Tuesday, May 30, 2006

News and envy and other ugly thoughts

I was watering my angel garden this afternoon, lost in thought, when my neighbour called over the fence to tell me that his wife is being induced tomorrow. She's due on Friday but for a number of reasons they're handing baby an eviction notice tomorrow instead. A May baby, if all goes quickly for her.

I was genuinely excited, I really was (even though I felt a weird little something in the pit of my tummy). I dropped the hose and ran over to the fence to hear the details.

Poor guy, he looked like a deer in headlights. He had that same "oh good GOD it's here" look My Beloved did when they started the induction process with me. That look lasted right through my C-section three days later, poor thing. Nine months passes slowly for the one carrying the load, but evidently it whips by for the onlooker whose job is really just beginning when the first contraction hits.

They're going to have a baby tomorrow.

I swear I was excited when I heard the news. I was. I am.

But I still found myself sobbing my heart out just the same once I finished my gardening and came back inside.

We were right where they are. One night we went to bed believing our little one would be born safely the next day too. We were them not so long ago.

I envy them so much, I do. They're where we were before hell broke lose spilling despair, fear and ugly things like envy, disillusionment and hate into our lives. I wish we could go back to that perfect moment, that last night, when Thomas was safe inside me - alive and perfect.

I don't quite know what to do with all the things in my head and in my heart tonight.

I hate when my peace is shaken by news that should be nothing but happy. I hate that so much.

Monday, May 29, 2006

A funny thing happened on the way to church...

So we were stopped at a gas station to get some outrageously priced gas yesterday, My Beloved and I, when I spotted a hugely pregnant woman in a really pretty, filmy pink tank top filling up. My first instinct was to look away, but I couldn't. She looked so, I don't know, so full of promise (if you'll pardon the pun).

It's not like she was happily bouncing around like some caffeine-infused fertility goddess or anything. In fact, she looked a little bit tired and slightly wilted in the intense heat, but there was just something about her. That something you can't put your finger on.

I watched her from the passenger seat of our car while my poor Beloved pumped gas in the heat. And as I did, I felt something stirring inside me. Instead of just jealousy and longing, I felt something else too. Not quite hope, but maybe hope's slightly less interesting, homely cousin - skeptical, wary hope.

Watching her reminded me of that time with Thomas. Eight months pregnant and past what I assumed were all the big milestones in terms of his development and viability outside the womb. I was settling into the waiting and nesting stage, knowing with certainty that he was a boy and getting more and more delighted with the idea of having a son.

I know what the pink tank top lady's baby felt like moving and rolling and kicking yesterday. I envied her, yes, but I started to think that maybe it might happen again for us - that I might feel all those things again someday.

What's more, I started wanting to.

We started trying again three months after Thomas died. In hindsight, I was no where near being ready, but lost in my grief and unable to sort out rational thought from flight of fancy, I thought I would be fine if we got pregnant again so soon.

I wouldn't have been.

Since then I've realized that I'm far more terrified than I thought I was. Getting pregnant scares the bejeezus out of me. The whole thing. Worrying about what another loss would do to me, to My Beloved to our families, worrying about what horrific thing might happen to me and the baby if I make it all the way to the end...

The mind boggles at the horror of it all.

Yes, the horror of pregnancy. Because that's what it is for people like me. Well, the idea of it anyway (not being able to actually get pregnant now I don't know what it's like to succeed after a loss like mine, but I know how much the thought of it scares me. That I know in spades).

Anyway, some of that fear - a speck, really - vanished yesterday when I watched the pink tank top lady go about her business.

But as nice as that was, I discovered that I still have a lot of work to do on the way my mind processes all things baby.

As I continued to watch her, I started thinking about what I would do if I got pregnant with a girl. I have all boy things - enough that I wouldn't have to do any pre-baby shopping - but I don't have anything for a girl.

I could easily make do with the unisex and blue outfits that belong to Thomas, and fter much thought, that was my final conclusion. I'll make do and shop afterwards. Or send out the small army of ladies I know would adore shopping for baby girl things (a team led by my fearless sibling and mother who had so much fun shopping and knitting for Thomas).

