Wednesday, May 12, 2010

See my insides? It's called Blog Fest.

Today is thee day. Internal Conflict Blog fest-a-thon. This usually isn't my thang, posting pieces of my soul for all to ogle (ironic, I know since I want to become a published author), but how can I say no to my fellow rocker (The Alliterative Allomorph)? I can't. She has a kind of power over me. It's called friendship:)

I must warn you, my entry isn't fluff. It's real. Soooo, if you're not in the mood for grim, I won't mind if you take a swim elsewhere today. I've got to admit, a lot's been on my mind and it usually manifests into something like what I've written below.

Thank you all for your kind comments re: yesterday's post. Tomorrow I've got a few things to say about that. I love you all.

To check out all of the other super fab participants, see the master list HERE.  (But don't leave me yet. A girl has needs)...

"TRADE"

Coffins should never be that small.

It's too small. A shoebox with velvet lining. Tie a ribbon around it and give it back to me. I don't need Christmas. Or birthdays. I don't want Valentines or Sweetest Day. Take them all back and stuff them into your pocket, deep into the corner where the fabric pinches. I only want one day. Just one. The day I can wrap you in your favorite blanket and smell the dried shampoo resting on your lopsided tendrils.

I didn't put you in a dress, today. You hate dresses, I know. I put you in that blanket. So I can always be with you, deep down under the ground and way up high in the clouds. I hope it's soft enough. I hope it's warm enough. And I hope, sweet baby, it reminds you, of me.

Your daddy pulls me from my knees, where I've been buried with my head in my hands ever since they put you in the tiny box. Four hours, my knees are red and achy. Your daddy ripped the blanket from my grasp, and said “Be strong. She needs you there.” I wanted to lay with the blanket forever, because you always said it smelled like me, but no, sweet baby, it smells just like you.

At home, the floor in your room is cold. It feels like you were never real, like a dream. Your clothes still hang, your stuffed animals still wait, and the chair I'd rocked you in so many times before still lingers in the corner hoping for our return. This morning, before I put on the ugly black frock your daddy bought me, I had to tell the chair it would never be, again.

I hover over you, in your box, and study every peak and valley on your face, my angel. I'd trade you, if I could. Your daddy says “But I need you, I love you.” It's not enough. I need you, my love. You. I gave you my body, for nine months. I felt every hiccup, kick and elbow prod. I waited for you to push your way out. For three days.

And then, on Wednesday, July 14th, at 10:16 a.m, there you were. You didn't cry. You didn't whine. You found my eyes and latched on like a magnet and I've been stuck on you ever since. Leaving me, now, is the same way you found me, then. Out of my control, and I hate it. I hate that I took a single second for granted, forgot how amazing it felt to have you. Out of my control, and now I hate me.

I stroke the apple of your cheek. Your skin against mine, the feeling I will never feel again, I close my eyes and pray.

Dear God. Or whoever is listening. I know I don't deserve it, I know I haven't earned it, but I promise, I'll never ask you for anything, ever again. Except this. Take me instead. You made a mistake, a huge mistake. You can have me, my soul, or throw it away, I don't care. But please, let her live.

With every empty thud in my chest, I want to rip my ribcage wide open and let the blood fall, let my heart drop. I want to pull the scissors from the funeral's desk drawer and cut out my lungs, cut out every breath, and give them all to you. I don't want them without you. Because without you, I'm nothing. I'm less than nothing. I'm. Just. Gone.

Your daddy takes my hand and leads me away. To the front row where we're supposed to sit, because that's what they said when we first brought you in. But you can't see me from the front row and I have to be where you can see me. So you know I'm there. I thrust my hands up over my head and kick and scream for you. Everyone's looking and saying things like “Calm down. Take a minute. Breathe.” But they haven't lost you the same way I have.

Your daddy tries to hold me back, but fails. I run to your coffin and lift you into my arms. Tears smothering my face, I hold you tighter than I ever have before.

“Rock-a-bye-baby, in the tree tops,” I sing, swaying you side to side.

When I lift my head to the crowd, the room is empty and dark. The warmth of a single spotlight shines down onto us and you open your eyes, my baby, and take a breath. My breath. My eyes grow fuzzy and my heart slows to a steady murmur. But you're alive. I release you from my embrace and watch you find your footing, stumbling across the empty pews. You're glowing, positively glowing.

“I wuv you, Mommy,” you say, smiling.

