So many other parents I've met through this journey find other signs from their children. In the way of cardinals or bumblebees or hearts.
When I hear these stories, a part of me is jealous. I want Lydie to communicate with me through cardinals or bumblebees or hearts! I want to communicate with her any way I can.
Other parents talk of how they can feel their children's presence. And I wish, wish, wish, and hope I can feel Lydie. And Lydie can feel me. That when we light our candle every evening and each of us, including Benjamin, says, "I love you, Lydie," she's with us and can feel our love. But I don't know.
The other night, cuddled up with Ben in his glider, reading bedtime stories, I glanced out his window. A full moon and one bright, shining star. Only one. I pointed to it, and Ben became mesmerized. "Think that's Lydie up there?" I asked Ben and Justin.
It's a nice concept. It's a beautiful concept, actually. And though I proposed the idea, I don't quite buy it. I'm too practical, too much of a realist. I scoff at myself. I question.
|One of my favorites of Lydie's ornaments, given to us from my best friend Kate's mom. It reads, "Lydia... your star will shine down from heaven always."|
It's like the dream I had about six weeks after Lydie died.
My uncle and godfather, who was 52 when he died from a sudden heart attack, was suddenly there. All my aunts, uncles, and cousins are jostling each other, trying to see him, trying to talk to him, knowing full well that he is dead and should not be standing there. I push my way through them all, and start yelling, "Uncle Mart! Uncle Mart!" I finally catch his attention, and he looks at me. "My daughter?" I ask. "She's there," he responds.
It was the most beautiful and comforting dream I've ever had in my life. I woke up breathless and practically in tears.
And then I started to question it. I wondered if I wanted so badly to believe that Lydie is in heaven that I asked for this dream, I ordered it up. I wondered if I was reading too much into it.
And then I wondered why I couldn't just let it be what it was. A dream that indicated that my daughter is in heaven. A dream that brings me great comfort.
Why do I have to question it all so much? Why can't I just look at a star, a bright shining star, the only one in the sky, and believe it is Lydie looking down on us? Why can't I light her candle and feel her presence? Why can't I talk to her and believe she hears me?
Why do I have to be such a goddamn cynic?
Practicality has always been a strength of mine and suddenly it feels like a huge burden.
In college, I worked as a physics tutor. Physics makes sense to me. Physics is practical. Which is why I love this:
|"According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you're just less orderly."|
So according to physics, Lydie is out there, somewhere.
I told Lydie in the letter I read at her memorial that she's part of me. She was part of me for 34 weeks, and she's part of me now. I was pleased to read that I was correct:
It’s now known that cells from a developing fetus cross the placenta, allowing the baby’s DNA to become part of the mother’s body. These fetal cells persist in a woman’s body into her old age. (If she has been pregnant with a male child it’s likely she’ll have some Y-chromosomes drifting around for a few decades too). This is true even if the baby she carried didn’t live to be born. The cells of that child stay with her, resonating in ways that mothers have known intuitively throughout time.
It takes the idea of my favorite poem, "i carry your heart" by e.e. cummings to a whole new level. Lydie, I carry your heart, and I also carry your DNA.
Is that enough?
It doesn't feel like it.
So then what? How can I stop being so freaking practical and start feeling my girl around me? How can I find my signs? How can embrace the idea that her spirit and energy surround me? I am never going to call Lydie an angel, but can I find her in a bright, shining star? And believe it?
"So when I need you can I send you a sign? Light a candle and turn off the light, pick a star and watch you shine..." - Pink, Beam Me Up, on Lydie's playlist