The mood is somber here today.
It was exactly nine years ago that the nurse called my name hesitantly from the other side of the waiting room. I stood slowly and noticed the only other family in the room eye me nervously. They only suspected what was about to happen, but I knew. I knew that when I reached the other side of the waiting room, that sympathetic nurse was going to tell me that my dad was dead.
Time froze. I was aware that my legs were still carrying me forward, and yet the nurse seemed to be getting farther and farther away. I made a mental note to keep myself composed. There was the other family in the room to consider, fighting through a precarious life and death situation of their own, and I didn't want to make a scene like so many I'd witnessed. No one in the ICU needs another reminder of the heavy eminence of death.
I focused on the seemingly far off face of the nurse and willed myself to finally arrive at her side. "He passed away a few minutes ago," she said, simply. I'm sorry."
"Oh. Okay," I replied, and turned to walk to my seat. The nurse's hand found my shoulder, and pulled me into her arms for a hug. "I'm sorry," she whispered again. "I'm so sorry."
Released from her embrace, I could see that she'd been crying. Standing back at our seats, my mother's shoulders (divorced from my father and his shoulders for over 20 years) shook with sobs. Tears streamed down my then husband's cheeks. And I, still dazed, remained composed.
My tears - the real ones - wouldn't come for several days. I would be at home, sitting in the rocking chair my dad had gifted my mom when she was pregnant with me; sitting in that same chair, arms wrapped around my own pregnant belly, before the sobs would rock through me, coaxing tears hot and fat and heavy.
Of course, today is nothing like that day nine years ago. Today I had brunch with a dear friend and then watched my son's soccer game. Today I will finish my regular Sunday chores of grocery shopping and house cleaning and laundry. But I am pregnant again - that part is similar. And it is that similarity, I believe, that has me feeling sad and alone on this particular anniversary.
Another year gone by; another baby boy that he will never meet.
Revisiting the Bad Mother Manifesto
1 hour ago