Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Bye, Bye Baby
I turn to see this soft speaking, young woman. My first thought is that I don't know her. I have no recollection of ever meeting her. Even if I take into account her clever disguise of little packets of silvery tin, layered with wisps of long, brown hair standing all over her head, plastic protective cape topped by a salon hair dryer, I still don't recognize her. Her Hershey Kiss colored eyes stare back at me awaiting my response. Lord, what am I going to say? I don't have one. I go to the well.
"Hi. How are you. I haven't seen you for a long time," I say. My neurons are rifling through the files in my brain, hopping dendrites, attempting to make connections to a memory.
"I'm back to work," she says.
"Well good for you. How is it going for you?" Keep the general responses coming, I think to myself, until you figure out her name. I'm starting to think I really don't know this girl when she sets me straight.
"It is going okay. I've seen B, but not J or T. "
At this point, I know I am stuck. She knows too much about me for me not to know her.
"L is going to rent our house," she says as she points to the obviously happy hair stylist attending her. "I just can't stay in that house any longer. Not since what happened to M. I just can't," she says as tears overspill the rims of her eyes and run down her cheeks and down her protective cape.
And the dendrites and neurons connect and hit a grand slam, outta the park homer in my brain as the memory of the story I heard about this girl shatters the light in my heart.
"Oh, M," I say. "I hardly recognized you. You look like a little girl." And, indeed, she does look small and dwarfed by her surroundings. Right now she looks like a 15-year-old rather than the 25-year-old she used to portray.
"I know," she says. "I don't wear make up any more and I let my hair go back to its natural dark brown instead of keeping it blond. You know, the autopsy showed that there was nothing wrong with him. The doctor said that with SIDS, his brain didn't fire right and he just forgot to breathe. D got us one of those really good infant monitors. I could even hear when he rolled over or wiggled. But I knew something was wrong when he went longer than two hours for his next feeding."
I asked, "Were you the one to find him?"
"Yes, and I knew. I knew right away that he was dead. The room. The room was cold and dark. No life in there. It is funny how it feels so different when life is gone. We tried for three years to make him and we only got to have him for one month and 20 days. I was never supposed to be able to get pregnant in the first place. And now...he's gone. It's just not fair. Pray for us," says the small, foil covered head with the pale, tear stained face, "Pray for us."
Not even bothering to wipe the tears rolling down my face in tandem with hers, I say, "I will, honey. I will," as I walk away.
There are people in life who do harmful things to other people. Not killing or maiming, but being party to acts that are less than honorable and to the detriment of other's lives and careers. This girl is one. Oh, not my life directly, but the lives of ones close to me. I could go into how karma, or right action, balances our deeds. Or how each soul chooses life on this plane to fulfill its own purpose, but I won't. I'll simply do as she asks and pray and ask forgiveness for all people who were a part of this story.
Forgiveness is as much for the healing of our own heart and soul as it is for the ones who wronged us.