Archive for March, 2010


The Ides of March arrived, and with them comes the baggage of the past for me.  March 15 marks the first indication that something horrible was happening.  It was a prelimary diagnosis, but the doctor wasn’t confirming anything until more tests.

Last year, as I was approaching the 1 year mark, someone asked me about the dates.   While April 6 is the end date, the days leading up to it are just as fraught with memories.  In the middle of it all is the joy of Hadley’s birth, so the time is bittersweet. 

I wrote a comment on another’s blog today.  This family has suffered a tremendous loss and are approaching the one year mark.  What I wrote…it’s something I’d like someone to say to me.  It’s the kind of support I need.  Not the kind that looks away when I break down and then quickly changes the subject.  The kind that asks if I want to talk about Jim and the pain.  It may not be always as searingly painful as it was, but there are still days that it is.  Days when I miss absolutely everything about Jim, but most especially having someone to have those silly conversations with at the end of the day.

So if I were to post a comment to my own writings, today it would say: I will hold your hand while you cry.  I will cry with you.  And when you’re ready to stand, I will be there to help you up.


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Shadows and Light

I’m guessing that many people feel that they are walking through shadows and light, sadness and happiness, at different points along their journey.  In the first days, months, year after Jim was gone, I feel like I spent most of my time in the shadow.  I could barely see where the shadow ended, let alone manage to walk outside its edge.  My little light was tiny, but she was a strong light.  Always within sight, always keeping me moving forward. 

It’s funny to think that a 7 lb and some change being could do so much, but I think Hadley is what kept me in some kind of functioning state.  Maybe I moved because I had this little life depending on me; maybe I moved because I had no other choice.  This little daughter of ours, she did more than she will probably ever understand to pull my soul back together.

It’s difficult to find light in anything that happened, but there is some there if I look hard enough.  Jim didn’t get sick until we were near Hadley’s due date.  He managed to get out of the first hospital, which gave us the chance to get him in the hospital where I was going to deliver.  He didn’t die on her birthday, even though the emergency surgery to stop the bleeding in his stomach only gave him a 50/50 chance.  He didn’t suffer a long illness and this was all during my maternity leave, so I was free to focus on getting through it without worrying about not getting a pay check for days I was missing.  And in a way, if he had to go I think it was better that it was quick.  One because he would have HATED being an invalid and two because it was like ripping a bandaid off for me.  I barely had time to start worrying about how much time we had left, because then he was gone.

There are still a lot of shadows for me.  But my light?  She’s getting stronger and brighter with every passing day.  And the lights of my family add to the glow.  My parents who put their lives on hold in order to help me with Hadley; my sister Alyson who flew in on short notice to be in the delivery room with me and who got answers and information for me when I couldn’t be Jim’s advocate; my brothers Andrew and Rob who replaced our fence and finished it on Jim’s last day because they knew he wouldn’t be able to let go until he knew I had that taken care of; my brother who got here for the funeral and gave his gift of cooking, which paid homage to Jim even if Graham didn’t realize it.  Without each of these beacons, my path would have been even more full of stumbles and falls.

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