Saturday, January 2, 2010

My dear, dear Boo

Here we are again. So close to your sixth birthday, the anniversary of the day Steve and I became parents. Shocked and elated and scared witless at your early arrival.

I don't know if I have much to say, for how often have I said it? When I thought I couldn't possibly heal any more (and would always remain in a slightly broken, semi-pieced-back-together state and "so be it", I discover I have healed SO much more this past year - the fifth spent without you, residing physically in our family - I've read more, I've learned so much more from others (and about myself).

Could I really be ready to say that the grief is gone? By jove, I think I might be....

This is no easy task and if truth be told, it has begun a bit of a pain in my forehead just putting it "out there" to the wider audience that is the very anonymous, voyeuristic www. It in some way breaks my own deep-seated notion that, to convey just how deeply I love you and how irreversibly broken I was to lose you, I must always, always appear pained when I talk of you. It must always shine through. But something has changed in the lead-up to your birthday, since Christmas. No longer does my pain 'cloak' need to be worn by me. I get it now. I do, truly, get it. I don't need to wear it in order to prove anything. I've lived it. I've shared it. I've expressed it every which way, up, down, blown wide open, sideways, upside down, cynically, humourously.... and at the end of it all, I've still had to roll up my sleeves and do all the work (on myself) to get myself to a place of further healing.

Boo, I have always held close to my heart the imagery of all those moments that made up your brief life. The needlepricks, the bruising, the nurses (both the good and breathtakingly awful ones), the sheer panic of not being able to "fix" you with my boob, my hands, my ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to take the pain (and all of "them") away and stop you from being so uncomfortable, the brain bleeds, the horrendous possiting of your feeds and what that meant - were you getting an infection, were you reacting to my milk, were you simply too small and feeble to tolerate such an enormous feed - the dicey pace-setting of the cardiologists to get you to the point of surgery for your heart abnormality weighed up against the incredible pressure it placed your body under (not to mention your lungs, your breathing, your blood saturation), your desat rate which never went above 70 (and me, never even knowing what this really meant but that it was bloody dangerous and posed a life threatening danger to you from the get-go), the awful, heart-racing feeling of seeing your heart rate dip and stop, dip and stop whenever those nurses stopped their compressions, those same nurses as they cried while they performed their ultimately futile attempts to save your sweet, monumentous, precious life.

Yes. I can let it all go. I must. And I have. For now, the picture does not involve all that I have been this past decade. And it is not just you and I. Nor even you and I, your Dad and little sister. It is not just my "audience" here on this blog, who have collectively spurred me on, helped set my healing pace, cried and cheered with me through a few more pregnancies (both the successful and four more tantalisingly close but no cigar ones since having you) and seen me come somewhere near full circle. There are so many in the world who need that light. Just one little flicker of light.

It now becomes me as the torch bearer. I've pulled my head out, reached my hand up and said, "Okay, it's time." I can't even say I'm shitscared. That was last month. This time, on the eve of your birthday, I realise I carry with me all those images I mentioned above and many, many more. They are the snapshots of my time with you. My precious, everlasting, unforgettable time with you.

But they are also my past. From past life, whereby I was born again, out of the horror of losing you. Born into new gifts, awareness and abilities that I never knew would one day lead me to a place of solace where I would be bold enough to ever dare dream myself ready to reach a hand out and help lift another up who was going through the same thing. And now, here I am, readying to take with me those gifts you bestowed and entrusted to me, with that pained and anguished part of my past lovingly and respectfully moving to the background so I can take a position at the helm to be willing and truly in the moment for others. I couldn't do that with my own pain still breaking the surface.

I read your "fairytale" story again two nights ago. I still cannot get through it without crying. I just can't. It is SO incredibly beautiful. The meaning of it is ingrained in me as if you were telling it yourself. And you did, too, you cheeky l'il thing! I know you did, because I can feel your essence positively dripping from every page. If only people would pass it on, light that candle in their heart, stop forgetting...... how very enlightened would the world be then?

You. Baby girl, you and all your untold strength. You did it. You got me over the line. And I thank you, I thank you so, so very much. I wish you were always here to hold. Instead, I hold you in my forever. And ever.

You gave me back the Me I was destined to be. Thank you.

I love you.

Ellanor Ruby's very first - and only - blissful bath

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