Travelling Together

A few weeks ago in Costco, I picked up some markers for Gabe’s garden. Well, not marker’s really, more like solar lights.

No, that’s not a good place to start. That’s the bit about creating a memory garden and that’s the end.

Let me start here. I have been thinking of my miscarriages. I have been thinking, as I contemplate life without motherhood, of all of those children. All of those children who are not with me. Perhaps the immediacy of Gabriel’s death is so far gone that I can contemplate life that was with me for a blink of an eye. I am not always the woman that people see in front of them. Written in my heart are the stories of loving and losing, of seeking and finding.

No, that’s still not right.

Months ago, last summer, I was listening to CBC, and I was listening to a woman who built her family through donor eggs, and she talked about standing by the ocean and calling her baby forth. I was, and still am, struck by the awesome power in that statement, that notion. There is something profound, mysterious and beautiful in the idea that we have that much power. The image of that woman by the ocean, calling her child into being, it has stuck with me for months now. I return to it, turning it over. There is something wonderous about a woman standing by the ocean, pleading with God, the universe, anything to give her heart’s desire to her. There is something astonishing, something that makes your heart ache, at the notion that you are that honest, that upfront with the universe, that you trust so much in everything around you, that you believe words have the power to make it all come right. There is tremendous power if calling forth, in speaking into being, not a person, but a dream. It is an acknowledgement that we all must journey together, we are not in this thing called life alone.

I can go back to the markers now.

I don’t remember the dates of my miscarriages. I know, roughly, how long those babies stayed with Mr. Spit and I. I know that we wish every single one of them could have stayed. I know we would have loved them so.

I don’t often think about them. Not as separate entities. I don’t think about them outside of me, I don’t mark their lives. And suddenly, one day a few weeks ago, I was thinking that this was wrong. I was thinking that I had been honest with God, I had begged and pleaded and for brief moments, these children came to me. Some longer than others, but each time, for some time, we travelled together.

It is good to remember all of those we journey with. Whether that person is a baby in your womb, a friend for a bit, someone you work closely with for a season, someone you have loved all of your lives, sometimes people are plunged so deeply into our lives that they become deeply intertwined. And it’s good to remember, life is about the companionship. Life is about being involved, sharing time and space. This is what makes us so intensely, so intimately, so passionately human.

It is a sin to forget this, to deny heart space to those who become close to us. It is a denial of who God made us to be, it is a refudiation of everything that I believe to be true, a denial of who I am as a human to not mark those children. I am sorry that I did so. No, the loss was not as traumatic and painful as Gabriel, but they were children who were mine, and they deserve my heartspace. They deserve acknowledgement, memory, to be held in my memory, if not my arms.

And so, there I was at Costco, and I bought 4 solar lights. Gabriel’s garden will perhaps become a bit of a memory garden. An acknowledgement that there is Gabriel, that first child who spent so long with me, that we walked such a terrible-wonderful path with, but also that there were 4 other babies, sparks in my eye, children I shelter in my memory and cover in my love. Children who are not with us, other than in our memories, but children that travelled along life’s path all the same.

I chose markers with the ordinal directions of the compass, to remember – always pay heed to those with you, for however long.

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12 Responses to Travelling Together

  1. Michele says:

    This is beautiful and oh so true. So very true.

  2. Heidi says:

    I often feel guilty for not remembering the other four as much as I remember Blue.

    (((hugs)))

  3. loribeth says:

    I love it, & that you are including Gabriel’s siblings in his garden. : )

  4. HereWeGoAJen says:

    I think this is just right. And you always write so beautifully.

  5. Illanare says:

    How lovely this is.

  6. Maureen says:

    This brought tears to my eyes.

    Prayers for the little ones, and peace for you and Mr. Spit.

    (((hugs)))

  7. Ya Chun says:

    This is beautiful.

    And, yes, we never know how long someone will be in our lives.

    My miscarriage was certainly different for me, perhaps shadowed by the grief of Serenity’s death. But I still have a few things that acknowledge that – and I did feel weird in a social pressure kind of way (That others would think I was weird). I wear a small silver band for ‘macadamia’. It’s unmarked, it stacks in my family ring, but I know what it means.

    And it’s never too late to acknowledge these brief lives. You are just now catching your breath, and having a chance to think about it and do so.

    And four. Oh, I have no words.

  8. Erica says:

    I love this, the way you talk about memory and heartspace, and I find myself thinking how much love and courage go into creating heartspace.

    I am sending green-thumb thoughts to your garden, and I hope the markers shine brightly.

  9. a says:

    I remember my first miscarriage distinctly. I have vague recollections of the second. I’m completely lost on the third one, and a vague recollection of the 4th and last one. We don’t really even talk about the losses. But, we’re sublimators around our house.

    I’m sure your garden will be beautiful.

  10. Jamie says:

    Thank you for this. It is beautiful and it means a lot to me.

  11. Searching says:

    Beautiful…

  12. Stacey says:

    Hi Mrs Spit,
    Even when I know I’m more than a month behind on your posts, I still enjoy reading through the older ones when I have a few moments to catch up. The way you express yourself through writing is beautiful and refreshing.

    We share — in part — a history of loss through miscarriage. I know that our paths are different, and I know that you have known a loss deeper than what I can imagine.

    I have the dates of my miscarriages written down in a journal and I’ve blogged about them, but the dates don’t reside in my memory. I can recall the first one just after the fourth of July, the one that was a few days before my 30th birthday, and the one on my best friend’s birthday. But they are at the same time individual and all the same (meaning like a collective feeling of loss). I never did name them, but I think it’s important to remember the little lives of those children that I loved and wanted.

    I appreciate this post and the memory of your children. I know your garden will be a special place.

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