I realised recently that I spend a lot of my time feeling generally peeved with life. I am at times very dissatisfied with what life has dumped at our doorstep, the path our world has meandered this past year, and the pain it has brought us. And it got me to thinking; how does one become so bitter? How do you move on from the anger that boils in your blood? How do you get back to loving the life that once fulfilled you?
I realised I find very little joy in my world. I try, I really do. There are things that make me happier, many things. But I'm always filled with this insatiable thirst for joy to come back into my life, even though it's me and my selfish pain that's preventing it.
"No more," I said to myself this morning. "Today I make the effort to be better."
Obviously I didn't say this out loud, G puts up with enough crazy from me. But I'm trying to flip the switch back to being grateful. Replace grief with acceptance. Anger with hope. Yearning for more with need for the simple things.
It may seem odd to you that someone who knows the pain of such loss can be ungrateful for what they have. But I am consumed with what I lost. The daughter I wanted so badly, and felt I had suffered so much to deserve. I feel robbed of what I worked for. After being determined to not be filled with hate and anger, for Poppy to not always equal pain, I feel exactly that. I turned her short existence into a shroud of 'It's not fair!'. And it's not, really. No death is ever fair. Someone must always suffer the pain of being left behind.
But today I decided to make her mean more. Make me see the joy in my life again, the goodness that is there. I would be grateful for what I have.
So I started by laying watching G sleep, marvelling in the fact that for some strange reason this man chose me. Chose to be in my life. I am grateful for this man.
Next, Xav came bundling in at 6.51am, and I am grateful he is well enough to bundle out of bed so early and be excited about the day. And when he whispered, "Mummy, thanks for giving me my dragon toy yesterday, I love you," and I'm grateful that he is so kind and tries so hard to be good. I am grateful I was given the job of being his mother. I am grateful for my son.
I made some breakfast, and after my cereal was finished, I was grateful at the fact that the milk was still cold and I was able to have as much as I liked. I am grateful we always have enough to eat.
I thought about seeing my friends last night, and how wonderful it is to have friends who don't treat me weird, despite my weirdness. I am grateful for them.
I got the cupcakes ready for work for tomorrow, and I am grateful that I work in a place where I feel comfortable, and there are people who are great friends and they supportive of me.
I thought about catching up with my family later today, and how great it is that I see my family so much, and we love each other, support each other and always (despite all those little arguments) end up respecting our values and differences. I am grateful I married into much an great family. I am supremely grateful for my family.
I am grateful for the beauty of the sun light streaming through the curtains, and the leaves on Poppy's tree.
I am grateful for the fact we are strong enough to bear what we have been through. I am grateful to understand to medical jargon that was thrown at us, and have people who could and would answer our questions.
It turns out I am grateful for many things. I have love in my life, all around me. I guess it's not that I am ungrateful, I am just broken. The love could not stay in a heart so broken, but not because it isn't there, just because the whole contraption isn't working properly right now. But once I fix it, once it's mended, I think the capacity for love will be more; endless.
I guess a heart needs to stretch in all directions, bear both tremendous heartache and immense joy, to help it become big enough to hold the love that can now fill our life. Poppy has brought us both: in her creation and death.
I am grateful for Poppy. I am grateful.