Tuesday, March 6, 2012

23 Weeks and a trip to Target

On a good day, I am hopeful.

On a bad day, I am waiting for the bottom to fall out of everything.

(And by "day," I also mean every other five minutes or so, give or take.)

I went to Target on Sunday--a huge, lovely store in Branson that is not crowded on Sunday mornings because it's in the Bible Belt and everybody is at church.  I spent an hour just browsing (ok, so I did a little buying, too).

When I walked in, the dollar section was fully of pastel colors and Easter decorations.  I was surprised to discover that it didn't hurt my heart to see them.  The same decorations that had felt like a cruel slap in the face just one year ago (last March I could not fathom celebrating new beginnings nor eternal life--I was deep in the trenches of grief and contemplating springtime and Easter was hard enough) suddenly looked...  kind of cute.  They weren't the grief trigger they had been last year.  I even found myself thinking that we might put out decorations for Easter and spring--next year.

Maybe we call this progress?

Then I walked by the little girls' Easter dresses.

And I thought that maybe I haven't made that much progress after all.

It hit me that this should be Eliza's second Easter, and I should be buying (or making??) a darling flowered (or polka-dotted) dress for a toddling fifteen-month-old.  I should be almost a year and a half ahead of where I am in this parenting thing.  I know that I have so much to look forward to, but the fact that I have missed out on so much already makes my heart crumple up inside itself.

I took a deep breath and I veered sharply to the right to pick out greeting cards and shampoo and some other necessities.  I held it together, but I really, really ached for Eliza, and for everything that our life should have been with her in it.

There's a quotation by Joseph Campbell that goes, "We must be willing to let go of the life we've planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us."  I know it's true, but this continues to be my biggest struggle.  You all know how much I loved my plan.  I wonder how I could ever stop wanting that other life.  The life that should have been ours.  The life that includes Eliza here with us.  There is definitely still a part of me that is holding on tight to the life I had planned.

But, in my hopeful moments, in the maternity section of Target, I know that I will also love the life that is waiting for us.

Just a little blurry self-portrait.   Horizontal stripes may make the Deuce appear larger than life.


  1. First of all, you look adorable with your little bump.

    But yes, I am still trying to accept that my plans are over. They are shit. They are down the drain. They are wasted. They are nothing. And I'm so angry about it.

    I'm trying to make new plans. But I just want my old plans back.

  2. You are too cute!!!! I miss Target.

  3. You are adorable, and the Deuce is too! :)

    I hear you, I am so type A that I struggle so much with having to alter the vision I had for my life... And I know I can no longer have that version of life, and I detest knowing that...

  4. Is there anyone that doesn't love Target?!? Love the picture!

    Letting go of the life we had planned. I don't know if that will ever happen and to be honest I'm still not willing to give up those thoughts, I just can't.

    Easter dresses make me crumple as well. Probably the best "little girl" holiday with Christmas as a close second. I have 3 Easter dresses...ones I bought before I was even pregnant with Addi. I hope somewhere in our lives Easter dressed become apart of the plan again.

  5. You look fantastic!

    I am at a point now where I can no longer usually imagine how it would be if Olivia was here (maybe because that's too draining) and because does that mean Lucas wouldn't be? (Since we got pregnant with him 8ish months after my due date with Olivia, he probably wouldn't be!) I wish she was here, but it's all tangled and confusing.

    You will always be sad that Eliza isn't here, but there are so many good days ahead.

  6. Okay, can I just say that I'm very excited we are apparently getting a Target here and it's going to be very close to my house! And you look very cute!

    Those plans - sigh. I understand. I have learned to let go of what could (should?) have been and accepted that this is the way it is. It took a long time. And sometimes it still sucks.

  7. You look very cute. Oh, and Target is one of the things I miss most about living in America. Sad but true.

    I must let go of the life I had planned to make room for the life that is waiting for me. I have to wrap my head around this as well!!

  8. Oh Red Circle Boutique - you are the best.

    Easter was tough for me last year too. Ya know what's funny - is that this Easter season I have thought of you several times. Well not really you, but Eliza. I see cute little duck things and I think of your baby duck.

    I also like your cute baby bump.

  9. You look fantastic! What you're saying makes perfect sense. And I'm so glad to hear a little bit of hope in your voice.

  10. You are SO adorable first of all, love that bump!
    Secondly, that quote by Campbell has been one of my favorites since the beginning of our infertility struggle and has also been one I've tried to accept as a part of my outlook on life throughout all that has hit us since then. So hopeful for you my friend and all the joy your future holds ((hugs))

  11. you are so so cute with you baby bump.

    yes i know that quote well. and it's also one that i have struggled with. where i am now in my journey, i still cringe when i see it.

    i understand how you feel. i had moments where certain things wouldn't hit me SO hard because i was hopeful for what the future held for us. and while i will always be devastated that Julius couldn't be here with us for certain things. i felt (in those moments) certain that we as a family would move on WITH him. that we would take him and his memory everywhere with us. he would never be forgotten about.

    while that will always be true. i also have those times where i'm still just so pissed that it has to be this way.

    sending you love and thinking of my buddy Eliza always...

  12. LOVE Target. Never miss an opportunity to visit one when I am in the States. Can't wait for the stores that are supposed to be opening here soon (although I fear they will not live up to their Stateside siblings). Great photo of you & the Deuce. : )

    I hear ya on those adorable dresses giving pause. I was in Baby Gap the other day, looking for something I could send to The Princess for Easter. Being there has not bothered me lately in the way it used to (I could barely walk by the store, for YEARS, let alone enter) -- but some of those cute, fluffy pastel dresses did give me pause. (Even though Katie would now be a sulky pre-teen who probably wouldn't be caught dead in such a getup, lol.)

  13. I love that quote, I have already put it up in my little cube at work. :)

  14. I feel like I'm still working towards acceptance, nearly four years later. It is a daily struggle, but I'm getting there.
    You look fab.

  15. I go away from the internet and miss everything. You look gorgeous! I have everything crossed for you xx

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  18. You look great! Very cute bump :) I love Target as well- clearly we all do!

    It's hard letting go of what you expected to have. And it's totally unfair. I feel you on that one. And for me that letting go has still not occurred. I'm still wishing I had both my boys.....

    Continuing to pray for a healthy pregnancy and baby.

  19. I too am working towards balancing two loves.. before and after.
    You look adorable mamma!!

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  21. Oh but I fight against the letting go. I know it's The Right Thing, the only thing that will give me any sense of peace or sanity...but letting go of the life planned with Anna still feels too much like letting go of Anna, and how do we EVER do that?!
    I'm with you. It's the biggest struggle.

    The first Easter, 3 months after losing Anna, I almost threw up in Costco when passing the Easter/spring dresses. (I didn't brave Target for months.) Like you, I looked everywhere but there, and don't think I breathed or had a coherent thought until well after I left the building. At first moments like that were akin to panic. After awhile, more like the universe stomping it's big fat boot on me - beaten down, hurt, angry. Now, it's a mix of big breadths of sadness, with a teeny tiny bit of 'maybe I'll want to look at these again someday', for the new girl within. But I wonder if I can ever shop for a little girl without feeling some sadness, some bitterness? Will I always look over to the sizes two years ahead of where this girl is?
    Only if I let go, I guess....
    I pray the love of the life waiting for us is enough to do so!!

  22. Easter time is brutal. I remember last year writing all about it and being at such a low point. You've given me hope that maybe this Easter will be a tad easier. Thanks for that. : ) ~Lindsay

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