Saturday, June 20, 2009

Much to think about

By the end of August my thoughts were full of four pressing and painful issues:

1. What to do about the neighbor Nancy.
2. The meaning of my father's passing.
3. Whether to try for another baby and risk more sorrow.
4. Money.

Money was the constant theme. How to survive, really. The economy was a mess: inflation was upwards toward 20% a year, more in some spheres. Taxes were up and up, as were groceries and gas. Everything but our income, which was not tied into the cost of living. We were slowly slipping into financial doom.

As for Nancy, I held a lot of affection for her in my heart. I thought she could be a neat friend. The strange things she had said and done were mysteries to me, and didn't stick well to her in my mind. I thought maybe it was all due to her husband, who was a strange character we seldom saw. He had set up a leather-working shop in the old carriage house, but when the kids were over there playing, they never saw him do anything but lie on the couch he'd moved in there. So as thoughts of Nancy went round and round in my mind, I alternated between feeling mystifed and loving. Very confusing. As for what I might do to ensure the better outcome, I had no idea.

My father's death caused me primarily to think more of my mother's welfare. She seemed happy enough, and in one way we were all relieved: she had much more freedom to come and go and visited us much more frequently, sleeping in our family room off the kitchen, where the kids loved to visit her. Of course she was not confined there but she carved out a little niche in that spare room and often had her knitting out and a cookie for the kids. So his loss was not ours, not in any immediate way.

But then there was the loss of my little ones. The tiny body I had held after my body ejected it caused a constant underlying ripple in my awareness still, after nearly a year, and that was just the first. I had wanted a large family, and somehow I was failing to fulfill that dream. I had failed to provide 9 months of nurture for these two eagerly awaited new members of our family while they built their little earthly homes deep inside of me, and it all seemed so wrong. The emptiness was filled with the doctor's ringing voice: you will never bear another child.

But I didn't feel that way. I really felt I could bring a new baby into the world, as I had 3 times before.

I was still in the 6 months of rest that doctor's partner had recommended before I should try again, that tumultuous late August, so I didn't need to make any decisions. But it weighed on me like poverty and loneliness and death.

So my mind was filled with much to think about, and my heart stood on the precipice of deep pain. There was nothing to do but keep doing, and loving those whose care I had successfully found myself entrusted with. Time would do something with all this...


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