Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Circle of Life or something like that

I have had a busy and exhausting week. Someone died and was born a day apart in our family this weekend. My Mom's husband's (stay with me) Aunt passed away Friday after battling lung cancer for about two years. How she hung on this long is in itself some kind of miracle. Then on Saturday my BFF (for real) had her third child, a boy.

While I didn't know this Aunt well my Mom had been spending a lot of time taking care of this woman these past few weeks, in fact I have not seen my Mom in two weeks which is pretty unheard of. This woman never uttered a single complaint, never asked why me and spent much of her time thanking my Mom while she buzzed around her trying to help. This woman was able to stay at home until her dying day when she lost consciousness in her chair never to wake up. She passed away peacefully it seems. She leaves behind a twenty-something son.

The next day another son was born to my friend, her second boy. Her husband and I were in the delivery room and it was everything a birth should be; happy, exciting, and ended with a healthy baby. This is the fifth baby between us to be born at this hospital so we are pros at navigating the Labour & Delivery floor. We practically took over and spent much of her labour laughing, talking and watching movies like The Wedding Singer and Runaway Bride on W Network...well some of us anyway. The baby was healthy and strong and they let him lie on her chest for over 45 minutes before they took him for his vitamin K shot and eye drops. He was 6lbs 5ozs of pure joy beaming at us.

It is hard for my brain to wrap my head around the series of events of that twenty-four hours. A son lost his mother, a young man not quite ready to be alone in the world and a mother I love and care about gave birth to a son.

I am not usually a maudlin person, but this is hard for me to sort out and rationalize and every crappy platitude about the Circle of Life has me bristling.

I will attend the funeral tomorrow of a woman that while I didn't know well, I will go for her son, he deserves that. Then I will go visit my friend and her new baby boy and rock and cradle and kiss his head that is smaller than an orange. I have seen him every day from the day he was born. He is helpless and demanding and cute as a bug, he peed on me and pooped into his fresh diaper and I didn't even mind.

I hope this son grows up to know his mother - that he doesn't have to say goodbye to her before he is ready. It really is the hope of most people I would think to never have to say goodbye before we are ready. This makes no sense I realize as I reread these words, we are never ready for death. When someone who is 99 and has lived a good long life passes we think, they were ready, but you know what? There is always someone left behind that was NOT ready.

The Circle of Life is making me a bit dizzy today.


Alpha DogMa said...

Your mom sounds a lot like you: giving and caring and solid. Congrats to your friend and her new (hopefully well named) son. Does this make you want #3?

Beck said...

On the day that I had The Boy, my uncle was dying two floors exactly above us (we were in 325, he was in 525). A few hours after I had The Boy, my uncle died and my husband went upstairs to help my aunt pack up his things and so on - so he saw a person enter life and a person leave life on the same day.
There IS a circle, isn't there?

Oh, The Joys said...

That's a lot Jen. I'll be thinking of you all around.

Denguy said...

Interesting circle. I hope you cry for the young man's mother as support for him.

Mimi said...

That sure is a lot to process -- very intense experiences all round, and that there are two sons involved just makes it all more ... I don't know. Hard? To see the relation between the new baby and the bereaved young adult? I'm sorry.

Omaha Mama said...

I've had a lot of the same feelings recently. You write of it beautifully.

Take care.

Karen MEG said...

A beautiful post.
My husband lost his father when he was in his early 20s. It's never easy to lose a parent, at different stages, it's more difficult than others for different reasons. He was very unsettled for a number of years because of it. I'm sad for that young fellow.
But very happy for your friend with the precious new baby.
Life is just full of these bittersweet times, isn't it?

Christine said...

this was such a lovely and touching post. you are really so good at this, you know.

and i too hope that baby grows up happy and doesn't have to say goodbye to his mama before they are ready.