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Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Good Snotty Cry

Hi KuKd Strong Mommas and Inquisitive Guests! It's me again, your jaw-aching KuKd Momma.

I know I promised this wouldn't be another boo-hoo pregnancy loss blog. But allow me to indulge for a brief moment in sappy sentiment. Go ahead and pull up a chair, kids, put on your comfy slippers and grab a steaming mug of whiskey-spiked hot chocolate for the ride (is that a real drink, by the way? or did I make that up? should I patent it?)

Here goes: I had a Good, Snotty Cry today, the kind where I was wiping snot on the back of my hand (skin is not very absorbent of snot, for the record) and making loud sounds. Altogether unsexy, unbecoming, not at all in line with the Strong Momma persona I put forth on this blog. To be totally honest, I don't really do that so much anymore - only under special circumstances, such as the women's "healing retreat" I had the pleasure of attending last month (that's a whole 'nother story, so stay tuned!)

It had to do with writing a chapter in my book about calling my parents to tell them we were about to lose the baby. Such a simple detail I'd forgotten about, how it felt, how it hurt.

Dad said "hello?" in his relaxed way, and I could totally picture him standing there at the sunny kitchen counter in their big house in St. Louis, reading the paper and sipping Starbucks. Standing and not sitting, because of the nerve damage he's got in his groin from a bad bout of shingles. He never, ever complains about it unless you ask him directly how he's feeling, but my mom and brother and I know it causes him agony, and wish more than anything we could make it stop. My dad is such...a nice, beautiful person. Intelligent and soft-spoken and the best listener in the world. He doesn't deserve that kind of pain. He's hot, too - totally handsome with his dark hair (now turning silver) and Irish, angular face. He teachers folk dancing and all the ladies love him Pushing seventy, he was excited to be a first-time grandpa in just six short weeks, and until twenty minutes before this particular phone call, I was damned proud to be FINALLY doing something to distract him from the pain. Giving him a baby.

I know, how village farm-girl of me to think that way. But that's how I felt.

But I knew the bad-ass truth, and I was about to ruin his morning. When I said "Dad? Um, something's wrong with the baby" in a taut voice, about an octave higher than my normal tone, he covered up the receiver and called up the stairs, "JUDY! It's Monica! Pick up! TROUBLE!"

Instantly, I heard an audible click and my mom's voice. "Honey? What's wrong?"

Ahh, my mom. You have no idea how motherly she is, how nurturing, how perfectly awesome a grandma she would make. She's young at heart, fun and wacky, and so unbelievably caring, it almost hurts.
Once she picked up, I kind of babbled a bunch of stuff, can't remember what now. Like a kid who had just been beat up at school. I felt like a ten-year-old.

Anyway, there's more to the story, but that's the part that got me going. There's something about the hurt in their voices, steeped in shock and sadness, that makes me "feel" every time. My parents deserve a grandchild, and my hot-ass brother who has women flocking around him isn't going to help out with that (ARE YOU READING THIS, PAUL??), so it's kind of up to me.

Damn it!


Natalie said...

Thinking about that moment really makes me reel inside too... when I called my dad I just blurted it all out - like you said, like a 10 year old - and he was crying, I was crying, and boy it hurts to remember how it felt in that moment.

Firefly said...

Just got back from an Alaska cruise, where there was a comedian who gave examples of how humor helps us navigate loss, grief, pain. He said in a recent show he selected a tall man from the audience to ride a little tiny bike while he rode a huge one (he is very short), both honked and made weird noises with various horns. Must have been funnier than it sounds. Afterwards, the tall guy tracked the comedian down to thank him. This was the first time in 3 months that he had laughed or smiled; he had lost his baby boy. So keep up the Baltic biking, with your smile and your tear and your mug of beer. You're good for all of us!

Kristen said...

Damnit, why are you always so far away! Tell Kevin to give you a big big big hug for me.

Shaz said...

Mon, we have a lot in common, your feelings about giving your parents their first grandchild and your brothers situation is exactly the same as mine. It hurts me to hear how much my repeated miscarriages have hurt and damaged my mother and how unsure it has made my father, he never knows what to say around me anymore.
Hang in their Babe, those ugly cries are often part of the healing.

julian + jen said...

love you and hugs and kisses your way.