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Archive for October, 2008

You weirdo!

going through my Google Reader, came to Funsize’s blog, Just a Diamond in the Rough and saw that I had been tagged. Woot! Another distraction!! Thanks, funsize!

But you know, it took me a while… to come up with seven werid facts about myself. Not that I am not weird in anyways, but I think I’ve been weird so long I think it’s normal, LOL!

So here goes:

  1. I have an unusual heightened sensitivity towards sound. I much prefer complete silence over beautiful music.
  2. I grew up on the music of ABBA, much to the appall of my husband. He thinks it’s tasteless… but lately someone sent me a link to Chiquitita
  3. I do not have ice-cubes in my freezer, nor cold drinks in my house. I do not “do” cold stuff, ‘cept for ice-cream and gelato.
  4. I do not use the microwave.
  5. I tend not to pick up the phone. I think I am a highly anti-social animal.
  6. Painted red nails scare the hell out of me. Also those odd colors like blue, black… …
  7. I have never owned a hair-dryer my whole life. It’s too noisy/loud for me. I just hate the sound of it. So I often go to bed with damp hair.

Now I tag: Ya Chun, Stephanie, k@lakly, G, Tash, CLC, AnnaMarie … … oh, whoever needs a distraction!

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“Other people made birds.” R blurted out as he came into the kitchen behind Val, who was skipping into the kitchen, eager to show me the fruit of her labor- a pop-up card made that morning at a (free) art workshop.

When my gaze landed on the pop-up card, poudly held up in Val’s hand, my heart ached.

Amongst the various elements of the card is something that flies in the sky. Most kids in the class followed the instructor’s example of a bird.

Val told me, “One girl made a bee, and there was a boy, he made a helicopter.”

Valerie, she made “an angel” and that angel has a name– Ferdinand.

I don’t know how to put into words the many emotions that went through me. But it was only in the middle of the night that I sobbed into my pillow.

And I thought, “Oh, and people think it should all be over already. Time to pack up and move on… only they have no idea all the time we have been moving, only that Ferdinand comes with us. We do not bury him ten-feet deep under the ground, cover up the hole, dust our hands, adjust our compass and be done with it. New day, new direction, new life.”

Which is why this paragraph from “An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination”, Elizabeth McCracken’s memoir about her stillbirth and the subsequent pregnancy resonated with me:

I want a book that acknowledges that life goes on but that death goes on, too, that a person who is dead is a long, long story. You  move on from it, but the death will never disappear from view.

How true, how true. And how often we are subjected to double-standards when the person in question is a baby who died too young, or who did not even live long enough to exit from the womb alive. We can talk about Shakespeare and van Gogh and Andy Warhol. But a dead baby? Goodness forbid! It is time to move on. I don’t understand. Why? What is the rationale? Because dead babies do not leave behind any legacies? They do not warrant the remembering because all they did was to exist in the womb; dreams of theirs known only to their parents? If you wrote, if you drew, that is great. Many years later, we are still going to toast champagne in your rememberance. But, if all you did was to live in the womb and then died, hmph… ….

What makes a life worth remembering?

I guess, again, McCracken hit that nail right on the head:

A stillborn child is really only ever his death. He didn’t live, that’s how he’s defined.

That’s how most people see it. It’s a dead thing, like an insect accidentally squished under your shoe. The end. Over. Dead. Pick it up, gingerly, with a paper towel, throw it in the garbage can, walk away, forget about it. Forget that it ever happened. That sticky, gooey mess under your shoe.

And, that’s what grips us bereaved mothers of tiny babies. Our babies, born so silent, so tiny, so still, a life cut way too short. Forgotten. Thrown into the bin. Handled with masked disgust and fear, gingerly. Defined by his brevity of life.

Only we all know it is more than that. Our baby was also the pregnancy, the tremendous joy, the hope, the dreams, the names, the plans we made, the anticipation, the silly secretive giggles, the list we furtively made and hid away about the things we are going to do together when he is five, or ten, or twenty… it is the building up and the shattering of dreams, picking up the shards and not knowing how to ever fit the pieces back again. It is the after, the coping, the questioning, the trying to find an answer, the surrendering, the moving on… with death a constant in our rear-view mirror. Maybe our babies are now but death, but they are still our babies. Still carried with us.

And that freaks people out.

McCracken wrote, “Closure is bullshit.”

Boy, she hit the jackpot, once again.

As I read her book, I realized we all talk about the same things, only we may say it in different ways. She too wrote about the people who cared incessantly, and then there are those who took too long to respond….. or who never wrote. I’ll tell you, there is this mom, she joined this book discussion group but dropped off after a while. I stayed on but later I joined an online group that she started, about eating local. She had to approve me (to join the group) and she personally answered a few questions I had. We share similar parenting ideals. She knew I was pregnant with Ferdinand. When Ferdinand died, I sent her the death announcement too. She never wrote back. Just silence.