And then one last, terrible thought popped into my head.

I'll just get one girl outfit to bury her in.

That's the way my brain functions now. Good God, how awful! And what's worse is how naturally the thought fell into my head, as though it made perfect and logical sense for it to be there. As if that's what everybody does while they're pregnant - buys something nice for the baby to be buried in.

Fuck me. One step forward, two steps back.

But I did like that one step forward, and I'm still clinging to the sweetness in that speck of hope despite the thoughts of doom I know I simply won't be able to rid myself of until I'm holding a healthy, live child in my arms.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Memories and smiles and tears

This is my third attempt at an entry. I can't seem to wrap my head around one, coherent train of thought long enough to keep it from derailing.

Except that one.

I have too many things in my head and not enough time or energy to spill it all out on to the screen in an orderly, readable fashion I guess.

I'm craving cookies and missing Thomas. I'm tired and happy. Well, mostly happy. But I'm a little lost too. And wishing I could turn back time. Go back to 1989 and dance to Madonna. Go back to 1994 and start my first real job. Go back to 1996 and have one too many Caesars with lunch. Go back to 1999 and go on date with My Beloved. Go back to 2001 and plan our wedding. Go back to 2005 and hold Thomas again, just one more time.

I'm distressed that I'm not savoring NOW the way I know I should. I'm always wishing I was somewhere I've already been or somewhere I have yet to go. I have moments of peace, and I appreciate what I have - but not the way I wish I could. Not the way I do when I'm looking back on those moments as memories.

I have no idea why.

It's good to have fond memories to look back on (even those precious few bittersweet moments with Thomas), but it would be nice if I could look on them with more than wistfulness and sorrow.

Does everyone do this? Get misty-eyed and sad when they think of happy times gone by?

I try very, very hard to heed this advice:

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.

But I for some reason I can't. I guess I'm just too good at crying now. Or maybe I always have been and life just continues to help me hone my skills.


Where's that picture of Lucy??

Thursday, May 25, 2006


This picture makes me smile, so I'm sending it out across the ether in the hope that it makes someone else smile too.

This is Lucy, the amazing toothless wonder, sleeping (or pouting - hard to tell) on My Beloved's side of the bed. I think she misses him when he's not here, so she gets as close to the real thing as possible and snuggles in for the day.

Cats are good to know. Really, really good to know.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Despite going to the dentist (where I had to re-tell the hygienist about Thomas because she forgot and was asking me about my kids) I've had a good, peaceful day.

I wish I could capture the feeling in my heart and mind right now - bottle it for a day when things aren't so peaceful, and save some to give away to people who are struggling to find a moment's respite from their sorrows.

If only it worked that way. I'm happy now - tonight, this minute - but I could just as easily be sitting in this same spot tomorrow crying my eyes out.

That's the way it goes. Up, down, up, down - no rules, no warning, no control.

So I'm just going to hang on to tonight.

And go enjoy it.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Finally planted!

It's been a busy, dirty day - but the good news is the angel garden is finally planted. Fingers crossed that the weather forecast was correct and it WON'T drop down below 9C this week!

It's not much to look at just yet (everything is still small and only a few things are blooming - and I know you can't really see much of anything) but hopefully soon (if all goes well) it will fill out and start to look like something very pretty indeed.

I started everything inside except the rose bush (I found an Angel Face this morning!), the two purple heliotropes and the Cranberry Cotoneaster (a gift from my Aunt in Thomas' memory).

Without further ado...

This pretty white cosmo bloomed while it was still in the kitchen! I'm hoping the rest do as well in their new home in the garden.

And now, to bed!!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Our angel garden - a work in progress

I'm kind of cheating because this is actually all work we did a few weeks ago, but since it's been too cold and rainy to plant my seedlings (some of which are now blooming and all of which are slowly taking over the kitchen) this is all we have to show to date.

With any luck the temperature will rise enough for me to start playing in the dirt again very soon!

