Music: Nothing at the moment.
Game: A Tale In The Desert 3, WoW (Yes, again…), Dead Rising.
Book: Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond
Weather: 53, Sunny.
For a while, I was blogging personal things. Then, I kinda stopped…not sure why. I think it came down to me filtering things because…well, just because. I know I’ve mentioned it before. But as I’ve mentioned before, it’s my blog, and mainly, it was set up as a diary just so I’d have something to vent in, and keep record of things. I’ve kind of moved away from that. I think I should probably move back to it.
In that vein…
My brother’s wife was pregnant…we found out months ago that it was to be twins.
Last week, unexpectedly, her water broke…about 3 months early. I was told that it was mainly seepage, so they thought. There were a few contractions, but those subsided, and they sort of got ready for my sister-in-law to settle in to a long stay in the hospital, just in case.
On Sunday, the twins decided that they weren’t going to stay put any longer. My brother called me to tell me good news and bad news. The good news is that I have a niece, if 3 months premature and in neonatal icu. The bad news is that I don’t have two.
Now, I’m an uncle…I’m not a father. But even at just being an uncle, what on earth do you feel about this? Am I happy for Rebecca Alyse? Yes…far more than I can say…a baby girl. Our family isn’t particularly well-known for having baby girls. We’re a boy kinda clan. Yes, the baby is in ICU, and yes, she’s some 3 months early…but she’s breathing well, she’s stable, so my brother says.
Rebecca Alyse named after my grandmother, Ruth, and my sister-in-law’s grandmother, Ann. In my family, all the children are named after relatives that come before. Typically, they’re named after relatives who have passed on. Not this time. I definitely applaud my brother and my sister-in-law’s decision to break that tradition. They asked both grandparents, who gladly gave their blessing to use their names. And the symbolism hasn’t gone lost on me…or I suspect anyone else.
As for Lauren Danielle…Lauren will be buried on Friday. I will not be there. My brother asked me not to come…as he’s asked everyone else who isn’t already there to stay home.
My brother, a doctor, has always been pretty good at shielding emotions…until he snaps. At least, that’s how he used to be. I imagine that as he’s gotten older, and experienced more, both as a person and as a doctor, his compartmentalization has gotten far better. The fact that he’s able to function, and talk about any of this amazes me right now. He explained it to me: “How unhappy can I be? I have a new daughter, and you have a new niece. There’s a balance there.” He’s right, I guess. I don’t live in his head. But he’s been calm, if a bit worn out sounding, each time I’ve spoken to him.
I have a just-about 3 years old nephew who is fabulous, if a bit confused right now. I have a new niece. My sister-in-law is healthy. My brother’s fundamentally right. There’s a balance. It’s sad, to be sure…and not being there makes me a bit more sad.
I remember when my half-brother Scott died…he was about 2. My father was overwrought. Just completely couldn’t deal. My uncle held him and cried with him. I remember being upset about my half-brother…but seeing my father like that really broke me down. Is my brother that distraught? Am I supposed to get on a plane now and be there like my uncle was for my father? My brother asked, told me really, not to come this weekend. He said there’d be plenty of opportunity to be there in upcoming months to go to the hospital and see the baby, and spend some real time with him and his wife and my nephew.
He told me not to feel guilty about not being there. He was explicit about it. He doesn’t want a house full of people. He doesn’t want this to be a spectacle. He’d rather I came in a few weeks, when things were a little more calm. I can do that, of course…and I will.
I still feel guilty.
I’m glad work is beyond crazy…it lets me focus on things other than this. I do keep saying Rebecca Alyse’s name in my head. I want her to grow up to be strong and healthy and just fabulous. I want to meet her. I really do.
My brother mentioned in passing that we would try and make sense of it all, and I explained to him that I never really have ever done that. My brother, strongly Jewish, both in identification and deed, looks to God for answers. He believes that there’s a reason, a cause. And I think he tries to figure out why things such as this happen. Being the good little Agnostic that I am, I don’t ever do that. I don’t subscribe to it. I don’t look for rhyme or reason. I don’t think there is any. Why things like this happen? Because they do. And it isn’t for me to try to figure out why. But I do have to deal with the outcomes. I spend my energy dealing, not rationalizing. Perhaps I’m right, perhaps I’m wrong. I know sometimes I wish there were a God. Sometimes I wish that there were someone I could say “You did this. You had a reason, and you’ve got our best interests at heart.”
I remember when my half-brother died, someone said to me “Well, he was so sweet and wonderful that God wanted him up in heaven with him.” Yes, my family on that side was half Catholic. I remember thinking “I see, so God gets whatever the hell He wants, I and I get to just deal with the outcome. Why don’t WE get to keep Scott, and HE can wait until we’re ready to send him back?”
You know, if there were a God, I’d be pretty pissed at him right about now. But I don’t think there is. And so instead of trying to make sense of it all, I’m going to be sad for awhile…and in time, I’m going to be increasingly happy about Rebecca Alyse. As my brother said “There’s going to be plenty of time to be happy.”
He’s right, of course. I’ll keep my thoughts positive about Rebecca Alyse, and perhaps those positive thoughts will provide energy for my niece. Keep her healing and growing out here instead of in there. I suppose we all need to believe something.