Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I was just thrown off by you today. It happened at the end of the day, too--right when I was getting ready for bed. I hope sleep still comes.

Really, though, it wasn't you, it was a family member of yours. He showed up in your daughter's life through the wonder that is Facebook. I'm not sure when that "add" happened, but it showed up via a comment on her status tonight, and I was sent reeling.

Because what do you do when someone pops back into your life, however tenuous the connection? You creep. You do the Facebook creep. You see their recent statuses, and pictures they have on their page (depending on their privacy settings, of course). But it's not enough. You wonder "Do you remember me? It was so long ago. My name is different now. We hardly saw you even then. Have you changed? Do you have the same problems you did then? The same interests? Are you happy? Is your life the way you want it to be?" Maybe these thoughts don't fully form, but when we do the Facebook creep, this is the information we seek. Of course every situation is different, but the last 5 questions pretty much always apply.

So in doing the Facebook creep, I'm reminded of other connections. Connections to a family I haven't had in years (which unfortunately reminds me of all the others as well). To a life I haven't had in years. To that place in time, where you were here, and we could see you if we wanted to. Talk to you if we wanted to. Maybe we wouldn't have, but the option was still available to us. It hasn't been for almost 14 years now. What would your own Facebook page look like today, I wonder?

I was going to wait to bring this up, but I'm feeling the push to do it now. It would have made for a helluva post in a few more months, but I think I'm wrong about that and it was meant to happen now.

My daughter was born on the 13th anniversary of your death. When I went in to my regular checkup two days before and they decided to test for pre-eclampsia, I knew I'd be having her on that anniversary. It was just right. I made all the proper noises ("I'm sure everything's fine, blah blah blah") but I knew what was meant to happen and I began mentally preparing for it. Still, I cried walking out of my followup appointment two days later on the 9th, because they told me I needed to go to the hospital to be induced immediately. I didn't cry out of fear, or sadness, or worry. I cried because finally something good would come of that day. The anniversary of your death would now be shared with the celebration of my daughter's birth. What has been a bad day since 1999 is now a happy, if slightly bittersweet, day.

And I mean it when I say it has been a bad day since then. Not every year, but most years since I have been in a funk around that time. Of course that's natural around anniversaries of this sort. Sometimes specific, negative events occur on that day in particular, for no apparent reason. That day in 2010 sparked a chain of events that led to me leaving a job that I loved, and ending up in a job that I don't even know how to describe on the love/hate scale. But I know that I felt unfulfilled, and like I was opting out of making an effort. I felt like I was giving up a little (a lot) on life.

Then on that day last year, November 9 2012, I gave birth to a wonderful, perfect little girl. She is my life. I wish you could meet her. Maybe it would take you back to when your own wonderful, perfect little girl was born, a bright spot in your own life (and ours as well). But maybe this was your way of saying you're still influencing our universe a little, that you're paying attention. I don't believe in any god, but I do believe in energy. I believe in love. I believe you had a hand in making that day into a positive experience for me, for our family. We have a physical reminder that yes, there is sadness and loss in our lives, but there is also life, and beauty, and love, and hope. They all thrive in the same dark places.

I don't figure tonight's "event" will lead to any sort of reconnection beyond a shared acknowledgement of a Facebook status. Was I wrong to not push? To not say "Hey, long time no see!" in a way that acknowledges a shared past? I wouldn't turn down an outreach, but I'm not ready to do the reaching out myself.  Maybe we both just think "Nah, they don't remember."

But I do remember. And it all comes crashing back to me.    

1 comment :

  1. Love you, sweet niece. {{{hugs}}}