But in the meantime, here are two pictures of the completed bed and the new arbor. And Thomas' beautiful, healthy tree in the background.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The flame

Since there's not much on television on Saturday nights in May, we were just watching some interviews about The Blade Runner (a long, rambling and rather boring prelude to a screening of the movie itself).

In one of the quick little clips from the movie, a character said something like this: "...you know what they say, the brightest candles burn half as long...", which of course made me think of Thomas.

He didn't even get half a normal life span, but he certainly continues to burn bright - even so long after his life here was extinguished.

At first I thought how marvelous it is of My Beloved and I to have kept his flame burning so brightly - and we do in our own way - but I quickly realized that the reason so many people can see his light (and tell us so) is because they keep it lit. Not us, them.

After all this time I'll still get e-mails out of the blue from someone telling me that Thomas has been on their mind - and that he won't ever be forgotten. And we still get notices of random acts of kindness in the mail on an almost regular basis. Last week it was a donation to a women's health centre in Nova Scotia - thank you so much, Julie. The week before it was a donation to a Moms and Tots group at a local church (the proceeds went towards the purchase of a Thomas the Tank Engine activity table and toys) - thank you, Auntie Margo.

Around his birthday there was a flurry of donations made in his name and many, many good deeds done in his honour, by friends, family and strangers alike.

I've kept a record of each and every kind thing. Not only do they bring me peace and make me unbelievably proud of my son, they remind me that there is still good in this often cold, cruel world. There is kindness and love, and people willing to give both so freely and unselfishly that it stuns me.

I'll never understand why Thomas had to die. I don't understand why one child lives and another is torn from its family and this earth before it even has a chance to open its eyes. But I'm at the point in my grieving where I can see - really see - the good that has come from his time on this earth - and from its brevity.

I want him back - I would still give my life in exchange for his. Nothing is worth more than his life to me. Nothing. But I'm slowly and surely seeing the big picture - seeing the impact his life had in a way that brings me comfort. There's still pain - there will always be agonizing pain - but there's a measure of comfort now too.

Maybe I'm just deluding myself. Maybe this is all a mind game I'm playing and happen to be winning right now. But whatever the case, I'm happier and more at peace. I could always see the good in Thomas' life. I've never once - even for one split second - regretted having him, and I'd do it all again in a heartbeat for those 9 months and 20 hours. But these days I'm taking more comfort in the impact he had on my life and on the lives of everyone he touched.

I wish it didn't take so long for these epiphanies. The cruelest part of the healing process is that it takes so damn long.

And that it's a process that never really ends.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Two birthdays

My Dad turned 76 today. And, if I hadn't miscarried at 10 weeks, 6 days on October 25, 2003, his first grandchild would have celebrated a birthday today too. Or so the doctor's magic calendar told us. A lifetime ago.

So happy birthday Dad!

And little one, Mommy's thinking of you today too. And missing you and loving you.


It's been raining on and off for days. DAYS.

I'll have to check in with My Beloved and see how the ark is coming along.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


So we were watching Shalom in the Home last night (because as hard as we try, we can't seem to stay away from the strange and wonderful assortment of reality TV shows that lurk on TLC and A&E late at night) when something the rabbi said struck me.

He was counseling a woman who'd lost her husband six years earlier. He died in a car accident on their way home from a Valentine's Day date. A car swerved into their lane. He swerved into a pole to protect his wife from the impact, was thrown from the car, and died en route to the hospital. His widow was left with two young girls and an irreparably broken heart.

Which is precisely why she called for help. She needed someone to exorcise the ghost of her husband because she just couldn't let go of him. She was drowning in her sorrow and taking her children with her.

During the course of the show, the rabbi told the widow that she needed to stop looking in the mirror and seeing a tragic figure staring back at her. She needed to stop thinking of herself and her children as a tragic family known solely for the horrible sorrow that touched their lives. He reminded her that they are a beautiful, happy family - two sweet girls and their loving mother - and they need to start living that way.

He was kind, but firm. You can remember, but you simply can't afford to let yourself stand still, mired in your grief and unable to move forward into the new life you've been handed, as bleak and frightening as that new life may be.

