Monthly Archives: March 2013

March 23

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For 10 years now, March 23 has been the due date of my first baby. I had only gotten the date put in my head a couple weeks before I miscarried at 6 weeks, in August of 2002. But not a March 23 has gone by since that I haven’t thought about it.

Now, can we all just agree that saying things like “God has a plan” or “Everything happens for a reason” might break the uncomfortable silence as we talk to the bereaved, but it has not once in the history of the world made someone actually feel better in that moment? I fully believe in the wisdom of God. Now, 10 years later, I can see that there might have been a reason. But in that moment, there is nothing you can say to make it ok. Just say you are so very sorry. Don’t reduce my suffering and loss to a cross stitch sampler. Let’s just take “everything happens for a reason” off the table, ok? Even if there’s truth in it, it doesn’t make it helpful.

In the interest of transparency, I don’t think a lot about seeing my baby in heaven. I’m sure if I’d known him or her longer, I might. And I suppose I believe I will. It’s just not something on my mind. I am so very lucky and blessed to have a consolation now. I was pregnant with Ella just a couple months after my miscarriage.

If everything had gone as I thought it would, I wouldn’t have Ella. Maybe I’d have my other girls, but I couldn’t have Ella. And that? Well, that’s even worse to think about. I think that’s why I remember Ella’s due date better than her birthday. For 9 months I was completely focused on making it closer and closer to that date. My experience is part of what has made me who I am. It gives me compassion and understanding for other women that I wouldn’t fully get otherwise. I wouldn’t say I’m “glad” for the experience, but I would say I accept it.

How much I think about that baby varies with time and circumstances. Sometimes it’s more raw than others. But I’m sure there will never be a March 23 that I don’t remember.

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Spring

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If you live south of the Mason-Dixon, perhaps you’re having Spring. For those of us in the upper midwest, Spring is still just a far off dream. We’re still cooking up snowstorms around here. The pile of snow is taller than the mailbox.

You may have learned that the seasons are as follows: Summer is June, July, August; Fall is September, October, November; Winter is December, January, February; and Spring is March, April, May. Maybe where you live that’s the case. Bully for you. Not here. We have so many seasons here. Summer might be June, July, August. Fall is more like September and October. November to mid-December is PreWinter. Expect snow any day. Especially in December, it’s going to start sticking around. Mid-December through February would be Winter. I hope you remember what grass looks like because you won’t see it for a LONG time. March and April are Late Winter. Still plenty of snowstorms to be had, usually worse than you’ve had yet. Spring is really only May here. And that doesn’t mean it still might not snow a little. Snow is possible at any given moment from October to May.

And that is what makes February and March the very worst months of all. Winter digs in its heels. Maybe on occasion you get a day in the 40s or 50s, and let me tell you, when that happens you put on flip flops. I am being 100% truthful when I tell you a week ago the temp rose all the way to 40 and I saw a man outside in a Hawaiian print shirt and cargo shorts. By February, I am worn out on Winter. I’ve had plenty of it. But there’s still so much to go. Smart people plan trips to warm climates in February and March. I am not smart. I would never have survived Winter in my sod hut as a prairie pioneer. I would have lost my mind that first early March as a blizzard blew across my farmland from the north. Because every year, even in my perfectly warm house with real windows and tv and computers to connect me to the outside world, there comes a day in late February when I say, “NOT ONE MORE DAY. I CANNOT HAVE ONE MORE DAY OF THIS.” Too much of a good thing is one issue, but what about too much of something you don’t even like to begin with?

With our multiple levels of Winter come some things that might seem strange to outsiders. I’m not just talking about ice fishing. Do you have a winter coat? My “Winter” coat is a puffy down number, and I wear it with lined leather mittens. I’ve got a wool pea coat for some days. I also have a lighter winter coat for Pre-Winter and Late Winter, and I can maybe get away with some kind of gloves with that. I have a warm spring jacket. I have a light spring jacket. I also rotate my closet more than twice a year. In late October I pull out the sweaters, but I’m not ready for the Real Sweaters. In late December, the really bulky wool sweaters come out, and I am happy to see them. In late February, early March, I want to burn the heavy sweaters and never see them ever again. For one thing, they take up an awful lot of room in my not-very-big closet. But I still need sweaters, because it’s cold. So I pack away the wool, and I get a little cold. But I don’t care, because I WILL NOT WEAR IT ONE MORE DAY. I WILL NOT. I keep the Smartwool socks out, though. Another thing I want to burn? My Emu boots. They’ve been a friend to me all Winter, but I am done. My toes are suffocating. Unfortunately, I am still wearing them because there’s still too much snow and ice to navigate. Shoes would be fine if I was ok with slush on my ankles. Cute shoes? Not happening. Cute shoes and ice with slush don’t mix.

This particular March, we are “enjoying” colder than average temps. Usually we’re in the 40s with occasional 50s. Last year we actually had some 80s in March, which was Global Warming at its finest. This year? Heck no. 30s. Piles of snow with layers of ice underneath and on top. It will never be warm again. Ever. Pretty Easter dresses? You won’t see them here. We might be wearing them, but it’s under a sweater so you can’t see it anyway.

Unfortunately, I don’t sweat so I’d never last living somewhere warm. I would just trade cold feet for heatstroke. I guess cold feet are probably better. And it is really pretty here, even under blankets of iced over snow.

Enjoy your Spring, Southern Friends. We’ll catch up to you in May or June. Meanwhile, let me know when you’re ready for me to visit!