Soul Baby (5 parts)

 

Dear Baby Girl Z,

Part 1

I’m so sorry, I really am. I know you can’t and won’t forgive me, how could you? I will never forgive myself. Everyone, pretty much, hates me. I don’t know what I was thinking, I guess I thought you would complete me, solve all my problems. But, I had to solve them on my own, didn’t I? I think I wanted you in my life for all the wrong reasons and I know that was selfish and horrible.

One of my friends had adopted a baby and she was the light of her mom’s life, she lived for her baby and I thought that having you would make me whole. I had to learn that the only way for a person to be whole was to be whole first.

Z, I will never, ever forget what I did to you in my entire life. Until the day I die I will think about you every day and every night.

I had dreamed about you for the past seven years. I tried to be patient, I had gone through all the legal hoops and still I waited, until finally three years ago. I finally was finished, I was approved, home inspection: check. Now the only thing I had to do was wait.

 

Part 2.

I was a lawyer hoping to make partner and every day was so busy from seven in the morning to at least ten at night. But, I had arranged everything. I had a nanny set up, a nursery, went out with friends, checked my cell phone constantly.

sadness

sadness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Every day was a possibility, every night could be a disappointment. Even the mailman, Mike, knew my situation and one day, the thick manilla envelope arrived. It was delivered on a bright, sunny Wednesday in the Spring, Mike lingered in the building to hand it to me in person. I didn’t want to share this with anyone so I thanked him and went upstairs to my apartment’s open, airy, bright chrome kitchen and ripped the envelope apart.

 

Thinking

Thinking (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn DeLight (back again))

One look at the black and white photograph, seeing your eyes, your deep, dark sad eyes and I held my breath, waiting for the tenderness to overwhelm me. I didn’t feel happy or joyful, I felt terrified and wrong. I thought to myself:’ I’m having a heart attack.’ “I was in shock” I told myself, “of course” and waited to feel the love and sense of motherhood I had longed for. This was MY baby, the baby I had looked forward to for years. My stomach sank to my frigid feet, I felt out of control, overwhelmed, out of my mind. I felt hollow inside and empty but mostly, I felt nothing.

 

Part 3.

“That’s ridiculous” I thought, “it’s just shock. I’m scared, nervous maybe and more than a little unsure.” I talked myself into first day jitters but I only had a photograph and all I could see was the pain in your eyes. I turned away, I walked to the living room, leaving the photograph sitting, turned over on the kitchen counter. The second I turned my back I knew what I had to do,  I knew it in my head, right away, right after, in my heart.

I called my best friend to come over because I was absolutely hysterical, she came but I could not be calmed down. I had made the wrong decision. I would call the agency and tell them that the deal fell through and I’m sure she would be happier with a family, one with kids…and a dog.

Part 4.

I’ve lived with this pain, this regret for many years. Why, how, could I have walked away from my Soul Baby?  I thought all I had wanted to do was be a mother, I swear, until it was almost possible. What was I trying to prove? I was in no way able to offer the love and stability of a child AND have a full-time career. I was selfish, I wanted both. But, after looking at the photo of your sad, tortured eyes, I could not do that to you again. This was not a trial run, or sweater that I could exchange in the store. This was a life and I knew I couldn’t handle it.

I broke down in tears, hysterically crying. I don’t know what happened but I could not be responsible for this beautiful, sad child. What if I was not enough to make her happy? I wasn’t sure enough if I could make myself happy. The next 24 hours were the hardest of my life. I cried through most of them. I wouldn’t speak to anyone but I knew, deep down in my heart that I could not, would not be a mother to this child. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t even know myself yet.

English: Photograph of Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophi...Part 5.

I know this much, there was no excuse for what I did but it was the biggest mistake I have ever made in my life. Each morning before work and each evening after dinner, I would take out the same photo that I had never given back, look at it and said “I’m so sorry Baby Girl Z” I not only turned my back on her, I had turned on myself. Eventually I put the photo away and stopped looking at it. I practiced law full-time and yes, I was a Partner.

