It's been a month today that my life changed forever. I still can not believe it. One month.
Today Dominic had his swim lesson, I had not been back to swim since this all happened. The swim school was closed for two weeks, and I could not bear to go the first week back. The thought of the employees and swim mom's questions of "did you have the baby?" while they looked at where my belly once was. The thought of it was too overwhelming to even think about. And then the thought of their faces as I told them what happened was even worse. To me, worse than speaking about it is seeing the look on other people's faces. The look of desperation and pity. They desperately search for the "right" thing to say, and even though no one ever says it, they pity me, and my situation. I hate that, pity that is. Why should I be pitied? Everyone has their own story and their own crosses to bare. Some will say I don't pity you, I just feel bad for you. Well, I have looked up the definition of pity and it is: sympathetic sorrow for ones suffering, distressed or unhappy. So, yes you are pitying me. And to be completely honest, I don't blame you. I would pity you if you were in my situation. I suppose I just don't want to impose my sorrows on anyone else. Why should others have to suffer, isn't my suffering enough?
The other thing I don't like about these situations, situations where someone might pity me is the feeling of pity is usually accompanied with someone's wish they could take it back or make it better somehow. Well, the other thing I have a hard time understanding, even though that is a well intended sentiment, is why. Why would you take it away from me, make it all better, or shield me from this pain? Trust me, in way I don't mean for it to come off as if I wanted my daughter to die. What I am saying is, I am who I am. I am who I am because of all of the experiences in my life, both good and bad. And the one thing I do know is I like myself. 'Bad' stuff has happened to me before, nothing like this of course. And those of you who know me, know that there has been some 'bad' stuff. But, I survived, I lived and I learned. The lessons I have learned have made me into who I am today, and for that I hold no regrets. The cliche "that, that doesn't kill us, makes us stronger" comes to mind. And the Bible's promise that God "won't give you more than you can handle". And as much as I hate to hear these things, isn't it the truth!
The truth is, as much as this hurts, as terrible as it is, it is MINE. She was mine and always will be. Please don't take that away from me, please don't undo it. I HATE that she is not alive. Absolutely hate it! But at least I had her for the 33 weeks that I did. At least I have a daughter. My heart will never be the same again. I assume over time it will mend and a scar will be left in the place of this now open wound. That scar will be my memory. As in a song by the Goo Goo Dolls, "scars are souvenirs you'll never lose". It is my pain and the scar on my heart that will make up the new me. I can only hope that it is a new me I like as much as the old me. I hope it is a more understanding and compassionate me. And my prayer to God, as it always has been in the past when I have experienced tough times is, "I will gladly take this cross to bear, if me bearing it means I can help even just one person in the world get though a similar situation, my pain will be worth it". That is my hope and prayer. I hope and pray Gabriella will not have lived and died in vain. It is up to me, as her mother to make sure that doesn't happen. She is gone, but I still have a responsibility as a mother to make her life have meaning. I raise my son with the same hope, that I raise him well enough so that he will live a life with meaning. Isn't that every mother's goal?
So as I entered the swim facility, I have to say, isn't as bad as I had thought it would be. It was quiet there no one around, only the receptionist. She didn't mention anything, and I thought 'she must know'. She did. As my mother took Dominic in the back to get him ready, the receptionist gently said, I am sorry for your loss. She apparently found out from a 'swim' friend of mine. I thought, what a load off. The rest of the hour went as any other week. When other employees started to arrive, I notice them quietly talking and maybe even whispering. I, of course, thought it was about me... maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. I couldn't be bothered. I just knew that my son had a life to return to. I sat and watched the rest of his lesson. He swam, and swam, and I watched, so happy no other mom's I knew were there. I started to think, just keep swimming, just keep swimming. The tune from 'Finding Nemo' popped into my head, "just keep swimming, just keep swimming, that what we do we swim, swim, swim...". I realized that is what I am doing, I just keep swimming. It is baby steps everyday.
Today on the month, another month toward the rest of my life without her. I'm still counting and still haven't figured out why. One day I will figure it out, but not today. Today I just will remember my little angel as a blessing in my life and I will drink a toast to her spirit. Gabriella my love, rest well and rest in peace, Mommy loves you.