When my father was a boy, he boiled a glass in a pan and it exploded. You can still feel shards of glass under the skin. Shards the doctors were never able to remove.
You'd never know just from looking at it. But, if you feel carefully...they are there.
This weekend, I took a walk with my rainbow girly and husband...and of course, my amazing sheep dog. The boys all opted to stay home with a movie, and we agreed because our teen hasn't been home much lately, being a social butterfly and all... So, it was a nice chance for them to hang together as brothers. It was also a nice chance to just talk, without interruption. In all honesty, we typically don't mind "interuption"...but there are moments when it's nice to talk without having to remember what you said moments ago because someone needs toilet paper, and someone else needs a snack and someone else wonders when they can buy that extra special video game, and someone else wonders if I can pay them for cleaning the porch (yes.) and someone else wonders if someone ELSE can do the dishes (no.)
When we walk with our rainbow girly, sometimes we pass other people. They smile at her and nod knowingly at us "Oh, you just wait till she's older! They are sweet NOW, but..."
They don't know that I've been a practicing mother for 22 years. They don't know that I have five living children. They don't know that my twins are dead and that I'd give ANYTHING to have them give me hell in the future. At least they would BE.
It's the shards of glass in MY heart...loss. Razor sharp and uncomfortable to the touch. Sealed under a scar---forever.
The part of me that longed for "me time". The part of me that groaned about endless need. The part of me that wistfully remembered dreams from my youth---before I became a parent. A mother. That part of me...seems insignificant compared to the part of me that yearns to be whole again.
I yearn for the days before the shards of glass. Before I knew that my children could die. Before I knew that I could--and would--find myself sobbing in a super market. Or any market for that matter. The days wherein I felt complete, and whole, and...strong.
I walk by smiling people and I wonder what their shards of glass are.
Or if they have any.
And if they don't...Why?
As they walk by me, with my beautiful little girl smiling from my arms, do they think I've got it all? Do they feel that I must not know suffering?
Do we look like the perfect family of three plus doggie dear?
It's something to contemplate...that others have shards of glass in their souls too. That we can't see what those shards are from. That we don't even know they are there. And probably never will.
I walk by smiling people and I smile back at them.
They don't need to know.