Saturday, May 31, 2008


Faint Pink Line

Any line is a good line
and this one, a shadow
four days ago, is clear
now. Visible. Strong.
First milestone of life
barely begun. Please
stay, grow, let us know
and and hold and love you.

Definite line

on Ruth's pregnancy test - Wow! Wasn't expecting this so soon - not even hoping though obviously I could have been. I'm realizing how much I used to translate pregnancy as "going to have a baby" - more now a "hoping to complete cooking a baby". But clearly the journey has begun again.

Friday, May 30, 2008

50% more maybe

title borrowed from Ruth's blog entry today. Still a faint pink line - alittle less pink, still way too early to know but hopeful and frightening. I am nticing how mush I want to protect Ruth and Chris from a roller coaster of possible losses instead of focusing on the possible delight for them in good outcome. I am working on remembering to operate out of "love not fear" as the attitudinal healing people say. It does seem to help to notice when I'm operating out of fear.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

faint pink line

a barely maybe positive on the pregnancy test this morning for Ruth. It's way too soon to believe it will translate into a live baby or even a pregnancy, but it is a possibility. I'm staying quiet and still with this/ she'll test again on the fourteenth day of the cycle. We'll see.

And Heidi had her bone biopsies today - no news from there yet. I feel so helpless as she and Joe go through what they go through, taking the cancer experience twenty minutes at a time. Again, I don't want to minimize or dramatize - want to find the best way to abide for/with them day by day.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

another hope?

Ruth had spotting today - implantation bleeding? Tomorrow is the first day she can take a pregnancy test for this first try after Mira. We aren't talking about it much. I hugged her tonight when they came over to watch a movie (The Great Debaters is wonderful) and I didn't want to let go of her - just wanted to rock and rock her. I don't want her to go through a roller coaster ride of losses - and I wish I could just hope she's pregnant and trust that if she is this one will keep. I want to love her and Chris as they best need to be loved. At this point just hanging out together when they choose seems right. I treasure every minute with them.

Heidi and Joe went to a favorite beach today She has bone biopsies tomorrow. in that situation too, I walk a razor's edge - not wanting to say too much or too little or the wrong thing - loving and not wanting to over dramatize or ignore.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Screwy Memorial Day thoughts

I went to the Memorial Day ceremony in the Capitol rotunda with my living grand children - felt all the sorrows of grieving war dead - all the sadness of living in a world that has not found a way to avoid wars. And Out of the blue I had the thought "Mira will never go for a soldier, live in a city besieged by bombs, bury her husband, son, daughter, as a result of war." I don''t know what I think about thinking that, but it seems right to record that I did.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

worry - another pifall in secondary mourning

I Worry/I Worry Not

Rurh won't get pregnant again.
Ruth will get pregnant again
and the baby will die unborn,
or born too soon, or the baby
will be perfect, and we will
all believe we are safe and
the baby will die of SIDS in
the cradle in the sunlight
or start kindergarten and get
run over in the crosswalk
or get leukemia or get addicted
to crack or kill herself over
some silly boy. I can't do this.
Ruth will get pregnant again,
or she won't, and the sun and moon
will rise and set and I will breathe
in and out, in and out - whatever.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Keeping it secondary

I learned today that my sister-in-law not only has a recurrence of breast cancer, but that it has spread beyond her bones to her lungs. I know that's very very bad news. I know that she and Bob's brother will go to the oncologist tomorrow and talk about treatment plans - or the absence of treatment plans. I want to get on a plane and go to their house and make them soup and throw my arms around them both, but I'd just be in the way and I need to be here. I know I have real empathy for them, real concern for them - as themselves, as the people this is happening to right now. And I rem amber so well when my first husband and I were getting his diagnosis - how that felt and sounded. I don't want to paste our sad outcome on
them. I want to wait and listen and understand and abide. And I also remember. I think that's a trick with secondary mourning, a pitfall. When somebody's situation is so like something I've been through, I have to fight getting my remembered pain mixed up with theirs. I need to keep my own grief (for their current circumstances and for my own past loss) bracketed so I can stand strong for them. Not easy.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mira Memorial

