Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Let It Out

The other night I put the kids to bed and then cleaned up my room. I opened the door to the hallway to find Amelia standing there. She looked like a ghost with her pale blue pajamas almost glowing in the dark. "Mommy, I am really afraid about you and I need to let it out." I have told her before, "Your feelings are there and they need to come out. They will come out one way or another and if you don't let them out in a controlled fashion, as sorrow and tears, they will come out as anger and other emotions."

I walked with her to her room and sat beside her bed.

"What are you afraid of?"

"I'm afraid you are dying."

"What scares you most about my dying?"

"It will be so different."

I acknowledged that it would, indeed, be very different. But I also assured her that her father loved her and he was going to be able to handle life without me. I reminded her how he got everything ready for the beach when I used to do all that. I told her how important it was for her to help her dad both now and when I am gone. I noted how much she had helped prepare for the vacation and outings to the beach.

"I do think the TPN is working honey and I think it is going to give us a little more time. Who knows maybe we'll get another year, 2 years, 5 years, it's impossible to say." Maybe it is unfair to be this frank with her, but I really do not know how else to be. "And I think that, when I die, if I ask God to let my spirit stay with you, he will grant me that," I reassured her. And I thought about a friend who told me that a mother she knew said she looked forward to dying because that way she could meddle more effectively. What an appealing thought.

"Amelia, I know this for certain: even if I die, you will have a wonderful life. You will travel with your father and brother. You will continue to enjoy school, you will still find happiness. You don't need me here for that."

"Will you lie with me?"

I crawled in under the covers and we shared a box of tissues. She didn't say anything else and I thought she had fallen off to sleep. I crept out of the room and she called out to me, "I love you Mommy ... so much."

I used to think I had made a mistake by having them, that I had been terribly unfair in sentencing them to this heartache. But I finally realized that came from a pretty egotistical view of motherhood: that life is only worth living if your mom is there to raise you. Amelia and Aidan do not belong to me; they belong to the world. I was merely a vessel for them. And I will nurture them for as long as I can, and then trust that the world will take over from there.


Marie Coppola said...

You are so so awesome (ok, I'm biased, but still!).

LOVE YOU!!! You inspire me daily.

Lisa said...

You are truly one of the strongest people I know. I read most of your blog today and smiled, laughed and cried. Your entry today was especially touching. And adding two more wonderful people to this world is your gift. Amelia and Aidan will make wonderful contributions to this world and the lessons you are teaching them are helping them become the special people that they are! God Bless!

Diane said...

Michelle, your blogs and messages teach me so much about life & parenting. Being a newcomer to motherhood myself, I can only hope that my relationship with Ian is as wonderful & full of love as the one you have with your children.

delia said...

You sound like an awesome mom. I will pray that you have as many days as possible with Amelia and Aidan and that your children get what they need. So much of life is beyond human understanding.... God be with you.

marisopaurbana said...

Death is indeed a part of life. Thanks for sharing such a sublime moment with us. It makes us all feel less lonely and in touch with our humanity and that of those we love.

Mom had her transition a few months ago teaching me the greatest lesson of all...death is indeed a part of our lives...blessed are your children for having such a brave mom. That is the greatest lesson they can ever have.


Distance, words, hours
there where we find you

Your warmth embraces us
We are received by your
everlasting gaze

You are here
in the fire's flickers
in the flowers' scent
in the leaves' subtle shake

You are here
where silence screams
in everything and nothing
in nothing and everything
You are here,
revealing us
a new code

where forever no longer exists
your love lacks hands and simply stares
your hugs are now made of elements

we ARE here
magnitude of time or reasoning
loose the game
the valve that tears us apart
love's artery
is only one

in a painless labor
you await our birth

In our meantime,
you inhabit our dreams

Lori said...

Children are amazing. Your Amelia sounds thoughtful, strong, and compassionate.