Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Didn't we almost have it all?

More often than not I am thankful for the time I had with Jack. I'm so bitter that we had him, and then lost him just as quickly. Like sand through my fingers, I lost it.

I would do it all over again to have him for the brief time we did, rather than not at all. I would endure the heartache we must to continue to live our lives without him, to be heartbroken he didn't get to live his life.

I think about how great life was, for just a few days, and it sends me reeling into a fit of tears and devastation. For just a few days we really did have it all. We had our love for one another, exponentially increasing because of the love we now shared with our sweet boy. We were happy. We were healthy. We were lucky. We had everything, and a little boy to create the most wonderful life for.

I don't think I was ungrateful for that. I don't think I took it for granted that we had him. It certainly wasn't easy getting from slightly pregnant to baby born into our arms. It was all finally going to be worth it- all the barfing, all the heartburn, all the aches and pains and worry for him. He was alive, and well.

Until he wasn't. 

We lost it. All of the stuff which was important- ultimately only him.

We almost had it all, and now we never can again. Hopefully there will be MANY more McBabes. But never again will we be able to say it feels like everything is exactly as it should be. Never again can we feel like we had it all, and could not ask for more. We can't because HE will always be missing. And we won't be because it could always be a little bit better.

I'm reminded of a line from one of my very favourite movies, Love Actually. One of the characters  discovered her husband has been having an emotional (and yet never quite physical) affair with another woman. He begs her to forgive him, to stay with him. I've always thought what came next was very honest, direct, and true. She asks, "Would you stay? Knowing life would always be a little bit worse?"

I've thought about that before. Would I stay if this happened, and truthfully I don't know that I could. Because I deserve to be as happy as humanly possible on Earth, and if it would always be worse, why not cut your losses and find the happy? Be the happiest you could be. Why settle? Luckily for me, my husband would never, he's promised me this time and time again. I'm not worried about it, he knows where his bread is buttered. Also, I would kill him. ;)

But of course, cutting my losses and running isn't an option. Of course we'll stay here, always being a little bit worse. Never quite fulfilling the happiness quota which wasn't far from our reach just a few short months ago. But it's begrudgingly that we do so, because we have no other choice. 

Live or Die.

Stay and live, always a little bit worse.

I struggle to walk a fine line between blatant optimism for the future and our future family, and falling into a pit of despair. I hate knowing I need to leave behind my hopes and dreams for a life with him, to embrace a future without.

How do you wrap your head around always being a little worse? What do you tell yourself to make it all worth it? 

=========================================================================Edited to add:

BTW, a few comments have been made about the Adele song Rollin' in the Deep as inspiration for this title. 

Nope, while I love that song too, I was humming along to the old school Whitney Houston song of the same name. Lyrics as follows:

"Didn't we almost have it all 

When love was all we had worth giving? 
The ride with you was worth the fall my friend 
Loving you makes life worth living.
Didn't we almost have it all 
The night we held on till the morning. 
You know you'll never love that way again 
Didn't we almost have it all?"


Kelly said...

I cannot answer your questions cuz I don't know. Natalie helps me move forward, but it doesn't take away from the fact that things will always be a little worse.

"But never again will we be able to say it feels like everything is exactly as it should be." Very much this. I asked Jim if Father's Day was gonna be hard for him like Mother's Day was for me. He said no cuz he doesn't look at it like he lost Adam, but that he still has Natalie. I told him it was more my feeling that no matter how many children we have, there will always be one missing. Just like you said, nothing will ever be the way it should be. It's just not right.

Shell said...

Great post. You write to eloquently and your posts always get me thinking with your questions at the end. I try to make each day worthwhile by thinking of where my Leia may be now. I take much more time now to enjoy nature and all the animals that before seemed to never really matter much to me at all. I don't know why I observe this more. Maybe because I am feeling more fragile and close to the edge.

Brooke said...

Oh, LJ, I puzzle over this all the time (and out loud to my therapist). How do I ever reconcile the happiness I was supposed to have with the knowledge that my life will never, ever be complete without Eliza in it? I have no idea. Because, like you, I never took it all for granted. I wasn't ungrateful. I felt so incredibly lucky that everything I wanted was happening at once. Life felt too good to be true when I was pregnant and then suddenly, it wasn't true anymore and everything fell apart and I still don't know why I would even want to go on in the wake of this loss.

