"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.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Six years

Sunday the twenty-seventh of December, we meet again.  I'm not scared of you anymore, and I know that it wasn't your fault, or mine.  Six solid years I've had, to practice staring you in the eye, to re-think the small moments that placed us in the right-hand lane of Warrigal Road, traveling north.  For our baby girl, I've closed the door on all the possibilities that might have been had that car trip gone differently.  I've forgiven myself for not being able to go back in time and make the collision un-happen.  Yet she's here in a different form (in my head, I know, I know) - a long-limbed, dark-haired girl, always just out of sight.  A knowledgeable and protective big sister to Ali, a teller of complicated stories, a giver of fierce but quick hugs.  Gah, I wish I knew what those hugs felt like.  She's almost 100% imaginary now.

More real is my sense of her as distributed, as traced through into the elements - via her ashes and our grief and the kindnesses others have shown to us.  Pomegranates, silver princess gum trees, babushka dolls, Frida's face on the wall, a postcard spelling out L-O-V-E.  These are the negative spaces around her little life.

This year, our commemoration was low-key.  Just my dad and me, taking the long way around, over one bridge, along the beach, back over another bridge and through the bush to her spot.  We took her a rose from the garden, flowers picked from the bush on the way there, some pomegranate seeds.  I read her a poem.  A bull-ant fell onto my hand from the branches above. Unperturbed by me or its fall, it hurried along. 

It has been a hard year - my sister's baby girl lived three months exactly, mostly in one NICU unit or the other, mitochondrial disease sapping the energy she needed to keep her small heart beating. (Actually, her heart was enlarged. This is the painful irony - as the heart muscle struggles, it grows)  And while my own grief has become woven into my life, nothing can short-cut the process for my sister and her partner.  It's a particular kind of helplessness, to have built my own road through my grief, but to know that it is completely irrelevant to them.  My words are cardboard cutlery, my metaphors are just a big jumbled mess.  I just come back to the same phrases I say to Ali:  I hear you.  I'm here for you.  I love you.