It was like hearing the words for the first time. Because I do that - I look in the mirror and I see the mother of a dead baby. I walk around all day wondering who can see my sorrow, as though it oozes from my pores or rises off me like steam. I assume that's all people see when they look at me. I imagine it's the first thing they think of when I wander through their thoughts. I search people's faces for pity and listen to their voices for concern. I measure my responses to make sure they're appropriate coming from someone who has buried a baby.

I am living as a tragic figure. I've let it define me, control me and manipulate me into thinking that's virtually all I am.

But I'm not. I'm more than that. I am.

The sorrow doesn't make me me. I was me long before I even conceived Thomas. A terrible tragedy happened to me, but it didn't create me. It simply changed me, and there's a big difference.

I had a dear, sweet baby boy who I lost. I love him and miss him with every fibre of my being every second of every day, and each time I think of him my heart breaks anew.

But I'm not a tragic figure. I'm a strong woman who survived an unthinkable loss, and every single day I fight with all my might to be happy again and to find the peace I used to know. I've being clawing my way back, all the while thinking that I'm just a pitiful, hopeless, helpless thing. Broken, damaged and useless.

And my God, I'm not. Losing Thomas has changed me forever, but I am not just the sorrow that fills my heart.

I'm still me.

Monday, May 15, 2006

A heaping plate of comfort

I would like to write a beautiful, eloquent post about something very important - something that might inspire people, move them, or make them think about something ordinary in a totally new and extraordinary way.

Unfortunately right now all I can think about is how good my turkey meatballs and spaghetti sauce were tonight, and how satisfied and full I am right now.

I'm still exhausted from yesterday's attempt at trying not to be the world's saddest mother (or at least trying not to exhibit telltale signs of the aforementioned condition) and I have a slight headache from the cool, rainy weather we're having today. The conditions are not ripe for a thoughtful and provoking post.

So I'm just going to tell you about my meatballs instead. There's comfort in the mundane, right? Which must explain why I felt so happy when I smelled the garlic and onions hit the simmering oil in my saucepan late this afternoon. I felt myself relax. I suppose I followed my nose back to simpler times when thoughts of baby death and infertility weren't upper most in my mind (God, I can barely remember those halcyon days). That immediate sensory comfort was nice. Really, really nice.

And my sauce was good too. But this is about the meatballs.

They were turkey balls (*titter*). I mixed ground turkey (still partly frozen, which then partly froze my hands) with a healthy shot of garlic powder, a little dried basil, a few tablespoons of hot sauce, a blob of ketchup and some salt and pepper. I used my popsicle hands to make balls out of the frigid turkey mixture. Then I browned them in a pan before dropping them into the simmering sauce to cook through (the balls, not my hands). They stewed in the sauce for about an hour and a half and were melt-in-your-mouth delectable when it came time to eat them, all moist and flavourful from the sauce they'd been swimming in for so long.

I was satisfied and extremely content when I finally finished devouring my supper. Spaghetti and meatballs just somehow makes me feel safe and cozy. And full, happily so.

I may have just described an extremely intense emotional eating episode, I'm not sure. But the meatballs were low fat (I used extra lean turkey and not a drop of oil) and I was careful about the size of my portions. Relatively careful. So I'm not to be scolded too soundly for it.

I just wanted a little comfort and if it happens to come on a plate with red sauce and grated Parmesan cheese the odd time, I'll take it.

And I'll go for a long walk tomorrow.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Over the limit

I know that I'm incredibly blessed in so many ways - and believe it or not, I try hard not to take those blessings for granted. I struggle to not dwell solely on negative things each and every second of the day (you know, things like having a dead baby).

But you'll excuse me if today I'm not in a "counting my blessings kind of mood".

Aside from the obvious torment of dragging myself through a day that's designed to celebrate the joys that were torn from me 14 months ago, I'm raging because the flipping rabbits ate my vegetables. My beautiful, healthy broccoli (one and a half down, one to go), two heads of Romaine lettuce, half a celery and a bunch of onions.

