Saturday, November 7, 2009

Strength in numbers.

This morning Lily and I had brunch with my support group friends from Gilda's Club. There were two other babes there and I hope Lily will know them for years, as they will understand what it feels like to know a parent through love that is present in a different way. I don't want her to ever feel alone, or self conscious of growing up under unusual circumstance - undoubtedly she will at times but if she has a bond with other kids such as these, as I do with my support group, she'll know that she is understood, that there is a place for her among others who are similarly so very special. It is oddly amusing to imagine how we all look, gathered around a long table in a diner - to the passersby, the other diners, we look like a happy, colorful group of people - perhaps connected through work - at one dinner we had, the waiter asked what the occasion was. When one in our group laughingly said something to the effect of "the death of our spouses" luckily he was able to roll with it. But it is surreal to step back from the table and to take it all in. We joke, we laugh, we cry, we confide. It is the only group with whom I can truly feel comfortable socializing - and little do the people around us know, that we are all connected by the deepest sadness - immeasurable loss, longing, despair, and the daily struggles of trying to live as productive, hopeful people again. I can joke freely with them, our sense of humor is dark - and it feels OK to laugh with them. Because I know they know how I feel underneath the surface, I know they understand the ache, I know their minds are haunted with similar memories, I know their daily hurdles mirror mine. We have dreams, we don't have dreams, we get the continuous comments. Recently someone told me, again, I needed to "move on". Ugh. A friend trivialized a routine I share with my daughter as though it were as base as taking the trash out. Recently someone complimented one of my group friends on her idea to wear her and her husband's wedding rings around her neck on a chain. The woman commented, "I can never get my husband to wear his ring - that's such a great idea". You have to laugh. It's too awful to contemplate if you don't. This world is full of people who cannot think further than "what's for dinner tonight" so introspection or heightened sensitivity of any sort is hard to come by. But we all ride the waves, and see the world with a different pair of glasses these days.

It is interesting to watch Lily develop as she doesn't need the glasses. Her thoughts are pure, she is open and loving to all that is around her. She takes it all in with no judgement, just delighted curiosity. Yesterday she gave me a round wooden circle. And later she gave me her spoon. She is beginning to grasp the idea of sharing. She has found another way to communicate. Lily is rarely still, the changing pad might as well be a hot plate, I am now struggling to change diapers as she attempts to crawl across the dresser. She was thrilled to be in a highchair next to another baby this morning, they held hands, Lily grabbed at her as they spoke with squeals. Gentle isn't part of her vocabulary yet, but it is refreshing and beautiful to see unfettered emotion, rooted only in the feeling that something, or someone, makes you happy.

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