10 years later:

My son and daughter come running to me, I left being a lawyer when our son was born and two years afterwards our daughter. In their hands was a piece of paper and they were laughing and giggling. “Mommy, who is this?” they cried, pushing and shoving each other. In their hands was the black and white photo of Baby Z, Soul Baby, I had never thrown that photo away nor would I ever.

I looked at my kids straight in their eyes and said “that was Baby Z, she was supposed to be your sister but mommy made a big mistake, it was too early.” They didn’t ask any other questions and there were no other questions left to ask. I took the photo and gently placed it back in my old journal from years ago; this time I put it in the lock box, my husband Jim, of twelve years, smiling by my side.

 

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Thursday’s Thoughts

Rain

Rain (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn (back soon, sorry for not commenting))

The rain is dripping from the sky but the sound it makes, splashing across the window, is comforting. Talking (no texting) with my son makes me smile. My husband is doing day labor work for a friend, today he is a Plumber’s Assistant and he is proud. I am proud as well.

Yesterday I talked to my mother; when my mother feels scared she gets very nasty, especially to me. Why I am her whipping post I’m not sure, but I have to deal with it better than I do. It takes me 12 hours for me to get it right and she never remembers what she says. I should know that by now but while it happens I seem to forget it and regress.

My son is about to meet with the President of his University to go over the recommendation letter that the President is eager to write for him for Graduate School. My son is a rare combination of brains and sweetness.

My daughter is beautiful and brilliant, I had not viewed her as an adult until we visited her last week. She will always be my baby in my heart but seeing her in her suite with her friends made me look at her like an accomplished savvy adult. “My baby” is all grown up. I was always known as “the little one.”I would give up anything if only I could hear my father say it one more time, with just one more hug. I miss him.

Father & Daughter

Father & Daughter (Photo credit: Enigma Photos)

When I picked up my dog, Lexi, she ignored me. She would not look at me and hesitantly jumped in the car, not with the same excitement as usual. She did not give me kisses. Once inside the house, she sauntered over to her water bowl and drank it all up, not giving me so much as a glance. After a while, I went upstairs to lie on my bed where she always keeps me company; she hid under the bed. I just gave her space. I understand getting used to changes, I’m the same way.

In a couple of hours she warmed up and forgave me for leaving her at her favorite sitter’s house while we were away. She jumped on the bed, circled around until she found just the right spot, her body touching mine and fell soundly asleep. It was a very deep sleep, she sighed with relief, I felt her body relax, she was home, we were safe, then she gave me kisses.

 

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Too Many Children Dying (Carry on Tuesday:The best is yet to come)

English: The Circle of Life. Ceiling fresco in...

English: The Circle of Life. Ceiling fresco in the main hall of the Natural History Museum, Vienna. Deutsch: Der Kreislauf des Lebens. Deckenfresko im Hauptgebäude des Naturhistorischen Museums Wien. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Age doesn’t matter, they are the sons and daughters of people whose names I know. They live in my town, three of these precious children have died in the last year. As I have said many times before, no parent should have to bury their child. It isn’t right, it isn’t fair, it’s unnatural. Worst of all when they choose to end their lives on purpose, how can you deal with that, how to go on?

The parents have all tried to do the right thing. Their children have gone to numerous programs, counseling, tough love, nurturing love, medication, psychiatrists, psychologists, special programs, rehab, AA,  etc. but they have fallen again and again from some unknown evil and ill part inside them that they cannot control.

Who is to blame? No one, I imagine. I’m sure that most parents will do whatever it takes to help them. I have a friend, however, who has done so much for so long, he cannot do anything anymore for his eighteen year old son. Sometimes there is a limit for the parents too. This boy has been through every program imaginable and yet he still wants to destroy things, set houses on fire, do dangerous drugs, put his own life at risk. He too, will be a statistic one day, he does not want anyone to stop him, he has made that clear. It’s like watching a black and white movie in slow motion, backwards. Violence will be involved in some way, I fear. It will not have a happy ending.