You know, the garden is the only thing I'm apparently allowed to grow and nurture (and I'm talking to you here, God), so is it too much to ask that you keep the foraging beasts out of my yard? Let them run amok in the yards of people who are growing weeds and crabgrass, but for the love of - well, for the love of YOU - can you PLEASE steer them away from my tender new vegetables?

And no, since you're wondering, I didn't find it amusing to overhear two people across the street discussing the fact that one couple's child is turning two next week (the same week our first child would have turned two) or that the second couple's first baby is due on August 4th.

You know something? I didn't really want to hear that today, and letting it waft clear as day through the streets while I was in the garage studying the bottle of "Critter Ridder" in preparation for protecting what's left of our garden wasn't so funny either.

And while I'm at it, did every pregnant Catholic woman in town absolutely have to go to the 9:00am Mass? Did they??

God, there's only so much I can handle in one day. It's only noon and I've reached my limit. Please ease up on me - and on all Mothers who are lost in sorrow today - and just let me make it through the rest of the day in peace.


Friday, May 12, 2006

Steve's checking me out

So there he is, pretty little Steve.

"Steve" because My Beloved thought it was funny, in case you wanted to know. And "Lady" because when I later asked My Beloved what Steve's lady should be called, he was really busy at work and not all that interested in naming the backyard tenants.

So "Lady" it is.

Which is kinda funny, because of course now we can serenade her with "Lay, Lady, Lay" when she's finished with the nest-building and ready to start working on filling it up.

'Cause you know, we're not already scary enough to some of the breeding-abled neighbours around us. Might as well seal the deal with a little Bob Dylan in the backyard.

Edited to add that My Beloved has just informed me that if there's any avian serenading to be done, he'll wait inside. So I guess it's me, Bob Dylan and the birds. The Swallows, that is. Although it would be pretty cool to get The Byrds to join me in a little 1960s revival concert...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Steve and Lady

We live on re-claimed land that was stolen from the teeming wildlife that used to live here. It was farmland, yes, but clearly there were lots of other creatures sharing the pastures and fields. And they're none too happy that suddenly we're here instead.

Bunnies, specifically, roam the neighbourhood in hoards when the sun goes down, pooping coco-puffs here there and everywhere in retaliation for the invasion. And they're really good at it, the protest poops.

So because of them and Freddie the Vole (who we thankfully haven't seen around yet this spring) we had to take down the bird feeder that I enjoyed so much last year.

Feeding the birds is fine, but feeding the bunnies, voles and other varmints is, sadly, out of the question. I'm not big on wild poo. I'm not big on any poo, but especially not wild poo from animals of unknown origin and questionable health.

So instead of the feeder, I bought a birdhouse. A real one (and by real I mean hardware store "cheap" as opposed to home decor store decorative/expensive). It's a cedar wren house - just cute as a button.

I put it up Monday night, expecting it to sit vacant until it disintegrated (being $15.00 and all).

But to my surprise, a pair of Tree Swallows moved in the next day.

It's been an emotionally difficult week for me for a number of reasons I don't feel like getting into right now, but the one bright spot has been those cheeky little birds. I've been watching them swoop around the yard like they own the place for two days now, and I'm loving it.

The affection isn't quite reciprocal yet though. Steve (yes, we named them) is fine. He sits on the fence looking strikingly beautiful in his iridescent blue overcoat waiting to be admired (from a respectable distance, mind you). But Lady, not so much. She's a wee bit more territorial, opting to dive-bomb the innocent (me) if I dare step into her domain - which, apparently, encompasses the entire yard.

It could be she's just pissed off by the fact that she's doing all the nest-building work while Steve sits around waiting to be admired. That would certainly piss me off. But I suspect my presence is more the issue.

I have no idea how I'm going to plant my angel garden. I foolishly hung the birdhouse on a shepherd's hook right beside it, and I have no clue how Lady is going to feel about me landscaping her front porch.

I feel an I Love Lucy moment in the making...

I'm hoping that she'll be busy sitting on her eggs by the time it warms up enough to start my planting (hopefully next week) and won't care what I'm doing.

I'll settle for an uneasy peace and respectable distances between us. Really, I will.

