It’s not you, it’s me. I’m sorry I’ve been away for so long. I’m sure you’ve been busy with plenty of other blogs to read, and lots of real-life stuff that has been demanding your attention, so you might not have even noticed that I’ve been absent lately. I wasn’t going to write about the reasons why, but I figure hey, it’s my blog, and I’m going to write if I need to.
Max and I set our wedding date. We’ll be married October 18, 2014. We picked a day that’s over a year away because we wanted to give my Canadian family and friends lots of time to prepare, plan, and get the best possible deal on flights. We wanted to give ourselves time to craft a wedding that reflects us, a wedding that is personal and special and one-of-a-kind. And, we wanted to give my sister time to recover from giving birth to my newest niece or nephew.
Because just before we left Canada, my sister and brother-in-law told Max and I that they were pregnant. We celebrated at the Cheesecake Factory in Seattle, sharing fried mac-n-cheese balls (give the pregnant lady what she wants!) and revelling in the thought of future holidays together: me and Max plus my sister, her hubby, and their brood. We told my parents a week later. My mom cried and my dad grinned a grin that spread ear to ear. We celebrated the beautiful new life that was beginning and celebrated the new family that was sprouting with my engagement to Max. It was such a special pleasure to be able to sit with my family and soak in the beauty of the love and life blossoming in our little clan.
She was due in February or early March 2014. We decided that October would be perfect, would give lots of time for recovery and for the newest little love to be able to handle a long plane ride and time in a new country. We planned, we prayed, we plotted special ways to welcome this baby into our lives, and we delighted in knowing that soon, our number would grow by one and our love would multiply by a million.
This week, my sister miscarried.
Just writing that sentence makes me tear up all over again.
She told me in a text message, saying that she was so sorry to break the news this way, but she was so sad. Too sad to talk. Too sad to email. My heart broke; the tears started. I left work and sat on the couch, checking my office email and “working from home”. Working, but feeling far from home.
I made the choice to move to Australia, and I love the life that I lead here.
But. The one woman who shares my genes, my big smile, and my love for The Muppets’ Christmas Carol was in pain and was so far away, and that just pierced my heart. She was grieving her unborn child, tucking away the hopes and dreams that she had cultivated for this tiny life, sorting through emotions and trying to manage a terrifying and traumatising physical experience…and I was just here. In another country, far far away, unable to hug her, unable to let her feel my physical presence. Unable to sit together silently, not speaking, but sharing the weight of an abundance of grief and love, and watch our tears mingle as we say goodbye to a child who, though not yet fully formed, embodied dreams and hopes that spun across a lifetime.
My sister is home from the hospital now, and healing in her own time. We’ve been able to email, and exchange some words, and she’s been keeping busy and distracted as much as possible. The doctor says that physically, she’ll recover quickly and likely without issue. The emotional side of things is its own beast.
I know that my sister is strong, and she’ll be ok. I love her, and I miss her, and she is amazing and so much more capable than me; so much better at dealing with crises and keeping her head straight. I just want to hold her and remind her that if she needs it, her younger, much weaker and less sensible sister would give every bit of effort and capability to ease even an ounce of the pain that she feels.