If I die young / Bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses /
Sink me in the river at dawn /
Send me away with the words of a love song
Lord make me a rainbow, I’ll shine down on my mother /
She’ll know I’m safe with you when she stands under my colours /
Oh, and life ain’t always what you think it ought to be, no /
Ain’t even gray but she buries her baby
If I die young / The Band Perry
I am standing in the wind and the drizzle, still dressed from work, looking at Gabriel’s tree. The tree seems obscenely, offensively green against the grey sky. I am looking at the roses for those of us who loved him, planted in our favourite colours. I am looking at the markers for the babies who were only with me for a short while, the tulips and the daffodils which are blooming. The wind moves the branches of the tree, the tulips shake off rain drops, and I stand here, in my trench coat, staring.
I have finished up my meeting, driven home from work, taken the cat back to the vet for suture removal. Behind me, the dogs are snuffling around in the yard. Mr. Spit is out of town and I am contemplating what to have for dinner. Those lyrics are still in my head, the song still playing in my mind. These moments are less frequent, a cloud burst and not a day long rain. They happen, you stand in them, and then you walk through them.
He died young, and I along with him. Unlike the song, he did not have just enough time. I cannot tell you what would have been enough time.
My mother asked if I was planting the veggie garden this year, and I laughed. That Mrs. Spit is dead. That woman, so domesticated, so determined to be the perfect wife and mother is dead. She died in a hospital room, in a sudden rush, caught up in the after effects of tragedy, when it over takes your life.
Another woman has emerged. She is different. Less certain, kinder, more compassionate. She has a backbone of steel. This woman listens. She knows that she does not know much, not really. She has seen success and failure at the office, she has found other things to be passionate about. Organically grown carrots can be purchased at the farmer’s market. In the grand scheme of things, organic carrots matter even less than you can imagine.
Most days, the days are sunny. Most days are good, most days I have things to look forward to. Most days I like my life just fine, most days I am happy. I have changed my hair, changed my career, changed how I spend my time, changed my life.
Some days, three years, 5 months later, you find yourself standing in wind and rain on a grey and cold day, in front of your son’s tree, looking at 4 solar lights to mark your four miscarriages, standing in silence, and the only thing you are at that moment is the mother of dead children. Still trying to make sense of it all.