Carrying The World

Recently a family friend of mine had become pregnant after many months of trying…we were all so happy; her and her husband deserved it – they are such wonderful people. The pregnancy went off without a hitch, and with each growing day there was a little more growth to that beautiful belly – see I happen to think pregnant women are one of the most beautifully sexy creatures out there. Sure they feel like sweaty whales, but that’s how I feel on a daily basis, and I assure you, I’m not pregnant. Pregnant women are so beautiful to me because they are truly carrying around the world with them…sure there’s a baby in there, but did you ever wonder who that baby is going to turn out to be? The next president of the USA, a world leader, a diplomat, a writer, an artist, an engineer, someone who has little to nothing but turns ruin into something completely redeeming and admirable, someone who could change the world…pregnant women are doing a whole lot more than carrying a baby. Our family friend was in her final trimester and loving it, giving into cravings, seeing how cute she looked pregnant, the baby showers, the belly rubs, and all the excitement for the little bundle to arrive. Then came the day – it was go time, since we are only family friends and not family we waited patiently, which is hard for me to do. The phone rang, it was a restricted number…”Hello, it’s Meg, is it time?”…

Upon arriving to the birthing wing of the hospital there was great sadness radiating from a room where a great amount of joy should be…I slowly walked into the room and glanced over to see the sadness in the parents faces. I lowered my camera, for taking ‘newborn’ pictures wasn’t going to be on the schedule for the day…I was supposed to take what I like to call ‘ripe’ pictures – when there’s a brand new baby, fresh out of the womb, still ripe and wrinkly. That day I learned the true definition and understanding of what it meant to have a stillborn baby. When the family and friends had left and were done consoling this couple, they pulled me aside and asked if I would mind still taking pictures before the doctors had to take her away…I have never felt more honored then at that moment. I tearfully obliged, for I knew the importance and weight these pictures were to hold for years to come…this would be the only lasting memory of a child, grandchild, cousin, niece, loving little human being.

I told the couple I would let them clean up and I would be back in an hour or so if that worked for them, they nodded in simultaneous agreement – shock barely leaving their faces for emotion to take place. I exited quietly as I came to a nearby coffee shop and wrote the following entry, it was in that room that I realized if I ever do choose to reproduce, it is truly a gift, a miracle, and such a beautiful experience that although they didn’t ever actually meet their daughter while her heart was beating, they already knew so much about her and knew that she was going to be great someday. While I buzzed around the room, doing my job, just letting them relax while I turned on music and do whatever they felt necessary for the photos – this is a type of shoot I’ve never done before; and I honestly had no clue what to do. I simply said “treat Emma like she hasn’t gone yet, how would you like your daughter to see you? Speak to her the way you would have liked to, because no matter what your beliefs or faith, she can hear you right now.” The couple smiled and I began to capture what will be prints that will forever grace the walls of their home, the hearts of their family, and their minds for many years to come. I’m glad I had the job of standing behind the camera for there was not a dry eye in the room and it was just the four of us, I have never seen so much love and energy flow from two loving humans into their little one that was already looking down from above. I wish them all the worlds happiness, and comfort while they journey down their path of grieving and healing – I also thank them for opening my eyes that day to what a blessing a baby is, and ‘its time’ doesn’t always mean the time is now…I wrote the following in honor of Emma, you are a gem, so beautiful that your light will forever shine for decades to come, your mommy and daddy love you very much, but you already knew that.

  • As my child, my flesh and blood, I vow to love, respect and honor you all the days of your life. I promise to not raise my voice in anger towards you, but instead speak softly of my advice and guidance in an effort to raise you up into the person you’re going to be. I vow to never take your love for granted, I will forgive quickly and learn from you new things. I vow to never, ever raise my hand to you, unless it is an outstretched arm with my hand for you to grab when you stumble, even fall in life. I will pick you up, dust you off, wipe away your tears and send you toward greatness once again. I vow to always love and appreciate you for all you are worth to not only me, but the rest of the world. I promise I will always and forever believe in you, I will guide you the best I can, but ultimately the decision is yours for the making, and whatever that decision may be, I will stand behind you with whole-hearted support, because I know you will be great. I vow to always be truthful with you and will expect the same in return; I promise that, although at times, you may not feel like it, your best will always be good enough for me. I promise to never speak too softly to you, but know it’s because I’m your mother and it’s out of my deep seeded love for you. Although we may not always have a lot, we will always have one another, enough to get by, and an abundance of love that will keep us going when life gets hard, which it will, but I will be right next to you when the struggles get to be too much to bear. When the load is too heavy and you struggle to stand, you begin to tire from the fight, I will be there for you to lean when you cannot stand tall anymore. You will be beautiful both inside and out. I know you’ll have drive and determination that this world has been needing, you will be both bold and daring, a natural-born leader that I pray will use their strengths for good. You will be stubborn like your mother, but emotional and compassionate as well. I realize you haven’t been born yet, or even planned. But I anticipate the moment I will be able to walk around carrying the world with me. I can’t wait to meet you little one, I am already so much in love with you…
Advertisements