I fall to my knees, clutching the blanket that covered you, and gasp for air. You walk into the darkness and disappear, forever. The dark turns light and I cough so hard, I nearly vomit. Your daddy comes into view, sad eyes gleaming, and helps me to my feet.

“She'll always be with us,” he says. “In here.” He points to my heart and folds me under the weight of his arms. And for the first time since you left, I can finally breathe.

Candyland. OUT.
P.S. What would you trade, if you could?

48 comments:

Jaydee Morgan said...

This was a very powerful and emotional piece. I totally got lost in it and my heart went out to the mother. The emotions of this piece will stay with me all day. Very well done.

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Tears are streaming down my cheeks and my throat is tight. Oh my god I can't find a single word to desscribe how this made me feel. I'm so sorry you had to go through this. I can only imagine the pain it caused.

I feel stupid talking about what I would trade after reading this heartwrenching prose, but I guess I would trade the rest of my life just to have a happy childhood. I would.

I'm so pleased you shared this. I'm so pleased you consider me a friend. The feeling is definitely mutual. If you ever need to get anything off your chest, you know I'm just an email away. I'm a good listener.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

This is absolutely gorgeous - so well-written and rich. Reading it through and going back to the first line 'Coffins should never be that small,' gave me chills. (Confession: I cried. Seriously.)

Creepy Query Girl said...

absolutely. heartwrenching.
but beautiful. I think every mom has had to pull back the thought of how it would feel to lose a child. It's not something mothers like to dwell on and whenever I hear of a mom who has had to go through this I literally 'can't imagine'. This is a brave thing to open yourself up to and the pain and overwhelming love was abundant and true. Very good stuff- thank you for sharing it!

Tessa Conte said...

oh wow way the go for the emotional impact. That really caught me unawares.

You're great. Can't really say much more than that before I find my tissues....

Matthew Rush said...

Darn! No time to comment fo real today. I'll be back from home.

T.J. Carson said...

Wow that was incredibly deep. This is a new side of you Candace, at least one I have not seen. Very emotional. When she ran to the coffin and took the child i got shivers! Very nice entry. Pretty sad but your writing was incredible!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Candy,

Not only could I visually see this and feel it -- I *have* seen it and felt it, as a close and helpless observer.

In 2002, my sister lost her 2-week son to meningitis. I watched my little sister and her husband put their child into the ground. And it was very much like you described. You've brought me a few tears in memory of Luke today.

Kelly said...

Utterly heartwrenching. Every mother's nightmare.
Very well written, Candy.
And hugs to Dianne above me!

Kelly said...

I just reread your entry. Is this story true? If so, my heart goes out to you. And big hug to you for surviving it.

Dawn said...

Wow Candy. You had me at the first line. This is a truly powerful piece - I don't have to have given birth to understand this must be a mother's worst nightmare. Brilliant writing. Thank you for sharing.

Jaycee said...

Really really sad. But it was absolutely "good writing." Very livid descriptions.

Shannon said...

I read the warning and the cynic in me said, "Pft, you can't phase me. I can take it."

Five minutes later, tears streaming down my cheeks, I just wish that I could reach out and give you two great big hugs. The first one would be for comfort and support. The second would be to celebrate your talent as a writer. If you ever doubt your ability again, return to this post. Your words painted a vivid, heart-wrenching image. You connected.

Thank you for being brave enough to open yourself up. You're beautiful.

Talli Roland said...

So, so emotive. You capture everything about this moment in a wonderful way - a way that definitely draws the reader in whether they want to be or not. Powerful.

Tara said...

I have to admit it: I couldn't read the entire thing. What I read of your writing was beautiful, and well done, though :)

Jen said...

This was the most powerful entry I have read so far, it was moving and so incredibly deep. My stomach in knots as I continued to read on, holding back the tears (because I'm at work) but it was tough. Candyland how brave of you to share this piece and what feelings it left with each and everyone of us.

Angela M. said...

Gut-wrenchingly visceral. You can't write from such a place in this way without having been there. I don't know how you do it. I've been through some pretty terrible things I'm told I should write about, but I can't bring myself to get close to those raw feelings. Feels like I'd drown in them.

Clara said...

I cried! Omg, seriously, how did you just do that? Your words have an unbelievable power, this text punches us in the stomach so hard, its brilliant. We share a bit of the narrators pain...a very tiny bit because that pain is unimaginable to anyone who hasnt gone through it.

Wow, you just stunned me, I´ll take a few minutes to recover. seriously. Amazing job here.

Clara said...

