Tuesday, November 13, 2012

full day, full heart

it's been a full day 
to be honest, my heart is heavy. 
thinking tonight about how there are 
so many broken parts to this world. 
we have bodies that don't work they ways they are supposed to, relationships that can be inalterably messed up, a million different routes to hurt ourselves or others, lots of things that can just go wrong. in some ways, it's a huge part of what makes us human - to hurt and be hurt.

and then, i reflect on how resilient we are as people.

this afternoon i was thinking back to the very first hearing tests m failed. 
back when deaf was not a word we used in our house, because there was no reason to.

those first tests.
the first one in the hospital, or maybe there were two now that i think about it, and then the second when she was 18 days old (on matt's birthday). i'd had to sleep deprive her for the test, so my mother-in-law sat in the backseat the whole drive to the testing site, poking and prodding my two week old baby so she wouldn't fall asleep until we were sitting in a soundbooth and her head was dotted with electrodes to measure her hearing. it was really awful, to make her stay awake for hours, just so she would sleep on my shoulder in this test. i remember thinking it was a waste of time because of course she could hear us, but we'd said we would go, so we should go. she was wearing a little hooded sweatshirt with a pastel heart pattern scattered across, and tiny little heart shaped pockets. i didn't think it would be a big deal, because i assumed she would pass. but she didn't. i was very quiet the entire drive home. i remember all of these snapshots from that afternoon. we didn't know m was deaf yet, but it was becoming more of a possibility. soon after, when we took the last test in the string of many, the one that said she was deaf, everything went kind of blank. and sad and confusing and so, so heartbreaking. 

four years later that weight and grief has lifted; it is hard to picture my daughter as anything but a deaf kid with implants who talks and sings. i can't imagine her as deaf but without spoken language, and i can't imagine her as hearing. 

and i think back to another moment four years ago when my family imploded and exploded simultaneously. the aftermath of so many years of lying, deception and betrayal all uncovered in one moment, in the light of day. it changed everything in my family. sometimes pieces shatter that you can't just glue back together.

but last night, for instance, the remnant of my family got together, and it was pretty glorious. glorious and also mundane, if that's possible. we ate and drank and laughed and hung out and enjoyed each other's company, with three little girls racing around being silly and overtired and amped up on life. i don't think i could have predicted that back when it all seemed like our world as we knew it was coming to an end. 

it's weird how time has the potential to soften sharp edges, bring perspective, and heal a wounded heart. it doesn't mean everything is fixed or better than it was in the first place; often the reality is far from that. as i get ready to go to sleep, with a lot on my mind about the crap that people that i love are wading through, i am trying to also think about how long term, suffering can somehow, inexplicably, produce a lot of goodness, wisdom, hope and sometimes even beauty. that's my hope + prayer tonight (bear with me, please), for more good and less hard. for these dear ones. for you. for me.

here's to goodness.


  1. sending you oodles of love + hugs + virtual baked goods, fresh from the oven. xoxo

    1. mmm thanks friend; i just gobbled up your virtual baked goods while no one was looking. the upside of virtual? no calories!

  2. yesterday after i got home from all my doc appts (including my 6 wk postpartum), i made brownies + mint chip ice cream. decidedly non-virtual. thank you for this post. really really.

  3. you have a phenomenal way with words!

  4. Oh! This is so beautiful...

    [This weekend I had to go to LA for my uncle's funeral. He took his own and it was a very sad few days. We had a get together at my parent's home and I took five minutes to be alone in the guest room. All I could hear was my brother and cousin playing a sentimental jazz tune on the piano and I could hear people chatting, laughing, crying... I felt like I was in a Woody Allen film.

    It's true. There are some sweet moments in unexpected places.]

  5. I admire your thinking and sharing about those hard things--love you XXOO

  6. I love how you take the time to reflect, Sooz - both on the things of life that burden our hearts and those that add sparkle. xoxo

  7. "...think about how long term, suffering can somehow, inexplicably, produce a lot of goodness, wisdom, hope and sometimes even beauty..."

    pure poetry and a hearty amen.


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