We All Wanna Know…How It Ends

Getting to the hospital Friday was everything but conveniant. We show up to the spot where we parked the car (as i’m telling Jody and Alyssa about how my car was towed and the worst feelings is just this) and the car is gone, get a roommate on the phone who so kindly peels back her eyelids for the morning light to guide her as she approaches her car to do us all a favor and get Biss to that hospital.

As Jody and I experience the least of human kindness be handed unto us from a cold person name Brian who happens to be a General Manager of an apartment complex, so for all of you assholes out there; there’s hope for a well paved future, he so kindly sits like a robot while we tell him our situation and how we need to get to the hospital but our car has been towed to a lot that is too far to walk but too close to reasonably pay a cab, he doesn’t care, there is an echo in the room everytime he blinks those beady little eyes and there’s nothing inside of me thats stopping me from jumping across the table to smack that stupid smirk off his face.

I notice a wedding ring, so for all you self righteous women who marry into money and not love; there’s hope for you too. I grip the chair tightly while he listens to Jody and condescendingly makes comments, interrupting her, Jody puts her hand on mine and I feel at ease; I imagine the way Alyssa feels when mom’s there to comfort her in just a few short hours. Upon leaving the room, with about as much help as we had walking in, I couldn’t help but verbally guide this boy to be a better person with the kind words of “I realize you have a stick in your ass, but maybe we could pull it out, put a visitor parking sign on it and stake it into the ground, then we wouldn’t be in this predicament.” I doubt my words had any lasting effect, but it made Jody laugh and me not cringe at the situation as much.

Calling an old friend, whom I know is not a fan from my recent decision making skills, I had to set a lot of pride aside as I’m sure he did as well, asking if he could drive us to the hospital, he kindly informed me “I would do anything for that family, be there in 20”. I admire this man, always have, and I always will, the woman he chooses to marry someday is going to be the luckiest lady this side of the Atlantic. Riding to the hospital I sit silently in the backseat while Jody fills him in on the recent events and Mankatos unwelcoming kindness; my mind unfolds the events that are about to change and impact plenty of lives in the next hour or so. Walking through the hospital during the daytime is a bit different then at night, most patient’s doors are open, nurses are walking around with clipboards and smiles.
Congregating towards Alyssa in the back room where there has just been a service and prayers said for Thanh, she is teary eyed and distraught. Every worst fear she’s ever had, every bad dream, every horrible situation will never equate to the reality she is about to endure. I remember her looking me square in the eye and saying “that’s it, it’s over”. I wasn’t able to grasp the reality of the statement; but here she is holding out hope for the past week, praying for nothing short of a miracle and all within 2 hours time she had accepted her fate and his.

As quickly as it had happened, with a long week in between inception and conclusion, it was over. I don’t remember much about the moment as it was all surreal; I remember holding a trembling body that could barely keep upright, I remember thinking to myself “this isn’t real, these things don’t happen to good people” I recall the words “no, he’s gone”.

People say bodies go into fight or flight mode, I don’t know which my body did but all I could do was hug the hell out of one of the greatest women I’ve ever known while she fell a part. It was at this moment I realized how much I love her, there were no words I could say that would alleviate any pain, with every sobbing cry “no” I hugged more and more tightly. Through petty fights, borrowed sports bras, FL vacations, trips to the cabin, countless rolls of tape, endless late night talks, sleepovers, Mulearning, disney sing a longs, baseball games, borrowed items of clothing, midnight snacking, Rora statements, innumerable hours of home videos, and tears from far too much laughing or far too much hurting – you’ve been there for me to lean on when times are too hard to stand. You have been mine, and thusly I am yours.

