Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Maybe it's Just Me

As writers, I think we all have faced that unsolicited story advice. You know the kind--someone asks about your current work in progress and then proceeds to inject their own thoughts and ideas into the masterpiece you are creating.

Do people do that with painters? --meaning artists who paint, not house painters. :)

I'm not complaining, really, because bouncing ideas off my husband is a great way to get a story rolling. He's got a creative mind, and he has different perspectives than I do, so it works.

However, there's a time and a place for everything--as I'm about to explain. I want to share with you a moment so surreal it took almost a week for me to realize how odd it was.

Last week, I had an appt with an OB/GYN. This was the kind of appointment where the hubby takes time off work so he can be your moral support. The kind of appt where you stress and worry and try not to imagine every horrible possibility. The kind where you're seeing this dr because your regular dr needed the opinion of a specialist. (results are back--I'm fine, so no need to worry)

Let me set the scene for you. I'm essentially bare except for the silly gown they give women to cover up in for these types of exams. My feet are up in stirrups and I'm in "that" position as the doctor uses a piece of equipment that likely costs more than all the houses I've ever owned COMBINED to "get a closer look." My loving husband is sitting up by my head.

I say to him, "Talk to me about something. I need to be distracted."

So he asks me about the map I've asked him to draw for my new dystopian project. He needs some story details in order to flesh out the map in his mind. After exchanging a few sentences, who pipes up but the doctor.

Yes. The doctor who is currently examining the inside of me. Starts talking about what twists and concepts I should present in this post-apocalyptic world I have designed.

The assisting nurse quips, "You should co-write the book with the doc here."

Chuckle. Laugh. Be polite. DON'T kick him in the face.

I changed the subject. Got things back on task, so to speak. Left them some bookmarks and let them look up my books if they chose. And I've reconsidered talking books during doctor visits.

(just a disclaimer--I liked the dr overall. He's very competent and thorough, which is appreciated. Just--the moment was wrong. That's all. Strange and wrong. IMO)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


 October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month! Let's take some time to remember the babies who were born asleep, or whom we carried but never met, or those we have held but could not take home, or the ones who made it home, but didn't stay. Make this your profile status if you or someone you know has suffered the loss of a baby. Baby loss is still a taboo subject. Break the silence. In memory of all lost angels I'm sharing the story of meeting my own angel.

Ten years ago, I had three handsome sons and a beautiful little daughter. When Kylie was 9 months old, I found out I was pregnant again. The timing wasn't awesome. We weren't *trying* to get pregnant, and I was truly conflicted about having another baby at that time. In fact, I told my husband with a positive pregnancy test and a note. 
 I'm sure you can imagine the guilt I carried after losing her a few months later--because I had not welcomed the news of her existence with an open heart and mind. Had I somehow caused this miscarriage? It took years of processing and asking and praying before I began to understand. As difficult as losing her was, this was all by design. She had a short mission to fulfill, and the timing of that mission was to offer growth to me (and her daddy). As difficult as it was to know that she had grown a bit within me just to suddenly die, and that to be weeks before my body gave me clues of her passing, I understand now that this wasn't something I had done. 
 And then, unbidden, I had this experience:

A Precious Gift

Last night God gave me a gift most precious. I can't describe to you its worth, so I will tell you what happened.

I met my daughter.

Ten years ago July 17, I miscarried. Though we named her and treated her as part of our family, a part of me was unsure. Did I carry a spirit within me, or had my body just grown an empty vessel that had never belonged to anyone? (Even though I don't believe God does it that way, I still wondered)

But now I know.

Her image is already fading from my subconscious, but I'll describe her for you as best I can. She had long hair that was the lightest brown, almost blond. Her eyes were those of someone much older, much wiser, and I want to say they were blue.

Her favorite song was Tiffany's "Could've Been" and that's a bit more poignant than I want to dwell on right now.

In the dream, she was a child of about 8 or 9. In the dream, we had a special magic that we used once a year around Christmas to make an extra-special holiday for our family. It was the kind of magic that, if you told anyone about it, you would lose it. The woman we met through that magic knew my daughter. She spoke of her--her favorite places, her favorite things--and sparked a search. I wanted to find my daughter, to see her, to hold her--but I just kept missing her. I'd talk to people who had seen her.

But then, suddenly, she was right in front of me.

She crawled into my lap and let me hold her. And I was crying, just like I am right now. I knew in my heart this moment could not last. God had granted me a brief time with her. She knew it, too. That's when she asked me to sing for her. And I did, in my broken, emotion-choked voice.

I understand now, that while our time on earth was so brief, she's up there in Heaven waiting for me. She is a part of my family. She is a part of my eternal life.

And I can't wait to hold her again.