Sunday, May 3, 2009

Before There Were Three

Before there were three, there were two. A very happy two. A two that did everything together, as if all errands, all decisions all challenges were made with legs tied together, a constant three-legged race. The material that bound us would change. Sometimes it was rope, sometimes slick ribbon, sometimes the thinnest of cord. But it was always there. If you took it off, the legs bore the imprint, felt the sting of its removal. So even when unbound, the memory of the binding remained.

When I was rushed into the operating room for Willa’s emergency c-section my husband was not allowed to be with me. We felt the fibers stretch. When she was taken to another hospital at two weeks old we walked so close to one another we shared steps. When we were told she had Costello Syndrome the binding came all out of order. It shifted from the ankle to the knee, to mid-calf and then up at our throats, choking us both.

I have learned that when you have a sick child all binds can break between husband and wife, now father and mother. That which may have held in your past no longer applies to these new feats of strength. Your string may not be able to hold. Or, you would now be bound more tightly than ever imagined. That new threads would grow from this new root. That new knots would develop and fiercely protect your connection.

The only other thing that scared me about Willa’s diagnosis was that I might lose my husband. That in the shocking newness of what was terrible news we would not survive the earthquake. That mountains would be thrown up between us, that the mail would not get through, that we would begin to live under different stars.

We pulled at the binding, I heard it snap and lurch and creak with the weight of such unexpected sadness. But then I felt it pull us back together. We began to again walk step in step, though with new feet. We tie ourselves with a bow now, easy to undo should the strain prove too much, but it doesn’t break anything and when we have recovered we tie it up again, prettily. A gift of ourselves to ourselves and each other.

Before there were three there were a very happy two but now we are all one.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful post!, what a blessing to have each other. :)

"When you come to the edge of all the light you have and must take a step into the darkness of the unknown, believe that one of two things will happen, either there will be something solid for you to stand on or you will be taught how to fly”

Chrystal said...

Beautiful and timely. Thank you.