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Thursday, August 27, 2009

On a random, normal day

Today started off just like any other day this week. I woke before the sun, laced up my Asics and logged in a good six miles. I think we're well on our way to being ready for the 13.1 we'll be doing on Halloween morning. It has been good to be back in training mode - the best motivation I know of to staying focused and committed. I slacked a little on my stretching when I got home because I was immediately distracted with fixing my bike's flat front tire. I was feeling all handy and skilled starting my day with such productive-like activities. 

Then, at some point mid-morning, a wave of sadness washed over me. I recognized it and felt it, but suppressed it because I had an important meeting that I needed to be focused for. I didn't really have time to melt and then pull myself back together in time. It probably would have been better to have had a good release beforehand, since I was basically only in the meeting physically. I hope it wasn't totally obvious to the others there.

It wasn't until mid-afternoon, while making myself half of a PB&J that I couldn't even subconsciously hold it in any longer. I took a bite of my sandwich, hoping it would curb the emotion. Maybe it made it worse - I wasn't expecting such heavy sobs, reminiscent of this time last year. 

I tried to keep Marc from knowing I was crying. We had both already had a long day, filled with a few tense moments about really important (and yet at the same time unimportant) topics. But, after a few minutes I found myself walking upstairs, totally unable to resist the urge to be curled up in his lap, having him gently stroke my back until the wave passed.

Through this entire experience, he has never made me feel like a burden, like I need to save my breakdowns for outside of what most people would call normal work hours. Plus, his comfort almost always includes some much-needed humor relief. Today it was telling me that my breath smelled "really good." I guess he was in the mood for a Peanut Butter and Boysenberry Jam sandwich, too... which was actually a relief since crying breath isn't necessarily the best.

The night was brought to a close with therapy of sorts, some creative-ness that brought some healing. As I reflected on the day, I tried to figure out if there was something about today's date that triggered such intense sadness. It wasn't the 16th. It wasn't an anniversary of any kind. There was nothing about today that usually accompanies this kind of heavy grief.

And, I finally determined that today, on August 27, 2009, a random normal day, I just really missed my girls, Elliana and Emmaline. 

"Sometimes, when one person is missing, the whole world seems empty."

- Alphonse de Lamartine

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Seven years...

"...went under the bridge, like time was standing still... ." Gotta love this song from the 80's.

Seven years ago, two lives merged into one. Sacred promises were made. Our family unit was formed.

I was so clueless.

As a naive 24-year old I know I didn't fully appreciate the meaning behind our marriage covenants. Looking through a window of pain this last year has revealed a clearer perspective and a much deeper appreciation for the sacred events of that day, seven years ago. This year, especially, I've felt comforted with the assurance of relationships bound, here and there.  

I've been reflective this week, thinking about something we were told last year by my doctor, after we lost our girls. Eighty percent of couples that experience losing a child will end up getting divorced.

Eighty percent. Sobering. Sad.

In those early months, though, I definitely understood why. Grief is experienced and expressed in such different ways. It's confusing to face the chaos in one's own heart, making it totally overwhelming to then try to make sense of the unspoken chaos weighing down the love you share your life with. I took her words as a sort of warning. It put me on guard, determining to do my part in defending my marriage from the negative effects of grief. 

Last year as we marked our sixth anniversary, for the most part the day felt dreary and heavy. No matter how I looked at it, all I could see was the representation of six years of heartache, disappointment, pain. 

Today was different. Today we celebrated. We survived a very difficult year. Together. We are stronger, we are closer. And, that is something to celebrate. We ate warm, homemade peach pie, ala mode. We beat the odds. But, just because we made it through a really hard year (and the six before that) doesn't mean by any means that the fight is over. While I know good things lie ahead, I'm also aware of probable mountains yet to climb. Through the peaks and valleys of life, I feel inexpressibly grateful to have Marc by my side.