Thursday, December 19, 2013

the pictures I didn't take

It snowed last night.  Even when you know
to expect it, there is something so surprising
about waking up in a world that looks so different
than the one you fell asleep in.

My parents have both asked me in the last few days;
have you been writing about all of this?

And I haven't.

I've put together phrases in my head
and I've thought a lot about writing

as my imagined version of the next year
shifts and remakes itself.

I haven't taken pictures either, though
I have all these images in mind
of pictures I didn't take 
over the last eight weeks.

The image of myself
standing at the bathroom sink
holding the test and breathing
out one quiet expletive 
as I watched the tiny screen change.

Or the list of names
held to the refrigerator with a magnet, 
written in Amelia's neat
handwriting.  The soft fleece
of a tiny sweater that I'd packed away
years ago.  Smiling and 
thinking how I hadn't planned
to need it again.

Or sitting in the the waiting room,
knowing before anyone else did
that something wasn't right, 
that the tiny ocean I carried inside
was a much quieter place
than it should have been.

Or the way my body refused
to loosen its grip, and the strange
days of waiting for an ending.

I am raking leaves and waiting to miscarry.
I am splitting firewood and waiting to miscarry.
I am lying awake in bed waiting to miscarry.

Then finally the surgery,
the sweet nurses who said they were sorry,
the white round lights of the operating room,
the bits of memory wiped clean with anesthesia,
that slowly resurfaced
hours or days later.

Or thinking it was all finally over
the moment my dr. called to tell me
there could be dangerous cells
that were left behind, there will be 
testing and more testing 
ahead.

How do you feel?

Really, the simplest words are best.
Sad.
Mad.
I don't know.

I'm reminding myself that now is not the time
for grand decisions
but all I want is for something to change,
it feels like not enough
to simply pick up
where my life left off
in October.

I have the utmost faith in time.
I know I will feel differently in a week,
or a month.  But I'm trying to tell myself
that's it's okay to not let this go yet.
As my friend, Sarah, wrote me, I need 
"to sit and feel what I'm feeling - let it
weave and wave its way out."

The snow is still falling,
a bit lighter now.
Just this, stopping to put it all
into words
was what I needed.
To give these weeks the weight they deserve,
to hold them until 
they are not so heavy
and I can carry them
with something like grace.

5 comments:

sarah said...

I really love you Ellie. I feel a web made of fine spun silk connecting. On that web there are my prayers and love to you - and a receiving of this gift of your story that has touched my heart deeply. And I know you already know this... but I can't say it enough. I love you friend..

Maggie said...

Oh, Ellie. Your words are heartbreakingly beautiful. I'm so sorry. I can hope you can find some peace soon. xo

Laura said...

Peace & healing to you Ellie. You are dear.

kyndale_pease said...

I'm so sorry. Sending you love. ♥

Ellie said...

Sarah, I love you right back!
Maggie, thanks for your words. You're carrying so much right now; I really appreciate you taking the time to read this.
Laura, thanks friend. I miss you and we live in the same town. We need to get together ;)
Kyndale, I feel the love. Thank you, friend.

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