The other day I was tagged by Angie, over at Peas In My Pod. Now, I’m not very good about fulfilling my tag-ed duties. I should have a backup tagee, in case I am unable to perform my role as tagee. Just ask Linda. Or John. Heh heh. Love ya, guys.
But when I looked at this particular meme, I was surprised to realize that I actually had something to say about this exact week in my life, ten, five, and one year ago. Late September seems to be a fertile time for me.
Ten years ago
On September 24, 1995 Denver
September 24, 1995
Well, our power didn’t go out, the storm passed, and a few days later I slung him in the front carrier and walked to the neighborhood library. The weather had made one of those typical Colorado
As I walked through the streets to the library, I smiled and nodded hello to people as they worked in their yards, hauling broken branches to the curb. The overall mood was hopeful and industrious. I patted my baby’s warm curved back, and thought about what I’d read in the newspaper that morning.
A baby, AnnDee Jackson, born three months earlier. She was far too premature, no one expected her to live. But there she was, still hanging on and getting stronger every day. When I saw the picture of her overjoyed parents, grinning at the camera, I realized with a shock that I’d seen the father before.
The day after Tre was born, as my husband and I were waiting for our discharge papers, a huge bear of a man dressed in scrubs walked by our room. He glanced in the door, and seeing Tre in his bassinette, he veered off his path and over to peer down at our son. He asked us the standard new baby questions, when was he born, how much did he weigh.
“They’re getting my girlfriend ready for a C-section right now. The baby’s early [I don’t remember exactly how early, but I think she was 30 weeks along. Maybe 28]. Something’s wrong with the placenta, I don’t know. I just can’t wait to meet our little girl!”
And with that he turned on his heel and strode out the door. We watched him go, then I turned to my husband.
“Do you think he realizes what that baby’s up against?”
He shrugged helplessly, and we were silent.
But here was news of that baby. She was alive, and thriving. I strode along through a heartbreakingly beautiful fall day, face turned to the sunshine, thrilling to the weight of my perfect baby boy against my chest. Anything was possible. I was so in love with my son, my husband, my life.
Two months later, on THE DAY AnnDee was supposed to be discharged from the hospital, she contracted a blood infection that raged through her tiny body, chewing up her delicate organs. After a few weeks on life support, she died. I wept into my son’s neck, understanding for the first time the dark side of the desperate love of motherhood.
Five years ago
Five years ago this week, my Auntie Addie died. Addie wasn’t actually an aunt at all. She had no living relatives, but she’d come to be a part of our family. She’d moved here from California
“OH,” she sighed, “what a pretty little girl.” After a while I gave up correcting her. Max, who let hardly anyone other than me hold him, almost always relaxed in her arms and played with the beads around her neck, or fell asleep. I remember her, regal in a black dress, the front dotted with bright orange Goldfish crackers. She cooed to Max as he grabbed for the crackers, tucked them in his mouth, and regarded her seriously.
He was getting too big for that when she got sick. The night she died Mom was with her in the nursing home. That morning she came to our house to give us the news. I was making breakfast for the boys when Mom came to the front door. She gave me a look over the boys’ heads, and I nodded in understanding. Before she said anything Max (who was just over two), took Mom’s hand and stated matter-of-factly,
“I miss Auntie Addie.”
One year ago
One year ago I was taking calls from a gentleman. As often as I would give him permission, he would call me after the kids were in bed. I sat in my room, pressing the phone to my ear so hard it hurt, reluctantly letting him charm me. The first night he called we talked for three hours. The second night he called we talked for six hours. I listened to him very hard, cautious to shush my pounding heart. I told him the truth about myself, almost challengingly. No, I don’t have a job. No, I don’t want one. I was born to be a mother. Every night I expected him to realize what he was getting himself into.
Every night he called again anyhow.
Despite myself, I thawed. And eventually I even went out with him.
He still calls.
He still charms me.
Uh…yesterday. Yesterday…I…um…don’t seem to remember. We…went to buy dog food…hmmm. What DID we do yesterday?
I think it may have been somewhat unremarkable.
Ok, now I’m supposed to tell you all sorts of other things about myself, like my five favorite snacks and books and movies and the like. Unfortunately, I’m not that interesting, so rather than bore you, I’m skipping that part. Did I mention I’m terribly unreliable about these things? Yeah. It’s true. I’m also supposed to tag five people, but I want to hear everyone’s response. So if it catches your fancy, please consider yourself tagged. Let me know if you decide to play.