Eli's Corner


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Surviving Mother’s Day

I was completely floored by how difficult Mother’s Day was for me this year.  This isn’t the first year I’ve been dealing with infertility, so I didn’t expect it to hit me much differently this round than it has before, but man, the whole miscarriage thing, and perhaps having some challenges with my own mom right now, and perhaps the alignment of the moon – who the hell knows – anyways, it was rooooough.  Like sobbing, not functioning, cutting off communication, leaving Facebook (again) not at all dignified rough.  Like physical searing pain rough.  I was not prepared for this.

I think it kind of kicked in on Tuesday when I sat down to write a Mother’s Day card for M – a friend who had a stillborn child in July and then just miscarried again last month.  I know it sounds sadistic to send a Mother’s Day card, but I wanted her to at least hear that someone was thinking about her in the context of this day – and thinking about how amazing she was and acknowledging all she had been through and sacrificed for her children.  And how much she loved them.  And even though her kids wouldn’t be able to bring her flowers this side of Heaven, I wanted at least one person to tell her on that day that she was doing an amazing job.  As I wrote that card the tears started coming and they just didn’t stop.

I think I felt that heaviness all week.  And more than anything, I felt the isolation – the sense once again that the whole world is moving on while you’re just stuck here feeling these things without anyone to remember that they’re real or to acknowledge that you might have some feelings about today.

I spent the weekend acknowledging other mothers in my life, but when Sunday came, I couldn’t suck it up anymore.  My husband and I came home from a Mother’s Day dinner for his mom on Saturday night, and as soon as I walked in the door of our house, I started sobbing convulsively.  We were both shocked, I think.  And I just didn’t pull it together that night.  And the next day I couldn’t pretend to be Ok for another single solitary person.  So I skipped church and skipped the second Mother’s Day event that we were supposed to go to with my husband’s family, and I hurt and cried until I got up and started cooking and then baking and then eating and then drinking and that’s how I got through the day.

Saturday night amidst the sobbing I went on Facebook and posted the song lyrics from my last post on here – which so described how I was feeling – and then immediately took them down because I felt too exposed.  My sister sent me a quick note say that she’d seen it before I took it down and asked me to please find someone wonderful to hug me – and also advised that I skip church, which I had already decided to do.  Other than that, there was no acknowledgement – not one – that this might be hard.  And as the gushy Mother’s Day posts started filling my news feed (and since I lack the discipline to not look at my stupid newsfeed if I don’t pull the plug), I pulled the plug.  And I immediately felt better and thought I’d probably be able to go to sleep.

This is a poorly written and poorly organized post.  I suppose that’s appropriate.  I did see two articles (one’s an article and one’s a post) that helped me feel less like the whole world had forgotten:

Anne Lamott’s piece at Salon.com on why she hates Mother’s Day

and

Jenny Lawson’s short, simple and somehow incredibly well put blog post about it.

I didn’t think I’d be a person who’d freak out about Mother’s Day.  And I still think it’s good for kids to honor their moms and all that, but man, do I really, really appreciate the handful of people who remember the rest of us and stick out a hand from that bubble of a world we all can’t reach and remember that we’re here and that we’re fighting a hellova fight, and we still matter.

_______________________

*Addendum*  The other piece of communication I got from someone on Mother’s Day was from a dear friend who is pregnant and texted me all distraught because her dad had spilled the beans about her pregnancy on Facebook.  I’m not going to lie, my first thought was, “Cry me a fucking river.”  But then my second thought was, “Cry me a fucking river.”  And since this is a person that I love, I just did not respond.  Under normal circumstances,  I could find a place in myself to be upset on her behalf about that, but that place did not exist yesterday.  And actually, it doesn’t exist yet on account of me feeling like she should have known better than to pick me to complain to about that on Mother’s Day.  Of course, she couldn’t have known I was having an epic meltdown.  So I’m still just hoping she thinks I dropped my phone in a toilet somewhere.

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the world as best as i can remember it

Now Rachel’s weeping for the children
That she thought she could not bear
And she bears a sorrow that she cannot hide
And she wishes she was with them
But she just looks and they’re not there
Seems that love comes for just a moment
And then it passes on by

And her sky is just a bandit
Swinging at the end of a hangman’s noose
‘Cause he stole the moon and must be made to pay for it
And her friends say, “My, that’s tragic”
She says, “Especially for the moon”
And this is the world as best as I can remember it

-Rich Mullins, Jacob and 2 Women