Are the adolescents to blame? They are almost adults, around the ages of seventeen to eighteen. Do we blame them for going back to lives filled with “the wrong crowd” drugs, alcohol, mischief? Yes, but we blame ourselves too…We should have done this or that but truly we did everything, heard everything that they allowed us to see. They have crossed the line many times before, how do you know which will be the last phone call, the last time you see them?

The last call you get from the police, the one that makes you bend forward and grasp your knees and fall to the floor, sobbing hysterically. Yes, that kind of crying. That kind of misery, pain, sadness that saws your limbs in half one by one, slowly. You only know how it feels if you have been through it. A friend of mine committed suicide in junior high, I heard about it on the school bus. I remember it vividly.

Don’t you see? The best is yet to come.  Any other day will be better than this one. Take my hand, take anybody’s hand and hold on, one finger touching lightly like a butterfly’s kiss or a strong handshake whose strength will never let you get away. Let’s start like that. You will always have one friend that is on your side.

If you are even considering taking your life step back. Step back now. We stand here as broken people, parents, family, friends who will never be whole again because others before you gave up or thought they couldn’t do better or thought falsely that nobody cared.  It’s a lie, all of it. We ALL care, even if we don’t know you, even if we have not met, we care enough to think about you and your family we know that your life is worth living. The best is yet to be, there is promise in the world, there is hope that tomorrow will be better. It couldn’t be worse, right? Please don’t quit today, call a friend, hug your dog, take a walk, tell your mom you’re scared, I’m sure she is twice as scared as you are. Try to hang on, NO, promise. Just do that much. To me, it would mean the world.

Come what may (Carry on Tuesday)

Old Man Grieving - Vincent van Gogh

Old Man Grieving – Vincent van Gogh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Life can be very scary. In one second your entire world could change, blow up into tiny, little pieces. Destroyed. The world you once knew would become Before and After. Usually, unless this change is winning the 22 million dollar lottery, this does not usually occur in good situations. Am I right? In everyday life there are always tragedies that come unexpectedly,  probably things completely different from what you worried about and it never is good.

It’s called growing up. Realizing that sometimes there is fear hiding around the corner, which eery corner you have no idea but for a time it will be dark. You tend to forget about the dangers in life for brief periods of time when things go along swimmingly until something happens and then you realize “yes, it’s been quiet for too long.” As John Lennon used to sing “Life is what happens, when you are making other plans.” The unexpected, the things you didn’t plan for, the strong red slap stinging and leaving an imprint across your pale, white face.

Hold on to someone tight, a best friend, a spouse, a partner, a sister or a brother, anyone. Because, when bad things happen you will need someone who you trust and love, someone who loves you back. A person who will try to soothe you even though you think it may not help. Let them try, accept their offer to make you a hot cup of cocoa with marshmallows to comfort you A person that will make you lie down and force you to rest no matter if you can’t sleep, a person you can cry in front of alone or just someone to hold your hand and cover you in soft blue blankets.

Life is not easy, though we don’t realize that until we are older, but come what may, having someone, to share it with, makes it just a little easier to breathe because you have them and their support.  While your heart is still literally in pain and skipping beats eventually your own heart starts beating at a similar rhythm you had before. You are still alive. You will grieve your loss in your own way, take your  time and try to let your feelings out.  Mourn YOUR way. There are no steps to follow to make it easier for you.  My sister once told me after our father died, that I was “grieving too much.” I knew I wasn’t, I was just grieving louder, and expressing my grief differently than her. We also had a very different relationship with our dad. There is no right or wrong, no time limit, no book to follow.

