"Edited to Add"....

This started as a pregnancy blog when I fell pregnant in May 2009 after four years of finding a donor, doing all the counselling / paperwork / tests and trying.

And now, thanks to a 4WD which skidded onto our side of the road, killing our baby daughter at 34w and injuring me, my partner and two of my stepdaughters on 27 December 2009, it has turned into something else. We didn't want this something else, but apparently it is all we've got to go on with.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hello again

A kindly postgrad student with a three wheeler trolley helped us take the boxes up to my new office and piled them up. A few hours later, once I'd met a few people, got lost on the way to the bathroom, and started doing some work, I could feel the boxes behind me waiting, so I took a key to the packing tape.

I think of pith-helmeted archaeologists cracking open Egyptian sarcophagi. When these boxes were sealed, it was a very different world. There's a small shock when I lift back the cardboard flaps. I inhale, as if breathing in the air I exhaled four and a half months ago could take me back. I remember packing this, but it was a different me - with a round living belly between me and the cardboard.

These are the things from my half of the laundry back at our old house in Sydney - my little make-shift office which always smelt of laundry powder and had its own toilet. I was in a hurry packing - I'd thrown in personal things with work files and books - a small stuffed lion that El Prima gave me years ago, pictures by Snazzy, hotwater bottles that really belonged to the laundry side of the room. Each object I lift out needs an explanation. Oh Lion. Something awful happened. It isn't what we expected. Not at all.

* * *

El Prima's been unpacking at home while I've been at work. Suddenly there are new spaces in our bedroom, more room to move. In the living room is something that wasn't there before. It is a small whiteboard - an IT freebie. I remember when El Prima brought it home - to that other living room in Sydney, in that other life.

It was July. I was newly pregnant and a friend of ours asked us to contribute a photo for an anti-homophobia project she was running. I tried out different messages until I came up with this one: El Prima did the text, and I added a picture.

I had my photo taken for my staff card today, and my face didn't look like that. No glow. And too much knowledge and weariness.

That same whiteboard in in my hands again, but it's got a different message on it now. I wrote this message about a month after the other one. One of El Prima's daughters was dealing with something unspeakably hard. I wished I knew a way to make things better. I came across this quote and wrote it on the whiteboard for her.

Everyone is broken by life but some of us are stronger in the broken places. (Ernest Hemmingway)

I read once that the Hagia Sophia dome in Instanbul is completely broken into hundreds of pieces, but is held together by its mosaic tiles, like a cracked eggshell. Apparently the brokenness is the only reason that it has survived various earthquakes over 1500 years.

Please let me be like that - stronger for my brokenness.


  1. I can't say I've ever heard that quote before. I like it quite a lot.

  2. That truly is a fabulous quote and I love the thought of the Hagia Sofia standing strong because it is broken.

  3. I am lucky enough to have seen the Hagia Sopia, and I have to say it is one of the most impressive things I have ever seen. It's by no means perfect; the floors are heavily sloped, the terraces and railings are broken and there is scaffolding over half of it for restoration purposes. It has been a mosque, a church, and now a museum. But it is one of my favorite places I have ever been to. It has stood years and years, through wars and the storms of time. It is beautiful in a way that nothing else is beautiful, and would not be so without what it has gone through.
    I wish this beauty for you, and send you strength.

  4. Thank you - happy to spread the quotey-love.

    Chris - very jealous - I'd love to be there in the Hagia Sophia one day to soak up the beautiful brokenness.