Sunday, March 23, 2014

The moment you can never erase. My Sunday Confession.

Today marks my very first ever link up post. Basically, how this works is, the amazing bloggess behind "More than Cheese and Beer" invites other bloggers to 'link up' our post to hers, all sharing a post with their own take on a common topic. The benefit to everyone being an overall widened audience of readers. While I'm not sure I am bringing many readers to this party, I am definitely stoked to be hitching my wagon to such talented group of bloggers who I had already admired and read in the process of getting up the courage to become one myself. In that respect, I kind of feel like the awkward kid in the movie Almost Famous, nonchalantly in awe of the enormity of the talent that is all around him. The bloggers represented in this chain are my personal rock stars, and like him, I'm not going to sugar coat my Rolling Stone article on you lot. Sorry. Principles. You break up the band, I am writing it, Yoko.

Ok, all that to get down to the nitty gritty of today's throw down. Awkward moments. Oh, man. How do I narrow down a topic that pretty much encompasses the whole of my life's collective vignettes. Awkward is my middle name.

I do the wrong thing a lot. I think it may be a major reason why I retreat into myself so much. My introversion is somewhat of a defense mechanism. I am saving myself from myself, and potential harm to others. My intention with this post was to be funny and light, because so much of my awkwardness has been honed over the years into something that mostly passes for endearing or adorable, and I can totally live with that. After reading Juice Box Confession's post on today's topic, I felt compelled to go another direction entirely. This one is going to be bloody.

Juice Box Confession's link up shared a heart wrenching depiction showing a moment of hurt and betrayal she felt when a friend's unkind and insensitive words to her tragic news forever changed their friendship. It is gorgeously written and very raw.

For me, it struck a very painful nerve. I felt horrible for the pain she felt as a result of another woman's thoughtless words. I felt horrible for the loss she had endured, the sadness and grief of losing a beloved and celebrated pregnancy. I felt horrible also, for the friend, who may or may not have understood the enormity of her statement. I felt horrible for the absolute impossibility of turning back time, because, yes, I was that friend, and I am no longer. The power of a moment is one I am all to familiar with.

I am not one who has any place to comment on miscarriage. I feel guilty, somehow. I have been told that my thinking is common and it is something similar to survivor's guilt for wartime soldiers. I have 8 healthy happy children. I have never endured a miscarriage. I cannot possibly comprehend the loss.

A couple-friend of ours was expecting their fourth child. I love babies, pregnancies, and everything they entail. I kept general tabs on their progress through the periodic Facebook posts that went up. The husband of the couple was a notorious dry jokester who used uncomfortable pauses as an element of his humor. I had gone into work at our coffee shop, where a group of our guy friends went almost every morning before heading off to their various offices. My own husband was already there working. I had known by a Facebook post a week or so prior, that they had an ultrasound to find out about baby's sex, but assumed that I had missed the update with the news somewhere in the mix. When I saw the husband of the couple that morning, my face lit up immediately and I asked how the ultrasound went. He was uncomfortably silent...his standard M.O. for a joke set up. So I started laughing by default, waiting for the punch line. Glancing over at my other friends, however, I saw they were silently, violently shaking their heads 'no' at me. Then he dropped the boom. "We lost the baby." My heart sank. Nauseating dread swelled into a heavy ball in the pit of my stomach. I was  heartbroken and devastated for my friends. Just the remembrance of the incident has me in tears now, again. His look of hollowness and loss will forever haunt me. Stunned, I looked over at my husband, who had known but forgotten to tell me in the craziness of our lives and schedules. In this man's mind, I knew this news and was mocking him. I was horrified to have hurt my friend by laughing, and had no idea how to rectify it. I said how truly sorry I was, with all the sincerity and regret that I felt, but have no idea if he received the sentiment the way I intended. I carried that numbing sadness around with me for the rest of the day, and still, more than a year later, have trouble processing it properly. I went over and over it mentally, trying to understand how I could have made that moment right, and never found a solution.

