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  • Writer's picturelilaharrisonking

Temples and Tombs

Just when I decide I need more humor in my life and I'm going to start sharing funny stories on my blog, I show up here with a heaviness. I'm deep into a writing project about some very heavy stuff and I just can't shake it. So I won't try to. I will sit with it and write it out of me hoping that soon, very soon, the humor will show itself to me again and I can laugh until my stomach hurts. But that's for another day.

For today, I'm thinking about temples, and tombs. My mind is in the past because that's what my current work in progress is requiring of me. In 2005 we lost our second baby. Or, I suppose I should say, the hope of our second baby. We had already endured a failed adoption of a baby girl the year prior. That one was a whirlwind. We found out about her on a Thursday and went to pick her up two days later, on Saturday. Just as quickly as she came into our lives, she left. We came home with no baby and an endless amount of tears. The only silver lining I could find was that we didn't have time to set up a nursery. We had a bassinette for her in our bedroom and James took it apart and hid it away the minute we got home.

With baby boy, it was different. We had months to prepare for him. I had so much fun shopping for and furnishing his nursery. I couldn't wait to wrap him in the blankets I bought for him or rock him in the rocking chair. That room was filled with so much hope that it felt like a temple to me. I would sit in there every day and smile imaging being a mother. Sadly, that one didn't work out either. When we got the call two weeks before his due date that his mother had changed her mind, James simply shut the door to that room and we kept it closed.

Sometimes at night, after James fell asleep, I would creep into the nursery. What once was full of hope and happiness now was cold and empty, like a tomb. I stared at the changing table with its unopened baby powder and tiny little diapers, the dresser filled with blue outfits and soft socks. I pulled the clothes out and hugged them to me.

James caught me one night and his voice startled my silent sobbing. “You know he wasn’t our baby, right?”

I nod, the tears hot on my face.

“She’ll love him and take care of him,” he says. “She is his mother.”

My tears spill even faster. Even though I know he is right, I also know that I want to be that baby’s mother. I’m not ready to say it wasn’t meant to be, to move on, to quit grieving.

I wonder if I'll ever get the chance to be someone's mother.

He takes my hand and leads me out of the room shutting the door behind us, once more.

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