Today the hospital where Mira died held a memorial service for the families of all the people who died "in their care." during the last six months. Ruth and Chris, our two oldest friend couples, and I attended for Mira. I was touched by the comfort of really old strong friendships - touched by how thoroughly my old friends love and are loved by my daughter and her husband, surprised by my own tears for the possibility that didn't make it to fruition in Mira. I was surprised and moved that Ruth asked me to got to the front and light the memorial candle for Mira on the family's behalf - speaking her name to the room was hard and sweet - strange to speak it to others and never to see her face or call her by her name to her face. I was surprises that we, normally a reserved group, were able to hug and cry and cry and hug - to hold tightly onto each other - to cry to the point of needing tissues. I'm not a crier, even when I'm really hurting, and especially not a public crier, but it felt right to cry today. I've had such an urge to rock Ruth in my arms since Mira died, and I gave into that urge for a minute in the chapel and she let me. I just wish I could keep my children and their children safe for ever. And I know that is utterly impossible and all we can do is hang in with and onto each other. It was good to be able to do that today in a formalized way.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

More than one cause for secondary mourning

I've been thinking a lot about the disasters in China and Myanmar, all the people suffering, all the places in the world that people I will never meet are suffering. And my sister-in-law, who I love, just found out her breast cancer is back after three years. There is always sadness somewhere - somebody facing something hard, life shattering. Keeping my balance, being able to work, laugh, enjoy a good book, rest, in the midst of all the suffering - doing enough to make enough of a difference, letting it be enough - stepping back, staying centered. Quite a trick.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Mother's Day Poem that Belongs Here

This poem was written by a friend whos first baby died soon after birth decades ago and who later build her family through adoption. I am using it here with her permission.

Mothers Day

To all the mothers
who wish they'd done
differently, to all the moms
whose children are lost,
to all the mothers
who couldn't be.
God loves you all.

Peggy Goetz
May 11, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sweet with a sad shading

describes our Mother's Day celebrations today. Ruth and Chris went kayacking this morning, first time since Mira died. They love kayacking, and I hear sparkle and energy in Ruth's voice when she talked about getting ready to go out on the river. After their adventure, during which they founda lovely photo shot spot involving wild hill country beauty and a random chunk of pink granite, they came to our house for a lunch. They brought the take-out from a favorite Mexican reataurant and a bottle of blackberry wine. I set the table fancy. I gave Ruth my Mother's Day present to her in memory a Mira. They use the dragonfly as a symbol for Mira and so I bought her a piece of dragonfly yard art - named it "the Mirafly" and both of them picked up the language. Memorials are sad, but there is a sweetness even when we should be waiting for Mira not memorializing her.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Mother's Day Blues

I feel sad about Ruth facing this Mother's Day not pregnant (and thinking she hasn't ovulated this cycle with the clomid). I had been thinking off and on during her pregnancy about how sweet it is to be pregnant on Mother's Day, was thinking she'd really be showing by then. And now its not like that at all. I think we'll go out to lunch tomorrow, not do anything on the actual day. Its hard to focus on me being a mother when she is a baby-less after making a good start in the motherhood direction.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Better day

Ruth's feeling better physically and of course that makes me feel better emotionally. I see her focusing on ovulation testing in one breath and missing Mira in the next. That's so hard and so real - the way life is. We carry our losses into the future we try to create, don't leave them behind as we move ahead.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Trying not to worry like a Jewish mother

is a trick when you are a Jewish mother. Ruth is sick with strep for the second time since Mira died. I think she'll be fine, now that she finally has an antibiotic, but she does seem to be run down - from the pregnancy and loss I think and from the grief. Also very frustrating for her to be sick when ovulating, wast of a chance an a new pregnancy.

I had a poignant moment today. I went to a shop near my office to buy a few greeting cards and wandered into a new room of the shop to fincd a magnificent display of fancy baby clothes - mostly little girl clothes - everything smocked, embroidered, peach, and green and soft - all the things I would have loved to be buying for Mira about now. I didn't cry. I did stay and look at the clothes and imagine that I might be shopping soon for another new baby - another sweet possibility.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Halfway to Nowhere

I'm not really much of a numbers person, but it did hit me hard when Ruth wrote last night that she would have been twenty weeks pregnant with Mira this week -half way home. Except we're not.

Seems like a goot time to post the tribute poem I wrote for Mira.


wanted baby
hope begun in winter
died before spring
wanted baby