:: The S.I.C.L.E. Cell ::

my view from the prison of a SICLE (Self-Imposed Child Loss Experience) due to debilitating maternal disease
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:: Monday, August 08, 2005 ::

I'm depressed lately.

I have an overly-lovey baby girl, and I couldn't be happier about that, because I myself am overly-lovey.

When I am doing dishes she comes and clings to my legs. When I am reading a book, she toddles over and parks her diapered rear right on my head, damned if I consume another word rather than love her. It is a rare moment that she allows herself an instant away. The other day I caught her having one.

One of my finer hobbies is dabbling in the art of stained glass. I can make lampshades and nightlights, candle screens, and figures, etc., but my favorite thing to make is the cliched window. <--scroll down there.

Before she died, my mother and I made a window together. It is set with lovely bevels, which, when the sun is setting in the west, cast vivid rainbows all across the living room. Colorful bands splash themselves in puddles on the floor. It was in one of these puddles that I secretly caught my one-year-old.

She was sitting with her legs stretched out as colored light played across her knees. Her face was filled with wonder as she fingered her newly technicolored flesh. She grabbed at the rainbows trying to hold them in her hands. She went here and there trying to pick them up off of the floor. Thrusting her tiny fists in the light, she observed at last rainbows situated in her palms. Of course she tried to eat them.

These moments are precious and real. They force her worth upon me; I see what I have without buffers. My heart fills to bursting. I love so much I ache. I am the luckiest girl in the world...

The moment I think it, I am shot down. I remember my illness, I remember my SICLE, I remember Tennessee and all the lost rainbows. My heart breaks and I can never pick up the pieces.

Life's multicolored bands of light are bittersweet. I can't know one truth and not the other. Would that I could. I would tuck it away in a shoebox and bury it in the wood at the edge of the yard never to be heard from again. Alas, love prevents that, and I've never mastered the art of un-loving. I simply don't know how.

And so it was last night that I, in the midst of myriad baby kisses from my satin-lipped, silly, loving punkin, began to feel the overwhelming ache for Tennessee and all that we had missed of love and life together. When my dove was safely resting I examined her little wrist bones and cried into my pillow. There were other wrist bones, precious and mine the same.

Moments like these I can't find God. The pain is a salt that smothers the passion of that flame. I am not big enough, so I call out to the One Who Is: "Find me!" And He does.

He wraps me in blankets of darkness, velvet like chocolate, vast as the sea... a place where I can hide. I fall away as the warm-heavy tingle begins in my legs and feet and slumber overtakes me. And there I am in a dream.

A child is playing with other children. He is the target of another child who is older, bigger. This big child has a wooden bat with a strategically placed nail. The small child makes up his mind to refrain from entering games from now on. He will read books instead, become a doctor or a scientist while everyone else gulps fresh air, rosy-cheeked and laughing.

"Naw, it's all in your head," I convince him. "Go out and play; work it out. It really can't be all that bad."

Cut to the next scene: a small boy post-play, sitting in a dim grey alley, legs crossed, staring out in a crisis-induced trance. Something is not right. Moisture sparkles at his collar where blood is pulsing from a nail-inflicted gash in his neck. He is all but drained. His mother finds him and wailing, cradles him in starving arms. He speaks calmy, saying things like, "It's alright Mother. I've just been out for a play. I'm leaving softly now. Don't cry. Goodbye, my dear." And then he is gone.

I run from the scene retiring to my grungy apartment, apparently in the heart of New York City in the 30's. I am looking for my son to hold in appreciation, to cling to for dear life. He is sitting in the windowseat as dead as a doornail, the underlying skin of his face tinged with the mottled blue-black blood of death. I am crushed with loss.

He looks at me and I at him. I ask him, "Do you want to go to heaven, love?"

He answers, "No, Mother. I want to stay."

"Well are you cold then?" I ask.

He replies, "No, I'm fine."

And so he is dead and alive in my life.

And I wake up yet somehow the dream hasn't ended.

I underestimated the detriment of abortion; I was that snowed, that unevolved, that loveless. My child, though aborted from my life, is not gone. S/he moves with me, walks with me, sleeps with me. I feel him/her in everything I do, because my children are my heart and my heart is not half-beating. The engines of fond regard are at full throttle. I am over-lovey. But then, I already said that.

:: ashli 9:35 AM # ::

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