Neat Little Bows

We humans love our perfect endings, sweet Flicker.  You see, there is this girl who meets this boy and lives happily ever after.  Oh, and the one where the underdog finishes first.  Lest we forget the story of the bad guy who gets exactly what he deserved.

I am quite the storyteller in my own mind.  And let me tell you, sweet Flicker, the audience just loves it.

My inner monologue has been verbose of late; this ill-informed prophet who puts words only I can hear to my innermost thoughts.  Words that make wishful narratives take hold, anchoring to my subconscious and refusing to let go.

You must have heard the story of the woman who lost the son who she loved so much, who then went on to change the world?  Her son was the catalyst for this change, so thanks be to God that out of this terrible calamity came forth such beauty.  Order has been restored.  There is sense in this tragedy.

Oh, and there is the one about the loving couple who tried for years for a family, were giveth a son who was taketh away, but then wouldn’t you know were blessed with new life – twins even – to break up their mourning. Isn’t that just a tender, redemptive story?

My wrongs are righted.  The abstract comes into focus.  All dots are connected.

The problem with this inner monologue, sweet Flicker, is that it is pure fantasy.  It is the stuff of daydreams and sleepless nights.  It comes from a place where I control all of the variables and manipulate the outcomes.  In this world there was no fall and there is no brokenness and all things are wrapped up with neat little bows.

But in this human realm, sweet Flicker, there is no tidy end to our story.  At least not right now.  And I feel confident saying that there never will be.  My heart still aches and I do not know why limb body wall complex happened and infertility does not just go away and I do not control any outcomes and I can not even identify all the variables, let alone dictate them.  There was a fall and there is terrible brokenness and I do not have a neat little bow to wrap around our story together.  It is all just so unsettling.

I am learning to live without my storybook ending; choosing instead to embrace this series of off-pitch notes.  Or at least my monologue tells me I am embracing it.  To be honest, sweet Flicker, the verdict is still out.  This past Thursday, October 23rd, marked your three-month birthday (the word “birthday” does not sound right, but there is no vocabulary for this sort of thing) which also happened to be your official due date; the date that was supposed to be but never was yet still brings me joy when I think about the hours we got to spend together as a family of three.  What a mess of emotion to wade through that day.  It was not pretty.  It was not neat.  But your dad and I lived it together with the support of our [your] amazing family and community who helped to shoulder the burden by lifting us up.

Many things were said that day via phone calls and emails and text messages and cards and baked goods and meals and hugs, but just as notable were the things left unsaid.  There were no “everything happens for a reason” platitudes or “this will all make sense some day” proclamations.  Rather, there was acknowledgment that our life is hard and your loss is senseless and we miss you like crazy.  Unsettling truths spoken with compassion amidst the promise of light.  And the beauty in that, sweet Flicker, is not a neat little bow but rather the fact that Friday came as it always does and we were given a new day to live out this unwieldy life in faith and hope and love.


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