Sooner or later, with time, you will see that while the pain never completely goes away, it becomes less potent, it happens less often and with less severity. You might even find that one day, you will talk about the loss of a person you loved with a smile of fondness and love. You might think that you had the opportunity, the blessing to love someone and have them in your life for so many years instead of focusing on them dying and leaving your life.

Just two weeks ago I held up a new pen that I knew my father would love for Father’s Day. I picked it up and smiled broadly with delight. I was on my way to the register when I remembered I had no father to give this to. Life will get better, with time, after loss. Truly, it will, I know that. But don’t let anyone tell you that you will never have any tough moments. I can’t lie to you, once in a great while, you will.

Come With Me, Sweet Julie (Carry On Tuesday)

spinning top

spinning top (Photo credit: Creativity103)

i’m julie and i’m 14, my world is turning around and i feel like im slipping into crazy like a snap of my fingers. im a spinning top, out of control, like all my colors mixed together: the colors green, yellow, red, orange, so fast yet i can see the the colors like the threads in my brain have gotten twisted and i can’t untwist them. i stopped speaking a few weeks ago, mom and dad been beating me, they were drinking all the time and throwing glasses across the room that shattered like angry chimes, i’ve been pretty much taking care are of myself for a long time now.

i ran away a few days ago and im not sure they even know i’m missing. i brought only my secret box that i’ve had since i was a child. i keep my favorite top, a letter from my brother, brian, a seashell, red fish candy, and my flashlight that makes me feel safe.

mom and dad once let me play with their bright colored pills like they were marbles on the old, scratched wooden dining room table. i got smacked real bad when they saw i scratched my name and brian’s and a heart on the table. i had big red welts all over my body. cops came and brian and i were sent away for a few days but then we had to go home. i miss my older brother brian but he went to college a long time ago, wherever that neighborhood is. i still write him a lot but he doesn’t answer me.i thought he loved me for real like i loved him.

nobody knows this secret room, except brian. we found it many years ago but we didn’t tell anyone. my stomach makes noise and i eat a graham cracker and suck on it slowly and i have a bottle of water. daddy hits both mama and me a lot, he hits me with a belt and i’m never sure why. it hurts too much.

i fell asleep, cuz my head was hurting so bad, i thought i heard voices coming towards me so i hid extra special deep. ever since mama burned my hand on purpose on the stove the nice lady visited, she said she was finding me a new home but not if she couldn’t find me.  i was shaking so hard i couldn’t stop. she left but some hours later i heard footsteps again but not hers, unless she changed her clickety -clack shoes.

it was late and someone walked right next to my exact hiding place. i got ice cold with fear. i heard breathing,  right down low where the secret lock was and i heard someone say my name, i was terrified, what if it was daddy again?  “Julie, honey, it’s Brian, your brother, no one else is here, just me. I promise. Please come out.” i wasn’t sure if it was a trick so i stayed. He softened his voice, barely a whisper and said “Julie,  it’s Brian, I swear. Please come out Julie I came here as soon as I found out, I’ve been looking for you for years. I’m so sorry sweet Julie, I just got your letters because I moved a few times, but the second I got them, I flew down here and called the police on mom and dad. I swear Juls, I have never lied to you before, have I?

“Julie, he whispered, I’m going to prove it to you with a letter, ok? Read it, tell me what you think”he slipped the letter by the one opening that was very narrow. i looked at the letter and it was some legal paper that said i was going to stay with brian and his wife deborah. brian had gotten married? and he was my legal guardian now. is it true? i asked brian. “Yes, it’s true, you goofball, now get out of there, come with me and give me a big hug.” So I crawled out and Brian picked me up and we hugged for a long time. We were both crying too and he said he had to fatten me up. He told me to pack my things, we were never going to come back here. our old mom and dad were in jail. Tonight we were staying in a hotel (a real hotel) and i asked him if I could jump on the bed. Tomorrow we were flying to my new home, Deborah would be my new mom but I could call her Debbie if i wanted to and the best news yet, I was going to be a big sister!

i thought i should tell brian that i was feeling crazy before, real crazy and he laughed, he said he felt the same way when he was with mom and dad, they were bad people and did bad things. he promised if i still felt crazy he would take me to a doctor but as soon as he said it, i looked up at him and grinned. the next thing he said was, “Darn, I’m hungry, let’s go somewhere to eat, sis.” and wasn’t that the nicest thing in the world to hear.

