Friday, March 29, 2013

Misty Watercolor Memories

Not enough time has passed for me to have experienced all aspects of my regular life not pregnant.   Almost daily, I have to stop and realize "the last time I did this, I was pregnant."  And it's hard to process those memories.   The other day, Mike and I were at the mall and grabbed some delicious chicken from Chick Fil A.   As I am sitting there, dunking my nuggets in the Polynesian sauce, I remembered the last time I ate at the food court.   I got Polynesian sauce on my shirt because my belly was in the way.  (Almost all of my maternity clothes have a permanent stain about five inches below the collar because I could not seem to get food to my mouth without at least some of it taking a nosedive onto my stomach)  As I make more efforts to get out of the house, this will happen more and more - and then it will happen less and less.   And I am not sure which is more disturbing.  
I have a very serious love/hate relationship with my memories.   Although it breaks my heart on a daily basis to remember my pregnancy, it also brings me joy to think of her alive and happy and to remember what it felt like for me to be happy.  I hate to touch my stomach and think about what I've lost.   It feels like a thousand knives dipped in boiling oil slicing through my heart.   But I love to think about the excitement I felt the first time I felt her kick.  Everyone told me it would feel like the gentle fluttering of butterfly wings.  Ha!  My little ninja didn't have that nickname for nothing.   Her first kicks felt like popcorn popping, and then eventually graduated to uppercuts to the belly button.  By the end, I thought for sure she'd be born with biceps to rival The Rock.  She was strong!   Now, rereading those words about her kicks brings forth tears of joy and tears of pain.  I guess you can't have one without the other.
Remembering hurts.   That is a solid truth.  Memories are unchangeable and bring with them a host of emotions that ache for that change.   They can not fill the hole that is left when someone you love dies.  When all you have to hold on to are memories, the emptiness of your heart can almost be too much to bear.  Your heart tries to wrap around it, to hold it close, but a memory is transparent and slippery.  It's fuzzy edged and doesn't stay in one place.  No matter how hard you try to hold on to it, it always slips away, leaving an echo of what Once Was reverberating through the darkness.  
But, remembering also heals.  For every ounce of darkness it brings me, remembering also brings me light.  I remember how I felt when I found out I was pregnant.  I remember the joy in my mother's voice when I called her on the phone.  I remember Mike's eyes lighting up with excitement.  I remember buying my very first onesie for her.  I remember what it feels like to create that moves and spins and kicks.   And, of course I am sad to not have her here with me.   I will always be sad she is not here because she deserved life and I deserved to be her mother - but that sadness can not take away how happy I was.  Remembering that joy is what will help me create it again.  I never want to forget any piece of being pregnant.  I never want to forget one second I had with my daughter.  
Even though I had to stop for a few minutes just now to cry, typing through blurry vision is worth it - because I remember.  She will always be a part of me because I will remember her.  With time, the pain will fade.   The knives will dull.   But Kenley will never be forgotten. 

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