A few days ago, I started working on the book. It’s still a little strange to me that we have a story to share. I like fiction; the author can develop a story, you can get lost in it, and then tell yourself it isn’t real anyway. These people don’t exist. Those things didn’t happen. It’s just entertainment. So the concept of having a real story be enough for people to want to read it, whether it’s for the purpose of finding strength in themselves or compassion for others, is…strange.
I wrote a sentence, deleted it. Wrote two, deleted them. I wrote a page, deleted it, and rewrote it. I considered all of the many places to begin. Doing that meant letting my mind wander back to a time when everything was okay. Apparently, I wasn’t quite ready for that.
This isn’t the only blog about Benjamin. There’s another one that has been indefinitely set to private. That blog began when I was just past the first trimester and it had two purposes: 1) keep family and friends updated on what’s going on, and 2) make a small, personal book that I was going to give to him when he was older. The last entry was made when we decided to go to CHOP and I set it to private a few days after he passed away. I hadn’t gone back to it until a few days ago when I started working on the book.
This is from the very last entry before his CDH was discovered:
The day we meet Ben, face to face, has played over and over again in my mind. I’ve heard him, though I don’t know what he’ll sound like. I’ve seen him, though I don’t know what he’ll look like. I’ve smelled him, though I don’t know what he’ll smell like. For so long, the thought of our first child has been very abstract to me. Each day, the idea of having our family grow in this way becomes more and more real.
What I found was a level of naivety that almost embarrassed me in front of no one other than myself. I know that, logically, everything was going the way it should have been. I know that, logically, we were making plans for a baby that we had no reason not to believe would be coming home with us that September. In reading a few of those entries, there was a part of me that wanted to find a way to warn myself. Don’t be so sure. Don’t wash those clothes. Don’t build that nursery. Don’t make those plans. But the rest of me just wanted to go back and do it all again.
That desire to go back in time and not be able to was strong enough to bring me to my knees. It affected me, emotionally, for the remainder of the day. Every time a wave of tears would subside, a new one would show up in its place. I wanted to go back. I wanted to go back immediately.
I don’t think this is a healthy way of thinking. At least, it isn’t for me. I owe it to Paisley, my husband, and myself to keep moving forward. I even think Ben would want his mom to keep moving forward. Not on – just forward. Until I can explore my memory of Ben when he was alive and inside of me without losing myself in that time, I can’t go there. Writing the book requires that I stay there for a while. So it’s going to have to wait. Not for very long, just for now.
So to those who have been asking, hinting, and pushing for a book…I appreciate your support. for now, this is the status. I can promise that I’ll get to work on it at some point in the very near future.
“Not only is your story worth telling, but it can be told in words so painstakingly eloquent that it becomes a song.” – Gloria Naylor