Here comes the worst moment of your life. Are you ready?
Most people aren't. I know I wasn't.
The moment is sneaky. It creeps around in your darkest nightmares, eluding your sight in its perpetual taunt until one day it hits you. Like a fastball high and inside. All your life you have toyed with its potential in some distant place, but now it's happening. Mouths are moving and words are coming as you have played them in your mind. Before you know it you are on the ground, dizzy and disoriented with a racing heart and a throbbing in your soul. The person you once were is gone forever. And the game resumes.
I had dozed off with your brother at nap time. There were two separate dreams. In the first I had taken his antibiotic by mistake, waking abruptly. Thank goodness it was a dream. Thank goodness you hadn't been hurt.
The second I was in my doctor's office, listening to your heartbeat. Nice and strong. I felt relieved until I opened my eyes.
You were still. How long had it been? The moment lurking its ugly head. The moment slowly coming into focus before me.
There was an apple and a shower. Some couch time. A Daily Show rerun. Poking fun at Putin while I poked at you. There were words but I didn't hear them. Laughter and applause as I stared at the spots I had seen you dance before.
I knew you had gone. I wanted to be wrong so desperately. I wanted the nurse to be right as the elevator rose and she told me not to feel stupid. Through all the "you can't be too carefuls" and the "I'm sure it's fine's" I just wanted to run. I would have run anywhere to protect you. I knew what was happening and soon they would know too. Soon, there would be nothing standing between me and the worst moment of my life. A lifetime between you and me.
Many people my age have yet to experience the best moment of their lives, and most have not seen the worst; however I'm pretty sure I have experienced both. Maybe that's what made this the worst, knowing what the best feels like. Knowing what I'm missing.
The gentle staff prepared me to deliver my baby. My baby who would never cry or nurse. My baby who would never try on dresses or taste watermelon. How is a person able to do this, you ask? How is one an active participant in her worst moment, bringing a life into the world that is already gone?
I don't know. I really don't know.
One has wavy hair and a calming smile. The other, a quick temper and a face that breaks my heart every day.
And they both have your eyes.