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Longing

October 21, 2008

I’m pretty sure I know when Teddy was conceived.  On December 15th we were getting ready for a holiday party – I’d had a long shower and I’d gashed my ankle while shaving my legs and it took what felt like forever to stem the bleeding.  I was wearing N’s bathrobe while I blended and chopped things in the kitchen, getting appetizers ready to bring to the party.  We started fooling around in the kitchen and one thing led to another (I won’t go into detail for many reasons but we had a delicious, holiday-tinted time).  I remember being exuberantly happy; happy in my love for N, happy in our corporeal selves, happy with the season and the possibility of oncoming snow.

When we arrived at the party, I was flushed and happy, glad to see everyone, and especially glad to see the five-month-old child of a friend and coworker.  The baby was wearing a bright red holiday dress, with fancy baby shoes.  She was adorable, with her shock of dark hair and her big brown eyes, and was very gracious about being passed from one admirer to the next.  When I held her and watched N holding her I could feel this incredible longing, a physical pull in my gut that nearly made me gasp. I wanted a baby in a way I never had before, with a deep want that I didn’t know I could feel until then.

Sometimes I think that my longing in that moment is what called Teddy into being, that somehow he answered the call of my longing.  This is a thought I haven’t made peace with yet.  I spent so much of my pregnancy convinced that my baby really wanted to be here, wanted to exist and be ours, and I don’t want to give up on that idea.  But if I still believe that, the why of it all is overwhelming.  I refuse to believe that Teddy wanted to be born not even to live for a full day because he was teaching us all some lesson about life or love or priorities.  That sort of thing infuriates me beyond reason.  If we are better people because of losing him, that is good, but not so good as if we’d been better people because of watching him grow up and learning to know him.

If he wanted to be, wanted to be with us, then the magic of my longing and the magic of our love was insufficient to overcome the painful randomness of the world.  I can accept that; the world is big and we were three fairly unimportant people in the larger scheme of things.  But it hurts.

I’m more familiar with longing now.  It’s as much a part of me as my skin, and that pull?  I feel it all the time.

Maybe the reason I’m unable to let go of the idea that I somehow called Teddy into this world is that I still haven’t accepted that I cannot call him back.  No matter how I long for his kick against the wall of my belly or for his weight in my arms, no matter how I cry or pour over his photographs or say his name, he cannot return.  I know that, but I still don’t want to believe it.

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One comment

  1. Oh… yes.

    There were so many events and scenarios that converged with the conception of our twins that I couldn’t help but marvel at how “meant to be” they were. So then when we lost them, I didn’t know how to come to peace with the fact that I had been so, so wrong.

    I’m so sorry. For the longing. For Teddy’s absence. For how far away he feels. I’m so, so sorry.



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