my place

I just stumbled across your blog, she writes. We’ve been here in this NICU for three months with our baby, and you write about the way we feel, in this hell.

Her words on the screen stare out at me and I am instantly humbled. Because, you see, I’d just been stealing a few moments with email and such, sitting here with a slice of toasted cinnamon brioche with too much butter and a piping hot mug of tea. And Ben is complaining in his basket, threatening imminent needfulness. Just a few more minutes… I haven’t been able to put him down all morning… there’s so much I need to get done…

Her message shatters a growing oblivion. brings me back to that desperate hole when I thought If only I could hear them cry through all this intervention, if only I could feel them pawing at me, to have them need me hungrily, to need skin and warmth and rocking in a safe place that belongs to us… I'd sell my soul.

This is an unfortunate sisterhood. Even though you don’t believe it now, and even if you feel it shouldn’t, life will be some version of normal once again.

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If I have to look at one more piece of paper, fill out one more form with NAME OF DECEASED: LIAM STEWART INGLIS printed on the top, I’m going on strike. Words I cannot even utter for what they refer to, like cremation, taunt me in certificate form, swing back and knock me between the eyes like boomerangs. Insult after insult in triplicate, injustice that demands bureaucratic ownership.

As his beloved twin sprawls-eagle on my chest like a dog with a bone, pinning me to the couch on this foggy afternoon, I am in my place.