There’s a community I used to belong to. A community that saved me on my worst days. A community I left with a protesting whimper.
Every once in a while I check in. I pop into the old reader and see what’s going on. Every time I see why I left. Every time I understand it was the right decision for me.
But I still check in. I see the debate. The infighting. The pain. The ongoing triumphs and tragedies.
And when I do, I get thrown back to the days I was a train wreck myself. I find myself being what made me so angry so long ago. A spectator.
So on nights like these, when I go through and click on links from the yearly list I stopped being a part of…
Nights like these are when I cry for my Nadav.
I cry for him and sneak into Bunny’s room, just to see that my little girl is breathing.
Then I pick myself up and realize that I am still glad I left.
I left because I have chosen to move on. This space is still my space, I am still a part of that club. But I choose not to be an active member.
I choose to forget the meaning of BLM and TTC and PCOS and TWW.
On nights like these, if Shmerson is up, I usually tell him I miss Nadav. Because on nights like these I do.
I read about a mother telling her four year old son again about the older brother he’ll never meet. And I wonder – will I tell my four year old daughter the same?
No. She is here and ever present. He was here and fleeting. He was and always will be a gap. An abstract. Something that could have been, that never was. Someone I loved more than anyone I loved before him. Until now.
Had he been there, my lovely amazing wonderful little girl would not be.
And she is here. And she is present. And messy. And scary. And wonderful.
No. I won’t tell.
There will be a day, when the time is right, when I will tell my little girl the reason her dad was the one who dropped her off at daycare every day.
The reason he talks to her teachers and not me. The reason I cry sometimes when I read her a story. And sometimes when I tickle her. And sometimes just when I look in her eyes.
The reason the paintings hanging on our walls are abstract.
That they are what he is to me. And abstract that hangs on the wall in my daily life. Often overlooked, sometimes lingered upon.
I will tell her one day. But she will no longer be my baby girl when she learns the reason her momma used to be a much sadder person.
I read about a mother about to lose her son at 19 weeks. I click to her home page and see she now has another on the way. I see how slowly she is embracing the physical. The present. The “what is” and not the “what should have been.” I am happy for her.
I read about a mother visiting her daughter’s grave. I wonder where my son is buried. I cry and cry and cry for him.
But then I stop. I look at my daughter sleeping. I pick up discarded pacifiers from the floor. I straighten her blanket and feel a sense of calm.
Loss broke me. Loss shattered everything i was. I am still picking up the pieces. I am rebuilding. Trying all at once to capture what once was and reconcile it with what is.
I am building up. Slowly. Slowly.
Building my career. Building my sense of self. Building my identity.
Nights like these I dive back into a world I lived in for years. A world I loved and hated. A world that saved me. But a world I am no longer a part of – at least not in the way I used to be.
A world I choose to stay away from because I am building bridges over gaps rather than staring at them.
I build and build. Sometimes the bridges fall. But mostly they stay up.
Nights like this a brick falls off of the bridge, into the big gap. The one that had to happen for us to be here. In the present.
Building bridges, building contentment.
Today I was folding laundry. Bunny can’t stay away from our bedroom when I fold laundry. She loves climbing on the bed, getting eaten by the tickle monster and bouncing up and down to the horsey song.
Shmerson and I look at each other and smile as she struggles to stand on the wobbly bed so she can bounce.
I look at him and say:
“You know another great thing about waiting another year or two? By then she’ll be in municipal preschool so we won’t have to pay for daycare twice.”
I start singing the horsey song and Bunny bounces until she falls back, giggling.
There is no gap when that laughter is heard. There is only her. Only us.
“Abba. Mama. Una. Yiyi.”
Shmerson, and me, and Luna and Lili. There is no gap when her voice fills the hallway, squealing those names gleefully.
“Abba. Mama. Una. Yiyi.”
I look up at his paintings. Wipe my nose. Long day tomorrow. Wonder what I’ll make Bunny for dinner.