Thursday, September 3, 2009

We are everywhere

So, the first few days of school have been....well, good. If I were just looking at it from a job perspective, I would say great. When you mix in the life stuff, it goes down to just good.

Ok, I have to stop and say I feel so guilty about posting anything at ALL because I just start thinking about Mirne and Craig....but I will keep going because I guess that's all I know how to do!

Anyway, my classes are good. I have two 7th grade classes that had my long-term sub at the end of last year and have me now. The good part of this, is that they all absolutely swear that I am the greatest teacher ever and that they feel so lucky to have me now. The bad part of this is that since it was pretty much an emergency, the sub for me really wasn't a French teacher and so I have to start all over with them. In the scheme of life, this doesn't matter. Really. So, anyway, I'm having fun getting to know the 180 students I have at once!!!!

So, last night we had open house. This is a time when parents can come in with their children and meet their teachers, see their classrooms. I actually wasn't too worried about it. I was so tired and not looking forward to being at work from 7 am until 7 pm, but that was about it. I guess I wasn't really prepared for how it would affect me.

Parents with their kids. The pride they show on the faces. The smiles they get when you're speaking about them. That look. You know the look-the one they get when they look at their child, the love of their life. It gets me right down deep. Sophie and Aiden won't make it to middle school and that is something that I just find hard to believe. Part of me is still waiting for this to be a nightmare that I will wake up from. Part of me, I think, will always be waiting.

Then, I realized that WE are everywhere. Babylost mamas. We're hidden in places that you just don't know. A boy and his mom came in. He is a 7th grader, a boy that I should have had last spring but was out on my maternity leave. His mom came up to me and introduced herself. There was a language barrier; she was a native Spanish speaker. Typically, I only see 6th graders, new to the school, on open house. I told her that I enjoyed having her son in class and she nodded and smiled. We talked a little more, but it was clear that the language barrier was making it hard, there was a natural pause in the conversation and I thought she'd walk away-there were other parents waiting. She started to walk away and then she said, "How are you?" which I thought was kind of odd, because we had already been talking. I just looked at her and said, "I'm doing well, thank you." She and her son started to walk away and then he stopped. He said, "My mom wants to tell you she's sorry about your babies."
My pulse quickened and my mouth turned dry. I couldn't lose it now, not in front of all of these parents-I felt like they were all listening in.
She leaned close into me and whispered, with a thick accent, "I lost one, too. I had twins and one died. Every time I look at her I feel so bad that I can't see the other one. It hurts me bad. I'm so sorry for you."
I thought immediately of Catherine W and tears sprang to my eyes. I looked into this woman's eyes and I could see a little of ME.
She hugged me tight. And she left.

I don't know how to explain how this left me reeling. I don't know how to explain how this made me feel. Such utter sadness, way down deep. Such love for this woman I did not know. Such gratitude for her taking the time to talk to me. Such, such, such sadness.

I am making through this week, begrudgingly. I feel such resentment that I have to be there. I feel so tired. I feel like I don't have the time anymore to grieve. I feel like I'm just pretending, walking through life on autopilot. I'm having fun, but it's not the same. I guess I'm just getting by.


Kristy said...

A woman called from our church last night (to appologize for the other phone call we had - I think you read it on my blog), anyways...she said she knew what I was going through as she had lost a baby shortly after birth as well. It stopped me in my tracks. This 70-ish year old woman, her voice still cracked as she briefly spoke about this baby she lost a long time ago. It was sweet, yet sad. She has never forgotten about her baby (not that you think someone would), she still talks about her baby, she still remembers her baby, she still knows what the pain was like and she still knows the pain she received from others with their words of "support". Like you said, there are so many out there...yet when you are going through it, you feel so alone. You feel like no one knows your pain...then out of the blue you are shocked, but not in a bad way. I still have friends who say the wrong things or worse, nothing at all anymore. It just makes me more grateful for this community of us momma's who have lost our babies who can forge together in the good times and the bad. And it definitely helps me appreciate the random strangers who reach out with their experiences. I definitely didn't feel alone last night speaking with that woman. I hope you didn't either, you aren't alone and you never will be alone in this journey.

xo Kristy

Bree said...

Everyday I watch my students and think about Ella. Today, I worked in kindergarten and thought about how I'd never get to teach Ella how to write the alphabet or never see her play at the water table. How sweet of that mother to acknowledge your loss and to share her own story with you.

Nan & Mike said...

Tears - we have angels on earth. xo

Christy said...

You are right, there are a lot of US out there. I remember hearing about a baby loss before this and though I was sadened, I was never forced to really think about it and really empathize like I am now. We ARE forced. We can't NOT think about it this way. No I go back and think about that baby loss I barely even remembered hearing about and I think about her and wonder how she is doing, how her family is doing. i think it's wonderful she reached out to you. Because no matter how much people try to console, only if you've been through it, can you "reach" that person. Even if it is just a "look." Thanks for sharing.

Akul's mama said...

It is amazing how on the outside we can be the exact same as we were before we had our angel babies, but on the inside we are completely different people. I wonder how many people see that?

bir said...

I wonder if we will ever get used to these angels among us, the other babyloss mama's who walk this earth and who sometimes surprise us like this, just to remind us we're ok and we're not alone.
Love to you xx

Tina said...

I really understand this post. I am so distrcted at work, which I think is good in some ways, but then I resent it because it does not leave me time to grieve. That on top of my situation with my admin. really makes me angry at times.

I cried reading that the mom reched out to you. We had back to school night tonight too. I was talking to a previous parent afterwards and we cried together about my loss. It is so hard for people to say things and I really appreciate it when they do. xx

Catherine W said...

I'm so glad that the first few days back at school have been 'good.'I can't imagine how you cope with trying to hold the names of 180 students in your mind, let alone anything else about them. Like their ability to speak French. Teachers amaze me!

I know that I say it often and it is my blog header but I think I will always, always be waiting for my daughter to come back. Because I just can't believe that she won't. Strange really.

I'm glad that the mother you met said something about Sophie and Aiden. I'm so sorry to hear that she lost one of her twins too. We are everywhere, I wish we weren't. xo

Missing Kasey said...

I think for some reason it makes us feel a little better, we are not the only ones walking around with out our children. I have realized that I am not alone. I feel so alone, but there are many people out there have walked some of the same footsteps as we have. Much to my thinking everyone does not live a perfect life and mine is the only one in shambles.
I admire you for going back to the same school. Before I had Kasey we decided I would work for my parents so I could raise Kasey and not someone else, I couldn't imagine going back to work at the same school...I guess that's the part of me that is running away-not wanting to have to deal with people (teachers,parents) talking everyday. Having pitty upon me. I am sure it would be different, but I am not willing to try. I admire you.

Just Breathe said...

I realize how difficult it is for you but I also see that God hands
are working all around you.

Bluebird said...

What an amazing story; it brought tears to my eyes. I've read about other babyloss mamas who have been in situations, and it always amazes and comforts me. It makes me so, so sad. But it also comforts me.

Abby said...

I just found your blog. I lost my twin boys 9 months ago.. They were born at 24wks and Iwas lucky enough to have them for 12 days.. I still struggle to get through every day without them.. I too created a website for them

Your story made me cry.. The pictures of your bubs are beautiful.. Much love Abby

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your tough week, Christy. I hope the business kicks in and it gets easier. You're in my thoughts!

How sweet of your student's mom to make the effort to let you know she understood. The language barrier didn't stop you from sharing that grief together.