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Friday, October 16, 2009

The First Test

Recently I wrote about balance, or the search for it, within my life for I often feel like I am leading two well-cast, yet parallel existances: one with the living the; other with the dead. Or more accurately, not with the dead, but because of them.

They don't intersect well.

More often than not I find myself faced with choices that lay on either side of the lifeline. Choices that leave me feeling like lose:lose is a guilt ridden understatement. For, regardless of which side of the line I land, someone will be negated, or left out, or added in when they didn't need to be, or over-exposed to the concept of death, or left behind while I go attend to that very thing.

This has been my delicate dance since I started Share Southern Vermont. I dove into the mission with a fire burning in my broken heart, finally feeling like I found a way to parent Emma while unconsciously burdening myself with the added dillema of choosing to spend my time with my living children or taking action in memory of my spirit one.

I repeat: without boundaries they don't intersect well.

And perhaps that is my real issue. Maybe balance isn't my holy grail of time management. Instead, I might need clearly defined, boldly outlined peremiters to keep me where I am supposed to be, when I am meant to be there.

Because babies will die everyday. No amount of wishful, child-like, kum-buy-ah thinking will keep it from happening.

My living children grow and learn everyday too.
My husband and I seem to see less and less of each other with each passing moon.

There is a memorial service for twins who perished inutero as a result of a car crash next Sunday at 3pm.

At the exact same time there is a couples class at our church, the first in a series of three, intended to strenthen how we, as husband and wife, listen to and communicate with each other. And, in turn, how we parent the little ones who look to us as models of social appropriateness.

I was temporarily stumped. I always make an effort to go to the services for infants in Southern Vermont. It shows the parents that perfect strangers do care because they too have lived those horrific moments. It gives them someone to cry out to through the computer. It often gives them the intense courage to walk into a support group meeting sooner, rather than later.

But my family unit is important. How we build our routines and work as a team is vital to our future.

It appears I am going to miss this memorial. It makes me sad. I hope and pray this family knows how much we have to offer them. But on that day, at that time, I will be doing something so my husband and I have more to offer our family.

Balance... boundaries...

I wonder, did I pass my first test?


Michelle said...

While it is important to show support for these people, it is most important that you and your family come first. That you take care of that unit first because with out it everything elsse will crumble. You did the right thing and I am sure they know. You do wonderful things. It is ok that you can't do everything!

Michelle said...

PS I will be praying for that family. That is very sad.

Bluebird said...

Fwiw - I'm proud of you.

Sara said...

Cara, you have to take care of yourself and your family. Maybe as your group grows, you can have others attend some of the memorials. I know this family will know that a perfect stranger cares even if you are not there because you will reach out to them in other ways.

Dora said...

I think so. You need to take care of yourself and your family in order to have the inner resources to be there for others. xoxo

k@lakly said...

Absolutely. You have to put your family first. Without them you will not be able to do all that you want to do for the other baby loss families. Maybe you can reach out to this family in another way to let them know you are there for them. I have a feeling they will find their way to you, somehow.

Another Dreamer said...

I think you made the right choice, because you staying strong and your family unit have to come first. You can not help anyone if you don't help yourself first, right? And it is a tough choice, because they have gone through a terrible tragedy, but you have to do what you have to do (*hugs*)

Salma said...

Cara,I was told many times that heaven lies at the mother. You are strong and brave and give so much to others. Your family comes first and above all...then you can give and keep giving.
The fact that you are asking this question shows strength.

Good luck to you.

Once A Mother said...

you passed the test with flying colors, and I am so proud of you for the choice you made.

That family is in my thoughts tonight... so very, very sad.

CLC said...

Don't beat yourself up. Family should always come first. A card or a call may be more appreciated a few months from now, when they think others have forgotten.

MrsSpock said...

We cannot give to other if our cup is empty...

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