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Tick-Tock

“The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth.”                                               Chinese Proverb

I celebrated a birthday this past week, I turned forty-seven. Now, listen to me when I say this: I do not consider the age of forty-seven to be “old.” I just don’t. But my son, Julian–almost ten years old–clearly does. It’s obvious that he’s been eyeing my face, entertaining himself by counting all of the wrinkles and sunspots he can find there.

I’ve had to give myself a pep talk every time he pokes at my underarm triceps area just to see, “How squishy they are today!”

And he’s not shy, not one bit, about telling me that I snore.

Like most people over forty, I quickly come up with stories and anecdotes about how things improve with age, how values tend to go up with age.

“Like what?” he’ll demand.

“Like cheese and wine,” I’ll argue. “Famous works of art, books, land, stocks and bonds, jewelry and rare coins, stamps…” suddenly, I realize that I’m overreaching. “Well, they do,” I sigh, shrugging my shoulders. “In fact, did you know that in France, women ‘of a certain age’ are looked up to and admired by the youth in their society? That French women are even described as glamorous and sophisticated way past their seventies?”

“Right.” His turn to shrug. “But…Mom, that’s in France.”

Humph! 

It’s not beneath me to go on to argue that if I do have wrinkles–or war wounds, as I call them–that they must be from all the worries and anxieties I’ve had from being his mother. I’ll remind him of the time he got his finger pinched in the door, the time he hit the corner of his eye on the doorknob because he was tottering around in the dark, the day he got his appendix removed…

And then I realize, as I babble, that now I DO sound old.

Double humph!

What I don’t say in this conversation of age, wrinkles, time passing and whatnot, is that many of the war wounds on my face, and in my body, came from losing his brothers and sisters. They were a part of me that I used to hate, but now I know that they need to be a part of me that I can give thanks to, in love.

The proverbial “ticking clock.” When my first child died, the first of five, I was forty. I turned forty a few months before I got pregnant, and like most forty-year olds, went out that night with the girls to “celebrate.” I didn’t realize, until my birthday just a few days ago, that that celebration, seven years ago, was the last time I allowed myself to fully experience a birthday. The last time I joyfully celebrated the existence of “Me.” The last time I didn’t punish myself for growing yet another year older, further and further away from the possibility of my dream ever coming true, my dream of having a larger family. As I was opening my gifts this year, laughing and enjoying the experience, I suddenly realized that I’d finally forgiven myself, that the punishment–that wasn’t necessary in the first place–was over.

How do we come to hate ourselves, to hate our bodies, when we lose a child? How can we take something so precious, so miraculous, and turn it into a nightmare? Dead or alive, children lived inside of me, and my body was their only home here on earth. Shouldn’t I take care of myself by learning to love the home that gave them life?

So, I did an odd exercise. I call it “odd” because it’s something that I would never think to do, not in a million years, if I hadn’t read about it in a book. I stood in front of my bathroom mirror, made full eye contact with myself, took many deep breaths…and then told myself, “I love you.” I said it again, and again, and again. And then, I sobbed.

But, here’s the key: it felt good.

I do this exercise often, every morning actually when I get up. There’s a post-it note on my mirror to remind me, because–how strange is this–we forget to love ourselves, most of us punishing ourselves for one thing or another. And now when I say, “I love you,” I smile, and I mean it. Because what is there not to love? We are all, each one of us, beautiful creatures of nature.

Happy Birthday to me. And, Happy Birthday to you, when it’s your turn.

Thank you for “sharing” and “liking” any blog that moves you. Have a special day…♥

Photos on Visualhunt.com.

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

 

awakeningwildflower Written by:

5 Comments

  1. Bev Donner
    January 27, 2018
    Reply

    Amazing, what a very special way to look at life and what you have gone through. We can all learn so much from your experience. And our young man is so mature for his age.

  2. February 5, 2018
    Reply

    Your open, real sharing is such a balm… happy belated birthday. Keep celebrating you…

    • awakeningwildflower
      February 5, 2018
      Reply

      Thanks! Another year better…

  3. February 7, 2018
    Reply

    My birthday was around that time the 23rd. An old 34yr old I am now lol. I will never know the feeling of losing a child within my own body so I don’t think I could fully understand the whole feeling of loss and feeling of inner failure. I came close to losing Keira, my wife had morphine for the pain way too late and it went straight into Keiras blood she came out not breathing and all I could do was watch nurses and doctors try to resuscitate her for ten minutes I can tell you that was the hardest time of my life and it sent me into a deep spiral. Justification of self my post had a lot to do with that very moment. It was so easy to be hurting and to point the blame at her mum for taking the drug I said she shouldn’t to. It definitely changed things for sure

    • awakeningwildflower
      February 8, 2018
      Reply

      Parenthood changes EVERYTHING, for us as individuals, and in our interactions as a couple. It’s so easy to point fingers at a spouse when we’re scared, or angry, or hurt. I think that’s the human condition, to try to find someone or something to blame for how scared we are inside. I know I’ve done it… But, I think we just have to move forward, examine how events affect us and try to learn “something” from what we’ve gone through. I just think that there is always a Universal lesson in things. If nothing else, the event definitely made you appreciate your sweet Keira, and her return to health. Thanks for sharing…

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