Response to this idea of mine to write has been overwhelmingly positive. I'm thankful for that. One friend took it as far as paying a compliment to that fact that despite the emotional intensity of the topics I share, that the writing is "under control." I really appreciated this comment. I'd never want to subject anyone to a rambling, nonsensical, emotionally-charged stream of consciousness.
What really helped me stay focused in my Gratitude Challenge was writing from prompts. Kind of like what I would do for my language arts students. (Talk about practicing what you preach). I'm going to stick with that for this blog, for now. I'm taking my prompts from a blog called "Fat Mum Slim." She creates monthly "Photo a Day" prompts that are usually pretty interesting. Today's was "Close-Up."
I've done probably the nerdiest thing you can do when reading a book written by a former Bachelorette: I grabbed a highlighter and started marking up the pages. Trista Sutter may not be eligible for the next Pulitzer, but there's a lot in what she believes that has spoken to me and the way I'm trying, and hoping, to live my life.
In Happily Ever After she writes: "I may not be able to change the past, but I can try to make the future better for having lived it."
I have always struggled with the idea of control. A natural planner, I want to be able to make a plan for how things should go. How they'll be best. What would work for me. It helps me to feel in control of a situation.
With Ryan, all control was lost. I had no control over his life. Obviously, I wish and feel I should have. This is something that destroys me constantly. He was inside of me. And I had no control over the outcome of his story. The blame and guilt that constantly plagued me for this is something I can never explain. I cared for him and loved him every day for 9 months. I did everything I could, and I couldn't save him. It was out of my control.
This has been the biggest barrier to my healing. Putting aside the guilt and trying to accept that it wasn't my fault. Again, that it was out of my control. And maybe the hardest part is knowing that with any future baby I may carry, I'll have that knowledge to carry around, too. That the outcome is out of my control. No matter how hard I plan for that baby. No matter how hard I love, and care, and hope for that baby. I'll know that the worst has already happened to me once. And it was out of my control. What's stopping it from happening again?
The only thing I can do moving forward, is take that knowledge and spin it. It's out of my control, so I have to enjoy each day. It's out of my control, so I have to cherish every moment. It's out of my control, but I can still be vigilant, and tuned in. I can't change what happened, but I can learn from it. I can TRY to learn from it. No mother (or father) should have to learn from something like this, but if I'm working to find light in this darkness, it's that this experience will make us that much more grateful for any future we may be blessed with. It can make us that much greater parents some day. We really understand that nothing is a given. Nothing is guaranteed. It's not ours to control.