Oh, PS: Are you really from Ipanema? Im just wondering, because Im Brasilian, native from Rio.

Matthew Rush said...

Wow Candace, that was difficult to read. I mean that in the very best way. I mean it was agonizingly real and I felt physically connected to mother and child from the first sentence.

Thank god I read this during lunch because you just fu#@ed me up!

I could tell from your blog posts and so forth that you were a good writer but I didn't realize you were THIS good. Is this from a novel, one of your WIPs, or is it something you wrote just for this project?

Anne said...

So beautifully heart-wrenching. You truly have a gift for expression. Thank you for sharing.

As far as trade offs go I would most definitely give up life for a life.
I would also take any pain/sickness/humiliation that my children would be subjected to just so they could be spared.

Mary McDonald said...

This was so emotional. I should have stopped reading when I read about the tiny coffin. But no...I had to read on, and now I'm a mess. Good thing I didn't put on mascara today. lol. Very powerful.

Dawn Embers said...

A well written, emotional piece overall. It has a great hook. The first line grabs the attention and the writing never lets go. All of the story is intense on a deep level and brings forth many emotions. The last line feels final and is a good way to end it. Nice work.

Amalia T. said...

That was really powerful-- great use of the second person, too. That's not always easy to accomplish, but I think it works really well for this piece, making the emotions that much more immediate.

sarahjayne smythe said...

Intense, vivid, emotional, and very, very powerful. Very well done and a great entry for the blogfest.

salarsenッ said...

Real and true,like you. I was very moved. 'K, you made me cry. Owe me a box of tissues.

You're awesome.

Sheri~

Carolyn V. said...

I'm so sad! That was so well written. =) Way to go Candace! I need some more tissues.

Christina Lee said...

Wow. Okay wow. First time here and that punched me in the gut. So hauntingly beautiful. I don't know if it's a true story or not (I am so sorry if it is) but I know if came from somewhere really deep down.

JustineDell said...

Holy crap! I didn't know if I could read past the first paragraph. I'm a mother and losing a child is something I would never want to face. The emotions ring out so well in this piece I was in tears.

Excellent job!

~JD

Lydia Kang said...

I'm a mom and I almost lost a newborn and this was hard for me to read.

Well done, Candyland. Well done.

Ashley A. said...

Have been experiencing technical difficulties, but there is something for Awesome You on my blog.

middle child said...

I cry.

Tahereh said...

i have no words.

dear GOD.

Donna Hole said...

"Coffins should never be that small."

I almost left, that was such a powerful and emotive first line. It said it all.

I'm glad I read all the way to the last inspiring line, but I died a little here. I truly did.

......dhole

Tina Lynn said...

Wow...that was way harsh. But you did warn me, so my bad for staying. I hate that I take my babies for granted sometimes. Just hate it. But this was a great piece, heartwrenching, but great.

Steena Holmes said...

I should not have read this while at work. I can't stop crying. My heart is breaking. Candace, you are one amazing woman.

Lola Sharp said...

That first line slayed me.
As a mother, and as a mother who also miscarried 4 times, this just ripped my heart out.

Thanks for sharing.

Love,
Lola

Elana Johnson said...

Very touching. *weeps* as one who has experienced this kind of heart-breaking loss.

Slushpile Slut said...

Bless your heart Candace! This was beautifully written and I will be thinking about this piece long after I exit your blog! I also will hug my own daughter tighter today thanks to you and your emotional brevity. May God bless you & yours with strength.

Nishant said...

i have no words for this .
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DL Hammons said...

OMG!!!! This is exactly what I was talking about. This rocked my world!!! And I missed it. I...uh...don't know what else to say. This is an amazing piece of writing that touched me...deeply.

Thank you for bringing this back to life for me!

DL Hammons said...

OMG!!!! This is exactly what I was talking about. This rocked my world!!! And I missed it. I...uh...don't know what else to say. This is an amazing piece of writing that touched me...deeply.

Thank you for bringing this back to life for me!

LTM said...

good stuff, hon~
good, good stuff. :o|

Kate Hart said...

Not much to add that hasn't already been said. Thanks for sharing!

Cory said...

I can't imagine what you went through. Your words are incredibly beautiful and brave.

Kaitlin said...

Very beautiful! And, like Cory said, brave.

Meeroar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meeroar said...

I don't know what I'd trade. But if I was in that position I'd trade something. Great fantastic amazing post. I loved it.

You really put yourself into it. :)

hey check out my blog! :)