Mercy

When I was pregnant with my first born, there was a point in which tests were run to determine whether any abnormalities were present. As with damn near every medical evaluation I’ve experienced to date (and believe me, I’ve experienced more than I care to recall), there was an excruciating span of time between the actual test and news of the results. During a particular day among those spent waiting… hoping… fearing the worst… agonizing over what I may have done wrong or could have done better… I had met a couple of gals for lunch. I can only imagine I must have exuded the anxiety coursing through every vein in my body as they attempted to keep the conversation light and distracting. Finally one of the girls interrupted the obligatory ramblings and turned to look at me with a disturbing sense of urgency; “You know God only gives us what we are strong enough to handle and you are the strongest woman I’ve ever known.”

“I don’t believe in God,”
No, I didn’t say those words out loud…. I suppose I may have as my memory of the event ends there, but I can piece together enough of later interactions with her to safely assume I must have put on a gracious and receptive face in response to what I hope were words spoken with the best of intentions.  Still? I wouldn’t recommend keeping that as any sort of go-to phrase of comfort should you ever find yourself attempting to soothe the innate fears of a first-time Mama-to-be.

If there were a god, news of my perceived strength clearly leaked out as I have had my resilience tested far beyond my actual means. Where I used to go on scavenger hunts for silver lining and baby pandas, now I am utterly hollow. Broken. I have nothing left to give. I simply  grasp that proverbial thread out of reflex and more accurately, out of an immeasurable amount of love for my boys. Those same boys deserve worlds better than I’m equipped to provide, and that knowledge pushes me deeper down into the darkest of pits.

This is not a cry for help as those cries slipped out long ago only to be met with deafening silence. In isolation and I suppose in some sort of auto-pilot, instinctual sense, I come back to the only outlet I’ve ever known. My own words, I’ve come to realize, are the only thing I can’t be stripped of so long as my brain continues, tirelessly, to buzz. Day in and day out. I stare out the smoke-stained windows of this garage at the blackness beyond and see myself reflected in it. Nothingness that was once teeming with life.

My eyes are tired and etched with scarlet webs. Every so often, I’m aware of tears streaming down out from them and somewhere inside, there are whispers furiously trying to hush the vocal sobs so as not to continue frightening those sweet boys inside the house. Guilt wrestles Despair and eventually wins the bout, but Despair perseveres in furious waves as the sun rises and sets and the days all run together.

I only leave the house, now, to drop off and retrieve my boys from school. Those boys are my world, but I have fading memories of a world I wish I could expose them to… the one that was once kind and fascinating and full of experience and hope. I wonder if this is the definition of “handling” that the girl’s god had in mind for me. Is this where I’m expected to scream “MERCY!”? I’m afraid I don’t know the rules of that game.

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Kitty

Friday, February 24, 2017

Mercy

When I was pregnant with my first born, there was a point in which tests were run to determine whether any abnormalities were present. As with damn near every medical evaluation I’ve experienced to date (and believe me, I’ve experienced more than I care to recall), there was an excruciating span of time between the actual test and news of the results. During a particular day among those spent waiting… hoping… fearing the worst… agonizing over what I may have done wrong or could have done better… I had met a couple of gals for lunch. I can only imagine I must have exuded the anxiety coursing through every vein in my body as they attempted to keep the conversation light and distracting. Finally one of the girls interrupted the obligatory ramblings and turned to look at me with a disturbing sense of urgency; “You know God only gives us what we are strong enough to handle and you are the strongest woman I’ve ever known.”

“I don’t believe in God,”
No, I didn’t say those words out loud…. I suppose I may have as my memory of the event ends there, but I can piece together enough of later interactions with her to safely assume I must have put on a gracious and receptive face in response to what I hope were words spoken with the best of intentions.  Still? I wouldn’t recommend keeping that as any sort of go-to phrase of comfort should you ever find yourself attempting to soothe the innate fears of a first-time Mama-to-be.

If there were a god, news of my perceived strength clearly leaked out as I have had my resilience tested far beyond my actual means. Where I used to go on scavenger hunts for silver lining and baby pandas, now I am utterly hollow. Broken. I have nothing left to give. I simply  grasp that proverbial thread out of reflex and more accurately, out of an immeasurable amount of love for my boys. Those same boys deserve worlds better than I’m equipped to provide, and that knowledge pushes me deeper down into the darkest of pits.

This is not a cry for help as those cries slipped out long ago only to be met with deafening silence. In isolation and I suppose in some sort of auto-pilot, instinctual sense, I come back to the only outlet I’ve ever known. My own words, I’ve come to realize, are the only thing I can’t be stripped of so long as my brain continues, tirelessly, to buzz. Day in and day out. I stare out the smoke-stained windows of this garage at the blackness beyond and see myself reflected in it. Nothingness that was once teeming with life.

My eyes are tired and etched with scarlet webs. Every so often, I’m aware of tears streaming down out from them and somewhere inside, there are whispers furiously trying to hush the vocal sobs so as not to continue frightening those sweet boys inside the house. Guilt wrestles Despair and eventually wins the bout, but Despair perseveres in furious waves as the sun rises and sets and the days all run together.

I only leave the house, now, to drop off and retrieve my boys from school. Those boys are my world, but I have fading memories of a world I wish I could expose them to… the one that was once kind and fascinating and full of experience and hope. I wonder if this is the definition of “handling” that the girl’s god had in mind for me. Is this where I’m expected to scream “MERCY!”? I’m afraid I don’t know the rules of that game.

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