Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Post #410.

Tonight I made and canned 22 bottles of jam. Yesterday, the kids and I picked 26 pounds of strawberries at a farm nearby. I began by making strawberry jam, but then I started on thinking about how I still had two quarts of our own raspberries from last fall in my deep freeze, and over a gallon of our own blueberries, and how the bushes are already producing, and so I did a few more batches of mixed berry jam, with excellent results. All told three hours of jam making, and thankfully Fiona Clementine cooperated by staying asleep through it all. With four teeth baring their razor sharp edges this is quite a feat.
An old friend just found me on the internet. I was so gratefully happy that she did, as I had looked for her quite a few times and wasn't able to find her (she changed her name). She was someone that I used to be very good friends with, and had a very pure love for. A friend that happened at a very vulnerable time in my girlhood, really, in my late teens, and I was sorry that we lost touch somehow in college. I always thought very fondly of her, and wondered what had happened to her. Now I know, she is out there, still, now married with three children, two girls and a boy. Until last week, she lived in the next county over from me. Imagine that. But only days after finding me, she packed up her family and moved to Maryland. Unfortunate timing, I should say, but I'm happy nonetheless to have made the connection.
The reason why I'm going on about having found her, is that it always surprises me to have to give old friends the surprising news that yes, I'm here, I'm living in this lovely home that Greg and I crafted all by ourselves to be the most amazing home for our family, I am surrounded by loving friends, I have three of the most hilarious and beautiful and whipper-snapper smart children I've ever met, and oh, yeah, my first baby died. Do I tack it there, on the end, or do I do it the way it really happened, which is that our baby died, and then we realized how surrounded we were by loving friends, and so we set about building ourselves an amazing homestead in which to have three more fabulous children? Either way, it's kind of shitty news to share.
Then again, it's absolutely just the gist of who I am. Charlotte was the beginning of my present life, without a doubt. Everything that has happened since she died-- from the births of each of my other children, to each renovation project on our house, to each friendship I've maintained or each new friend I've made, it's all somehow related to, or based on, her. Changing things in the house that reminded me of the bad parts. Keeping and loving those parts that reminded me of the good parts. She's like every fourth thread in the tapestry of me, and so it seems so terse and insufficent to just say, yeah. We had another baby, once, but she died. As if she's finished, because really, she isn't. She's still part of this story.


Hope's Mama said...

I'm only two years out from my loss and one live baby under my belt, but I can relate to this. Very much. Hope lives on through us, through her brother and through the words we speak about her.
Glad you found your friend. Good old Facebook hey!

Adelaide's Mom said...

Sounds great! Jealous of your berry bushes. There is no where here to pick berries. Found a apple orchard last year. Wish we could jam together - I want to learn.

Have you been sewing or knitting lately?


Pietrowski's of North Andover said...

All your children are so fortunate to have you as their Mother!

I'm am constantly inspired by you. Thank you for sharing and helping others heal.

Christy said...

I love your words as always. "she is every 4th thread in the tapestry of me." that puts tears in my eyes. I am so glad I found your blog. Your posts are definitely worth my time. Always giving me new thoughts and new perspectives and a loving comfort.

She is very bit still part of your story indeed.