Of course there are certain things I will appreciate more, certain people I am grateful to have met, but I can't believe that there will ever be anything so good in my life to even come close to balancing out what has been lost. I don't know how to wrap my head around that and keep going. I don't know how to find hope or optimism with that thought haunting me. Because although I have experienced gifts in the wake of Eliza's loss, there would have been so many greater gifts if she had lived.

I do know that my capacity for love is deeper. My connections with other people are more meaningful. My tolerance for bullshit is lower. But I didn't need those lessons. I was really doing okay before, and I'd sure as hell be better off if I just had Eliza here.

So yes, our lives will always be a little bit worse because our babies died. I think it's also true that our lives will be deeper, richer, wiser, crazier, more absurd, more interesting, more complicated, more adventurous, more appreciative, and more sacred because we love and miss those babies.

It doesn't make it better. But there are moments when I realize it is what it is. I will piece together the best life I can have and it will never be the life I hoped it would be. The truth is, there's probably nobody in the world who has the life they hoped they would have. Some event has occurred so that everyone's life is a little bit worse than they would have hoped. Our brand tragedy seems especially heartbreaking and unfair, but life is a gamble like that. And we are all living in the middle of better and worse.

Hi I just wrote a novel in your blog comments that really probably makes no sense at all and now I am going to eat some cookies.

Nicole Gilbert said...

Oh Laura, every time I hear that song by Adele and she belts out "I can't help feeling we almost had it all" I burst into tears. I wish I had something uplifting to say tonight but honesty there are no words. No matter how much changes in our lives they will always be missing and we will forever walk that fine line you are talking about.

Molly said...

I was just listening to that song nicole mentioned today and thought ur post was about that. Well it sorta still is. Was buying jason a father's day card and several said "we've got it all" and I couldn't buy them. Thought about it but would've had tn insert an "almost". Suckfest

LauraJane said...

Every time I hear those lyrics in the Adele song, I add, "almost".

Becky said...

I think the worst part is just knowing things will never be the same. Our babes will always be missing. It is the one thing that we can't fix or change, nothing will bring them back. And it sucks!

My husband and I have kind of the same understanding. If he breaks my heart I'll kill him, and vice versa.

Darcey said...

I don't like it one bit and don't think I can actually accept it, but I can't change it so I live with it. I just said to my husband last night that I have watched 14 of my friends in 6 months have healthy babies (3 yesterday alone) all girls thankfully for my sanity, and that is how it is supposed to be...not this mess.

lissasue3 said...

I agree with Kelly. ((hugs))

And I love your references. I adore the movie Love Actually and I was thinking the Adele song when I read the title.

little vitu's mom said...

When I were pregnant, about 6 months, I started believing that my son is going to come. Until then I always feared a miscarriage. I kept telling my husband that how lucky we were, and how this was the happiest time in my life, and how we I had everything one could ask for. I was not 100percent content with my job as am overqualified for that position, but I didn't care. I just was too happy.

Now to think that I will never ever be that happy again. No matter what good happens in my life, a person is always missing. Someone whom I never really got to know. It hurts a lot.

LookItsJessica said...

Dude, I think of my life every time I hear that song by Adele. I also always think of Liam when I hear "Please don't go" by Mike Posner, which is cheesier song but still kills me.

PS. "Love Actually" is the best!! After I read this, I decided to watch it and found that Jordan deleted it... WTFF?

Tiffany said...

The constant playing of that Adele song on the radio has had this thought on my mind a lot too. I think a lot about how this time last year, we HAD IT ALL! It was there. Now, I wonder if it was. It almost seems like a dream now. I constantly tell myself I guess this better than the alternative of never ever knowing her. I would take this pain every day, every second, for one second with her. I thank God every day that I got nine whole months. It's all so messed up though. This shouldn't be the mindset of a mother.
PS- How are the ovaries?? Have the Clomid Crazies taken over yet??

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