We've been looking at a lot of houses lately, and it's midnight and I'm thinking.
When you died we uprooted.
We didn't move by choice. No. This was a forced relocation.
There was static on the Doppler and the ground began to shake, and as I tried to memorize the crease on your left cheek I felt it. The pull from the stage, like hooks in my neck. Like a fish out of water.
There was a vacuum, and I was sucked from the comfort of this loving, accepting place into a place that was uncomfortable. I left a world where hospitals help sick people for a world where babies die in them. I was moved from a life that was fair to a life that was not, and would never, ever be.
Suddenly I was somewhere foreign. The move was so immediate and so physical that I swear I heard a door close. And after the initial shock and denial and the trying to claw my way back, I looked around and I saw that I was home. In a house with green formica countertops and hideous lavender wallpaper. I was at home, in a house I never wanted to live.
And if I only had to live there I think I'd be fine. Because the colors never grow on you, but you grow alongside the pain every time you open your eyes. And because it's safe there, because when I turn around there is someone else. There is always someone next to me who has to live there too.
But the thing is I can't ONLY live there, in that house. I can't stay there every minute of every day. Eventually I have to venture out, and I have. It feels good to get out but it's also scary because now, the outside is unfamiliar too.
Last week at Target, the cashier asked your brother about the baby food.
"You must have a baby sister or brother at home?!!"
And while my mind was playing catch up he answered.
"Actually, I have both."
"Lucky you!" she beamed.
"Well," he looked up. "They're in different places."
I get stuck on words. So often.
Like people who say "could of" when they mean "could have". Like people who say "was" instead of "is". You're still sad because she was your daughter.
I'm in a different place now. I don't recognize this place. It isn't overwhelming sadness. It isn't pure gratitude or acceptance or anything resembling closure. The words don't sting as much but I hear them. I can talk about you here, without crying. I can come and go as I like, and I do but none of it feels familiar. None of it feels like home.
And it's true what they say, you know? There's no place like home.