If only she'll stay.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is just four days away. Last year it crashed into me while I was still in the deep, dark days of physical and mental recovery and it was here and gone almost before I knew it. It was just another hazy day of grief, heightened by the joy we should have been feeling, but were denied.

We spent the day celebrating our own mothers, My Beloved and I, and not thinking too much about the fact that I was one too. He bought me a beautiful card, and my sister-in-law sent me a very sweet e-mail a few days later, but everyone else very quietly let the day pass without a mention of my status as a Mother.

We all pretended I wasn't dying inside, I suppose.

No one knew what to do, and I didn't either. How do you celebrate that day when you child is dead? I still don't know. And it's going to arrive and torment me every single May until the day I die. An annual kick in the crotch.

Cards, commercials, ads, television shows - all reminding me of the little joys I should be enjoying, but never will. Thomas bringing me burned toast and warm juice in bed. Thomas proudly presenting me with handful of dandelions. Thomas giving me sloppy boy kisses and a card he made himself.

Never going to happen.

An angel in heaven is nice an all, but not as nice as those things. Not to me.

And so I hate Mother's Day. I hate it for re-opening a would I try so hard to keep closed. I hate it for making everyone around me uncomfortable. I hate it for making me think so hard about the little soul I'm missing. I hate it for reminding me that I'm broken and may never have another child. I hate it for reminding me that I will never fully heal.

I hate it for making me cry.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


I can't get Catherine off my mind.

The part of me that wants desperately to preserve my sanity (not to mention my faith in life and fairness and goodness and a grand plan that actually somehow makes sense) keeps trying to push thoughts of the hell she must be going through out of my mind.

But the part of me that knows her sorrow has doubled - unthinkably so - and can't fathom what agony she must be in right now just can't stop thinking about it.

About how unbelievably cruel this is. About how no one should have to suffer this once, let alone twice. About how horrific it is that this shitstorm is raining down on such a kind soul who has done so much to help so many.

And this is her reward.

I don't understand this at all. I just don't. And there's no one to ask why - why this happened to Catherine. Why it happens to anyone. And what answer could possibly make sense of any of this anyway - what on earth could justify this horror being inflicted on someone? Twice??

I know lightning strikes twice. I get the quarterly SHARE newsletters. In every issue I read the names of countless lost souls, some with sisters and brother here on earth, but many with other siblings in heaven, and I shudder at the thought of doing this twice. Dealing with death when you should be reveling in new life. Planning a funeral instead of a baptism. Burying your child instead of bringing it home. Spending the rest of your life in silent, disguised agony because a piece of your soul died when your child did.

I did it all once - I'm still doing it - and it nearly ate me alive. Catherine has to do it all again. AGAIN.

She has to take those first, terrifying steps into a new life as a new person with a wound so profound it defies description.

Oh my God, Catherine. I'm so sorry.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Things I'm doing this morning...

...sending peace and love and my deepest sympathies to Catherine, and hurling obscenities at this big, cruel world for taking a second child from her during the week in which she's remembering the anniversary of her first horrific loss.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Eat dirt!

Here's a handy tip:

When you're pulling up sod, make sure to keep your mouth closed. Make your grimaces and grunts through closed lips, lest you find yourself with a mouth full of dirt.

You learn something new every day.

And now I'm off to brush my teeth...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Dandelions, rubbermaid and random poo

I spent close to two hours picking dandelions out of our horribly infested boulevard. I thought it would be a relatively simple task. It was cooler today and there was cloud cover and a nice breeze. All in all perfect weather for what turned out to be surprisingly back-breaking work.

Or I'm just old. And a pussy.

I started off on my knees with the ancient old weed digging tool I somehow inherited from my Grandfather. We worked pretty well for a while, me and the old stick, until my knees started to get numb and my back achy. I decided to stand instead. I picked for a full hour when, hot and hungry, I decided to head inside for a snack and a break.

I'd cleared out just 1/3 of the blasted weeds.

I was going to call it a day and tackle the rest tomorrow (or, you know, sometime), but the remaining 2/3 taunted me for almost two hours until I couldn't take it anymore.

