A couple days ago I sat in the car in my school’s parking lot, messing around on my phone, when I saw this.
Two years ago I posted this and I STILL can’t believe I got to do it. I still can’t believe that sweet boy who had such a hard time sleeping last night is here and healthy and the most dedicated hugger a mom could hope for.
I don’t think about our journey through loss and secondary infertility much these days. It’s a part of the past that I rarely dwell on, but I can’t deny that its presence lingers. In small, subtle, almost imperceptible ways, it is a part of me.
It’s there in the complicated nature of my joy at other people’s birth announcements. It colors the edges of my celebration of my others’ good fortune. It trips my breath when a friend announces she’s going to start trying for a second child in July and stumbles through my kind words of reassurance. It resides in the tightness of the sigh at a text chain about my friend’s imminent labor, in the way I put my phone down just a little harder than I would have, in the length of time it takes me to pick it back up.
It lives in the way I cock my head at a blogger who is newly pregnant and seems totally unconcerned about miscarriage or loss (and I’m sure she is concerned, but I can’t quite fathom that she doesn’t acknowledge it). It lingers in the low grade anxiety humming in the background every time I consider pregnancy in any way, the whisperings of What if? And I hope...
It’s there, in how tightly I embrace my son and how long I hold him. It’s there, in the extra seconds I stare at my daughter’s bright, beautiful face and in the long minutes I lay close to her in bed at night, taking in every inch of her tall, lanky body.
It’s in the heaviness of old toys as I place them in the give-away bag, in the neatness of the creases as I fold the tiny shirts and pants I’ll never use again.
It’s always there, skirting the periphery, ever present but never quite in view. It’s a part of me, of every day, not as a thought or a feeling but a lens through which I bring parts of the world into focus.
I don’t dwell much on the narrative anymore, on the facts and the details, the quantifiable and the less so. I don’t parade out the numbers, of weeks, of months, of failures, of test results, of diagnoses.
Of pain, of anguish, of tears.
I don’t dwell on it, but it lingers. A distracted shimmer, a muted fog, a chilled breeze.
A post, on social media, I put up two years ago.
A reminder of what could have been, of what was.
How does it linger for you?