Plinky Prompt: When was the first time you felt like a grown up?

Yes, they do cry during sessions!

Yes, they do cry during sessions! (Photo credit: photosavvy)

  • When was the first time you really felt like a grown up (if ever)? See all answers
  • All grown up?
  • We had just had our first baby and after two and a half years of infertility treatments this little boy was our miracle. He was born at the end of October and we were so careful not to expose him to germs. We did not allow anyone near him if they were sick or if they thought they were going to be sick.
    Nevertheless, at six weeks old, he seemed to have trouble breathing and was congested. We immediately called our pediatrician. I tried to feed him a bottle but he couldn’t drink. The doctor said bring him in right away.
    As my husband started the car and I cradled the baby in my arms underneath a pile of soft blue blankets. I realized for the first time, that I was responsible for this little boy’s life. No one was taking care of me, it was my job now to take care of him. At that moment, even though I felt a moment of  incredible fear run up and down my body, I became a grown up.

Life is too short to work so hard. (Carry on Tuesday)

English: Throughput Accounting Chart

English: Throughput Accounting Chart (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Oh my God, Mom, Dad, I’m trying, I told you like a hundred times but the only advice you give me is to find something I’m really interested in. I have no idea.  Oprah, every talk show host on television says “Life is too short so love what you do.”  Well, I don’t KNOW what I love to do, not everybody in the world knows, right?  I mean, I can’t be the only one, can I?

Look, you don’t think I’m envious of Jimmy down the street who knew at age nine that he wanted to be a doctor? Sure. But, it was easy for him, his father and mother are both doctors and he just followed them. Besides, there was never any question that he wouldn’t. Jimmy never had a mind of his own. I mean, really. Both his parents are podiatrists, gee, guess what field Jimmy is going to go into? Yup, feet. Dirty, smelly, old feet. Believe me, I’m NOT jealous, geez, why would I be? He’s always been a serious loser. C’mon Mom, you used to say that too, admit it.

Just because I don’t agree with you guys doesn’t mean I am being a “fresh mouth” and I don’t know what TONE you think I am using with you. How about let’s ALL take a deep breath. Okay. Do you think I like living with my parents at age 23? No, I don’t. But, what are you gonna do, are you gonna kick me out? YOU ARE? THAT IS SO MEAN. Oh, not yet but soon. I know the temp jobs I have been working at aren’t stable but like I said, I don’t know what to do and you guys said graduate school is out of the question.

I have said many times that I don’t want to be an accountant like Dad or a substitute teacher like mom. Dad, please listen and don’t get mad, I flunked every math class I ever took and you know I’ve always switched numbers around in my head, like dyslexia but not with words, with numbers. No, it is so true, my teacher told me it was a real condition. Anyway, I know you have been doing it for forty years and it makes a good salary but Dad, you don’t love what you are doing. Right? I mean honestly? I know you have the responsibility of taking care of the family and feeding us and all that and I admire you for that, but do you really want me to have the same life you have? I mean, really? Life is too short to work so hard that you dread going in every single day. Daddy, I thank you for doing this but I don’t want to do the same thing.

Maybe you can help me figure out what to do? Mom? You too. Please? I know I’m 23 but that doesn’t mean I’m all grown-up. It just means that I’m lost and afraid and older and believe me it makes me feel horrible and stupid. I still need you guys. A lot. It’s nice of you to say that I’m very smart and talented but I don’t feel that way at all, I feel insecure and stupid. So, yes, I would appreciate if we could all sit down and talk about options. Oh that? I knew you wouldn’t really kick me out the door. But, thanks for saying it.”

