Two days ago we were pregnant.
Today, we are not.
Life and death can happen within a single hummingbird’s wing flap.
Ravens soared with 40 mph wind gusts today, they did not laugh, instead-
They cried a melancholy “Caw!” and then were gone.
Savanna returned home from the blood test with a Hazelnut Chocolate Bar, so I knew instantly. Our beautiful daughter was asleep in my lap next to a Michael Crichton novel in our Laz-e-boy beside the raging wood stove. Radiant heat to warm me from the inside. My tough and tender wife sat on the hearth and we shared the chocolate in silence before speaking of God’s will and acceptance.
It is not our fault. It is not our fault.
With tear filled eyes she told me that only because of me is she able to bear this loss with God’s plan in mind rather than ours. I told her that I was angry, because unlike our previous pregnancy, I had allowed myself to be super excited from the start. It’s easy to follow God’s will when things are going well, but the real trust happens during hard times.
My bride and I agreed that since the embryo did not have a heartbeat, legs or arms or anything resembling a human, it is an easier loss. But nonetheless, it is hard. Savanna mentioned that she can start running again, and then we brewed a pot of caffeinated coffee instead of decaf shit we have been drinking for two weeks.
We went outside in the blowing wind with yellow birch leaves flying all around. Our beautiful, healthy daughter all bundled in winter gear, ready to plant garlic in a new outdoor garden bed where we planted cabbage this year. The top layer of soil frozen, unworkable with a stirrup hoe, I used a spade to break it up. The girls came out just in time to plant. We covered garlic seeds with a layer of aged chicken manure, cardboard and a thick layer of straw for insulation. A total of 191 cloves planted this year, 120 inside the high tunnel, 71 outside. Three varieties. Romanian Red, Music and an unknown. Last year we planted roughly 30 cloves of 1 variety. We love garlic in this family and want to grow enough to last all year.
Primrose laughed and screamed and tripped on the dips and depressions in the uneven orchard then screamed when she needed help up. She laid on her back in a pile of straw with no skin but her face showing and I kissed her face and she laughed and screamed out of pure joy and gave me a bunch of kisses on the lips, something she generally saves for Mom. It was like she knew I needed them.
My sweet girls.
How blessed I am to call them family.
After we came inside, Savanna made grilled cheese sandwiches and lentil soup and mentioned how good it felt to be outside and work. Primrose ate hummus with a spoon and fed the cat. I was angry again about the loss, without a real compass for emotional complexities, I sum most of them up with anger. We ate, Savanna was patient with me and Primrose, and then we heated two big pots of water on the wood stove to give our daughter a bath together.
They say that families grow stronger during hardships endured together. We are a young family, an in-love family, with so many blessings. I am reminded that life will not always be rose hips and honey, and like the raven, it is okay to cry sometimes and to laugh others.