Someone I love once told me, “I can tell when you’re 99% all right.” When I looked at her in confusion, she said, “I mean that even being only 1% not all right is obvious to me – you wear it on your sleeve.” I never forgot that. Not everyone feels that way about me. Like in my soon to be published birth story, you’ll find that when I smiled politely and softly asked my labor nurse for an epidural, she looked at me like I had two heads and said, “Well! I’d never believe you really need one if you ask me like that.” But. I did need one, or at least want one. I always keep my polite demeanor whenever possible. Nice girls have to keep their manners even while (it feels like) an alien is trying to rip out of their abdomens, right? Well…sometimes.
It’s hard for me to say I’m in trouble, in pain, in sickness. I do it when it absolutely needs to be done, and honestly, in the epidural example, I wasn’t at crisis point. I hadn’t reached rock bottom. Truth is – I’d do it all again. It was just physical pain. The emotional pain thing is much harder and is always a work in progress.
I’ve always tried to be open, honest, and genuine in this blog. I’m pretty sure I’ve nailed it nearly all of the time. This is my place to do so. This is my space to have no walls. What would be the point of hiding? Even if no one is reading my blog, which I know isn’t true, it’s enough for me to declare outlandish, eccentric and just plain sad stories here. As long as you’re getting the real me, I have very little to hide. In fact, I only ever not talk about things out of respect for others.
So what’s my point?
Today, I was going to publish a photo essay about making cookies with Scarlet. As if that was the topmost thing on my mind, the most important thing I could tell you. And it isn’t. So I scratched it.
Here’s the real deal. My cousin passed away on Christmas Eve. I didn’t find out until the 27th. She was 21. She was somebody’s baby. I have a baby. And if you don’t, you can probably, nearly imagine what it’s like to have a baby. Even at 21, they’re always your baby. Her death was…unexpected and expected all at the same time. She’s been sick since she was very young. She fought very hard for over two decades and she lived longer than normal for her condition. And some may say her family actually lost her 20 years ago, but no, I don’t believe that. She was here. Now she’s not. There’s a hole in the lives of everyone who knew her. I never got to know her the way I wanted to. I never knew if she heard me when I spoke to her. I never knew if she understood. Anything. I will always believe that maybe her understanding of life and people was as good as ours or even better, and the joke was on us. Maybe she sat and lay motionless while secretly laughing at our silly, complex lives. I hope she did. I hope she’s at peace now.
I tell you this because it’s the truth. I tell you this to ask you to hold her parents and her brother in your heart. Think of her, think of them. Wish them peace. Are our children ever really ours if they can slip through our hands so easily?