The plan almost worked. For most of November I would wake up every morning excited to participate in my Facebook challenge to share something I am grateful for every day of the month. Some mornings I shared very big things; other mornings I shared some of the little ways that I feel blessed. Every day I realized there were many things to give thanks for and I'd have a hard time narrowing my daily post down. Taking the time to realize how very fortunate I am improved my attitude, and I started to think that maybe life has just begun and there must be even more to look forward to.
Then a face from my past reappeared, taking me back to one of the darkest times in my life. Survival has often felt like an uphill battle since that time and I don't like to think about the things I did and the people I hurt and how. Seeing that face again reminded me of the person I used to be and I started to wonder if that person had ever really changed. Sometimes it feels like life has been dealing me blow after blow since then and I think sometimes that somehow the balance of the universe is being preserved by these blows. Something is somehow being made up for. . . Maybe - probably - something I did.
Yes, lately I spend a lot of time feeling sorry for myself. Usually guilt accompanies the self-pity but not lately. Lately the self-pity is pure. I lost my child -- the child who was supposed to be the rainbow after I lost the fetus, Baby Cude, who I happen to consider my child as well. And then there's the other stuff. . .
I thought a lot about rainbows today. Well, not just today. For the past few months I have been on a rainbow chase. A rainbow baby is a baby born after infant or pregnancy loss, and there's some beautiful explanations as to why those babies are so named, but my rainbow has evaded me. Our doctor initially told us to wait four to six months before trying again but in my heart I was trying long before then. Which led to disappoinment, month after month.
It seems more romantic than it is, but today I was chasing a rainbow. Ben and I had a fight and he left for Los Angeles, and like a puppy I chased him halfway up the mountain before the elements forced a turn-around. On my way back home I saw a rainbow, the product of stormy weather and rain. The more I drove the more I realized I would never touch the rainbow. It was an illusion, a trick played by someone to make me run and run and run only to realize I would never have what I was chasing. I suppose what hurt the most is that what I have been chasing has a name and a face and a future, all imagined by me and all cut short by a little pink line that never appeared.
So here I am: A girl chasing a rainbow that elludes capture. The rainbow has many colors. One is a man who flees capture himself, a man who longs to be free and held by no one. Another is a child who may or may not exist. And another band still are Gabriel and Baby Cude, the bands of color that I may never see on this earth.
The trick to the rainbow is that it is never caught. It is constantly pursued but rarely captured. I have friends chasing their own rainbows, and I have friends who think they have caught theirs. I've begun to think my rainbow doesn't exist. But if she does -- Well, she's a she. She has a name and future that I dreamed for her. I know how quickly a future is cut short. I dream of her prom dress and her wedding dress. I imagine who she will choose to be her confirmation saint. I see Gideon nestled against her while she is a baby, then I see her nestled against Gideon when the vet says, "It's time to make some decisions." I see her loving her grandparents the way I never loved mine. I see her carrying flowers to her big brother's grave. I see her holding my hand as I take my last breath, promising her that I will love her and wait for her as I waited for as I wait for her brother Gabriel now. There are nights where I whisper her name as I fall asleep and it feels odd to me, as I have always imagined my children as little boys, having no idea what I would do with a little girl. Now I know what I would do if God presented me with a daughter: I would love her.