Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Love

I sat at the keyboard last night, fingers on the keys, trying to write out this thing in my heart, but the words would not come. This is not something I am used to. I tried again later, after dinner, and still, no words. Silence. Just the sounds of the kittens crawling round and jumping and playing and mewing, and the dogs randomly barking, Dakota wrestling with Mr. Curry, Lola walking round the house the way she does so often, singing and talking to herself, playing with her dolls. This morning, my heart bursting, I still had silent fingers. This hour, I went to the list of blogs I follow, and read NieNie's new entry, entitled Love. And the words came unstuck from my heart and began pushing and moving toward my fingers.

Yesterday we had to put one of our kittens to sleep. The black one that L called Boo. He was breathing strangely and not moving much and although he wasn't in pain, something was wrong. I took him to the vet, L at my side, and the vet examined him carefully, sweetly. She let me know we had to have an X-ray to know what was wrong. I drove home and took down the silver pot from the secretary I was handed down from Grandma Elizabeth, and drew out $200 dollars from the Rent Money. I stood there with those hundred bills in my hand and tried to understand what was the right thing to do. If I spent that money, we wouldn't have enough for rent. If I didn't spend it, we wouldn't know what was wrong with the kitten, and we could either let him suffer or have him put to sleep when possibly he was meant to live a long and happy life. I knew there wasn't truly a black or white answer. Morality is not stagnant, when the two questions you ask yourself each could hurt someone. I knew Mr. Curry would not choose to spend the money. He would think of our family first, and how the landlord has already extended so much goodwill when we bounced two checks after my Endometriosis surgeries two years ago, and how very difficult it would be for us to rent a new place, for various reasons. Mr. Curry is the protector of our family interests first and foremost, and because of this he is a sanctuary, my safety. I stood with the money in my hand but I knew I had to get the kitten that X-ray. A gross numbness came over me as I thought of our baby, born at 13 weeks, already gone, which is of course, what I had been thinking of all day. I just couldn't bear how I knew I would feel in the next weeks if I let the kitten die without at least trying.

Mr. Curry came home as I was contemplating, and I swooshed the kids into another room so I could talk to him alone. I explained the situation to him carefully and told him I understood so much how he would feel about it, and how upset I felt thinking of upsetting him. He could have been so angry. It's hard in a marriage when a person makes a decision that directly affects you in a negative way and you didn't have a say in it. He sighed and put his hands around me and I knew by the look in his eye he would let me do this thing, and he would understand. And he did.

The kitten had the Xray, and the poor little thing had his intestines all smushed up into his chest cavity, an abdominal hernia of the diaphram, probably due to our dog Wolfgang and his enormous love of kittens, always licking them. We keep the kittens apart from the dogs all night and anytime we aren't home, but we do let them mix in the living room when we are there, and Wolfgang must have picked him up in his mouth, probably gently, the vet said, but for a kitten that tiny, it's not gentle enough, and the small tear was enough to do this damage. The available surgery was $1000 and without gaurantee the kitty would survive. We had to put him down. Lola sobbed and sobbed and Mr. Curry met us at the vet; he talked to Lola in that soothing, difinitively male voice that has comforted me through so much, and had L and I leave while he held the kitten as it went to sleep.

He came home with the kitten in a box as he promised Lola, dug a hole in the backyard, and L placed a note inside before Mr. Curry buried Boo. We put roses on the top of the cement blocks, placed so no animal dug up the grave. I looked at the header Mr. Curry marked 'Boo' and the numbness began to wear off. I felt sick and sad. Losing the baby makes me hyper aware, as it does with most, of the losses possible in life. I could lose anyone I love at any moment. Death strips away the safety net we have between us and this constant awareness, and I have been left raw and constantly aware of how fragile life is.

Mr. Curry and his strong and loving hand on my back as we sped to the hospital the night we lost our baby. Mr. Curry and his firm voice with the nurses, telling them what they must and would do for his wife. Mr. Curry and his eyes, his enormous Irish long fringed and green-brown eyes, on me like a meditation and a prayer, a conduit that allows me to experience love in a way that I have never before-- love not only as a feeling, but as an action. Love in works. Love in his all night vigil at my side. Love in his constant protection of me, not because he thinks I am weak, or incapable, but because we both deeply believe that marriage is a sanctuary and that sanctuary is built on the knowing that even if we are opening our mouths in ugly pain or anger or having childish tantrums of the spirit or acting out some wounded misunderstanding born of childhood griefs, our hands are linked, our paths are in the same direction: we struggle greatly, neither has had an easy life from the start- but love in action has been our guiding light and has contiunued to surprise me and upflift me at the most unexpected times. Mr. Curry and his smile. Mr. Curry and his sweaty head pressed against my face as the doctor took away our baby. Mr. Curry and his drunken laughter at parties. Mr. Curry and the long fullness of his beautiful body pressed against mine in nakedness. Mr. Curry and our children. This is marriage? I never knew.

