Wednesday, June 11, 2008

mixed musings

Mira died three months ago today. And Ruth and Chris have been married six years. The new baby's heart, according to the books, should have started beating.
I talked to Ruth last night and all seems well, with appropriate and impressive doubling rates on betas, which mean a growing babe (babes?). It's so odd for me. In the pregnancy with Mira I went around with bounce in my step reminding myself every few hours "Ruth is pregnant!" and smiling involuntarily. This time (and it is earlier than we knew about Mira so in a way it makes sense), I feel more a whisper than a shout, a "Ruth is pregnant - please - still." Life seems even more precious and hope both more tenuous and more vital.

I have a friend who is pregnant too - due at Halloween, and the secondary mourning concept applies to that pregnancy too because her husband is in the middle of chemo for a very deadly cancer. When he was diagnosed a year and a half ago the odds of his living this long were about nil, but they got involved in an experimental trial of treatment at Duke and his tumor has shrunk dramatically and there seems real hope that he will hold his baby - even live years to see his child grow. I feel myself struggling not to kill him off in my head, not to assume a sad result, to see every good day as a good day and to enjoy and celebrate without thinking "for now". I know this situation brings up memories of my own first husband's cancer treatment days and they were far too short - ended in death seven months after diagnosis. That's the thing with secondary experience, way too easy to paste one's own on somebody else's. That was then and us. this is now and them.

And the biopsy results of my sister-in-law with metastasied breast cancer don't look hopeful - and yet they are hoping -taking life in twenty minute chunks (sometimes literal, someteims metaphoric twenty minute chunks). Again, I am thinking about the secondary mourning theme, keeping the focus on and taking the lead from them. We are going to visit them in July and I'm scared. I want to carry the tone they need into this situation, not what I guess I would need or what I needed years ago in another situation. My prayer is that I can follow not try to lead - that I can abide.


Ruth said...

What is it about you and I that makes it so hard not to "kill people off" when others seem to be so all-fired optimistic? Can it be as simple as Daddy didn't get that kind of hollywood ending? I've always thought I was just trying to protect myself (and maybe again that is because daddies aren't supposed to die and mine did. Maybe my inner child is still struggling to try to make sure I'm never caught off gaurd again? But then ya'll did an amazing job of not making it seem weird that he was dying... it just was what it was. I have so much empathy for (I guess I'm not supposed to use names?) your October family-to-be--so much hardship AND so much love.

How come I haven't gotten a Heidi update? The e-mail tree is not working!

Ack I just realized Chris will be home in an hour and a half and expect me to be ready to leave. I still have to pack, shower, AND do monday's lesson!

SeaStar said...

Wh am I killing off now Ru? Not your little hope of a person. I am simply hoping there. Yes, I think your Daddy's death did make me more aware that anyone can die any time. Good news and happy endings are possible though - and I don't want to be so surprised by them.

Barb said...

Wow. So many ups and downs for you. You seem to be handling it beautifully though. Best wishes to new baby and to friend.

Ruth - Excuse me for butting in, but I identify with your comment. A lot has happened in my life too that I see the "sad ending" to everyone's story. I've realized the hard realities of life. I'm trying to focus on the joys in between, however. Why is that so hard? Congrats on your pregnancy!

Ruth said...

the "killing people off" comment was about Heidi--not sprout. I thought, at the time, that I'd read something about your wanting to follow their lead instead of assuming death was inevitable... now that I look at it it doesn't seem to fit. Sorry.

Ruth said...

Barb--no butting in EVER (you know I adore you right?!)

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who seems to predict sad endings more often than they want to. (I'm always baffled that I can be such a generally happy/cheery person AND also have that triat). I think, all in all, that my dad dying so early just taught me that nothing can be counted on... my mom did a wonderful job of helping me transmute that knowledge into mindfullness instead of paranoia, fearful attachment, or general catastrophising.