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Saturday, June 2, 2012


This past year has simultaneously dragged on and passed in the blink of an eye. Yesterday was the anniversay of Kathryn's due date and I was just thinking how incredibly fragile I felt then. I can't believe she's going to be 1 on Tuesday.

When did the fragile feeing start? Car accident last December? Cyst on Kat's brain in January's ultrasound? Or was it when my school district notified me April 13, 20011 that I would be laid off at the end of that school year? I even remember the outfit I was wearing when I was called down to the principal's office that day to meet with the HR director. Bright red roses on a white background, empire cut to fit over my 33-week pregnant belly. I never wore that shirt again. I wanted nothing that would invoke the memory of sitting at the conference table while someone who made over $100,000 told me the district couldn't afford my $13,000 salary. I remember seeing that strategically placed Kleenex box and thinking no, I'm not going to break down and sob here and now. I'll save that for the car ride home. I felt coldly logical. Questions about how my maternity leave was affected and my health insurance coverage, and severance pay? Yeah, there was no severance pay. Couldn't afford that, either?
My librarian sat with me through that, at my request. She was there at my hiring interview; it seemed fitting that she see firsthand their reasonings behind letting me go.

I started having contractions that night and continued to contract every 2-3 minutes for hours at a time until Kathryn's delivery on June 5th. I even called my midwife, packed a bag and went to the hospital in mid-May, convinced it was "time" but it was unproductive labor and I never progressed past 2 cm. I'm still thankful for my friends and family, who came to offer their support and encouragement and even massages while I was waiting, waiting, and for my extrememely patient midwife who came in at dawn that day for a false alarm. She did see me through another natural childbirth, albeit a few weeks later.

The school district expected me to work up until my delivery date and I was there on June 1st, feeling everyone's eyes on me as they expected me to drop that baby right then and there in my school library. Then I was done. I've been back a couple of times, showed off the baby, brought Henry in for lunch with Mama's friends, but it truly broke my heart to lose that job. I was entirely content and satisfied to work as a library clerk in an elementary school, even at that poor pay rate. The people were incredible, especially my librarian, and the students definitely kept me on my toes. Never a dull moment.


This is the first time I've written about that in depth and was just in the mood to write after my nightly walk with Henry. Today also marks 8 years since my grandpa Henry passed away.

We made our circuit around the block and on a whim we wandered onto the cracked paved path of a local cemetary. The sun was setting and it was just cool enough for me to wear a sweater. My kind of weather.

The most recent gravestones I saw there were dated in the 1950s and most centered around the mid to late 1800s. Everything from glossy finished grave markers to the pale white, pitted stones reminiscent of Salem-era ghost stories.

As Henry & I meandered through the cemetary, I had a moment of utter clarity. Every one of those forgotten gravestones represented a loss, a burial, someone mourning a loved one. I pictured black-clad figures with heads bowed standing around each plot as I passed graves marked "Aged 28 years" "Aged 32 years" "Aged 34 years."

I'm turning 31 next month. Makes me even more thankful for my life, my family, my friends and I intend to cherish every moment left. Except for maybe the temper tantrums and blow-out diapers.

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