Sunday, May 10, 2015

Moving Forward While Standing Still

Mother's Day is hard.

After my miscarriage in 2006, I figured time would heal all wounds.  I spent a lot of time those first few months just existing.  I moved the TV into the bedroom, had my own mom bring my cat to Grand Rapids to live with me, actively ignored my fiancee sleeping on the couch with his own grief he wouldn't talk about, and went straight back to work and school the second my mandated bedrest recovery was over.  One foot in front of the other, I put on this great save face and moved on.  After the deep mourning period wore off, my fiancee and I realized it wasn't working - we weren't working - so I handed my gorgeous ring back and took off to Texas and then back home to Wayne.

I was moving forward, leaving the bad behind.

Nine years later, I'm still moving forward.  I have a job that I (most days) love.  I have friendships that answer my calls at 2am and don't question me showing up randomly when I just can't deal with the rest of the world.  I adore Detroit restaurant culture and the art scene and just being out and about and soaking it all in.

Mother's Day is hard.

There's lots of days throughout the year when I think, "Man, I wonder what having a nine year old would be like."  Mother's Day is an entirely different ball game.  It is the one single day out of the entire year when I feel like less of a person because no one even acknowledges that I'm a mother.  I carried a child inside of me for twelve weeks.  I loved that baby, planned for its future, picked out a pack-and-play and bought gender neutral onesies and slept with my hand on my stomach, hoping this thing inside of me could feel how much I cared about it.

I am a goddamn mother but there's no pomp and circumstance on Mother's Day for me.  I am taboo, nonexistent.  I am hailed as a caregiver, a role model, a fantastic friend to children around me -- kids of people I grew up with or ones that I met through some sort of programming.  I will never know their first words.  I will never see them take that first wobbly step.  I will never cuddle with them, reading a book, willing them to stay small enough to always sit on my lap.  This child, this enigma I'll never fully know, is gone.  I can't get that back.  I can't watch dance recital with so much pride I'll burst or bust their ass for not turning in their homework.  There are no arms-around-the-neck hugs or sleepy murmurs of "I love you."  I want to scream, "NOTICE ME!  Look at what I did!  I became a MOTHER!  I would give anything for that child to be here with me.  ANYTHING.  Do you hear me?  Do you see me?  I have lost so much and I am still grieving so hard because, at almost thirty and single, I don't think I will ever be a mother."

I don't scream.  I don't talk about it.  Instead I go to work for 65 hours a week and buy myself shiny, pretty, expensive things.  I have a closet filled to the brim with clothes and shoes and purses that I'll never use.  I have laughter filled days in homes filled with someone else's kids and lonely nights in a 495 sq ft apartment that feels too big.  I have tears and I have longing and I have doubt I'll ever be able to fill this hole in my heart.  I'm moving forward but I'm definitely standing still.

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