Monday, April 25, 2011

The Bucket

Let me preface this by saying, it may be one of my more confusing or unorganized posts. It's really just my chance to ramble about something that pisses me off, a year after the fact. I have purposely left out names, etc... because, at this point, calling the individuals in question to task would be pointless. I'm just sayin...

I remember when my dear friend, Sonja, was getting married. I planned her Bachelorette party in Las Vegas and was set to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. We were both SO excited. 2 weeks before her Bachelorette, I had to call her and tell her I could not attend her party OR be in her wedding. I had just learned that I was pregnant with Libby and my doctor said NO travel for the 1st trimester since I had so much difficulty conceiving.

I recall crying on the phone as I broke the news to her because I was so disappointed and felt so guilty for "messing up" her plans. I bring this up only because I SO badly wanted to be there for her and could not. Circumstances beyond my control were preventing me from being there for one of my best friends on the biggest day of her life. I was heartbroken. Sometimes, we face extenuating circumstances which prevent us from being at a certain place at a certain time.

Our car breaks down en route and we are unexpectedly delayed. Our flight is cancelled due to mechanical failure or weather and we are at the mercy of the airline to get us where we need to be. A family emergency or sudden illness causes us to change our plans suddenly and without notice. All of these are totally reasonable excuses for not being somewhere important. Lately, I have been having a really hard time with those who just don't bother to make certain things a priority, like, I don't know, the death of a child and the subsequent events surrounding his loss.

It amazes me that some people have their heads so far up their asses they can't see what really matters. I am not saying that I think everything needs to be dropped and a National Day of Mourning declared because my son died, but it really saddens me to see how little effort some people made to be supportive when Adam and I needed help the most. Most people were amazing. What can I do? When can I be there? How can I help? Honestly, were it not for Adam's cousins, Boe may not even have had a service. That's how lost we were. We were pleasantly surprised and so touched by who wanted to help us and to what lengths they were willing to go.

A dear friend of ours volunteered to keep Libby entertained during the service so we could focus on Boe, another friend bought the flowers for display on the altar. People with whom we had not touched base for quite some time were at the service to pay their respects, and it all meant so much. One of my favorite sayings is "I don't care how flat you make a pancake, it still has two sides." - Dr. Phil

Unfortunately, there were some people who were not as supportive as we would have hoped during this ordeal. I am happy to say that, OVERWHELMINGLY, we were able to count on almost anyone for anything in the days right after Boe's passing. But, the flip side of the pancake is the very few people who left us in our time of need. Almost a year later, I find myself so angry with these people; but I also feel sad for them. Sad, that they are so caught up in their own lives that they could not see clearly enough how shaken and broken Adam and I were. What happened on April 22 rocked us to the core and has, no doubt, forever changed who we are.

I am even more sad that Adam and I never had the nerve, for lack of a better term, to share with these individuals how disappointed we were by their inability to "show up" when we really needed them, even if only on the sidelines waiting for us to reach out. I feel as though I let Boe down by not speaking up on his behalf to let these people know that their absence (and very conscious choice to be absent) really sucked. As I mentioned before, it has been a year. Saying anything now will not change what is... they were not there. They must live with their decision and Adam and I (more I) need to find it in our hearts to move on.

My father said something to me during this time that has really stuck with me. It reminds me that what we have going on is often not as important or as necessary as we like to think it is. Sometimes, we need to drop what we are doing to be there for those who need us most. He said "Stick your arm in a bucket of water. If there is a hole there when you pull your arm out, you're needed in that bucket." I guess some folks just had their arm in the wrong bucket when Boe died.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dear Boe,

As I hit "publish post" it has been 1 year since you left us. That seems so hard to imagine. Your brothers, Adler and Cameron, are proof that time marches on, but doesn't it stand still too? Sometimes, it is almost as if I feel you and your brothers in my belly, squished and trying to find space. Often, I feel as though if I just close my eyes, you are there.

I find myself thinking of you often. I feel such guilt for not knowing that you were in trouble. I think back to my actions during the timeframe the doctor gave us for your passing and I realize I sensed NOTHING. How could I not know? How could I not tell you were struggling, in need, in distress? I am your mother, the one person who is supposed to protect and shield you from all harm; I let you down.

A year later, I thought I was "heeled". I could talk about you without crying, I could look at Adler without thinking, Boe would look just like that. I know now that I am wrong. I am not heeled. I miss you madly. I look at Adler and wish I had 2 of him in front of me. I cry more often than I think I ever have. The more time that passes, the more I realize that loved ones are like limbs, extensions of oursleves. Sure, if we lose one, we can learn to live without it, but the essence of it is always there. Just as an amputee can always "feel" the lost limb as though it's really there, I feel you too. Just like an amputee's "heeled" limb may tingle, a painful and cruel reminder of what was once there, my heart aches, reminding me that you are not here any longer.

I know when Libby looks in the corner of the room and says"birdy, brother", she is referring to you. Your identical brother, Adler, has a small birthmark on his chest, right over his heart. We call it his "Boe spot" so you will always be near. I know that you are a strong and heroic little boy. Had it not been for your death, we may not have Adler or Cameron here either, and we thank you for that precious gift.

Tomorrow, we celebrate the day of your birth. Having to say Hello and Goodbye at the same time was so hard and so unfair, but I know you are in heaven playing with friends. I want you to know that even though we will be celebrating Adler and Cameron tomorrow, we celebrate you too. You will be in our thoughts all day long and even beyond. I love you so much Baby Boe. Please know that even though my arms are empty, you fill my heart and soul everyday. Happy Birthday to you.



Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rosie Pope, my hero

I admit, I set my DVR to record the new Bravo series "Pregnant in Heels". It is the story of a New York based pregnancy concierge (whatever the hell that is) and her high maintenance, uppity society clients. I was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO ready to hate this show. I was ready to be disgusted by everything about it. I planned to watch it and then light up the Bravo message boards and blogs with contempt and disgust over these spoiled NY socialites who treat their pregnancies like a fashion statement and their children like accessories.

I so badly wanted to HATE this show, but I just can't. I think part of what helped was Rosie Pope herself. She spoke very openly about the fact that her son should not have been conceived or carried to term, as she discovered immediately after his birth that she has a heartshaped uterus. She has been undergoing IVF treatments and admitted that it is very difficult to throw herself "into the lion's den" on a daily basis. Also in her favor is the fact that she recognizes and candidly points out to the parents and audience that there is, quite often, such absurdity and self-involvement in their thinking. Somehow, by the end of the show both couples with whom she worked seemed to truly appreciate the blessing they had received.

The first episode was only a taste. It featured a couple who could not imagine having their modern, chic Tribeca loft lifestyle upended by a monstrosity like a baby. There was also the couple who felt highly enough of themselves to refer to the image people have of their family as a "brand". They needed Rosie's help to choose a name for their third child. Rosie never faltered and did not fail to put them in their place as needed. Somehow she did it in a way that made it seem like their change of heart was their idea, which I love. I am sure if I continue to watch, the mommas-to-be will only become more Divaesque; we shall see. For now, I'll rest easy knowing that Rosie Pope is bringing a little more gratitude and awareness to the blessed gift a baby truly is, one snobby, uppity, self-involved couple at a time.