes and hours of that day in molasses-slow detail, and have obsessed for many hours inserting "save the baby" scenarios into what never needed to be her last day.

In fact, it should have been the day before her first day, except that her cord happened to be wrapped in a certain way, and then my water happened to break first, when I was still at home, and it happened to be a break in the bottom of the sac so that all the fluid gushed out all at once, and that was the end of that.


If only one, one, of those details could have been different, then it all could have been different.


Tonight at dinner, a lovely meal of wild caught Alaskan Salmon, couscous, and fresh local asparagus, we held hands and lit the candle. I asked that we all say some words for Charlotte, and we did, and then Aoife asked to sing.


She has a clear, tiny, high voice, and sings perfectly in tune. And this is what she sang, to the tune of Happy Birthday:


Sad Charlotte to you.
Sad Charlotte to you.

She misses her hungry family

Sad Charlotte to you.


A sad, appropriate grace for a grave, yet cherished, dinner. It is probably not necessary to say that Greg and I broke into tears at her sweet song, for so very many reasons. But I felt it again, this deep, visceral tug towards the earth. This feeling of inexplicable gratitude, of disbelief that from the ashes of my incinerated life, these beautiful children have risen and given us such a wonderful family to love. Clearly, they are hand-picked souls.


Tomorrow, we will stay home together, we will plant flowers for Charlotte, we will cry, we will eat, we will sing. We will bake her a cake and we will weep into the batter, and onto the icing, but the children will be sincere as they sing her birthday wishes and blow out her candles.


We will miss her so very, very much. We always do.

22 comments:

Cara said...

Oh Carol - your family embraces Charlotte's spirit so beautifuly and the traditions around her life, however brief it was within you - will last their whole lives!

Thinking of you tomorrow as you remember, grieve and celebrate.

kris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kris said...

Sending love your way, Carol.

Your love for Charlotte is such a gift to Liam and Aoife. They already know the world is bigger than them--a lesson some people struggle with all their lives. I only wish they had learned it another way.

I'll be thinking of Charlotte and your family tomorrow.

acc said...

Thinking of you and your family with a special focus tonight and tomorrow. Amanda

Hope's Mama said...

It is already the 13th here in Australia, so I have already declared today Charlotte Day here.
Lots of love to you Carol. Yes, it seems you next two babies were hand picked souls. And I think that little one in there now will be, too.
xo

Sara said...

Carol, I've been thinking of you with all week with Charlotte's day approaching, though I said only the happiness and congratulations when I saw you Monday.

jojo said...

i remember the first time i met charlotte, a tiny bean tucked in your belly, under your coat, that you happily flashed open in gina's classroom at the smith college campus school. i miss her and mostly i miss her for you, greg, liam, aoife, and your new tiny bean growing right now.

Inanna said...

*sob*

That was the most achingly beautiful song I've ever heard.

:(((

Shanti Mama said...

Thinking of you, Charlotte, and the whole family tomorrow.

Peace and love.

Shannon said...

I'll be thinking of your Charlotte tomorrow as I have been these last few days specifically, since her day is so close to my Isabella's day.

Hugs to you and your precious family.

Delia said...

The way your family expresses their emotions and celebrates Charlotte give me hope. I so much want to get my family to this place.

I'm thinking of you and your beautiful family!

rebeccaeee said...

Happy birthday Charlotte and much love to your little family who misses you so much.

Gretchen said...

I'm holding you all in my thoughts as you remember and honor your sweet girl.

Those last day memories are beautiful and torturous at the same time...

Jen said...

Aoife's song has me dissolving in a flood of tears. Now it is May 13 and my thoughts are on Charlotte all the day long. As well as her sweet family. Today 2-year-old Lily was hugging her pink balloon with the name "Charlotte Amelia" on it and saying "Charlotte, Charlotte, Charlotte." May her name be uttered by many people far and wide, especially on this day.

mama said...

I have been saying Charlotte's name all day today out loud to the sky, to the wind. She is fully on my mind, your whole family is on my mind.

What a sweet and innocent song Aiofe sang for Charlotte.....

I hope you are able to smile today, even a little bit, for the love Charlotte brings she brings to so many.

You are a blessing in my life Carol.
If not for you, if not for your loving Charlotte so fiercely....I might have lost hope for myself.

lots of love,
erin

Hennifer said...

Your family is so wonderfully beautiful to me. I'm sad and yet tickled that you have by the way you let your two living children know and love their older sister.

Thinking of you, Charlotte and yours today.

dude said...

you have all my thoughts and love and prayers for peace today

THAT GIRL said...

I will think of Charlotte, too. I think of her at work, often, when I place the ultrasound on a round belly. I am a different nurse because of your blog... because of her... because of you.

You are such a poetic writer, and your children as wise beyond their years.

All because of a little girl...

And because of a Mother who refuses to let her be forgotten.

Thank you.

Mira said...

What beautiful spirits all of you have. Many gentle thoughts today, Charlotte's day, to you and yours.

kris said...

Happy Six, sweet Charlotte. I thought of you so much today, of your story, and of your wonderful, strong, fabulous mother.

Mommy (You can call me OM) said...

I have few words, just tears. I'm so sorry Charlotte isn't here in your arms, playing with her siblings.

Peace.

Dalene said...

Happy birthday, little one.