Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Babies, My Flower & My Rock

After the accident I was shaken to say the least. 

I have this eerie calm about me under pressure.  I didn't freak out, I didn't lose it. I didn't cry, I didn't panic, even if I may have wanted to.  Plus, my husband was trying really hard to make sure I didn't lose it.  I love that guy.

Sitting in the middle of the interstate in the freezing night wasn't what I had planned to be doing just then. 

After we got dropped off by the tow truck I had to get the kids out of the car and head to the hotel to wait.  I had to grab what I could.

My husband did most of the heavy lifting, he always does.  He made the trips back and forth.  He carried everything across the snow filled parking lot. 

Before I left the van, not sure that I'd ever be seeing it again, I took the things I knew couldn't be replaced.

I took the beautiful foam flower that two of the kids made for me in a mommy and me preschool program right after we moved to Colorado.  It sits above my rear view mirror.

I took a small rock, with the word hope on it.  Tom got it in a gift bag for his participation in the survivor's lap in the Relay for Life last year.  He isn't a sentimental guy, and he asked me if I wanted it.  He already knew.  He didn't need to ask.  I've carried that rock with me ever since.  It sits in the driver's side door, where I can see it as many times a day as I need to.  Anytime I need to feel closer to my dad, it's there.

I took my babies.  All of them.  The four living breathing ones, and the beaded ones that hang on a necklace around my rear view mirror. 

It's funny, because my daughter was worried about my babies.  She wanted to make sure that I had them, that they didn't get left in the car. 

I suppose I should explain.  A few of you already know what my babies are.  Each bead represents one of the babies I have helped into this world through my work as a doula.  I was given the heart and the cording by my doula trainer all those years ago.  She told me that the most important tool a doula could ever have was her heart.  Her heart would bring her babies.  And mine has. 

Every single one of them, and their parents, has taught me something.  Each of them, a miracle.  Each of them, forever a part of me.  Each of them has a matching bead. 

I probably should have a lot more babies on that necklace than I do.  Being a doula isn't just about the physical support, and I have helped many more families in other ways.  I can't tell you how many of my closest friends have called me with questions from thousands of miles away.  I've answered their questions as best I could, cried with them when they were scared, wished them luck, reassured them.  I hope that I helped them too, even if it wasn't in person.

The kids often quiz me about the beads, to see if I can still remember them all.  Which one belongs to who, how old they are now.  And I do.

I hope that for however long I am able to work as a doula that I will remember. 

When we got the car back yesterday, the first thing I did, before I did anything else was put my babies back in the car.  First the living, breathing ones, then the beaded ones.  Then I put my flower back. 

Finally, I held my rock, closed my eyes and said a silent prayer.  Then I put it right back where it belongs.

Only then could I continue my trip home.

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind.  A true journey in chaos if ever there was such a thing.  All of it, every single piece of it, it all happened for a reason.

I love you, Dad.

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