Tomorrow I go back to the doctor for my 6 week check up. Hopefully she will give me the "ok" to head back to work next week and to resume my life as I once knew it. I should be able to do physical activity again and lift things again and be an active member of society again. To celebrate, my BFF and I are going to head to the beach on Thursday and walk the boards and feel the sun on our faces and probably talk about our feelings till our mouths are dry! My mom is taking the day off on Friday so that we can spend it together - there will be lunch, shopping, hopefully some laughter - all the kinds of things I hope to do with my daughter some day.
Which leads me to my next thought - how do I plan for the next child when I so desperately want the one I just had? 6 weeks is long enough to go back to work and to take road trips, but it surely is not enough to mourn a child. But what is? 6 months? 6 years? 6 decades? I know it my heart that planning for the future is a good thing and that if Allie was here, she would want only the best for her mommy and daddy, but it's still so surreal to me that she is not here.
I spent a lot of this past weekend with family that was in from out of town and I was anxious at first as to how people would treat me and how I would react to them. I was very pleased that the time spent with my loved ones was happy - we talked about what Gary and I have been through these past few months and how much we loved our little girl. We talked about our journey and our plans for the future. Everyone seems so delighted that we are not giving up our dreams for a family. And we are happy to think about what the future holds for us, too. But I sure wish Allie was a part of that future. I still can't look at her memory box or go in the guest room (formerly known as her nursery) for more than a moment or two without feeling a longing in my soul. My arms feel light at a time when I thought they would be heavy from holding her.
For the first time since early April, I went to see my father yesterday. He is in a nursing home now as his health has rapidly declined over the past few years. He is unable to take care of himself any more and his memory is not what it used to be. He gets confused a lot and is not able to handle normal, run-of-the-mill things like eating or bathing. My dad used to be a very vibrant man. He always put himself first which did not make him an ideal parent, but it made him one heck of a character and a lot of fun to be around. When he paid attention to you, everything else fell away.
We have talked on the phone the past few weeks and my dad kept telling me that he did not know what to say to me. I assured him that it was ok - there is no right thing to say in this situation. And as I have said multiple times over the past few weeks, I do not want to live in a world where people know what to say to us. That would mean that far too many people have experienced a loss like that and I could not bear that.
During our visit yesterday, I felt an overwhelming sadness for I am losing him, too. In many ways, I already lost him years ago. He repeats himself a lot and does not have the capacity to carry on a whole conversation. He is a shell of who he once was. Our relationship was rocky at best and there were many years during my childhood that we did not even speak. He did not walk me down the isle when I got married and he would not have been in the hospital when his granddaughter was born. Seeing him yesterday, so simple and serene almost, made me realize in a way he is kind of lucky as he does not feel this loss as deeply as the rest of us. But does that really make him lucky? I think not.
So for now, let's hope the doctor gives me a clean bill of health tomorrow and then I will take it from there. One step at a time, one day at a time...live in the moment and make each moment count...and that will help get us through.