Monday, July 2, 2012

In 21 years.

Tonight Luke and I went to my brother's baseball game (he ended up getting a hit in the last inning and scoring the tying run, and they won a few batters later. Luke did a lot of clapping and had a blast.) As we were sitting there, one of the mom's from the team came over and was talking to my mom and was doting on Luke. Then came the dreaded question. "Is this your only one?" My mom was funny and said "oh no, he's not mine! He's my daughter's" pointing at me. (Hahaha, Mom. Why would you be sitting at a baseball game for 15 year olds if Luke was your "only child". Besides the other obvious issue...) The lady persisted, "Oh, I know.Is he your only grandchild?"

My mom stammered a little then said no, and told her about Olivia. I probably would have just mumbled yes and changed the subject, then felt bad about it, had I been asked. So I definitely wouldn't blame my mom for doing the same, although I think she feels a little trapped when she's asked that in front of me. I don't like dealing with people I don't know and uncomfortable situations like that so I usually deal with it however seems easiest at the time, even if it's a lie.

To my surprise, the woman started asking questions. How many weeks? What happened? How long ago? I thought that was a little different, and then she sighed to me and said, "It doesn't ever go away, does it?" Then she told us she lost a daughter at 39 weeks, almost 24 years ago. I talked about how having Lucas now helps a lot, not that it ever goes away, but he fills my arms (literally just woke up and cuddled in my arm) and  fills my heart and is the cuddliest little boy ever and may still be sleeping in the recliner with me when he is 6. (We may need a bigger recliner.) Our daughter is still missing. Will always be missing. But Lucas makes me smile and laugh and fills my heart with so much love every day. The name "rainbow baby" is so very fitting. Not to mention, just having him helped ease some of the internal guilt and anger I had at my body for taking our daughter from us.

I have heard of these "encounters" happening all the time, with people who are more open about their loss than I generally am. But it's never happened to me aside from people saying they had a miscarriage, or knew someone who had a loss. And the situation was so random. It's hard for me to wrap my head around what it will be like in 21 years, I can hardly believe we are quickly approaching Olivia's third birthday. It is hard to believe it has been that long.


Addi's mom said...

This is part of the reason I always say that Mason is my second. There are so many blm's among us, but they are mixed in with the rest of society. I bet it was really nice for her to get to share some of her story with you. I hope in 21 years and beyond I am still sharing Addison :)

Melissa said...

I am so glad the moment came with sensitivity and a little class. So often we are pelted with questions (and I mean pelted) just to satiate someone's curiosity.

I too, find it interesting to see someone such a distance out from loss. There are days I cannot imagine living another year without Ava; it reminds me it is possible.

Kim said...

I'm glad you had an encounter with someone with understanding and someone to offer a little comfort. I'm so glad you have sweet little Luke, I know it's still hard thinking about the "what should have been". Hugs<3

Brooke said...

This made me cry. It doesn't ever go away, I'm sure. But I'm grateful that life does fill in some of the jagged edges around the pain, that's for sure.

I don't know how my mom would answer that question... but I'm glad your mom talked about Olivia.

SG said...

I had a similar conversation on an airplane with an older woman, a few months after Elizabeth died. It really amazed me how at peace she seemed with everything, while still being able to tell me (instantly, without calculating) how old her son would have been and how long since she had last visited his memorial marker.

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