I headed back out.

I filled my plastic rubbermaid tub full of weeds. Full, I tell you. It was beautiful watching the green and yellow slowly rise to the top of the blue rim. And I started taking pleasure in the process.

I swore at the more stubborn weeds as I dug and yanked and dug and yanked. I mocked the ones that popped out easily. I gritted my teeth and took out a pretty healthy dose of aggression on the interlopers that have been quietly humiliating me since they started blooming.

Weeds blooming. Feh.

What the hell, if you're going to spend almost two hours pulling weeds you might as well get some therapeutic enjoyment out of it, right?

Anyway, when I finally came in for good I had a tub overflowing with weeds and a 90% weed-free boulevard (I'll tackle the remaining 10%, you know, some other day).

I left the tub on the boulevard, proudly displaying my accomplishment - the wilting fruits of my painstaking and painful labour. I don't really know why, expect that I was just so proud. And yes, a little vain.

But whatever. We've already discussed my longing for the yummy-mummy track suits those stroller-bearers always seem to have. If I can't have a baby, a stroller and a tight little ass to show off, I'm not above showing off my weed eliminating prowess instead.

I was happy and satisfied.

Until this evening, when I spotted something black sticking out of the tub. It looked like a tiny plastic bag - the kind of tiny plastic bag dog owners use to pick up and carry their beast's shit in.

"Nooooo," I said to My Beloved "That's....that's not a POO bag in my weeds, is it?"

He went over to the tub. He looked at the bag. He picked it up by one of it's flapping ties.

"Yup," he said, "that's poo."

Poo. Some lazy little shit left their dog's crap in my rubbermaid weed tub.

It's CLEARLY not a garbage can. Clearly. And it was clearly filled with plant matter (which, if we were more environmentally aware, might have been headed for a composter). It was clearly not placed there as a public receptacle. And above all it was clearly not meant for poo. Clearly.

It reeked. Not the shit, but the self-absorbed, self-indulgent, self-serving actions of the thoughtless beast owner who figured it was easier all around if I took care of his dog's business. Because really, obviously I have nothing else to do besides pick weeds and clean up after someone else's shitting machine.

I stood on the porch and seethed.

If only I'd seen who it was - if only there'd been some way to trace it - you can bet your ass that poo would have found it's way back to it's original owners. In flames.

But my only recourse was to pick the bag of poo out of my weed tub and drop it on the curb instead. I want the dog owner (who obviously passes by with some regularity) to see that their "gift" was not appreciated and that I did NOT throw it out for them.

I've had more than enough shit come my way. I don't need anyone else's, thank you very much.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A rose is a rose is a rose

This afternoon I went to the best nursery I could think of (where I also happen to have a $75 gift card) in search of Angel Face. It's a beautiful, ruffled, lavender rose with the most perfect name I can think of for a rose intended to go in my backyard.

I learned about it from a fellow mother in mourning who has it growing in her garden. Since I often think of her little boy and mine together - friends in heaven just as their mommies are on earth - it felt important for me to have it too.

Whatever gives you comfort, right? Right.

So I headed off in search of the rose with my Mom and Dad in tow.

It's a good nursery indeed - they had hundreds of beautiful roses - but Angel Face eluded me. Maybe it's not sold in Canada, or maybe it's rare and sells out fast. Whatever the case, it wasn't there.

But I didn't leave empty handed. I found New Dawn, a prolific climber with soft pink blooms that will light up the often dark and certainly dreary corner of the yard where I intend to plant it.

"New Dawn" seemed fitting. I don't know where my life is headed, but I know that I'm in a new phase - one without Thomas. One riddled with fears, sorrow, grief and regret, but still not without gentle beauty. Just like the delicately painted blossoms of my new rose.

And Thomas, well he's in a new phase too. We were all born into a new life when his ended so suddenly almost 14 months ago.

So New Dawn felt right and good. Poignant and sweet, sad and joyful.