I can say my heart is broken. I can say my heart is full. I can say that I have had a terribly hard and sad life in many ways. I can say that few are as lucky as I.


Ms. Moon said...

And I can say that even in grief, you are wise and your words fly through the air with purpose and direction. And that your heart is pure.

KC said...

Beautiful post. I am so sorry for your losses.

Patty said...

Anyone who would put a kitten before their rent money will be taken care of in life. I would mortgage my house, sell my car, and eat beans for a year (not hard for a vegetarian) to save the life of one our animals. But sometimes, a pet has to be put to sleep. We had to have our dog put to sleep 4 years ago because she was suffering, and we could not bear to watch her suffer and wither away to nothing.

You take care, and know that you did the best you could do.

blondie-lox said...

love is action. wow. so true. actions speak louder than words.

after going through all of this are you finding that mr. curry has/does love you in a deeper way than you realized?

Maggie May said...

Hi Blondie. No, I wouldn't say I'm finding he loves me more than I knew. That's never been in question. I just find that marriage is much less stagnant that I had been left to believe, and more of an evolving journey where you continue to learn about each other, and where there still are amazing surprises around the corner. We've always had enough love..but we are both survivors of very difficult childhoods, and that makes for rough going at times. What I find so incredibly satisfying are the rewards we reap for working through things instead of running from them.

Sharon said...

I now have tears in my eyes as I write this. You have moved me...you always move me. I have been so busy that I haven't had the time to read your recent posts and I will not try to hurry through them. They are too precious. I am so sorry that you lost your baby and I am so sorry that you lost Boo, but I am so glad that you have Mr. Curry. Having someone like him to comfort and understand you can make it all bearable. Keep reaching out for each other and never give up.
Sharon

a cat of impossible colour said...

I am so very, very sorry to hear this. It's a heartbreaking decision, always. This is such a beautiful post, though, and such a beautiful way of describing a marriage.

(Seems silly to add something so trivial, but thank you for telling me what Dillards was/is).

A xx

Not The Rockefellers said...

All I did was silently sob and let out a great exhale at the end of this...

Soul purge

cleansing breath...

Blessed are you...

Peace - Rene

Lacey said...

You make the backs of my eyes burn, because I'm just so sorry that you're grieving, and you have this way of putting it down on paper that is so heartfelt and pure and beautiful and perfect. You. are. so. loved.

Sandi said...

Oh maggie. I can't believe how much you have gone through in a such a short time. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. As always. I am so close if and when you ever take me up on that diet coke.

SJ said...

Whew. That brought the teary-eyes.

JJ Keith said...

Oh, so much loss and yet you managed to write such a warm post. Thank you.

Laura said...

I am so sorry about Boo. You have been through so much already lately. You are so lucky to have Mr. Curry and to share the love that you do. Thank you for your comment on my blog today. It's nice to hear that someone understands and has been there before. Our marriage is still so young and new, but we do have so much love and getting through the rough times makes it so worth it.

Petunia Face said...

That was beautiful and sad and perfect. I am so sorry--for everything.

Rachael said...

Very beautifully written. I'm glad the words finally came. And, so sorry this loss, especially while you are still grieving the first loss.

Did the vet think the kitten's hernia could have been congenital? Human babies are sometimes born with diaphragmatic hernias, which is quite serious, but I wonder if a small one, in a kitten, might not have been immediately a problem at birth. Probably will never know, but just wondering if it might have had nothing to do with the dog and couldn't have been helped...

nfmgirl said...

Absolutely beautiful. Your family is very lucky to have each other. You are lucky and rich indeed, even in your grief.

anymommy said...

You have such a quiet soul, Maggie. It shines through your writing even when you are hurting and dealing with way too many sorrows. Thinking about you.

Jason, as himself said...

I loved this post. I think you managed to get your feelings down perfectly.

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

This is my most favorite thing you have ever posted.

Beautiful.

PurestGreen said...

I just want the universe to give your family a break from any sadness. I have been listening to a lot of Amiina and thinking of you. I wrote you a wee poem, over on my blog, because I didn't know what else to do.
Stay warm in the love bubble.

Vashti said...

I know that I dont need to tell you ....but I will anyway....You are so blessed to have Mr Curry in your life!!! Just reading the way you describe him and your love for him makes everyone else love him!
Sorry about the kitten, I know that this was a bad time for this to happen. I Hope Lola stays strong, its so hard for a child with such a big heart to understand why these things happen.
Much love to you all.
V xx
p.s thanks for the website i will pass it on to Helen.xx

Beth said...

