Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Plot Change

Do you ever wonder what life would be like now if only...

A little over 3 years ago, when Janie was only 1, Matt and I went to Cancun with another couple. Our first Sunday there was Mother's Day, and I was determined to have a good one even though I was away from our daughter. It wasn't planned, just one of those uh-oh sort of discoveries that we made after we bought our tickets and made all our arrangements. I should have known that bad things would befall a woman who went out of the country on Mother's Day without her child.

We were laying on the white sand under shady cabanas sipping cold, blended, watered-down drinks, lazily sleeping and watching the water. I'm horrible at descriptions, but the water looks like one of those credit card commercials where the couple has gone somewhere wonderful on miles they earned by paying 29% interest. So light blue, clear, friendly and welcoming.

On this day there was a black flag which means no swimming. I'm cool with that, no problem. Eventually though, we got hot so my best friend and I decided to get just our feet wet to cool off. I got in as far as my ankles and then the waves started pulling me out farther and farther. I swear I wasn't trying to go in, but it was getting deeper and deeper and the waves were relentless. My friend was already out, but I couldn't get out. Standing on the shore, yelling for me to get out were my husband, best friend, her husband, a life guard and some other resort worker that the life guard was shaking his head to (dumb gringa). I could hear them yelling to me between waves, but it was tough. The waves were so strong and pulling me farther out. It was getting hard to get a breath between them before the next one would crash over my head. I couldn't scream, there wasn't time and I had to concentrate on trying to breathe and maintain my footing. I could see my husband between the crashes and the salt water in my eyes and mentally begged him to save me. My arms were trying to push back the water and my legs felt like they had ropes around them pulling them out to sea. Actually, I wondered why no one was doing anything because I was getting tired and knew I was about to go. My strength was gone and I was beginning to accept that I would not make it back out again. I actually knew the ending to my own story and was calm about it.

For some reason, the waves started to lessen. There was a little more space between them. I struggled and pulled myself forward. A few more steps and it went from waist high to knee high. At that point, someone grabbed my wrist and helped pull me out. I fell into the sand exhausted. Everyone was talking at once. My husband, pacing all around me was asking me why I went out and why I didn't come back in, didn't I hear him? My best friend was asking if I was okay and laughing that I really scared them. Her husband was saying something I don't remember, probably about us all needing stronger drinks. The life guard was telling me to stay out of the water when there's a black flag. I think the resort worker was just shaking his head before going off to tell the other four or five tourists who stopped to watch what an imbecile I was for going in the water.

Eventually, they helped me to my chair and I sat and sipped my drink. I couldn't believe that I made it out. I couldn't. I knew that I had slipped into some other path, sort of like those books we'd read as children where you can turn to a certain page depending on what decision you chose. It was like I had read that page, decided I didn't like how that decision turned out, so cheated and went back and made the other choice. I don't know how I did that, but I was amazed. I think I sat out there another hour just staring out at the water, not even realizing that half my hair was still in a pig tail and the other half was down.

I joked about how I could have really ruined their vacation by dying on the second day. I laughed at what a dilemma they would have had whether to stay after my death since they had already paid for the week, and besides I was dead, rushing home wouldn't change that.

But actually what I thought most about was my daughter. What would happen to a girl who lost her mother at only 1 year old on Mother's Day? She wouldn't remember me. She wouldn't know how much I loved her. She wouldn't know all the nights I stayed up with her, all the kisses I gave her, or any of the things I wanted to teach her. I would be erased from her life and it was a horrible thought.

It's not like I purport to be the world's best mother. Trust me I'm not. But, it would be as if I had never been a mother if I hadn't left any impression on her life besides my death. She'd end up adopting another mother, and what would that make me? The time I spent conceiving her, pregnant with her, and caring for her as an infant would be gone.

I don't really have much of a moral to this story, but how quickly everything changes. The most dramatic things happen in the blink of an eye, and then there's no going back. For my friend Valerie, her baby was born with Down's syndrome. Just like that, everything is different. Forget what you know or planned for because circumstances have changed.

Sometimes things happen on these blogs that are just like that. There's a miscarriage or a birth. Someone gets a positive hpt while on break while someone else gets a negative after IVF. It seems random to me. It's not based on any sort of merit based system. And each time, things change and there's no going back to the way they were they day before. And you hope that there are more good things happening than bad, but it's never even steven for any one person. One person can be dealt more than their share of bad and it's not fair. And I'm here pregnant, and I can't tell you why since it's a mystery to me why one of those poor embryos would stick, but one did. And my life has changed, no matter the final outcome. I just wish I knew what it was. I want a tiny peek into the future to see that it's okay.

Okay, it's 2am and although I'm still not sleepy, for the sake of my morning self I should try. I wish I could get comfortable. I wish the baby was this active during the day time instead of the night. And I really wish that Matt didn't snore so loud. Good night to all my sisters, especially Dee and Jen P who are on my mind. Kind of strange to worry about women I've never met, but I feel connected, yet disconnected and helpless at the same time. So hard to just be there for a friend when you can't be there.


Blogger The Lioness said...

Beautiful post, this one. Life does change in a nanosecond, and I also believe it's pretty random. All we can do is hope the changes will be kind to us. And when they're not, I suppose all we can do is trying to remain standing and hope against hope all will be alright some day, soon.

10:37 AM  

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