It was the day after Father’s Day and I was especially excited to go to work that morning. The wait was over. I was going to tell my boss and colleagues that my husband and I would be welcoming a hatchling in six months. Due date: January 11th.
Keeping it secret for the customary three months was excruciatingly difficult and seemed ridiculous, even though they weren’t able to find the heartbeat using ultrasound a couple of weeks before. “It’s not uncommon,” the gynecologist assured me.”It’s still very early and it may be too weak. We’ll pick it up next visit. All you’re other indicators are strong.” I believed her. I had to.
I arrived at my office by 8:00am. Once let loose the happy news traveled through the office at the speed of gossip and the morning was filled with congratulatory hugs and taps on the door from the receptionist to the partners. I donned the glow of expected motherhood.
The spotting started just before noon.
I raced back to my office, speaking to no one, shut the door and called my husband first. Then the gynecologist.
At 3:00pm, after drinking gallons of water as instructed on the phone, I was in an outer room waiting for another ultrasound and exam. I was doubled over by the urge to pee and the tumbling with the fear that my bladder might burst right there.
By 4:00pm I was on the doctor’s office phone scheduling a D&C.
I don’t remember the drive home. Only that I spent the next week balled into the corner of the sofa, my eyes swollen shut from crying, tarred by an ache that wouldn’t dull.
A week later I went to work and did my job just like the hundreds of other Mondays before the Monday before.
But now everything was different. Even Mondays. I’d never be a woman who had not lost a child to miscarriage. Once you’re that woman, you are always that woman. And yes, the good news is you go on even on the difficult days. And you heal. But that person, that baby remains woven into your DNA, and your heart.
These XIZOZU were created for you to wear as touchstone of love and remembrance.
This week’s eight things that are worth sharing with friends
Issue #5: The art & heart of caregiving
Are you wedged somewhere between the needs of children, spouses, and aging parents or ailing friends? February 16th is National Caregivers Day! We’re tipping our hats to those who by circumstance or profession wear the superhero cape of caregiving. It’s important, demanding and often thankless work. But we thank you. You are appreciated. Here’s some help:
FIND YOUR TRIBE. Caregivers is a group designed to help care for the caregivers with ideas and support to lighten your load. If you didn’t laugh, you’d cry. And may still with this quick read of 25 touching caregiver experiences that will make you smile.
LEAVE IT TO THE PROS. Even though they seem like superheroes of comfort—and trained for the inevitable—professional caregivers also have emotions that must be processed. Professional Caregivers Grieve Too.
GIVE ‘EM A BREAK. Got a heavy-hitter caregiver in your life? Give them a break. Literally. This week might be the perfect time. You might also treat them to a medal 🙂
LET THE MUSIC PLAY.Sounds that Heal. Providing music to those recovering. Everybody wins.
FIND YOUR CHILL. It’s OK to relax. In fact it’s required.
FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD. I don’t care what you say nothing is more comforting than food! Here’s a rundown of the most popular go-to comfort dishes. Comfort Food Countdown – where does your favorite fall? (Personally, I’d switch #1 & #3 and everyone knows it.)
I’ll be honest – launching XIZOZU™ has been among the most rewarding and the most challenging projects I’ve ever undertaken. The times when doubts creep in and I wonder…is this really a thing?…are thankfully few, but the second-guessing does happen. Then I get an email like this…
My XIZOZU arrived yesterday, it was a gift from my mother-in-law and I haven’t taken it off. It’s like a source of renewable energy that I can draw from whenever my grief weakens me…I love that no one else knows its meaning. People just think it’s beautiful. I do too. Thank you. Thank you.
M. in Massachusetts
…and I know exactly where my path is leading. Thank you universe.
It was impossible to miss the far-reaching impact that the passing of this one woman had in her world.
I was glad to create medals that would be reminders of each of those sacred connections and also containers for the love that could no longer be physically expressed. I poured all my comforting energy into each of those medals.
It’s easy to forget how deeply each of us touches so many others on a given day, in a given lifetime. As I packaged the order up for delivery I whispered a promise to myself to be better about valuing each of spaces I occupy in other people’s lives.
Have you thought about how many roles you fill in your everyday life? The list grows quickly once you start making it. Believe me.
Without making me sound like more of a party animal than I actually am, a couple of weekends ago I wound up at two local parties on the same day. Both were casual outdoor gatherings commemorating summer’s passing. Someone was wearing a XIZOZU™ medals pendant at each of them.
Confession: I still (and will probably always) get a little thrill when I unexpectedly spot someone sporting XIZOZU™ pendants out in the wild.
At the first party the woman wore three classic bronze with black pendants close to her heart dangling from a leather cord. At the second the woman wore three similar medals but closer to her neck on a black wire choker.
Those two women were as uniquely opposite, at least on the surface, as two females can be, as were the medals the wore.
Yet they were both quite similar too. Both were equally and rightfully proud of what they had accomplished.
It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.
The first woman’s set honored overcoming challenges, the second woman’s set celebrated meeting them. Similar results, but with a small but significant difference.
Sometimes we choose our challenges, like deciding to run a marathon or buy a home. Here we need to focus our energy and summon our discipline to achieve these things.
Other times challenges appear in our paths uninvited, and we have no choice but to find a way through, or around them. Those hardships and traumatic episodes require us to fight for our selves, in the truest, deepest meaning possible, physically or mentally.
In each case, the work is hard. In both cases they deserve medals.
We enjoyed hosting two separate broods of nesting bluebirds in our bluebird box this season. The first one came in early spring, the second moved in soon after the original tenants departed.
I glimpsed them often as the parents tirelessly fed, cleaned house, and protected their families from predators. Like small blue drops of glee, they flitted through my world and I smiled inside. It was all so marvelous and, I knew, temporary. Continue reading “Missing the Bluebirds”
Monday’s post was pretty solemn and the number of people who reached out too extend their sympathy or share their own shattering experiences was beautiful.
That generous outpouring of positive energy inspired me to create this white square XIZOZU™ which I will be releasing soon. It’s is a special edition medal to remind us that when we come upon something positive or beautiful, we should honor it.
Wear this XIZOZU™ as a prompt to take those few extra minutes to truly appreciate when you discover something exquisite, whether it’s part of the physical world, an idea, or someone else’s heartwarming action. Let it be marvelous.
Notice the details and make it a gift to yourself by sitting with it alone.
Then by sharing it.
If you’d like to know when this medal is released (and would enjoy receiving a little discount) be sure to join the email list.