Skip to main content

like his sisters

I sat on one of my favorite couches with one of my favorite people and looked at pictures.
A new mom showing off photos of her baby.
We compared noses and eyes and talked about who he favored most.
And it was normal and good.
Just another Tuesday with a friend.
A mom showing me pictures of her newborn.


Except hers was stillborn.
And he wasn’t just sleeping sweetly in these photos.
And somehow I looked.
I nodded.
I agreed.
And oohed and ahhed just like you do with most baby pictures.
Because you can’t help it.
I compared them to his sister’s newborn photos.
And it was normal and okay and good.
And he did look like his sister.
And have amazingly sweet blond hair.
And wrinkled little feet.
I wasn’t pretending or trying.
I meant it.
I wanted to see.

But later in the car.
It hit me.
And I shook with grief.
I had to pull over more than once and gather myself together enough to get home.
To stop crying long enough to see the road.
And when I tried to go to sleep that night.
And for many nights after those pictures haunted me.
Everytime I closed my eyes I saw him.
I saw greif.

But for a few moments on my friend’s couch,
I saw her son.
And his cute little nose.
And tiny fingers.
And he was beautiful.
And that is what I close my eyes and see now.







(participating in Momalom's 5 for 5...today's topic: pictures.

Comments

Sarah said…
You are a good, dear friend to have done that with her. To have looked at the pictures. To have oohed and aahed. I don't know that everyone could have done that. It was selfless and graceful.

What a lovely way to pay tribute to your friend, to yourself, and to that sweet, little boy.

Hugs.
Heather Caliri said…
I agree with Sarah. I have looked through the memories of a mom who lost her baby after a few days, and it is terrifying. And yet it honors that loss, that child.
I am inspired the love and strength that mother had ... has ... for her child. Not that it's there, but that she could find it in a moment that would swallow others whole. That you could be there with her and present in the strength, is a blessing.
Wow. This is so powerful. Thank you for making me feel. It feels good to feel. Really feel.
Adrienne said…
So much power here. Power in photos, power in your words. You found power to serve and grieve with your friend - so difficult. I'm inspired to remember that we can so often do more than we think we can...so brave and full of love to not pull back from this, but to be IN IT with her. This is very moving.
Justine said…
I'm at a loss for words. Holding it together like that until you're by yourself had to be tough.

I'm amazed at your strength, for being there for your friend, and for your support in what must have been a terrible time.
Stacia said…
Oh, my heart is broken. And also buoyed, by your strength and your friend's.
Kate said…
Powerful, frightening and wonderful.

I remember sitting with a new friend at her house and seeing two pictures on the mantle. But she has only one son, I thought. And as the story unfolded about her twins who struggled so to survive and how this one, our angel here, died. My breath caught. I looked away. I didn't know how to see. A few months later, after more time to know this strong lady, I could see. But it haunts me still - the love-grief, the joy-sorrow.

You have a gift for friendship, the deep and meaningful kind. It shows through so often here.
Rudri said…
Oh this post makes you sink into your friend's grief. What a way to honor his memory.
Melissa said…
So good of you to sit with her, and so brave of her to share her pain. I am sure he was a beautiful baby.
Margie said…
Oh, my goodness. I'm speechless.

Popular posts from this blog

preachers and parades.

Months ago, I sat in a pew and tried to not think about the fact that you could count on one hand the number of white congregants in the room.
And I was one of them.
 I did not want to draw attention to myself, but despite the fact that I have been to church most Sundays of my life, I had no idea what to do. When to sit, stand, pray or the lyrics to any of the songs. The rules here seemed so different than my own church, just a few miles away. Filled with people who mostly looked like me.
 A few elderly African American women were seated next to me and were kind enough to attempt to make me feel welcome and tell me what to do. At some point Eunice, in a bright purple dress, slid her arthritic hand on top of mine, squeezed and tugged me to the front to pray.
 I let her lead me, because I didn’t how else to respond, and because she seemed so genuinely glad that I was there, singing off key next to her.

 It was not lost on me, that my slight discomfort was one of choice and ended just …

The annual REAL Christmas letter

One of my favorite traditions for a decade has been to sit down and try to write a REAL Christmas letter.  Not just the highlights, but a few honest moments as well. It started as a joke with one of my friends, thinking how refreshing it be for people to share more than just their perfect lives that we are used to seeing on Facebook and Instagram. It would be way more truthful and a whole lot more entertaining. Last new year, I had a friend ask me to come up with a word for 2018. I joked that my word was just going to be “done”. I was partly kidding, partly serious. The year ahead seemed daunting rather than full of promise and resolutions.  I had so many things to finish in the upcoming year that I needed to be “done” with: my degree, my job and my thirties. A few weeks later, my friend showed up with one of those string bracelets with the metal word “done” hammered in the middle. I wore it often, especially in those home stretches. Not taking it off until I had my last chapter writte…

game day

“But I don’t want to go to soccer, I’m tired”
says the boy who has been running circles around the living room for the last hour.

“No, I don’t want to wear my jersey”
says the same boy that slept in his uniform just last week.

And so I do what any good mom would do, which is start bribing my kid.
I promise him ring pops or pizza or new toys for having a good attitude, listening to his coach and trying his best.
But those things are not quite enough to make him eagerly lace up his cleats.

Owen actually loves soccer practice.
And is one of the best dribblers on the teams.
And he loves kicking the ball around the living room and in the front yard.
But games days are hell.
Instead of being a proud momma on the sideline snapping pictures
I am usually trying not to cry.
Because Owen has realized that he isn’t really good at it.
That the other kids are bigger and faster and score more goals.

And today his team won. And they haven’t won many games.
And they cheered and lined up eagerly for patches and sna…