Then, a while back, she emerged on the homeschool groups I am also on. And a few weeks back, she saw me when I turned up to pick up my share of locally-raised meat. She approached me, all smiles, saying “We have met before…” you know, that book discussion group and all that stuff. And she told me how she is in the homeschool groups now and she and her son loving it all. I just said, “Oh yes, I remember… …” and then I took my meats and crawled into my car and left. I did not say goodbye, she was busy checking her order. Back in the good old days, when I was polite and considerate, I would have sent an email later that afternoon- so nice to have to met you! Sorry I had to take off! Hope to see you around soon!

Bah.

I was not going to do that. I just felt… I dunno what’s that word I am looking for. Like, a convenience item? Before, when we did not have to “see” each other, I was conveniently forgotten. Now, chances are that we do see each other, so suddenly I am “remembered”? Sometimes, when I talk to Ferdinand, I will tell him about incidences like this, and I will say, “This is so crappy, you know? Glad you don’t have to deal with this sh*t.”

++++++++++++++++

When I saw Val’s card, my heart ached and cried, and it also made little heaps of gladness. He has never left us. He is always here, although not here. The girls, they are sad that he died, but they also demonstrate great joy for the brief time that they “knew” him and anticipated him. He is an easy sibling to live with. He will never spit, snatch, argue, whittle away the portions of dessert or destroy their toys. He is often seen in their pictures, hovering in the sky, as a fairy, an angel, a bird, a butterfly. He is the sun, the moon or that bright star in the sky. But they do not forget that he had died. I never remind them of that, but they never do forget. There are others though, who wish to hush them on that.

A couple of weeks ago while in San Diego, we met up with a couple for dinner. They were friends who had relocated out of state. Incidentally they were both in San Diego for a conference too and we had to meet up. Afterall, it had been four years since they had moved away. Last fall, we thought we would be in LA, with our new baby of course, and they insisted that we visit them and stay a few days in their new house. That plan fell through, as we all know by now. This fall, without planning, we converged in San Diego and ended up in a Persian restaurant. They had left their three boys at home so the girls received all their attention. Val talked to her about this new baby, and said, “I hope this baby will be alive. Ferdinand died, you know?” and she hushed her, stealing a glance at me and whispering, “Don’t bring that up. It makes your mama sad.”

At that time I pretended not to hear, neither did I respond. But I really wanted to tell her, despite her best intentions, my children never forgot. Even if we have not a single physical reminder of Ferdinand in our house, they have never forgotten. Moreover, say it loud or say it soft, mama will always be sad. There is no antidote to this poison of pain and loss.

So, when McCracken wrote that “You can’t out-travel sadness” she spoke for me again. She found the words for me, again.

When in San Diego, I wrote to a fellow bereaved, also awaiting with abated breath for a new baby to arrive. I told her, “Oh, D., here in SD, it is beautiful. Blue skies, warm sun, cool breeze. But every moment is tinged with sadness.” Here is how McCracken described it, as only a brilliant writer and a pained heart can:

Of course you can’t out-travel sadness. You will find it has smuggled itself along in your suitcase. It coats the camera lens, it flavors the local cuisine… You may even feel proud of its stubbornness as it follows you up the bell towers and monuments, as it pants in your ear while you take in the view. I travel not to get away from my troubles but to see how they look in front of famous buildings or on deserted beaches. I take them for walks. Sometimes I get them drunk. Back at home we generally understand each other better.

Yes, exactly. You cannot get your grip on sadness’s claws and throw it off your back. But you can learn to understand it (and yourself, and the people and world around you) and it becomes a pal of sorts. You realize that it has always been by your side, and actually, not an enemy, nothing despicable; not something to be afraid of or to run away from.

So these days, sadness, and death has become a part of my landscape. At first, it is like a smudge on the window pane, truly annoying and you grab a cloth and try to rub it away, only that is not possible. How could you? It is as essential to life as air is. So, I learned to live with it. But I cannot say I am fully comfortable with it yet. And so, it makes people around me fidget too. But there is nothing I can do about it. When people ask me, why are you taking so freaking long? I really have not been able to explain. I have tried, but it seems, unless you have your baby died, it is almost impossible to understand what this life of mine is like. So, after some attempts, I have thrown in the towel, spit in the dust, gotten angry and hissed through my teeth. And I screamed back, why do you so not freaking understand?!

Well, there are people around me who understand, and their babies did not die. What makes the distinction between these two groups of people? I do not know. I only think it is a matter of whether people wish to understand or not.

++++++++++++

I tell you, nothing will ever assure me again. Never. Ever.

We had an ultrasound this morning. Checked to see if the placenta is still healthy (yes), if the fluid level is normal (yes) and if the baby’s kidneys look fine (yes). The technician chirped, “Everything looks great!” And I mentally added, “For now, yes.”

Every nanosecond makes a difference. Every nanosecond a myriad of things can happen, including my baby dying, again.

I wait, not daring to exhale. I realize there is not much I can do. I can do yoga, meditate, eat well. But I am nothing in the monumental force of life and nature.

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As the air starts to feel crisp and cool; as we drove past the golden yellows and deep reds nestled among the ever-greens; as the chilly air brushed the backs of our necks sending a tingling down our backs, I started to remember this prayer I found last year. I decided to dig it out and read again. I’ve posted it again below.

