Wednesday, January 05, 2011

A Bend in the Road

If I could I'd tell you now,
There are no roads that do not bend,
And the days, like flowers, bloom and fade,
And they do not come again.

Now we've only got these times we're living in.
We've only got these times we're living in.

-Kate Wolf, "These Times We're Living In"

The older I get the more I hear in Kate Wolf's songs. I grew up listening to her and appreciating the music as well as the vivid imagery and beautiful metaphor she wove through her startlingly real portraits of people and life, but like most great works of art (be they visual art, music, or literature) the more life experience I gain, the more they gain meaning as I gain understanding.

I was struck by those lines today. There are no roads that do not bend-- there is no life that goes exactly the way we hope and plan. I have had friends and family members lose babies before (though most before a full-term birth, many were quite far into their pregnancies) but though I'd obviously known that this is a huge shock and loss, I never thought about the changes in plan it entails.

That road trip we were going to take? Well, we won't be doing it with a baby. The trip to Disneyland? Won't be navigating it with a baby in tow. The plans for next Christmas? We won't have a one year old along. The picture of how my family will be spaced? Maggie will now be probably 4 or even 5 when the next sibling comes along, instead of being less than 3 when she gets used to having a baby in the house. Yes, Becky will always be in our hearts, and part of our family-- but she won't be living here, she won't be part of the household routine, it will be very different spacing-wise than what I'm used to, and planned for. Add in that I had a c-section (unexpected since I've always said I'd only consent to one when it was a life-or-health-of-the-baby-or-me situation in MY estimation) and it changes my short term plans due to my physical ability, and my next birth will now be "labeled"-- I'll be a "VBAC" with a slightly higher risk (before I was a "medium risk" patient, I probably still am, but still, it's a word I'll hear that I wasn't expecting, not that it's a bad one or anything.)

Basically, there's not much that will be happening the way I thought it was going to. So now, I have to walk that bend in the road and start trying to plan out the route ahead all over again, since my life has turned 40 degrees to the side of where I thought it would be going. There will be stops along the new route that are more sorrowful and difficult than I was expecting. Off to the side lies a little grave. But I can't stay here, can I? I guess I have to keep walking. Because I've only got this life, I don't get a choice. We can choose our path but sometimes it's not the path we thought it would be. We've only got these times we're living in.


Nicole said...

What a beautiful perspective on a heart wrenching and life changing event. I admire your courage.


Jenna said...

Beautiful, Anne. And so true. The longer we live life, and the more experience we have, whatever they may be, the truer it is too. Makes you wonder why we ever bother making plans to begin with.

Stevens Family said...

You are so amazing. You give me strength to carry on. Thank you for those words, I've never heard them before. It's an amazing perspective when you think of your challenges vs what someone else is going through.

Titus Todd said...

"But I can't stay here, can I? I guess I have to keep walking."

You aren't leaving her behind. She goes with you. You know you have to move on but you don't have to leave anyone behind.