Tuesdays must be bad. Last Tuesday and this Tuesday I have just felt down. Just kind of dragging and anxious for the school day to get over so that I can get home and just be sad. There were some things today:
1) I had finally ordered some prints of Luke’s pictures from snapfish. They came in the mail yesterday. I brought some of the best pictures to school. Before school, I asked one of my classroom aides who was with me last year during my pregnancy if she wanted to see them and she did. She looked at them for a long time and cried with me and said he is beautiful. It was just the response I want. But then I chickened out thinking about having to broach this subject in person with others. I know at least a few people will want to see him, but it’s so hard to bring up. So I sent an all-staff email saying I had them and if anyone wishes to see them, they can come by my room sometime this week. One person came by so far. She cried and said he is beautiful also. I wonder who else will come to see him? I almost feel like I am daring people. If they don’t want to see my son, there must be something weak about them and they go down a notch in my book. It’s silly and I know I’m probably being unreasonable, but it’s how I feel. If they read the email and forget, or don’t care enough to come over, or are too chicken, then how good a friend are they really?
2) I have wanted to make some new girl friends at church. This summer, working at VBS, I had the start of a friendship with one girl. We exchanged numbers. She has a baby boy, so we ended up talking about baby stuff a lot in our first conversations. I kept saying things like “Oh, I like his name, that was one of the names on our list too” or “we were looking into using cloth diapers too”, but not being able to say that we also had a baby. I think she gathered that something was up from my awkwardness and getting a little teary once, but I think she thought we just had infertility problems as she said she would pray for us to be given a baby. Then I decided to send her a FB friend request. I figured that would let her in on our story. Luke’s foot is my profile picture and I have written a few things about his loss, in addition to almost my whole last year’s worth of posts being about him: ultrasound pics, pics of my belly, etc. She liked one of my FB posts about the necklace my cousins sent with Luke’s name and date of birth on it, so she has to know. I was relieved to get that big elephant in the room out there. I looked forward to seeing her again and hearing her comforting words about our loss. Christians are supposed to be extra good at that.
I ran into her at the Farmer’s market today, with her cute blond baby boy. He was wearing an outfit embroidered with a frog, which was our nursery theme for Luke. I have so many cute frog outfits hanging in his closet. She said hello and made small talk, but said nothing about Luke. I had felt like it was this huge reveal that she had been let in on, but she didn’t acknowledge it. She kept the conversation short, it was pretty awkward, and we said goodbye. Then as I walked to my car, I saw her bending over her baby boy, buckling him into his car seat and that just slay me. I will never get to buckle my Luke into the car seat that we had ready for him. I will never have to walk slow across the parking holding my baby’s hand because he has just started walking. It hurts to see those things I am locked out of.
3. When I got home and two of my neighbors were outside chatting. I didn’t feel like chatting today, but they called out to me and offered me a zucchini from one of their gardens. One of the neighbors is my favorite one from 2 doors down, who I talk to fairly often and who has taken walks with me and cried with me about Luke. She is wonderful. The other one is my next door neighbor, who I have always found kind of awkward, although she is nice. In June, the next door neighbor gave Josh a card and a gift for me. The gift was a book she found at the bookstore at her catholic church. It is called “Mommy, Please Don’t Cry”. It took me awhile to look at it, but when I did, I found it kind of cheesy. It has pictures of kids doing fun things in heaven and each page says something like “Mommy, Please Don’t Cry. I am playing in the field of flowers” etc. It’s just not my style, but I appreciate the gesture. She also wrote in her card that she lost a daughter to stillbirth, which was kind of her to share. She said in the card that it was so strange that I lost my first baby because usually people have miscarriages in their first pregnancies and then healthy pregnancies if they make it as far as I did. The daughter she lost was her second. I thought that was kind of weird to say, but she’s kind of weird.
Well, today was more of the same kind of strange conversation. I had been meaning to take over a thank you card, but hadn’t, so I made a point to thank her right away. She got very excited and said in a very chipper voice, “Yes, it was just so perfect! Probably the only book in town! Now you have something to remember him by!” She was very joyful about the perfectness of her gift. She wanted to know if I could still have more children and seemed to think that that fixed everything. I am so glad for that, but it is not a blanket solution. When I asked about the daughter she lost, she told me the story, but again without an ounce of sadness in her voice. I said I had read that in past generations they didn’t let women hold their lost babies and asked if she got see hers. She said, “No, I never saw her” and then just went on with her chatter about how her granddaughter is pregnant with her 3rd. She did not seem sad at all. I appreciate all that she was trying to do and that she shared her own story and I know her loss was a long time ago, but it was just weird. How can you be so perky talking about something so sad?
Just a yucky Tuesday and I’m feeling worn. I know I am too judgmental on certain things lately and that God who I want to follow is not judmental. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. I feel sort of unstable because I feel pretty okay one minute and depressed the next. Such a rollercoaster, this grief.