Dublin Days

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Letting Go

I'm returning to work tomorrow. I'm letting go of this bubble I've lived in for the past 10 weeks, where my main occupation was grieving. I'm letting go of a life disrupted, of the innocent person I was the last time I walked out of school, headed to that ultrasound appointment that changed my life forever. I'm letting go of that moment, and as sad and desperate as that moment feels, it's hard to leave it in the past. But it's a relief to do that, too.

We had Peter's welcoming celebration on Sunday, and it was even more beautiful than we'd expected. Daithi and I, as his god parents, read pieces we'd written for Peter. Some of Dee's family read poems and Eric and Dee's brother played music. Kusi shared a beautiful poem by Sheelagh Pugh that seemed to capture so much of the feeling that day. Everyone there felt touched by the poem, but I found special meaning in it. It also made me think of my two good friends who found out in the past week that they're expecting babies. Both of these women have lost babies before, and they know the fear and courage it takes to try again. I'm not at that point yet, but the hope that I see in them, and in this poem, helps me believe I will be, sometime.


Sometimes things don’t go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don’t fail.
Sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes will step back from war,
elect an honest man, decide they care
enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best intentions do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen; may it happen for you.

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Club I Didn't Want to Belong To

Daithi and I met with the bereavement counselor again yesterday in the hospital. It was hard for me to go back into that building the first time after Fionn was born, but it's not so bad now.

Afterwards, we were coming down on the lift and there was a woman in a wheelchair in the hallway. I knew the look on her face; she was covering her eyes with her hand, she wasn't talking, she stared at a smudge on the floor, tired, frozen. She said nothing, but I knew. She was a mother whose baby had died. Like me.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Paddy

Happy 2nd Birthday to my sweet, gentle boy, Pádraic. I hope you enjoyed your party!

You've brought so much love and laughter into the world since the day you were born 2 years ago. You're a joy to be around, and watching you grow from a baby into a bright little boy is a privilege.

Your birth in the early hours of Februay 19th 2006 was an inspiration to us all. And that was just the beginning of what you bring to the world.

Dee wrote this beautiful poem about your birth.

A union, a spark--the beginning--who is this little
being who grows inside a belly swollen with love.

Before we met we sensed your compassion and
your healing, you wanted to be close even then,
turning towards the heat--"it's ok, Mammy, don't worry..."
And then in time a healing, a realization-"it's ok, baby, don't worry, it's safe
and I'm ready.

You decided to come early on a night when the air
was crystal and sparking with mystery...so gently,

so so beautiful you entered and your Mammy
standing powerful and deep and gorgeous.

There you were--new, pure, full, calm, wise--it
was all so right and so glorious--you brought
light and restored my "faith in birth." My heart
will always sing with the memory of that night,
thank you little man Pádraic, on your special day.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Fionn's Grave

Dee read a poem at the grave, which I'll include here when I get a copy of it.

It was good to visit the grave again, and to have the people close to us there.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Lost in Translation

Part One

Siofra (ten minutes before dinner): Can I have a sandwich?

Me (slaving over hot stove with Paddy hanging off my leg): Well, dinner's in ten minutes...and just think, your food'll taste better if you're a little hungry! Remember the Irish saying, "Hunger is good sauce!" (I quote that seanfhocal a lot, it's my favorite, because it's true.)

Siofra: Oooooo!! (all excited)...what's foodle?

Part Two

Those of you living in Ireland, or familiar with Irish-isms, know that a common greeting is "What's the craic?" Craic is the Irish word for fun, but this saying kind of means, What's up?

Of course, my daughter has her own Dublin/Cork/Flint version of the phrase...

Siofra: "Hi, Mommy. How's your crack?"