My Voice Returns Softly

Cherub

Cherub (Photo credit: Mr Mo-Fo)

I haven’t been able to write a cohesive sentence since the viscous killings in Newtown, Ct. I’ve started more than a dozen pieces but they have all been left, to age, in my computer like a piece of green, moldy cheese. I felt like my soul had been snuffed out, like a lit candle, and until today I could not put those sentiments in words. It was too devastating. While I think of those babies, young, innocent children every day, I’ve been forced to realize that life, does indeed, go on.

There is something about young, innocent children that tears apart the hearts of every mother and father in ways that are indescribable to others. As a mother of two, now grown children, it is the worst thing you can possibly think of and more. I over identified and was consumed with the sadness that those families are going through. The thought of God having more angels didn’t comfort me at all. The unfairness and the brutality shattered me internally. Many others have written about how they feel about the incident but unless you are a parent, there is no comparison. It’s something you can’t possibly understand and there’s NO judgement, it just comes from a very different viewpoint. It’s almost like saying that someone who has a cold and feels sick is just like a cancer patient, because, they both are sick, that may make NO sense and that is the point.

I decided this morning that my life has to go on and all those other posts can stay in my computer for as long as they want or at some point maybe I will finish them. But, I needed to tell you why I’ve been silent for so long. Yes, a week, to me, is a long time. For those who know me, I’m sure they can guess the timing given my sensitivity. This silenced me like nothing else could. Part of me wanted to jump into my car and drive to Newtown to offer my condolences to anyone there but I don’t think they want tourists now to gather and gawk. My prayers, love and healing thoughts have already been sent from my heart. I know I will go there, perhaps in the Spring, and pay my respects.

I need to move on and to find the joy in life, the funny times but in the past few weeks I’ve also been physically sick either from a Fibromyalgia Flare up (Fibro Flare-Up,)  IBS, stomach bug or a combination thereof. This started way before the Newtown incident and hasn’t resolved itself yet. Eventually I will drag myself to the replacement doctor (who you know is filling in for your own doctor, who is sunning herself in St. Martin with her family) but that can wait until after the Holidays. I feel fine. I’ve lost weight and some of my appetite but I can handle that. My jeans never looked better on me.

It is time to look ahead. I want to laugh, appreciate my family that is here nestled under our roof. It’s great to have the kids back home for college break, I love the noise and liveliness that they bring. It’s time for all of us to look forward to 2013 which I sincerely hope, will be brighter than 2012.

Life 101

PEACE!

PEACE! (Photo credit: Snapies ~ hiatus!)

Norman Rockwell Mosaic  "The Golden Rule&...

In my fantasy career, I’ve always wanted to teach a class, much like Jerry Seinfeld’s old show, a class about nothing yet everything. It would start with young children, kindergarten or nursery school age so they learn, at an early age, what is right and what is wrong. Maybe there would be a corresponding class for parents as well. It would be a class about life, a place where kids could ask any questions they had; it would be a safe place, teaching children about valuing differences, good vs bad behavior, being kind to one another, volunteering and diversity. That’s the agenda. If you start talking about love and different families early on maybe there wouldn’t be such horrible numbers of teen suicide and bullying. You also need to talk about all kind of different people, that each person is equal and should be treated with kindness and respect.

I expect naysayers and scoffing but the truth of the matter is, that life as we know it, is not going very well at all right now and hasn’t been for a long time.  We can’t say it won’t work if we don’t try it. Teach them that children and parents are all different so respect them equally and that families come in different varieties, they are families just like your own. Love is love. Our goal is that no one will know the word “bullying” anymore.

Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s we were pretty much sheltered from the “real world.” I remember having drills where we would hide under our desks because of the Cuban Missile Crisis but no one ever explained it to us. The world has changed, technology has changed, violent killing games are readily available for kids to play, violence on television, it’s everywhere.The world we live in now is a scary place: devastating losses, natural disasters, friends and loved ones dying of cancer and heart disease and many other things, people with psychiatric disorders that go untreated. We saw that on Friday with the mass murder of children and adults in Newtown, Connectict’s Elementary School.  I used to try to shove the thoughts away and put them on the back burner. We, as a nation, can no longer put these issues on the back burner. Things need to change NOW.

I wrote this article months ago but never published it. After Friday’s shooting in Newtown, Ct. of little children, babies really, and staff, I’m even more convinced that a program of this kind needs to be started as early in a child’s life as possible. There will always be children who have special needs or need psychiatric help, there is nothing wrong with that. However, these children need to be diagnosed and treated and cared for responsibly. I don’t respect the press when they declare the shooter had Asperger’s to explain the motivation.That is NOT okay and isn’t true at all. I think they are terribly WRONG and irresponsible. Do we need stricter gun laws? Yes. We also need, more and better mental health facilities that people can go to get the help they need. There is no shame, there shouldn’t be.

Parents, teachers and therapists need to be involved in the care of your child. Everyone should work together to give your child the best help available. I know it takes time and I know it takes money but this is not something we can “think about.” This should start right now. For the students: if you have problems, please involve your parents or the school counselors and get the help you need as soon as you can. If the therapist is a wrong match for you, find one that you like. It’s important. Talk about your problems; we will listen.We will be your support system. We will be there. We DON’T want to let you down but you need to communicate with us so we can help you. Please try and know that we will too.

Carry on Tuesday

angel

angel (Photo credit: M@rg)

Title : Old and wise
First line: As far as my eyes can see
I stare at an old photograph, taken in 1991, of my father and me.  It was taken in my husband’s and my first garden, actually our only functioning garden, ripe with carrots and beans and peas and three types of tomatoes and corn that the raccoons ate. My arm was around my  father’s neck, my dad and I are grinning. We both looked incredibly happy, his eyes: grey-blue, old and wise, saying without words ” I knew one day you would have your dream.”  I am 6 months pregnant in the photograph; it had taken me over 2 and a half years to get pregnant. During that time, I shed more tears than I thought possible. In that photograph, in the late afternoon sunshine, with my dad, both of us were beaming.
During the long phase of infertility however, I was poked and prodded and put through every invasive test known to woman-kind by my doctor and everything was done in complete secrecy. I was ashamed, it was all my fault.
Only many years later did magazines burst into publication with articles describing the shots we had to take, the mood swings, the twice daily blood tests and ultra-sounds, the stress and depression we felt. Back when I was desperately trying to get pregnant, we kept our feelings to ourselves. Sometimes we shared our lives with the other people in the infertility office, a very strange, yet delicate friendship. You wanted your friends to get pregnant but not at your own expense. It was a double-edged sword. Close but not too close.
The photograph before me, which stands framed on my table now, represents both the good and bad; ultimate happiness and deep depression. I was pregnant and standing next to one of my favorite people, my dad. Sadly, he died when both my children were young but at least he knew they were born. No one could replace him for me, no one could have felt more dramatically upset than my mom and I. He was my mother’s husband, but for me, he was my hero. He knew me better than anyone. We had the same personality, my sister and my mother still do. Without our spouses and kids, our nuclear family consisted of three; our mother, my sister and myself; a triangle is a tough combination. I can’t understand how they think.
I’ve had to fight on my own, grow-up, remain firm and I have done that; it’s hard for me to even remember what it was like having someone who understood me so well, having an ally in the family. I look up at the clouds sometimes, I look as far as my eyes can see and beyond that, for a sign from heaven, from my dad. I am one of those people who definitely believes in those signs, that bodies die but souls don’t; that love NEVER dies. How could it? I know my dad still loves me as I love him. When he first died I got many, many signals and messages. As time passed, I got fewer. But I know, if I truly needed him, he would, without a doubt, send me a sign to show me that he is still watching over me and that love is everlasting.