Reconnecting, or, Innisfree revisited

November 3, 2008

For a while on Friday it looked like our weekend away wasn’t going to be so great.  We both managed to leave work early, but we were both tired from the week (things take more effort now – you would think I’d get used to that).  When we went to the car rental place, they remembered us from July and jokingly asked where we were off to now, to have another baby?  And then they asked us how the baby was doing, and all of a sudden my eyes filled up with tears and I couldn’t talk, and then the people at the rental place felt bad, and we had to tell them, “Don’t worry about it.  You couldn’t have known.”  (There are many good reasons as to why I won’t be wearing a T-shirt that says “Don’t ask me about my dead baby,” but at times like these, I kind of wish I had the nerve to do so.)

After renting the car, we stopped by the grocery store to pick up a couple of last minute items, and when we returned to the rental car, the key wouldn’t fit into the ignition.  When we walked back to the rental place, there was a note in the window saying they’d be back in an hour, so we trudged together up the very steep hill to our home.  Now, of course, we were even more tired, and frustrated, and my nerves were still a bit raw.  N asked if maybe we should postpone the trip, and I looked up alternate dates and the cancellation policy of the B&B where I’d made reservations.  Didn’t look promising.

Finally, after talking things over, we decided to go.  We got a new car from the rental place, spent some time decompressing at home, and calling the B&B to let them know we’d be late.  And as soon as we were putting our bags into the car, it felt like we were going to be all right.  We made our way to Walla Walla in the twilight and in the dark, listening to the Wilco CD that N played for me so often when we first started dating.  The music brought a bit of our past selves back, I think.  It reminded us of who we had been before Teddy’s death.  We’re different now; I don’t know who we will be at the end of this journey, but we haven’t lost our old selves completely, and that’s immensely comforting somehow.

And the reminder of who we’d been stayed with us through the weekend.  We had a lovely time.  I can’t say enough good things about how bright autumn foliage can look against overcast skies during a light rain, or about four-poster beds, private balconies with hot tubs, meals we didn’t have to clean up after, sinful chocolate desserts, and wine tasting.  And we only felt slightly guilty for having a lovely time, for finding some happiness in this, our season of sorrow.  The best part of the trip, though, was reconnecting with N – remembering who we were and finding some peace and joy in what we are now, in what we are becoming.

I’m so glad we pushed through the obstacles that made me wonder if the trip was a good idea.  I have a feeling that this may be the most joyful of our winter holidays; Thanksgiving and Christmas scare me, this year.  I’m glad we went, and glad to be home with a bit more assurance that we’re going to make it through this, N and I.  While it’s going to hurt almost unbearably at times, we will bear it.  And it’s not unadulterated bleakness, this grief.  It’s speckled with light.



  1. So happy some joy crept back in…

  2. I’m so glad you got away together… and allowed yourself to smile. It is SO okay to smile through this strange darkness. Our babies would want that.

  3. That sounds like a beautiful weekend. Finding moments of joy through the darkness is what will hold you together in the darkest hours. I’m glad you found a moment like that.

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