I will forever be sorry for my part my friend's pain that morning. The next time I saw his wife, while I wanted to show my genuine sympathy, instead I said nothing at all, for paralyzing fear of making some other hellish mistake. My words, prayers and good intentions became aching cotton in my head, never materializing. Some days I pray that the old saying "It's the thought that counts" really holds any truth. More likely, the phrase came into being as a result of some other moment of regret involving things said, or things left unsaid. That couple's view of me likely changed forever that day,  I will never know. I do know that moment will forever live in my brain as one of the singular most distressing of my life.

I'm so very sorry. Words will never be enough. If I could take it back, in a heartbeat it would be gone. I have no excuse. If I am truthful, many more moments have since gone by silently in the aftermath.

To link up with all of the other amazing bloggers participating in this week's Sunday confessions, check out my girl over at More than Cheese and Beer.


  1. Loss is hard on everyone. You apologized immediately, you did what you could. It is so hard to say what hey think or if saying more would have hurt or helped. All we can do is to admit that we are perfectly flawed and move forward as better people. I <3 you. XOXO

  2. Wow. Big warm welcome to Sunday Confessions....I hope you'll continue to join us because that was an incredible post. I am so glad you're here.

    I'm sorry for your moment. I've...been in situations like that.

    1. Thanks so much. It really is an honor to be able to join you all!

  3. Aww. You're a good friend, and I'm sure she knew you wouldn't hurt her on purpose. She was in terrible pain and once she had some time to process I'm sure she was grateful to have a friend who would care so much about her feelings to feel that awful after an awkward mistake.

    1. Thank you! They recently moved away, but I hope someday we will all meet up again.

  4. Oh jeez, the epic foot-in-mouth. Guilty. I sometimes find that these miscommunications open the door for real dialogue. Which almost nobody is willing to start, unless there is some SNAFU to jump start it. I'm sure the guy is fine with it. It wasn't malicious. People know that.

    I Sharpied that Hemingway quote onto my cement classroom wall. One of my favorite.

  5. I'm going to say it and I don't care. If they were sincere at all, anywhere near as sincere as your apology, they would have accepted it. I know you may never find out if they did or not, but just remember we all have moments where we say the wrong thing at the wrong time. They too have their moments. Your moment is NOTHING like the Juicebox confessions post. That comment was snarky and it sounds like she didn't apologize for it. It also sounds like she KNEW whereas you didn't know. Stop beating yourself up over it. You did the right thing. You apologized with sincerity.

    I had a similar situation more emotionally charged... One day in the military far from home, with the hubs out of town visiting family, I take a pregnancy test. Positive. So the first thing I do is call my best friend. I call. No answer. Minutes later, she calls me and i didn't answer. Minutes later I call, no answer. This went on for hours before we got a hold of each other. We both at the same time, "I have big news to tell you" then it was the awkward, "You first." No you first. No you first... She goes first. "We're unplugging the machines keeping Deziray alive." Deziray being her 2 year old. She tells me the whole story. She was sick with the flu, and she somehow developed Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Her body organs have been shutting down one by one and they decided it was time to unplug the machines keeping her alive, what's your big news? ..... So my oldest child's name is Gabrielle Deziray. My friend and I are still friends. She's my daughter's Godmother. It's the hardest thing for her too but at the same time, she wouldn't have it any other way and would be insulted otherwise. I swear the situation has taken a slight toll on our friendship, I start making babies around the time she lost hers and can't make anymore, and there are times where I swear she has asked God why do I get to keep my kids when I'm no where near as good of a mother as she is. But our friendship is still a friendship, and we both forgive each other for our faults like any friendship. In times like this, I think keeping it real with each other is the only thing that has gotten us through it.

  6. That is truly beautiful. I am sure it brings your friend enormous joy to be around you and your children. I think this sticks with me because it came a few years after my sister in law miscarried her first child. We had become pregnant at the same time, and I saw her sadness when my daughter was born. The next year we both became pregnant again, and had sons within a month f each other. Then daughters the next year.