And So On: A Tribute To Healing

How do I start this post? Should I talk about hitting rock bottom again (although this time it will be literally and not figuratively)? Do I talk about how ironic and rhythmic life seems to be? Do I talk about how losing my children seems to suck me in like a vacuum, and – all the while – I am running like hell to escape the eye of the tornado?

Yesterday marked the two year anniversary of finding out Adam Gabriel was not going to make it full term. I can tell you I am still grieving as that doesn’t go away, but also that the intensity of it has lifted. Two years out and I feel like I am catching momentum again. I can say this without a child in my arms, without being pregnant, and without knowing which year in the future our adoption is going to be completed.

My in-laws are here and they are avid bikers, so yesterday we decided to take a 30-something mile bike ride down a local mountain. When my father-in-law asked me the date for a form that morning, I internally cringed and let him know it was the 24th – the day that starts my four day mourning period each year for A.G. (These are the horrendous four days between arriving to the hospital and delivering our angel; these dates aren’t something I really talk about with my in-laws, so I am not sure if they are cognizant of their meaning or not, although they obviously were devastated when they lost their grandson at 17 weeks of gestation.)

So, off we ride. It’s a beautiful day and I think to myself, on more than one occasion, that even though I am a little moody this morning, I am doing SO much better than the two years prior. I am enjoying the adventure and not overthinking things too much. I feel strong and healthy. I am holding it together! Well…

About 5 miles until the finish line, we need to cross another small highway that connects the trail. The guys are slightly in front of us and there is a truck coming. I have time to make the cross, but I am worried about my mother-in-law seeing the truck and I see she is swerving wide to avoid the truck which makes me pay extra attention. To her. Not to my bike’s path. I go down FAST, skidding across the loose gravel parking lot that connects us to the rest of the trail. My whole body is planted to this rocky, uneven, sharp surface. I slowly get up in a daze. I have dirt caked on my whole structure and, through the dirt, I can see I am starting to bleed in various places.

I was not worried about my physical body, but this was one of those moments you realize your mental fragility is coming to the surface because of something unexpected. I have had my share of hard knocks in the last three years, so I didn’t cry or show emotion. I know now how to control my deep sadness (mostly). My thoughts were racing though. My outside body now matched the turmoil and bruises I felt inside my body. I wanted to cry. I unbuckled my helmet because I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I let my husband use whatever water we had left to try to wash off the open skin while I stood there in silence. I gave myself an extra second to get on my bike as I still felt unsteady and tingly.

Bike Bruises

I did not survive this day as a hero. This 24th day of July was marked in truth by the unfortunate incidents of today and my past. When our group asked me how I was doing I so badly wanted to say how my outside pain matched my inner turmoil, although the internal pain was much worse. I wanted to say that this fall felt like total defeat.

Oh…but I didn’t. I got back on my bike. I took a painful shower. I dumped hydrogen peroxide on my forearms, my shins, and my hands. I let it burn while I agonized. I did it again. I took a needle and picked the gravel out of the heel of my hand. I moved on with my day. I ate pizza and joined the group. I found a comfortable (enough) position to sleep despite my lacerated body.

This is what we do. We suffer. We remember. We pick ourselves up and try to heal. We remember. We suffer. We pick ourselves up and try to heal. We heal. We remember. We suffer again, but less. We heal a little more. And so on.

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10 thoughts on “And So On: A Tribute To Healing

  1. This post made me cry. I am sorry you had that big fall. It must have been scary. I can’t even imagine how you held it together and the floodgates did not open. Your words remind me of the miracle and strength of the human spirit. I hope to mirror your strength throughout my trials and I hope it is not needed by you much longer.

  2. Your comments always humble me. You are so kind and compassionate. You often read between the lines and make me feel so very SEEN in the best of way. Thank you so much. I would love to know what’s happening in your life…your blog always says it has been deleted when I look for it? Many hugs for you and your journey as well.

  3. That is so sweet to say. You are most certainly SEEN. I am not sure why my profile doesn’t link to my blog but it is Mamjojo23.wordpress.com. I try to keep it low profile because I have a son via my third IVF cycle and am trying for a sibling for him (4 more failures in). I think it is a different category of IF when you already are fortunate enough to have a baby so I worry that those still trying for their first won’t be as helped by words from someone trying for their second. I am sensitive to that because I think it is SO much harder when you have no baby in your arms. Hope you aren’t in too much pain from the fall. Xoxo

    • Thank you so much! I will have to track down your blog! I am healing well. Only one arm is really going to take a while – the rest are just bruised and more surface cuts. Thanks for asking. It’s amazing how fast our bodies heal! I will looks forward to following you. It sounds like you’ve been through quite the process yourself! Xoxo

  4. Ah, you have been in the wars! Road rash – I know it well (being an ex biker and a complete klutz!). It’s sooo painful – poor you. I would send you a cyber hug but it would probably hurt! 🙂 I am in awe of your physical and emotional strength. I am thinking of you and your little AG and I’m sending you the best of wishes and affection. I am heartened to hear you’re on the mend xx

    • Thank you! Your sweet words really do mean so much to me. You are a strong cookie yourself – we are going to be just fine! One day we will be out of this lonely place. 🙂 xx to you.

  5. Your road rash looks so painful, I hope you start healing up soon.
    As for your statement that “We suffer. We remember. We pick ourselves up and try to heal” – that rings so true for me. You remind me all the time that we find our way though it and keep going. We suffer, but we also love. And that love makes it worth every moment of suffering. It’s like that saying, it’s better to have loved and lost then to have never loved at all – love makes it worth it and I really think it’s the reason you and I are both here today often putting on our “tough” exterior and continuing on.
    I’ll be thinking of you and your little one these next few days. Remember, you don’t always have to put on your “tough” exterior as you heal.

    • Excellent points. Love makes it all worth it. I definitely melt with certain people at certain times, but I do often need that reminder not to always be tough. That’s why blogging is so good for me! I get to write it all down. Thanks for your thoughts as I navigate the remaining two days! Xo

  6. Wow!!! How crazy this life is Jac and that this accident literally happened 2 years to the day you went to the hospital…. I think about you and Ryan every year during this difficult time and know that with each year it will hopefully get a little easier. You are so strong and beautiful and you will be the best mom to your little boy so soon. I can’t wait for that moment for you. You’re amazing and I love you!!

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