Somewhere, somehow, rent money can always be found. A love and a marriage such as yours cannot - it is rare.

a mouthy irish woman? ridiculous! said...

bless you maggie. bless you for all that you share.

Dana's Brain said...

Again, you move me to tears. I love that your words about love include the tough times, but that you are on the path together.

And it takes a special soul to realize how lucky they are amidst their pain. Good thoughts to you.

Johanna said...

This is beautiful.

I've been collecting your words since you left a comment on my livejournal. The way you express your love for your family, your quiet and honest perspective- it's very inspiring.

I'm sorry this has happened. I'm glad to have found you. Take care.

jaykbee said...

I love your writing but hate the fact that you have had to go through so much. It's some sort of terrible irony that our best writing often comes from the worst experiences and that through the worst of times, we are able to become our best when we have survived, overcome, climbed up the other side. hugz

You are truly blessed having your Mr. Curry. Someday I hope to have one of my own.

Chris Stone said...

Beautifully written. So sorry about the kitten!

Reinvent Dad said...

That one word "Love" truly describes your post. I'm so sorry for your losses. You have a remarkable husband and family.

Captain Dumbass said...

The $200 might not have been wise financially, but if it helped you and Lola in some way then it was worth it.

blondie-lox said...

i have a little sumpin' sumpin' at my blog for you!

Evangeline said...

What can I even say in response to all the beauty and the pain expressed with such deft and tender skill in this post?

I sit here in tears. Deeply moved.

Love is an action, and there is nothing more healing. I am glad it is there to heal you.

Thank you for sharing this.

krista said...

so beautiful. and heartbreaking. and hopeful. and true.

Annie King said...

I'm so glad, Maggie, you always find the words to express how you feel. Love always shines through, for your family, and your family's love for you.

Bee said...

With all of the sad things that have happened to you recently (and in the past, too, I guess), all I could think of when I read this was: What blessings. The way you articulate and show your love is just incredibly moving.

Little Miss Sunshine State said...

I'm so sorry that you've all this sadness lately.
And I'm so happy that you have a husband that loves you so much.
When two people experience hardship and loss together they can use it to make their marriage stronger.

Just.Kate said...

What loss on top of loss. What blessings on top of blessings. Love was a very good title. My heart aches for you.

Heidi said...

A beautiful and sensitive post, you write lyrically and with love. Thank you for sharing such a heartfelt and difficult day. Heidi

Miss Grace said...

I'm so sorry darling. I've been thinking of you and your family.

Lola said...

I'm so sorry, Maggie. Sometimes it all comes at once, doesn't it. Hopefully, your great outlook will bring nothing but happy news from now on.

I would have done the same thing for one of our kids with fur, no question. In fact, I've spent the mortgage money and then some trying to save them more than once, and I'll do it again. Sorry Boo's injury was too big a fix ;(

Jeanne said...

A number of years ago, my 25-year-old brother-in-law passed away from a rare form of cancer. Five weeks to the day from his funeral, my father-in-law had a massive heart attack and died. And I was so pissed, because, for some reason, I thought that after Geno died we were somehow immune from more tragedy for a while. But it really doesn't work that way.

bellarum said...

It is a wonderful thing to walk through the world with someone who makes it bearable when it seems unbearable. The facts don't change, but the load lightens anyway. I'm sad for you and happy for you at the same time. Such a wonderful post with much to think about.

Woman in a Window said...

Mr. Curry and you are two very lucky people. May your path be long with lots to smell and eat on the way, lots for the kids to marvel at, and lots more healthy kittens, too.

katydidnot said...

god, you are so inspired.

you are, undoubtedly, blessed. lucky. whichever you call it. and so is he.

Something Happened Somewhere Turning said...

So much pain and so much sorrow. I shed a tear of lament. Surround yourself with friends until you can't and then send them home. I will come by again Maggie. Thanks for your words. They made me smile.

Annabelle said...

Sad, touching, beautiful and skillfully written... love your words.

Julia Rizzolo Blackman, said...

What a beautiful love letter.
What a beautiful blog. I just found you because you left a post on my blog, and Im so glad you did.
Hope youd heal soon.

Julia

Margo said...

You have a good creative soul's "gift" of being able to feel life's highs and lows deeply, and for that you are blessed. I am sorry for your losses, and admire that you can express those deep feelings so well. I'm glad the words came unstuck, and hope you are having a fabulous day :)

Cat said...

The week we lost our pregnancy, our beta fish got sick and, not knowing what to do for him, he died. And it seemed like an unusually low blow, to have another tiny life taken away at that time. And I'm sorry for your kitten and your children and you. You did the right thing though.

starrlife said...

The vulnerability is stunning. Fresh over here and relatively speechless for now. Trying to save a kitten- a hero in my book. In the face of each grief- a hug is all I know what to do.

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