My Dad helped me pick out a healthy specimen (since I've never planted a rose and don't have a clue how to tell a good one from one knocking on death's door) and I tucked it in the corner of the as yet unplanted vegetable garden to await transplant to its permanent home, hopefully in a week or so.

I was standing on the deck after dinner tonight, watching the tiny snippits of other lives through their open windows, when I looked at my rose. I could just see its faint outline in the glow of a nearby solar light.

I know it sounds corny, but my heart kind of swelled. My Dad picked it out with me, my Mom was so touched by its fitting name, and it's more life I can bring into my little world to nurture and tend.

It's just a rose. But it's the right rose.

And right is very, very, very good for me.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The rosary

Michelle's recent blog about orbs made me think about the night I lay awake talking to a rosary.

It's crazy inside my head sometimes. Truly, it is. But grasping at straws becomes second nature when you're so lonely for someone you miss so much.

I should clarify that I don't think Michelle is crazy. I know most orbs are probably dust or reflections, but I don't doubt that it's possible that some of them are glimpses of other worldly entities; of realms we will never fully understand until we become part of that other world.

But I do think it was probably crazy to be talking to a rosary.

My Beloved was asleep when I crawled into bed that night. I rolled onto my side to grab a book off my night table and saw the rosary that I have hanging from Thomas' framed hand and footprints swinging back and forth, all by itself.

It was a gift from my sister, the rosary. She brought it back from St. Patrick's Cathedral when she visited New York City last summer. The best place I could think for it to go (lest it get shoved to the back of my night table drawer with my other woefully unused rosaries) was hanging on the frame, and that's where it had been for months and months.

I'd never noticed it moving before. Ever. Not when the window was open, not when the heat from the heat register below the window was blowing - never. The thing just hung there quiet and motionless.

But I swear to God it was moving that night. That windless, winter night.

So of course I assumed it was Thomas trying to contact me. I was tired and sad and it was comforting to think he might be trying to reach me - to let me know that he was close.

I watched it for a long time, and then I started to talk to it - to Thomas through it. I whispered for it to stop swinging if it was him - and it slowed down almost to a halt before picking up speed and swinging again. I swear it - it did. It really did.

At least I think it did. At some point I'm pretty sure I drifted off (mumbling to the dangling rosary) and so I don't actually know what was real and what was a figment of my grief-stricken imagination.

I dozed, mumbled and watched the rosary until it finally occurred to me that what I was doing was truly walking the razor's edge, and at that point I shut my light off and went to sleep.

I admit that I'm probably just crazy. But the thing is, I haven't seen the rosary swinging since - not even on the windiest spring days. Not when the vent is blowing. Never.

But I know it was swinging that night. I don't know if it was Thomas, or God himself for that matter, but since I have no other explanation (and don't particularly want one anyway) I'm going to carry on thinking it was Thomas.

No one ever dreamed he'd die. It was inconceivable - not even remotely within the realm of possibility. But he did. So it doesn't seem that strange to me to think that maybe he can reach out to me when he wants to - when I need him too.

Anything's possible these days.

Monday, May 01, 2006

The daily numbers

36.48 - the number of degrees celsius I needed to finally get a coverline on my Fertility Friend chart
24.4 - the number of pounds I've lost since starting Weight Watchers in January
1 - the number of pieces of cake I ate to celebrate the previous fact
4 - the number of times I picked up and cuddled my nephew while visiting my in-laws tonight
1000 - the number of hours I could have spent playing with my nephew
1 - the number of newborn babies I had to coo over today
1 - the number of Academy Awards I should be given for being able to completely hide my agony when I coo over newborn babies
5 - the estimated number of hours it took us to compile our tax returns over the last week
1 - the number of arguments resulting from said tax compilation
1 - the number of OBs on staff in the hospital L&D at any given time
15,000,000 - the number of times we've ranted and raved about the previous fact
15,000,000 - the number of times we've ranted and raved about what the government owes us for the way it failed Thomas
0 - the amount we were allowed to claim for Thomas on our tax returns
0 - the amount of faith I have in government
0 - the amount of respect I have for politicians
0 - the amount of patience I have for empty promises
0 - the amount of energy I have for bullshit