Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Mama Says: Grace

This post is in response to the theme of the week, over at Mama Says Om, a collective blog I enjoy reading and hope to participate in occasionally. Each week they pick a theme and ask Mamas who "blog" to explore that theme in writing, art, photography, or whatever medium moves them. This week's theme is "grace".


There, but for the grace of God, go I.

I wrote a little while ago about a blog I ran across called sweet/salty. It’s the writings of a woman like me, who has a wonderful husband, and a sweet young son. When she tried for a second child (hoping for a girl), she was shocked, like me, to find herself pregnant with twin sons.

She wrote posts about cravings, and the excitement of the pregnancy, coming to terms with more boys. Things I could relate to. Things I went through.

Then our lives diverged. I could no longer relate, or even imagine what she must be going through. Her sons came too early. My sons, too, came early. Her sons came on the cusp of the ability to survive outside of their mother.

My sons spent three weeks in the hospital, in an isolette. Her sons will spend months. My sons were tiny at four pounds. Her sons are half that. My sons needed oxygen for a few hours and a feeding tube for a few weeks. Her sons have had brain hemorrhages and heart surgery.

She writes that she is swamped in darkness and guilt, yet has moments of humor that make me laugh out loud. Her strength in the face of this is astounding, and her stumbles are heartbreaking. She gets angry, she feels responsible at times, she still sees the humor in things around her, she takes joy in watching her healthy son be himself, she breaks down, she gets back up and she just goes on. And she is able to express it all, in writing, with such grace.

Grace I do not think I could muster. And it could so easily have been me.

My sons. My life.

I look at my life and get angry at some of the things I have lost. Freedom to have a long talk with my husband, to spend time alone, to give each child all the cuddles and touching they need. Because there are two, we can’t afford the babysitting costs, and are constantly stressed and tired. Because there are two my husband and I have lost some kind of connection… not lost it completely, but its buried under the toys, and the dirty clothes and the diapers and the food on the floor. Because there are two, my oldest often gets pushed aside, told to wait, told no, told I can’t right now. Because there are two, there is always desperation and noise.

But there are no crutches. No wheelchairs, no monitors, no tubes, no shots, no guilt, no wondering “what if”, no mourning for what could have been.

I want to write to her sometimes, to give support, to say I am like you. To say I understand. But I could never understand. I am not like her.

I am lucky. I am blessed with health for myself and my family. I can only lurk, and read her words. And admonish myself when I begin to think that it’s all too hard. Too much.

I read her words, and turn from the computer and see my life differently. She gives me strength. She has gifted me with grace.


Shannon said...

beautifully true.

Snowbird said...

Perhaps there is a reason why you stumbled on this blog. It gives you strength when you need it and a reason to count your blessings. We are all very lucky and blessed that Ethan and Luka were born healthy and whole. Of course you have your down times. We all do. It's natural. But then you can step back and look at 3 healthy, happy boys and a wonderful husband and gather what you need to go on for a little while longer.

Karen C. said...

I don't feel like writing a whole blog post on it, but Liam died today. His brain was just too far gone.

Sad, but likely a blessing in the long run.

...counting my blessings.