We woke up on Friday as people who were barely human, lacking sleep, puffy eyes, blank expressions, and still numb. Thankfully with a dog who didn’t understand bad days but still needed to be fed, be let outside and demanded we take her new monster toy and play with her.
We also had decisions to make. We had a few hours before we had to pick up Rebecca and we were suppose to go back to my parent’s for the weekend. What did we want to do? We decided sitting around for the weekend was going to get us no where. Monday would come one way or another and I couldn’t stare at a wall till then. We might as well go back, make it easier on Rebecca and then I could drink with my sister. The Husband and I could say the words out loud to someone else besides one another. We could say those words to my sister without her flinching or judging.
We didn’t want to deal with the world but we couldn’t make ourselves crazy. We needed a bit of normal.
A few hours later we picked up Rebecca and put on our best “everything is normal faces” even though I looked like hell. Absolute hell. We started down the highway for our long drive and she told me all about her over night field trip. I could tell she stayed up late with her friends talking, telling the stories you tell when you are 12 and staying in a cabin. In a world before you have to be an adult.
I was twisted around in the front seat to make eye contact with her in the back while she talked. Finally she said, “I forget how many weeks the baby is today?”
This was it.
This kid and I, we have had a lot of life happen in trucks, driving down the highway, miles going by and I was going to add to it.
I explained that the baby died and how the ultrasound went and that on Monday I would have surgery. She nodded and asked a few questions and the truck grew silent. I didn’t want to push her and I knew she was thinking.
Later that weekend she would ask if the baby was still just dead, in me, and she would touch my belly. She would ask how the doctor would get it out and where the baby’s body would go, if it’s soul was already in heaven like the movie Heaven is for Real? Because in that movie the lady had a miscarriage and that was Rebecca’s first time hearing about such things. I answered as best I could, we have always been open and honest with her, no lies, and no half truths.
We joined my family that weekend and tried to keep it normal. We invited my maid of honor over with her boyfriend and started a large fire outside. We sat, we talked about it, we talked about life, we talked about normal things, we joked, we drank, the kids ran and played with the dog and glow sticks, and under the blanket on the swing I would occasionally squeeze my Husband’s hand, knowing where our minds truly were.
For the weekend we could take a step back, regroup, talk more logically about decisions to be made, and take a few deep breaths before Monday. Texts and emails trickled in from friends with kind words that meant more than we would have ever say. We vented to my sister, said words out loud that some don’t want to think. We ignored other obligations and just did what we needed to do.
We drove back on Sunday night with a better frame of mind. Not perfect. Life wasn’t normal, life wasn’t fixed, I couldn’t sleep through the nights and I was a bit snappy, I lacked compassion for anyone else but us. I need to be selfish. But we were better than we had been on Thursday. One step forward, we were going to make it through this one way or another.