Saturday, June 29, 2002

Sleeping with the Angels

"Some flowers they never bloom,
and some flowers they just bloom dead."
--Jakob Dylan/the Wallflowers

You will recall a couple of days ago when I posted the email from Steve. To refresh memory, Ryan was born on June 16 and three days later stopped breathing.

He died Wednesday after so much effort. He made it all of ten days, following CPR, hospitalization and surgeries to help him.

The funeral is out in the Pittsburgh area, where Steve & Vicky live. My in-laws called last night to let us know they'd seen the obituary in the paper.

I feel so far away ... we haven't seen them in nine years, but kept in contact through holidays. He is a friend of Doug's, but like with all friends of my spouse I make friends with them easily and feel closer than I really should... I barely know these folks, but feel like I have known them my whole life, like Smitty or CJK. I am not so attached and glomming on them that I would jump in the car and rush out to be with, they've got a close core of college friends that they are tight with... so I know they're inundated, cushioned, hugged, loved.

And there is no way on earth I'd be picking up the phone right now to ask "what the hell happened?" But I would like to know the cause... were they able to figure it out? Was there a heart defect? SIDS? Anything? Anyone?

It isn't easy for me thinking about this. I miscarried a baby once, and that was heart wrenching enough. Imagining what it must be like to have held a healthy looking lovely baby boy, only to have him suddenly die on me. I can't even begin to fathom.

I know a lot of people who are pregnant right now... some due in a month or two, others not until winter or right after the new year. All I can say is, I look at them differently, with a little more fear. I feel like I did five years ago when Sheri and Steve lost their baby to HLHS, and there is this hopeless and empty feeling in the base of my stomach that makes me want to crawl back in bed and just sleep.

Children's hospital in Pittsburgh has set up a memorial fund for him. We contributed to the American Heart Association when Sheri's boy passed, and we'll be making another contribution for another friend here now.

And in all this, I look at my son. He is a pain in the ass, a live wire. A freak. A tornado in a trailer park. He exhausts me. He frustrates me. But I have him here to do just that. I have the best ten year old girl in history. I am the luckiest mom around.

I am more aware of my blessings and the responsibility of them.

Overwhelmed by the sense of them, the fact of them. I feel amazed that Geoff made it through being premature, and all the possibilities involved there for what his life would have been like if he'd been born November 22, 1996 instead of his birthday. I'm just so sad and so lucky all at the same time. I am shamed that when I was pregnant with Jessie it never ever crossed my mind that something like this could/would happen to me. I sailed through, had a baby, nonchalant, with ease. I got mad at her when she cried at night. It never dawned on me that she might stop crying, or sleep through a morning with me lounging in my new mother role saying 'hurrah, she's quiet, I can sleep in.'

We are on a geocache hold for today. Jessie is at a pool party, Geoff is spraying the hose. Doug is working on a list of stuff we need to secure for our trip to Maine. That's about it for today. Can't think of anything else to write

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