NOTE: Thank you to my community of bloggers for helping renew my faith with your supportive feedback after you read my heart-wrenching blog last week. You help me realize that I do not have to carry my “griefcase” alone.
White walls. White-tiled floors. White bed sheets. White 100% polyester bedspread. White slippery pillowcase. White wall sockets. White ceiling. White light. White light switch. If you could color faith, it wouldn’t be the color white. Let’s face it. It’s a bland, nondescript color that, at least as far as I am concerned, flattens the creative juices and makes a brain groggy.
I felt like a hollow light bulb all last week, remembering the white hospital room. I was rushed there over 28 years ago. For the next seven days, I resided in the white room after my water broke unexpectedly and I, along with the doctors, waited for my preemie’s lungs to develop fully before undergoing a C-section.
Even though I had a baby boy growing inside me, and a faithful husband at the time, a feeling of lonesomeness swallowed me. Maybe it was the effect of the decor’s whiteness, but I felt isolated. I simply waited like a prisoner for that moment of release.
I can still hear my first-grade teacher Mrs. Story. “You must learn to wait.”
She snapped every syllable in each word deliberately until her rubber band tone made your head crack.
Looking back, the “It’s Time! Declaration” strings many periods of my life together.
It’s time! I heard the declaration, a false alarm, so many times as my father slowly died from emphysema over two decades ago. It’s time! At the end of the fourth year, it REALLY was time.
It’s time! My mom’s death from a stroke was faster, about six months, and after a couple of false alarms, those two words came to be realized at the end of 2015. My brother Michael, on the other hand, that was a shocker death in 2002. He, too, suffered a stroke. After a week, I heard, It’s time! And, so it was.
Now back to 1993, It’s Time! Signified a week of waiting for my firstborn to be delivered, lying flat on my back like a piece of cork board. First, his delivery date was April then March and here we were January 18th. His time had come in it’s own time. It’s time! As lethargic as I felt from the white surroundings and white noise in my head, I could have kicked into a tap dance on those highly polished white tiles.
Though still in my early 30s, I just never believed I would “be blessed” with having children and here we were ready to give birth. What a twist in my life plot.
If I were given the opportunity to peek at the ending, would I have continued turning the pages? Frankly, I do not know. “Cruel twists in life” are apropos chapter names for so many of the subsequent chapters in the my life’s book.
Am I a better person for having my son in my life for a short period rather then not at all? At the moment, it’s all so painful, I will spare you the answer. You see, last year was tough after losing him, but it felt like his cells that dropped from his skin, his scent, his tracks, his being were fresh and alive, and I indulged in every little crumb. Now, fourteen months later on this day, he is so nonexistent. Dead. Gone. Hours roll by during the week, and his anticipated, regular phone calls are no longer prevalent. Everything feels whitewashed.
Sure, all the “believers,” all, by the way, who have living children, tell me I WILL feel him. That he IS alive. We’ve all heard the drill. Raw fact is that everything feels neutral like the color white.
Perhaps, one day some miracle or epiphany will champion me to have relentless faith and add color into the white palette and make me feel his spirit, but for now, it’s pure vanilla. I don’t know the essence of its meaning, but, ironically, vanilla has been my preferred flavor for many years.
It would have been an honor to see him at 28, as it was an honor to see him every day he was alive.