Saturday, September 15, 2012

All these places had their moments With lovers and friends I still can recall Some are dead and some are living In my life I've loved them all...

One of my all time favorite songs, and sums up how I am feeling today. September brings such bittersweetness with it. As Grace'a birthday approaches, I can't help but relive the wonderful days leading up to it. Sam had just started pre-school at Gordon, and my midwife thought the baby was coming earlier than expected (my due date was October 1), so I explained to his teacher that I might disappear soon to have my baby girl. Her eyes popped. "You're pregnant?!" she said. "Nine months," I told her. Grace was only 6 pounds, three ounces. Such a calm and beautiful baby.

We went to a fundraiser at Slater Mill and I sipped my first glass of wine in months, with midwife's blessing. I remember the blousey black dress I wore, the cool September air, how happy I was. Grace was just days away.

The night before I went into labor, I ate pasta with pesto because my midwife said pesto helped bring on labor. I woke early with the first signs. Lorne was off to a meeting in Boston, so Sam and I stayed in bed together talking about his new baby sister coming, me with one eye on the clock as I timed my pains. Soon enough, I called my father who came and brought Sam to school, then took me for a midwife visit. She told me the baby would be born that night and I should go home and eat to build up my strength. My father made me my favorite beef stew and I ate it up. Lorne arrived back home and the pains were coming fast and furious. While he loaded the car, I lay on the floor of our foyer, which is where our new nanny found me. She'd been with us about three days! We got to the hospital around 4, and Grace was born at 6:40 PM.

There have been moments these past few days when I miss her with such intensity that I actually double over.

My family has had such a big loss this year with the death of Auntie Dora in a car accident. And then my mother's best friend died just a few weeks ago. Maybe this is why this year feels especially sad, and makes me think of other people I've lost, like my friends Barbara and Karla.

But also people I've lost over misunderstandings or bad behavior. This morning I almost emailed an old friend who is the only person who would enjoy a funny thing that happened to me. A few years ago we had a falling out and although I hear about him from time to time, and have even glimpsed him, I stay away. Today I thought: why not? and looked up his email address. But I chickened out. And I reminded myself WHY we're not friends anymore. Do I really want to open that door? Yet I am in such a sentimental weepy mood, that I want to reconnect with everyone I've loved, let bygones be bygones, and have them back in my life.

Maybe we should all email an old friend we've lost today...

As I often do when sadness takes hold of me, I read poetry. Today I found comfort in Ruth Stone and Yeats, and this by Emily Dickinson:

I measure every Grief I meet (561)

by Emily Dickinson

I measure every Grief I meet
With narrow, probing, eyes – 
I wonder if It weighs like Mine – 
Or has an Easier size.

I wonder if They bore it long – 
Or did it just begin – 
I could not tell the Date of Mine – 
It feels so old a pain – 

I wonder if it hurts to live – 
And if They have to try – 
And whether – could They choose between – 
It would not be – to die – 

I note that Some – gone patient long – 
At length, renew their smile –  
An imitation of a Light
That has so little Oil – 

I wonder if when Years have piled –  
Some Thousands – on the Harm –  
That hurt them early – such a lapse
Could give them any Balm –  

Or would they go on aching still
Through Centuries of Nerve – 
Enlightened to a larger Pain –  
In Contrast with the Love –