Yesterday, I attended a play. My nieces were in it. They were the stars of the show.
Comedian and I arrived early, as I so often do for events and were ushered upstairs to wait with their mother and another friend. Their mother (D.), also featured in the piece linked above, is extraordinary. And, for all that we have lived together (as in been in the same room at the same time and saw the same things...) we have apparantely not seen the same things, or, at the very least, not remembered the same things about the event.
I have just come to realize that. It began at the memory walk...
I could hear her voice in the background, a beautiful sound carrying me as I buzzed with intention from one tent to the next, responding and directing each part of the event. But she remained, in one space, calm and focused, one-with-herself, talking...about me. "What a blessing" I heard, "She allowed me to be part of this", and "I feel so lucky to have been on her journey."
Stunned, I stopped moving, listening now with intention. What I heard threw me even more. She spoke of events that I wasn't sure I recalled, but -wait - yes, I do remember, just not quite like that. She spoke of the 'before the next baby' era, a time still foggy for me, requiring focus and energy to recall details. She smiled as she shared our beginning with others. But the most astounding part of her words were the uspoken ones. Were you to have laid eyes on her in that moment you could have seen it, she was truly thankful, enternally grateful, that I welcomed her into my intense grief.
Can you imagine? All these years I have said, then said again, then re-itteraited my thanks for her as she shared her kids with me without abandon, opened her world to me without question. I nearly bowed at her feet thinking that what she did must have been a sacrifice, but still felt that nothing would ever measure the gift she gave me.
And yet, it turns out, that she felt similarly gifted by my presence.
Just being around her calms me. Our connection allows her privilidge that others are not allowed. Like yesterday, in that waiting room, when introductions ensued.
It sounded like this:
D: "Friend, this is one of my nearest and dearest friends, Cara, and this is Comedian, her second, third daughter."
ME: "Nice to meet you."
Friend: "How old are your others?"
ME: "Bear is 6 and Emma would be 8 and half."
D: "Yes. Cara lost her first and that is how we met. Actually, I think it has become a blessing for she has grown into a beautiful, strong woman as a result."
The conversation evolved from there and quite nicely. There was no drama. There were no shocked expressions or quick 'i've go to be goings' as there often are when Emma is introduced. And as I look back on it two things strike me:
1. She introduced Emma, not me. That is rare.
2. Phrases that are allowed only to me when I'm in the right emotional space like, 'second -third child' and 'it has become a blessing', roll off her tongue with ease and feel right to my ears as I hear them.
She respects my daughter. She acknowledges her place in our family. She recognizes the emotional growth that has occurred.
I have been known to say that she "saved my life". From now on I will say, she "shaped my life" and apparently, I - hers.
CATCH UP FROM THE START!
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