February 11, 2011

Not Me

These feet will never travel with me.

Everywhere we go here in Melbourne there are families. We've been hitting the tourist sites geared towards families, so this makes perfect sense. It just means that I get punched in the gut multiple times a day.

There are families everywhere we go. Mothers with their child, about Miss Thing's age, and pregnant with another. Mothers and Fathers with their two children: one Miss Thing's age and one newly welcomed into this world.

As much fun as we have; as many sites as we see, the realization that I should not be here as we are is very acute. It strikes me at any moment, completely unaware. We most likely would not be visiting here at all, if Addison were not in a hole in the ground with only a stone marker to show "who" she is.

She is not anyone, really, and she never will be.

If we had been adventurous enough to visit Melbourne with her in tow, my time traversing the city would be quite different. More difficult, I am sure, but I'd rather have the difficulty than the constant reminder that something/someone is hugely missing, lost, gone.

Everywhere we go, there are families.

These families, the Moms and Dads, they look at me as I look at them. They see me, but they do not. They think they know that I am a Mother-of-One with no apparent plans for more. They see me dealing with my one and only living child and they think to themselves, just wait 'til you have two.

I want to shout at them that I've had two; I am left with one. If only they could understand that my experience of "having two" is so very different than their own. So different.

But they'll never understand. Not unless it happens to them.

Those who have had living children can imagine what it might be like to bury one. Those who have very recently had a child can imagine better than most how horrible it might be to deliver a dead baby instead of a live one. And even then, people who have had children don't really get it at all.

Those who have not had children have no clue at all. Not even a tiny hint. Sometimes I wish they knew that about themselves, that they have no clue. It would make things much easier...or maybe it would not at all.

It will be like this for the rest of my life. I will have a child, buried far, far away from me forever. I will have a child that most I encounter know nothing about because she is not right there, living, in front of them. No matter where we live or travel, people will see me as one thing and have no clue that I am someone else entirely.

And the only way for them to know is if I tell them.

Do you know what that is like? Telling someone you have a dead baby? It is like giving death and devastation to someone.

What a lovely gift.

I've already given that gift to plenty; I have no desire to give it to others. Oh, sure, there will be those who ask questions or get to know me enough that I will eventually have to tell them. But in general? Not something I enjoy telling people because as I said, it's like giving someone death and devastation.

Being the bearer of that, giving my husband that was enough for me.

And so instead I will have to walk this Earth as someone I am not. I will be observed to be, perceived to be, assumed to be, someone that I am not.

So you see, I cannot even be myself when I'm being myself.

Not any more.

That has been taken from me, and most people, they just don't get it.

They have nary a clue.

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