Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Shower the People

"Shower the people you love with love, show them the way you feel.
Things are gonna be much better if you only will."        
-James Taylor  
Last Saturday, I helped throw a baby shower for my sister-in-law. 

I know, right?

Since Allie died, I do not go to baby showers. I do not buy gifts for babies until they are here safe and sound. I celebrate and breathe a sigh of relief at the same time.

However, everything changed with this particular baby. This baby who is going to be my niece and who is also going to be Allie's cousin. 

I think back to my pregnancy and my mind almost always goes to my baby shower. We had close to 60 people jammed into my mom's house and we needed a whole room just for the gifts. It was loud and exciting and the future was so close - we could almost feel my daughter in our arms.

I did not want my sister-in-law to miss out on that experience.

I offered to help and support in any way that I could.  I designed the invitation.  I tracked the replies.  The rest was left to my mom and my other sister-in-law.  Food, favors, decorations, dessert...done, done, done, done.  But not by me. I was only in charge of taking care of myself.

I did not sleep well the night before.  I did not feel great the morning of the shower.  I texted some women from my UNITE group and asked for their support. I reminded myself that I could leave early if I wanted to. I knew that this shower was more than me - it was for the women in my family who deserved to celebrate the impending arrival of this new baby.

I was nervous when I arrived early to set up.  My palms were sweaty and I felt a little dizzy.  The last time we had a shower at my mom's was for Allie...and it all came rushing back to me in a wave.

And then something happened.  The wave receded and in it's place left just a pile of sand.  

I let myself enjoy the day.  I gave myself permission to celebrate this new life.  I allowed myself to be surrounded by love and joy and laughter and hope. In return?  I had a glorious day.

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to let go. Let go of the anger and the fear and the sadness. It's not gone forever, mind you. I doubt there will be a time when I reply "yes" to another baby shower.  But for a few hours on a cold, sunny afternoon, it felt nice to be just another woman attending a baby shower and looking forward to the birth of this certain-to-be very special little lady.

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