I think about myself one year ago, June 17, 2009. I remember how Mikhail and I employed a loopy kind of black humor in the waiting room of the UCSF surgical center to get through the half-hour it took to process our paperwork. How grateful I was for the pill they gave me, but how I wished it were stronger, to make me less aware. How kind the nurses and doctor were.
I think about the woman I was one year ago with such compassion. She's just been through something so awful - an entire first trimester of morning sickness, hopes and dreams, only to have it all come crashing down unexpectedly. And yet, she thinks this is the end of something. She has no idea of all that is to come - the blood clot that will make her tender and concerned, the partial molar pregnancy diagnosis that will dash her hopes for a quick other pregnancy, the six months of worrying and waiting for blood test results, through it all the sense that she should still be pregnant. That she's somehow traveled onto the wrong road, and if she can just find her way back onto that other road, she'll end up where she wanted to be. She has only an inkling of the strength of her grief, how it will surprise her with its force, how it will return over and over again, the waves washing over her and leaving her wrung-out afterwards, the calm times in between them slowly lengthening out.
June 17, 2010. Today is a beautiful day. Sunny, calm, peaceful. I am pregnant with a baby who dances in my belly, kicks growing stronger by the day. This is where I hoped I would be, come one year. I am happy. And sad. I think about all I have survived in the last year, and I celebrate my own strength. I am proud. And sad. I remember the baby-who-would-have-been, a spirit who is still real to me, though not to the rest of the world. I am peaceful. And sad. Yet another wave washes over me, then retreats.
I light a candle and leave it burning in the fireplace all day and night. As I pass by, I see its flicker, and I am glad it is there.