While I was at the park with Vince today, he walked up behind a toddler on a swing and tried to push her so she could go higher. The toddler's grandmother said, "Aren't you a nice little boy! You must be a big brother, huh? Do you have a little sister that you push on swings?"
It's doubtful Vince actually processed her question, but he answered, "Yes" just the same. My heart didn't break so much as sigh at the sight of him trying to be brotherly to this little girl.
The truth is, I don't speak to Vincent about Myla. I'm not sure he'd understand anyway. He still confuses familial terms like "brother" and "sister" for "son" or "daughter." That's okay, though. One day he'll know he's got a little sister in Heaven waiting for him.
A reader who has experienced miscarriage asked me if I spoke about Myla to anyone outside my circle of close friends. The truth is, I don't actually speak about Myla to anyone - not even on the blog so much anymore.
It's not that I don't think about her every day; I do. It's not that I don't still feel intense emotions about her short life; I do. Just the other day, I saw that show Say Yes to the Dress and when one of the brides-to-be said "Yes" and her mom, all teary-eyed from seeing her daughter dressed up in her bridal attire, hugged and kissed her,k I felt the pang of loss in realizing I'd never have that moment with Myla. I allowed my heart to clench into itself as it braced for the tsunami of anger, grief and frustration that would slowly fade to resignation, acceptance and even appreciation.
But I dunno. I still feel awkward bringing her up. I'm not embarrassed by her or my experience. I'm not ashamed. I am, however, unwilling to open myself up to public scrutiny, I guess. I'm unsure of my ability to handle the emotions of others (sorrow, awkwardness, pity, frustration) while still juggling my own. So rather than attempt, I remain silent. I don't speak of her to John, to my mother, not even to my closest friends.
Mind you, I'm sure I could should the absolute need arise, but I haven't felt that driving necessity in a long time. I am thankful for that.
However, I'd like to single out two friends who've given me incredible gifts: Theresa and Lien.
And yeah, I'm posting your pictures. :)
You guys have seen me talk about Theresa a few times. She's the one who has the obsession with pink (and purses). She's also the mother of that beautiful little munch above, Maddy. She and I have been together since Freshman year of HS when I invited her to my lunch table because I was sick of eating by myself. I even feigned interest in the Backstreet Boys (had NO idea who they were at the time) in an effort to drum up conversation.
Anyway, Theresa had just had Maddy when I went through the miscarriage. Like everyone else, she found out about it through the blog because, quite frankly, I couldn't physically have that conversation out loud. I still feel like a coward that my good friends (and mother) had to find out in that manner, but truthfully it was the only mode of communication I had at the time.
Anyway, as soon as Theresa read the blog, she reached out to me. She sent me a quick message via FB just to let me know she was there in support. It wasn't this massive production - just a brief communication that let me know someone was out there grieving with me. I wasn't alone in my sorrow.
That meant so much to me.
And since then, Theresa's been the only friend who has openly mentioned her in passing. I'm always slightly taken aback by how easily she slips her into conversation. She isn't afraid to use Myla's name. She doesn't seem skittish to bring her up out of the blue. That sort of acknowledgement of my precious little girl is actually bringing tears to my eyes as I type this.
So thank you. Each and every time you did it, I was blessed. It may have seemed small or even insignificant, but to me, someone who has been starved of any sort of acknowledgement that she existed at all, it was the most comforting, gratifying gift.
This is Lien. I know Lien through her sister, Xuan. I love both of them immensely, but through the years, Lien and I have grown closer simply due to our shared love of family and terrible jokes. At least that's why I think she keeps me around.
Anyway, she only recently learned of Myla's existence. She, too, read the blog and reached out.
I had originally shared my blog for very different reasons, but I knew she'd come across the entries about Myla. I told her I trusted her with the information, because I wouldn't have given her the web address otherwise.
She scheduled a time to meet (a rarity for us due to where we live and the hours we work). I knew she'd touch on my miscarriage, but I thought the crux of the conversation would center on why I'd sent her the blog in the first place. While we did talk about that for a bit, she was insistent on discussing Myla (and her disdain for John's handling of things - ha ha). Good old Lien. Fiesty as hell when she wants to be.
When she brought up Myla, as I knew she would, I tried to make it as painless as possible for her. An awkward conversation knowing how upsetting the experience was for me, I didn't want her to feel bad or like she'd upset me, so I was very matter-of-fact about everything. Lawyerly, if you will.
What she did made me really stop in my tracks, though. I was eating, trying to keep the conversation going so there weren't any awkward pauses, but she reached over and grabbed my greasy hand. She looked me square in the eye and forced me to shut up for a hot second while she said, "No. This is important. It's a big deal what happened. I'm really, really sorry. I cried while reading everything. I'm really sorry."
That was powerful. I dunno if Lien realized it, but it was powerful. She not only gave permission for me to publicly grieve, but demanded the right to experience it alongside me.
She also reprimanded me - rightly - for disenfranchising her of that right by keeping my miscarriage a secret all this time.
Well played, Lien. Well played.
I appreciated that more than you realize.
This grainy picture from my wedding is probably the last one I have of Theresa, Lien and I together. They don't really know one another outside of me. I wonder if they've even thought about each other in the years since they were my bridesmaids. It's funny to think of that.
Both of them have given me incredible gifts by extending themselves in such a generous, loving way. I didn't think I needed (or could even cope with) such displays of charity.
I appreciate all my friends - I really do. This particular entry isn't about guilting others or soliciting Myla conversations from anyone else. I simply wanted to recognize and extend public appreciation for the unique and incredibly special gifts Theresa and Lien gave, completely unprovoked, to let me know they love me, grieve with me, and hope with me for the future.
I love you guys. Thank you so much for being amazing friends to me. I appreciate it more than words could ever express.
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