Monday, December 10, 2012

Georgia O'Keefe

I'm writing tonight because I've just done a bunch of Christmas cards, I drank too much caffeine after 4 pm, and I'm just plain happy.

For so long I've struggled to be "happy", to be calm, at peace, to feel comfortable in my own skin.

After Phoebe was born and I had to deal with surviving the tumultuous waves that crashed over me in the experience of being a survivor, I never thought I'd be able to feel whole again...or at least whole in the way I felt before hand.

Time can cure most ills...I suppose that adage is, well, an old adage because it is true. If you had told me 16 months ago that today I would be happily enjoying life with my little toddler, barely giving a thought to what happened the day she was born, I would most likely have 1. had a panic attack and then 3. broken down into tears.

"But I'm broken!" I would have told you... "and I'll never be whole again!"

I suppose I was partly right in saying those things. I was, for all intents and purposes, broken that day. I lost a part of me and I had to be ripped open and stitched up again...the first time for her to live independently outside of my body

and the second time, for me to be able to live and breathe and love within my own.

Without that surgery, and without that experience, I am realizing now, 16 months later, I wouldn't be the person I am. I wouldn't have the depth that I do, the calm, the lessened desire to have to be "right" or "have everyone love me" or "be the best mother or wife ever".

Somehow, I've realized, it's just been enough that I have existed...barrelled through the hard times, even when the hard times were me sitting at Sonic with a friend, pouring my heart out to her about my uterus and everything I felt I had failed at...and her, listening, nodding, sipping at a Cherry Limeade.

Another friend, on Phoebe's first birthday, brought Diet Coke and flowers.

I've surrounded myself more with these kinds of friends, the kinds of friends that could let me be, and breathe, in peace, and I've realized that this whole situation has allowed me to let go a little bit...to be good to myself, to realize that I am only one person and, EGADS! I don't have control of the universe and I'm silly to think I ever did.

In those first months, news of a successful birth or a happy pregnancy sent me over the edge. "Why didn't SHE have the problems I had?" I would think bitterly, crying into my pillow.

Lately, in the past few months or so, the thoughts silently lined themselves up like soldiers, behaving and pleasant. They would exit my brain and be thoughts like, "Oh, what a cute baby!" "I wonder what they named him!" "I am so glad to be done with that baby stage!"

and truly, I am. It's a sigh of relief to know that I never, ever have to encounter another ultrasound room again...another birth...at least of a baby, you know.

Because I am being birthed, in a new way, every day. and silly as you may think it is, imagining me coming out of a Georgia O'Keefe vaginal flower, (ok, I am laughing - the Nyquil is kicking in)...

just remember that God will deliver you, too.

It will take time, and you a part of you will always be quiet, and still, and retrospective...

but then that huge, other part of you will be wondering, and amazed, and so in love with a Creator who redeemed your story into, well, THIS...

this...

this watching that baby you never thought you'd see beyond those minutes in that frantic room as they tried to save you...

watching that baby grow, and grow, and grow into a gorgeous little toddler...

painting her toenails and watching her feel some of your good old Kansas driveway pavement under her dirty, pudgy little irresistible feet...

and you are so busy soaking up the moment that you can finally

and gloriously

leave the past behind.



5 comments:

lucyLu said...

Sweet Rachel. Happy to read this..write more! I love your blog (especially your blog on nyquil)

Thoughts for the day said...

I am so proud of you, your journey has been long, hard and challenging and YOU are on the other side. So proud and happy and wish I could just give you a ((hug)). May God continue to heal you and give you a peace deep within your heart.

Jess said...

I'm so glad you are feeling peaceful and happy!

Jenny Bauer said...

Love this one my friend! Happy to hear you're in a good place :)

Mary said...

Redemption. Restoration. Regrowth. God's Christmas gifts to you, sweet niece!! Heart-warming post! Love you!