Thursday, February 3, 2011

Blue Against Blue

I have taken away something from all of this - compassion. 

When my step-mother was in the hospital, dying of cancer, I used to drive home listening to the same song over and over again, crying my eyes out.  If you've ever seen anyone suffer from cancer, it is something you will never forget, and it affects you.  I used to feel so alone, like no one on the road knew what I was going through or how sad I was.  I used to sit with her at the hospital, talking to her and rubbing her back, and listening to her talking about how scared she was.   As I drove there each time to see her, I would think that no one in this elevator, lobby or waiting room knows who I'm going to visit and why.  My dad's whole life was turned upside-down for months and it was like he was living in a different reality - eating and sleeping at the hospital.  It made me think of all the people that go in and out of the grocery store or gas station, and I wondered just what they were going through in their lives, just like me.

I had a similar experience after we left the hospital last Saturday when I was waiting in line at Walgreens filling my vicodin prescription.  There was an older lady in front of me, driving me nuts, and I thought to myself - she has no idea that we just came from the hospital, saw our baby, learned she had no heartbeat and were headed home to wait for a miscarriage.  I felt like pushing her aside and telling her that she was talking too long, that I wanted to just go home and cry my eyes out, scream at the top of my lungs and make sense of all this in bed and NOT at Walgreens - but, of course, I didn't.

Ever since I posted this blog or have shared my story with friends, family, co-workers and on message boards, I have received so many similar stories from others.  It is interesting that this is such a hidden subject, because so many women go through something like this but you would never know it unless you were close to them or experienced something like this yourself.  It is like a secret club, and once you're in it, you finally know.  At first you don't feel like talking to anyone, you feel like a failure and like you are alone, but after you open up, you feel loved, accepted and are able to find comfort in empathizing with others.

The stories I've received on Facebook and from others in my life have touched my heart.  I cry while I read them and my heart brakes for those who write them as well as for myself.  I understand what they must have felt, how hard it must have been and share their grief with them.  Many of them have children now, but they never forget what has happened to them and the baby they lost, just like we never will.

I am having a hard time writing this post because it's hard to find the words I want to say about this.  I have sat here staring at the keyboard a  number of times because the way I feel about these women and their babies is indescribable.  My heart hurts for them and their families and I feel foolish for posting such silly things on here and on Facebook while so many were going through so much.  As you get older you see that all of your "problems" weren't really problems at all, now you have real ones, ones that you don't share often but that affect you so profoundly.  It makes everything you used to think was important seem trivial.

I know that this is a private thing, not something women share or talk about, but from this experience I've learned it does make you feel better to share with others.  Just like I said before, women should know that this is common, that you have a 25% chance of something like this happening and not to be ashamed or embarrassed if it happens to you.  There are others out there just like you, who have been through the same thing, and there is strength in numbers.

So, I have learned compassion.  I will stop to think about what people have gone through if they cut me off on the road or are rude to me in line somewhere.  I will remember that we are all human and all have struggles and problems to deal with and that we should recognize this in each other.  I feel that if we all show compassion to others, the world will change and people will start to slow down and be more understanding.  We won't rush around anymore and think that our problems are the only ones, we will look at someone and see what they are going through, imagining that have sorrows too that we will never know.

I hope you continue on this journey of compassion with me.  Please take a moment to think of others as you go throughout your day, they may have sadness behind those eyes.  The love I feel from everyone around me will continue to carry me on my journey, it is indescribable.

I leave you with a poem, and a card from my mother-in-law (how did she find such a perfect card?) - these speak my feelings today.

"i carry your heart with me"
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
                                  i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
                                                     ~ e.e. cummings


1 comment:

  1. Hi there,
    I've been following your family for a while on Instagram and decided to read your blog. The ee cummings poem is so dear to me because I chose it to be read at my wedding. I'm crying right now - this post is so special and is a message we so often need to hear. Thank you for sharing your lives with us.
    Thinking of you all often as you prepare for baby boy!
    Danielle @danielliedbear