Thursday, May 7, 2009

A day in the life

Tonight, I am alone with the girl and the dog.

It isn't anything hysterical. Sam has a twenty-four hour shift. It happens once a week, and every week I sort of hold my breath for a day, sporadic sleep and endless Facebook quizzes. I try not to think too hard, or else I cry and feel overwhelmed.

These days are stretched, and desperate. I take long walks through the small alleys behind our neighborhood streets, and make half-assed meals for us. (Tonight was broccoli and quesadillas with Iced Passion Tea.) We paint for hours, and leave the door open so the dog can come and go as he pleases. Tonight, he ran into the house with his stuffed sheep, slid straight into the chair, wiping out all gangly legs, and floppy paws. I am trying to commit these awkward puppy moments to memory, because he will soon be a big dog.

As we walked today, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. My little Beatrice wandering a few steps ahead, and Jack on his leash. I turned to see a large black dog off leash, about half a block away, making a beeline towards us. I quickly said, “Come here, mijita.” Picking Beatrice up in my arms, my heart sunk, as I imagined this dog grabbing my little skittish puppy in his jaws tearing him limb from limb. He is still so shell-shocked from being attacked by the neighbor’s dog, and well, so am I. I stood still, as the dog ran straight towards us, teeth bearing, a bark in his throat. I closed my eyes. “Please, no. Please, no. No. No.” The dog ran around us, and a teenage boy running full speed behind him yells, “He’s friendly.” But the damage was done, and my heart was in my throat, and I wanted to melt into a heap of sobbing anxiety. I held Beatrice close, as she repeated “Mama, doggie. Mama, scared.” Jack sat at attention at my feet. “Good dog.” We turned around and went home. Half an hour later, my heart was still racing as I pitchforked compost. I needed to do something physical, exhausting. I know the situation doesn’t warrant the kind of anxiety I feel, and yet, when I honor my soul, I must honor the grotesque and the beautiful alike.


As the days grow closer to Mother’s Day, I miss Lucy more and more.

I am dreading this weekend. I want to plant a tree or get a tattoo. But I suspect I will spend the day in bed.

Today I received a beautiful note from someone I once met. It was last spring, and we were heading to the Farmer’s Market in our little town. A women in line for the Mac machine was riding a Townie. The townie is officially my maternity bike—the bike I ride when I am pregnant. Townie people form a sort of cult. We thought they were dorky, sure, like everyone, but once we rode one, we recognized how wonderfully comfty and plush, and fast they are. Dorky and comfortable trumps cool and painful. Somehow we ended up talking to her about kid bike seats, canvas bags, high chairs, fixies, home bike shops, camping—all within a ten minute conversation in line for some cash. We ran into her a few weeks later at the market, and she had her beautiful daughter Angelina with her. Turns out she had heard of us from dog sitting for her neighbors. I looked for her every week at the market and we learned more about what we had in common. We made empty promises of surprise drop-bys, but our two year olds probably got the best of us. Last week, Sam, Bea and Jack ran into her on the street. She asked about the baby.

Sometimes I feel guilty how negative I am on my blog. How down with people I can be. But some people—my friend Laura, this woman I once met at the farmer’s market—just say perfect things at perfect times…there are good eggs in the world, and sometimes I think we need these people in our babylost village. The compassionate ones. The beautiful ones. They need to remind us that the outside world isn’t a scary place. It is just a place of the mostly oblivious, but well-intentioned people who have mostly been sheltered from suffering. I vacillate between thinking they give me faith in the world, and thinking they are the delicate souls we need to protect. But still, after hours of fantasizing about a world with all babylost mamas, I remember how much I appreciate the souls who shouldn’t ever get it, and yet somehow do.


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  2. Don't ever feel guilty, Angie. This is your place. You say whatever you want. The truth of the matter is, there often isn't much positive stuff to say in the early months after we lose our babies. I don't think you are negative anyway, I think you are real.
    I'm glad there are those special people out there who "get it" even though they don't "get it". I wish there was more, but we make do with the few we have.
    And so glad Jack is ok! Are you sure he's not a cat, in that he has nine lives?

  3. angie, i've been thinking this too and actually just said it to my friend who was here visiting..why do i spend so much time ranting about the few stupid people out there instead of talking about those who do say the right thing...but that's how it is, we need to bitch and rant(isn't that why we have these damn blogs)... and from time to time be a little grateful too.

    thinking of you...i'm home alone too, for a few girl and dog but it's ok.

    sending you love

  4. It's helpful to have a place here where we can express how we are feeling. You have many of here who understand and know that it's not the "all of you." And you show in your description of wonder that some people do "get it" and how grateful we are when we are blessed to meet them. Peace.

  5. Even when dbms wite about the struggles in life, I see the positive - the strength, the challenges we end up facing. And this is the place to sort it out.

    A few folks in our hood carry walking sticks to fend off stray dogs.

  6. Yes, we do have some wonderful people in our lives, out there in the real world. I guess we just wish they all were...

    I spend a lot of time alone here with the girl. Steve travels overseas a lot at the moment. Some long cold nights spent looking at that little urn. xxx

  7. It IS those special connections with the most unexpected people that keep me going. Sending love as always.

  8. Good morning Angie!
    I know what you mean. I do feel a balance in your blog. Your love shows through any negative statements.
    You are very well spoken, and I look foward to reading when I see a new post of yours in my reading list.
    I've always felt the need to connect with people on a spiritual level. When I don't my soul feels dry and anxious.
    Your post about the healers that can't comfort those who are grieving has me thinking...
    Much love, and bless you Angie

  9. Don't even try to censor yourself. It just backfires and you end up feeling worse. It's a scary world out there. I'm glad you found a 'safe' friend.

    By the way, what kind of dog are you on FB? I'm a Basset Hound. :)


  10. the gorgeousness of your writing, the depth of your heart - it all shines through. this grief we have to carry is ugly, but i believe there's a beauty present, one to be honoured, in the honesty of our emotions, the raw depth of our feelings. i see that here with you.

    i find myself so afraid, so defensive and angry of those on the outside of this - fists up, teeth bared against the world, assuming they can't understand. and well, often they really can't, but it's funny how often a friend i'll finally confide in will surprise me with warmth and real interest and compassion. from real loneliness to the hope of human contact in those cherished instances. i'm glad you have those contacts, too.

  11. Angie, sending love as always.


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