Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ashes in Asheville

We've been super busy this summer - visiting and being visited. We just got back from Philly this past weekend and will be embarking on a road trip to Asheville, NC tomorrow afternoon. The season is flying by and - for once - I am actually glad that it's so excruciatingly hot here because it means that summer will last beyond the start of school and everything else that September brings. We've only been on the local beaches a handful of times - so we have a lot of catching up to do once the visits slow down.

In the meantime - I'm doing the last load of laundry and starting the packing process way too late at night - even for me. I've been looking forward to this trip for months and I am so glad that the time for it has finally arrived.

We'll be visiting with Deirdre and Jackie (and Deco, too) at their new place in Weaverville, NC - just outside of Asheville. Their house had been in the planning and building stages for what seemed like forever. The house was finally done (enough) for them to move in by this past winter. We were lucky enough to be able to watch the progress here. And - now that the house is complete, the garden is in bloom and the neighborhood goats are ready for milking - we'll be on our way by tomorrow afternoon.

We're also going to get a chance to visit my friend Susan and her son Daniel. Daniel is already over a year old and we've only seen him in photos and on video. He is the spitting image of his mother and has the best head of hair I have ever seen on a youngster. I can't wait to eat him whole, I mean - meet him in person. Photos to follow.

The other reason for going - besides seeing and spending time with good friends - is to get some closure on the loss of Matteo's twin sister. The plan is to bury her ashes and their fused placentas, along with some mementos from earlier in the pregnancy. We're going to put her beside an old oak tree on Deirdre and Jackie's land - in a spot where they'll eventually plant a fruit grove. We know that D and J will have this land for the rest of their lives and - because we plan on knowing them and visiting them for the rest of ours - it seemed the perfect choice for her final resting place. That plus Deirdre and Jackie - like several other very good friends - were there for us in ways we never thought possible during that time, so it's fitting that they would become her guardians of sorts.

I've been having lots of mixed emotions over the past few days - reviewing this last year and thinking about all that's come to pass. On Thursday - the day of the burial - exactly one year will have passed from the day of the termination. When I look at Matteo - seven months olds now - crawling, laughing, babbling and pulling up (and I am pretty sure he said "hi" tonight), it's hard to imagine that we ever had serious doubts about getting to this point. A healthy, happy baby growing and thriving - despite the doomsday warnings of ultra-conservative high risk docs and months of worry that the nightmare might get worse.

But - it didn't. And - even dealing with the discovery of her condition and the difficult realization and loss that followed - we are amazed that everything worked out the way it did. We were surrounded by so much love and support during one of the hardest times in our lives. And, we're extremely grateful for the friends and family that walked beside us at that time. So - on Thursday - we'll honor her and we'll honor them. And we'll give thanks for the beautiful baby that we have today.

Should be quite a visit.


StephLove said...

How bittersweet. I'm sure it was a hard visit in some ways, but full of love, too.