Ancient History

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It’s a minefield of days to dread.

My first pregnancy loss was on February 10, 2005.

My second pregnancy loss would have been due the first week of February 2006.

My third pregnancy loss would have been due the last week of February, this year.

It seems apt that a personally dismal month happens to be at this tilt—when my hemisphere is reclined, in rest, anticipating. It’s cold and the trees are black against the sky. Melting has a scent, but I can’t smell it yet.

It’s February. It’s necessary. The word fallow keeps going through my mind. The older I get, the more I see patterns in my past. Nothing seems to bloom anew for a season. It’s a forced quiet and fighting it is futile.

But it’s okay. The days prompt me to consider those could-have-beens and let them go, one by one.

When I drive to Aidan’s school, I pass a bald eagle reserve. It is near a large lake. The trees are enormous, aged, and bare. It’s easy to see the eagles upright on the tip top branches, even in the most bitter and unforgiving weather. They do not waver or flap. They are still. They witness the lake freezing over, they witness the ice sighing away at sunrise, back to join the clouds rolling over the mountains.

They don’t seek sunnier places, south. They must know, deep inside, something good is coming and it won’t be long.

15 comments to Amethyst

  • That was beautiful! Wishing you a speedy February (despite Leap Year) and a sunny Spring.

    susannah’s last blog post..Tag! You’re It.

  • Rachel

    I wrote to you two months back when my I lost my first pregnancy. I think of you and your writings a lot, mostly “Gravity” in church on Sundays as I hold back the tears, and “Olives” as I go back to the doctor’s office. Thank you so much for what you have shared, it has helped so much just to know that someone else knows this pain. I’ll be praying for you this February.
    love, Rachel

  • I “met” you this past summer when you lost your most recent tiny one, and I remember being struck at the power and vulnerability of your reflections. I think of your “Tough Guy” post quite often.

    I feel inadequate to say much of anything meaningful . . . just that I am so sorry for your losses and always so inspired by your reflections. I’ll be thinking of you as you walk through these days, anticipating the thaw.

    Megan@SortaCrunchy’s last blog post..Ducking out for a bit . . .

  • edj

    Hope is the opposite of despair.
    “If winter comes, can spring be far behind?” Keats, Ode to Autumn

    edj’s last blog post..The Few, The Proud, The Coffee-Deprived

  • You write so exquisitely about your pain, Gretchen. May God continue to give you peace for each day. And hope.

    I pray I never have to walk through what you have, but I am glad to know that if I ever do, there will be women like you to share the load with me.

    Heidi’s last blog post..Introducing?Flat Stanley Fridays!

  • I’m wishing you a joyous spring to follow this darkness of winter.

    Tagging you for a meme.

  • Oh Gretch, hugs. You’ll make it to March. Dar Williams has a beautiful song called “February,” that you might get something from.

    I will pray for a beautiful and uplifting spring to follow quickly on the heels of February.

  • Totally meant to put the link to Dar’s song in the last comment … duh.

  • I don’t even have any official reason, and yet February is always my hardest month. Bleak, cold, dead and (somehow) always the longest month of the year.

    Blessings to you, my friend.

  • amy

    I know what you mean about life seeming/becoming barren. I recently read that world wide people are saddest/depressed most in their 40s, happiest in their 20s and 70s. I used to think a midlife crisis was about wanting to be young again, but it’s about losing youth. I try to think about how young I still am, and how young myself today will seem to myself tomorrow.

    “Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, but to be young was very heaven.” Wordsworth.

    P.S. I’m not saying you’re having a midlife crisis.

  • Powerful post Gretchen.

    Heth’s last blog post..Never Say Never

  • So many good reasons to loathe February. And yet such a hopeful post, at its heart.

    Here’s to bright sunshine and good things.

    ((gentle hugs))

    Jenni’s last blog post..Firsts

  • LOVE it.

    Rach’s last blog post..ballet

  • I can see why February is painful for you. I will be thinking of you lots

    Melany’s last blog post..Intimidated

  • jen

    Yes, February. Penance for the beauty of September. I too hate February with a passion. One miscarriage, a second bout of mono, a full month of antibiotics and Prednisone (yes, gained 20 pounds) for a sinus infection I didn’t have…yeah, February is icky. Only 23 days to go.

    jen’s last blog post..The best of intentions and $4.50 will get me a latte at Starbucks

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