Through every uphill battle I’ll be your stepping stones, through every stormy night I’ll provide shelter, and when sleep becomes too much to bear; I’ll snuggle in real close, scratch your back, and tell you a story about a boy and a girl trying to take on the world one kiss at a time…
I Love You Bissa Jules.

Searching For All The Right Words

I stand there in shock, literally watching doctors and nurses swirl around us unplugging the machines we’ve been dreading to not hear the familiar beeps and buzzing from, I stand back and observe as they are turning the switch to ‘off’ and severing the bright future we had always seen for you. As I stand in the shadow of sorrow I listen and watch as the woman you love stands at the foot of your bed and expresses to the degree exactly how much she loves you – and will for all of time. Her words reside deep in my soul, and when her voice wavered with sadness it was the most raw and real experience to see the love and emotion evoke itself from every fiber of her being. I never could have done what she did that day – in front of a handful of people and dually an equal amount of doctors and nurses, share her love for you, profess it for all to hear as though this was the day she gave you her vows and word that she will love you for all of her time and will see you when you meet again.

I watch you depart the familiar surroundings people have come to regard as ‘your room’ for the past week, wheels turning toward another room where you are going to selflessly give yourself to save 6 more. I hold her while she sobs – for this is the visual of departing another being, what it feels like to actually say and see goodbye, I can’t help but begin to sob as well as you roll by and we fill the hallways with grief. Enough time has passed now that I can look back on that day and smile – smile to witness such love, such bravery, and such selflessness to inspire me to try everyday to be a better version of myself than yesterday for we never know when the hands on our clock will stop. I smile more now than ever for the acknowledged fact that you continued to give even after you were gone, in such an altruistic manner, I’ve read the ‘thank you’s’ received from the man and his family that were gifted your liver. The ones the children made, suddenly made it real for me how caring and giving you truly were, the thank you said in simplistic child scribbles “Thank you for giving my daddy another chance.”

…..

I’ve been wracking my brain for hours on what to put in the contents of this letter that could be a monumental recourse of history when read alongside many others by a judge in charge of your murderers sentence. I realize there will never be enough pretty words or strung together sentences that can do justice to who you were and how you loved, but I promise you that even though you are gone from this Earth we are going to make sure your memory has done more than lived on – its changed something because of how many people care. It has been my greatest pleasure having you as a part of my life first as a friend, then as a loved one to my best friend – you’ve touched more lives than you know, and that is the simple reason I’m leading the masses to appropriate the just part of the word ‘justice’. Your selflessness has driven me these past four days to do things even I didn’t think were possible – your memory has shown me that we’ve been given the opportunity to move mountains – and we’re working our hardest to do that, because we know without the blink of an eye you’d do that for us.

Thank you for blessing my life with your presence and compassion towards a very close friend. We’ve reinstalled the fight and we don’t plan on going quietly, see you the next time I see you, I know you are doing great things for us up there.

[This post is dedicated to Thanh Tri Vu, who so tragically lost his life last September. We aren’t allowing him to lose his voice, even if we have to speak it – if this post moved you in any way shape or form to feel, please go to the following link and ‘like’ it. We find strength in numbers on this journey to justice. Thank you for anything positive you choose to do from this]

https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Giving-Thanh-Vu-A-Voice/229383507088157

Real Life Mean Girls

I remember my focus was always down on my notebooks or the floor, whichever happened to take my interest first, as I walked through the hallways; I always made sure to keep my eyes down and detract any and all attention from me as humanly possible. I was involved in Student Council, and had decent grades throughout junior high; I ran track only because of a mistake long jump in gym class – leading to being persuaded to join for girls long jump. Other than class, and my extra curricular I kept to myself; I didn’t have a ton of friends and that was ok to me, from what I had experienced from the girls in my grade – if that’s how friends treated one another, I was not interested.

I wouldn’t say I was insecure, I would just say I was a girl at the age of 14, that in and of itself can explain everything. I did my best to treat everybody with kindness and respect, as I knew that everyone has something going on behind closed doors. I remember my first real boyfriend, the longevity of our relationship peaking at 2 weeks – monumental, I know. Dane was his name, he was always kind to me, he had piercing eyes and the most recognizable laugh I’ve ever heard; we shared a computer tech class together and ran in the same circle of friends; when I say that I mean the only girls to be nice to me happened to be friends with him as well.

