Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Kitchen

I woke up to another morning.

I got Audrey changed, dressed, fed, and ready to go to the play group this morning.  Later, she pretended she was sleeping on my bed with her eyes tightly scrunched closed and her little body alive with excitement and little jolts.  "Are you sleeping on my bed?" I'd say.  Then she'd try to lay there still a little longer before jumping up with her mouth open wide for some reason to show me she was awake.  She laughed and laughed over this little game.

Lisa pulled up to pick up Audrey and put her in the car seat.  I told her thanks and that hopefully I wouldn't need the help too much longer.  I told her it was really nice though because she was the only person really taking Audrey out of the house so I could have some real down time.   "It's the least I can do, Julia and I'm happy to do it however long you need it," she said.  It's amazing how quickly I can turn to crying these days.  "Really?" I heard myself say.  "When I was praying for you a couple of weeks ago, I just felt God tell me to walk beside you through this.  I know we don't know each other very well- but I can do it for however long you need- six months, a year..."  It is humbling to receive help.  You no longer have much to offer people.  You just take for a while- but still have to maintain a sense of self-worth.  It is humbling.

The rest of the morning I thought I'd clean the kitchen really well.  A friend suggested since I sounded angrier these days I either exercise or clean vigorously.  I decided to move my little radio into the kitchen and plug in the iPod while I cleaned- I listened to what you had labeled as "tour mix."

And then the kitchen becomes a sanctuary of sorrow.  I turn up the music louder than I have in years.  I listen to the songs you listened to- some very fitting, some very sad.  I cry.  I throw stuff in the garbage.  I clean out the freezer and the pantry cabinets.  I guess when someone dies, Koreans bring gim- I have enough for the rest of our lives.  I stack the packages in the back of the pantry.  I pace the floor back and forth cursing.  I slow-dance with you and reach out for your invisible body- try to rest my head on an invisible shoulder- remembering what it felt like.  I feel your embrace.  One of your favorite Snow Patrol songs came on:  "Light up, light up, as if you have a choice, even if you cannot hear my voice, I'll be right beside you dear."

And at one point, I stretch out my hands like Christ and stand with my head hanging down- without this intention- but I realize this is the posture of sorrow.  This is the symbol of surrender to it.  Is this what it means to share in Christ's sufferings?

I realize for others in my circle, something sad and dramatic has occurred- but for me- it is otherworldly.  It is hands stretched out on either side, loud music playing, bare feet on a cold tile kitchen floor, fuck fuck fuck fuck, this actually happened.  That is what it's like.

Last night I dreamt I was pregnant.  I don't remember the whole dream- just a few women showing me a positive pregnancy sign on the test.  My dream self couldn't make sense of it.  I've always had these pregnancy dreams and usually they're about entering a new phase, or the act of creation.  I'm not sure what to make of this one.  The milieu in the dream was a mixture of fascination, excitement, and horror.

I remember my doula telling me after I'd miscarried and when I was pregnant for the second time- "It'll never be quite the same- you'll be nervous the whole time.  Some of that joy you felt the first time- will just be gone."  It was true.  It was a frightening progress- each week that passed was a sigh of relief.  Perhaps it should be that way the first time but we are naive.  And now this is life- that original joy I experienced will never come back...hopefully I will feel similar feelings, but they will be different- not tinged with nervousness, but tinged with the sorrow that seeped into my life on July 6, 2010.

3 comments:

  1. Accept the help, for as long as you need it. Even if it is six months, a year, longer. And remember, there is no great ledger of help in the world (help received must equal help given during the same fiscal year, or even during the same lifetime -- no!). Let the help come to you, support you. This is what you need right now. Worry later about helping others. Much later, if need be.

    Peace to you.

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  2. I feel as if there is some clue in your remark about your Christlike posture and "surrender." I think surrender could be a useful concept (and I do not equate it with "submit" or "give up" but rather with a relinquishing of a fight, a letting-go of ego). Not sure where I'm going with this. Peace to you, Julia. And God bless Lisa. I'm glad you are able to accept her help.

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  3. i hope you will please remember that YOU are helping someone...your daughter! you are giving her your all, your total support to deal w/ what will likely be the biggest loss in her life...so if it "helps" you accept the help just remember how much you are helping/supporting audrey! peace to you!!!

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