Thank you, everyone. Thank you for your words, your kindness, and your warmth. Some of you made me tear up, some made me chuckle or even snort, but all made me feel warm and cared for. It is so strange to be in the house with friends, real, close friends, but friends who don't know, who I don't want to know for now, and to read your words, my real and my liminal friends inside the computer. Good strange, though.
I decided not to go for a blood draw today-- it would've included long conversations with my insurance company to cover an out of state lab, and then driving for 30+ mi to the lab open today, and then waiting for the result until probably Wednesday. I did the qualitative (i.e. POAS) test again, and the line got darker. Still there, then. My attitude is that I am doing everything I can to make sure it sticks, and that has to be enough for now. I think JD is allowing himself more hope, but I can't yet, I have to remain agnostic. And I am scared of breaking his heart again.
The numbness that settled over me on Friday covers a multitude of sins, it seems. I expected 11 months to be gut-wrenchingly hard, but so far it has been muted. By the numbness, I think. The New Year's Eve celebration, which, for those from the Old Country is an elaborate and raucous affair is still ahead of me, so there is still room for a meltdown or three. Still, I didn't go skiing today. I craved solitude and I got my laptop and went to a coffee shop in town I remembered from last year. Yes, the only way I was ever in here was seven months pregnant. And yet, it's ok.
I skied for a few hours the last couple of days. Surprisingly, I can still do it. JD says it's like remembering how to sit in a chair. Maybe, but it took me years to learn to do it well. And I keep telling everyone I am thirty pounds heavier now than I was last time I skied, so there have to be consequences. My knees agreed. So did my thighs and my legs. Yet it was good to feel that I can still do this, that some skills are long-term, that I still have the ability to impress the bunch of the older kiddies that we were skiing with while their fathers were teaching their younger siblings. I had moments of joy as my skies obeyed my muscles, and my muscles obeyed my intentions. I had moments of wonder as nature painted strangest and most amazing landscapes all around us. I had moments of disbelief, yesterday, as gliding along a trail and looking at all the green and white beauty around me, and all the people, flying by or struggling to make the next turn, I realized what day it was.
It feels, though, as if I am allowed emotion about littler things, in the moment stuff, while the big things are covered by the numbness. Most of the time this trip so far I can laugh at jokes, and I can tell them too. I can needle people, and I can offer genuine support. Even the karaoke machine in the living room is ok. Maybe the controlled exposure really did work. Or maybe it's the sedative effect of not seeing more than a day ahead that this new state of mine has brought. But last night I was getting a little uncomfortable, and so I got a little louder, more jokes, more needling. Makes sense, no? Today I withdrew. This is a nice little coffee shop.
Most of the time I keep myself from playing the "what if" game. How old would he be now? What would he be up to? And, strangely, being in the ski house I am not haunted by the visions of my last-year pregnant self. But, in this house, surrounded by all the friends and all the kids, once in a while I catch the glimpse of my missing today. I wonder whether he would have been walking by now. Monkey walked a few days before New Year five years ago. It's not a good game to play, and I squelch it. But in this house, it's harder. There are two little boys missing in the house, A and a three and a half year old whose twin brother is a funny and sharp little boy who enjoys sledding and tried a little skiing this trip. Their mother has her missing today right in front of her eyes every day.
My eyes are watering now, and there is a lump in my throat. Maybe I am not all that numb after all.