Junior High hallways seemed to be ripped straight from the motion picture mean girls and filled with senseless chatter that would only make a twenty something year old laugh now. Girls that cared more about the tiny label on their jeans than their friends best interests, guys that were discovering how to covertly check out girls for the first time; more of a trial and error sort of exercise. Being forced to get into swimsuits and complete laps in a pool that was hotter than a high humidity summer day, and nastier than the dirtiest male college fridge you’ve ever seen. We were literally subdued to hell and then back, being treated like children but having all these blossoming adult moments – we were a confused bunch.

I never cared much about others around me and their comments towards me or the way I was put down, I cared more about being the best friend I could to the few I had. I cared more about the content of the pages I was absorbing, than the content of other lives, I gave a shit about people instead of caring about meaningless gossip.

Ok Meg, where are you going with this…

Somewhere I promise, it’s not always about the destination, but instead the journey. With this aforementioned boyfriend we had a steady relationship based on locker combinations, our parents dropping us off at school, and the both of us sharing one dreamy hour a day in the same monotonous class. There came a day where actions, words, and meanings towards the situation were different – I was now the target not the desired object. I knew it I could sense it and the way the whispers harshly struck the back of my ears left me wondering the truths to those words and phrases.

Meg it was junior high, calm down. Yeah it was…but think of yourself then from now, quite a different person with quite a different mind. It was a big deal to me then seeing it was the first person of the opposite sex to knowingly pay attention to me.

I remember walking out of my physics class on the third floor, sweltering class it was, and there he was waiting for me – weird considering I didn’t usually see him for another 2 hours. There was this intent attached to his look and the words that stung minutes earlier being whispered from pretty pierced ear to another began to ring true. There were those same girls standing close enough to whisper words and cast looks like they ruled this playground, but when I was acknowledged by him and they scattered, I knew what was to come next.

The boy broke if off that day, sure it was when we were young and stupid, and for his defense we have become friends and none of that matters now – something we can laugh about at such a distant future progression. But the reasoning behind the break was as simple as “well those girls told me too”…those girls being the mean girls in the movie, I have news for you that has rang true for years now. See I don’t need to name you to defame you – you’ll know and recognize the exact shitty characteristics you have and stand for, that in and of itself still isn’t enough to treat you the way you treated me.

L.O. – You’re Regina George, the bad news? You get fat, you don’t get the guy and you wallow in your own shit of self-pity that you’ve circumstantially created for yourself. I almost feel bad for the mess you’ve created for yourself to live in. A.R. soon to be A.Y. you’re Gretchen – just like in the movie…sure you’re good to look at, other than that? No one cares what you have to say when you speak, your boy cheats on you, and you constantly settle for second best because you’ve put Regina on such a pedastal….sad that in real life you’re marrying the person you should’ve figured out a very long time ago wasn’t going to cut it – but then again you’re Gretchen Wieners, not quite keen enough to acknowledge and see the situation for what it is…instead what you want it to be. Finally last but not least K.M. you are a spitting image of Karen…not in the sense that you’re extremely stupid pretty, but the underlying statement that you are literally too consumed with other people’s lives that you forget which way your ‘K’ goes. I would usually give you the Lindsay Lohan entitlement considering the two of you are a spitting image, but she turns evil into good-by the end of the movie – you’re more of the real life lohan…a wreck, by your own doing.

I realize these words mean nothing, never have and never will, that’s ok though – I know who I am, and while the three of you ruthlessly made me feel less than in junior high, I almost enjoy reminiscing on the account to which you fell apart after ‘ruling the school’ as a 9th grader. High school hit, so did love handles, eating disorders, and cheating boyfriends – coincidence or just the universe handing back to you what you dole out for years? Well we can leave that debate up to someone who gives a shit. More so than anything I’ve said thus far, I’d really like to just thank you.

Thank you for being so brutal that I will never treat anyone in that manner, because even the words I just stated will never equate to the way you made me feel, thank you for showing me exactly who not to be as a person, and how not to act as an individual. Thank you for showing me that no matter how much you think you know someone – that the most selfish of people have ulterior motives at heart that will ultimately destroy themselves in the end. Mostly thank you for being so cruel that the second I put my foot down in high school and stood up for what I believed in, I never looked back because quite frankly I don’t look that way unless I plan to go there, you on the other hand? I’m sure would love to go there… for those were your glory days.