Ancient History

Follow Me?



A certain song on the radio, a pink and blue sunrise, a well-timed and encouraging email from a friend. An onion ring. peace

One month ago today we found out that we had lost our baby. The image that stuck in my mind that day was of Joel eating crackers while sitting on the midwife’s lap as “Bear Necessities” played on a TV. That was the safe image to have at that time.

Ever since then when I think of that morning, I remember sitting up on the table in the still-dark ultrasound room. The tech and the midwife had just left the room with the words “I am so sorry” dangling in the air. I was alone. The boys were out in the hallway with the staff.

As I sat up I had the overwhelming sense that my entire life had just come to a buckling, smoking, startling halt. The road as I knew it ended. Off to the right there was a new road.

But it isn’t going the way I was planning to go!

I dressed, I think. I must have because nobody told me to go back in and put on my newly-ironic maternity pants.

That road goes down into a dark, dry valley…

I came out of the room into the bustle of life and light. A giant bulletin board with pictures of hundreds of newborn babies the doctors and midwives had delivered over the years was directly across from the doorway.

Look at all those potholes. Look at the crumbling asphalt. There are no other cars on that road. What if I break down? Who will come to my rescue?

I saw the midwife and the ultrasound tech and I smiled at them. At the time I wondered “why am I smiling?” It was to keep from crying, to put on a brave face, to appear to be strong.

I turn the corner and shift from first into second gear, speeding up. I accelerate faster and faster. Maybe, if I drive fast, I will get through this valley and not have to see so much of it out of my windshield.

The midwife took me into an office to discuss the next step. Oh, you mean I can’t just pretend that the last 15 minutes never happened?

Wait, there was a sign and I couldn’t read it. I guess I have to slow down enough to see all the signs. One of them could be important. One of them could tell me how to get off this road.

So, every morning I wake up looking for signs. Signs that I am handling this right. Signs that there is solid hope for the future. Signs that God is actually listening to me. Signs that make me laugh. Signs that it will all make sense some day. Most of all, I look for exit signs and intersections, but I haven’t seen any.

Some of these signs have been obvious and some have been subtle. Some have even been laughable.

Yesterday, for lunch, I treated myself to a Peppercorn Ranch Chicken sandwich from Good Times. I got the mix of onion rings and fries on the side. I nibbled my fries and onion rings in between stirring a pot of Scooby Doo macaroni and cheese and pouring the boys’ milk. I reached for another onion ring and was struck by its unusual shape.

It was a peace sign.

My first thought was to sell it on ebay.

My second thought was “no.”

My next thought was “I can’t eat this one.”

And then I laughed until my stomach hurt. A sure sign that everything is going to be alright. There are many more blind corners ahead, but I think there might be a Good Times off the next exit ramp.

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