On a different note, this morning in my mailbox is a quote from some wise man who said– “The more we share, the more we get.”

Erm, not too sure about that one though. Sure, we’re all heard of that happiness being doubled when shared, and how wealth is quadrupled when you spread it around… but, what about grief, sorrow and sadness?? Now I bet whoever-wise-man did not think of this one!

I know many people around me had thought in the past year 15 months I had been selfish, keeping to myself, not reaching out enough, blah-blah-whatever. But, how do I share my grief, my sorrow, how hard my days have been, and often still are? I do not know how to share those, except perhaps coming here to write, and finding solace in the few who knows to understand and just hold the space. And sometimes, their words echo my sorrow and that reverberation feels good. I have struggled with this. Sure, sometimes I think if I sit someone down and give them a blow by blow, detailed and morbid account of what transpired that fateful day (and those that followed) last summer, I may be able to lift a weight off my own heart. But honestly, I don’t think so. However, I do write some of those angst and agony here, because I also agree with some others who assert that we need to give this experience word and shapes, to not silent the experience and make it a shameful thing, to be quietly buried in hush. When I lay in bed and think of those old grandmothers, surrounded by children and grand-children, uttering in their last breath how they will finally get to meet the little one that they have lost… when I think of the days they had endured the pain of their loss with silence, I feel it is my duty to write, and give shape to that grief and sorrow, even if my experience alone does not determine the outcome of it all.

I am deeply grateful for those who have stuck around, I know it has not been easy. To not fret but to sit and hold. Very few have the capacity to do it. Afterall, everyone have their own busy lives, and who wants to sit around staring into darkness and listening to wails?

How about you? Do you share your grief and sorrow? What has the experience been like?

I do so love this melancholic season. I do not like the consumerism that it reeks, but I can find ways to get away from that. Autumn to me is about retreating, offering up, surrendering. It is about getting ready to go to rest, spiral inward and contemplate, or just let be. The burst of colors an effort to bade a brave and beautiful good-bye… till next year. The trees release the fluttering leaves, in gratitude for their service the past months, working so hard to make food, provide shade, and make music in the breezes. And they say, adieu, rest, and we shall meet again next year. Then there is the celebration of death, of changing seasons, of the sun a-coming again.

Although now, all through the year my heart is aching… this season, my heart especially aches in the beauty and wisdom of it all. And I offer up gratitude, peace, and respite for you all.

Prayer for Autumn Days

God of the seasons, there is a time for everything; there is a time for dying and a time for rising. We need courage to enter into the transformation process.

God of autumn, the trees are saying goodbye to their green, letting go of what has been. We, too, have our moments of surrender, with all their insecurity and risk. Help us to let go when we need to do so.

God of fallen leaves lying in colored patterns on the ground, our lives have their own patterns. As we see the patterns of our own growth, may we learn from them.

God of misty days and harvest moon nights, there is always the dimension of mystery and wonder in our lives. We always need to recognize your power-filled presence. May we gain strength from this.

God of harvest wagons and fields of ripened grain, many gifts of growth lie within the season of our surrender. We must wait for harvest in faith and hope. Grant us patience when we do not see the blessings.

God of geese going south for another season, your wisdom enables us to know what needs to be left behind and what needs to be carried into the future. We yearn for insight and vision.

God of flowers touched with frost and windows wearing white designs, may your love keep our hearts from growing cold in the empty seasons.

God of life, you believe in us, you enrich us, you entrust us with the freedom to choose life. For all this, we are grateful.
– Author Unknown

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many things

I am back, even though I have never really been “gone.” And some of you, some of you with the “dates” coming up, I have been thinking mightily. The weather starts to cool down here, the chilling winds of Halloween is howling down our necks and I know in a whirl the next days, weeks, and months will pass, sometimes even meaninglessly, as we scurry here and there, trying to be at events and places, with no time and space to re-connect and process everything. And then, bam! 2009 will be upon us. And I hope, 2009 will be kind to us all. 2007, I have decided by now, is a big-time sucky year for me. 2008? Not very much better. 2009? Fingers so darned crossed.

I digress again. What I want to say is, I’ve been thinking of you all, but some more mightily than others. And I have a lot of thoughts I need to spew. The scientists will need to explain this one- how can billions upon trillions of thoughts spew out of a brain the size of a poppy seed? I dunno. Whoever figures that out first gets the Nobel Prize, from moi. Maybe I will even throw in a good bar of chocolate as a sweet reward.

But the ramblings will come later. First I will do a meme, because sweet Loribeth over at The Road Less Travelled had tagged me while I was “away.” And boy, do I love distractions! I have no idea how to get that “I ❤ your blog” image over here, but that is not important, I love Lori’s blog back, and so many others too. What I need to do is provide one word answers to the following questions, woot! So here goes:

1. Where is your cell phone? somewhere

2. Where is your significant other? cabin
3. Your hair color? black
4. Your mother? fighting (breast cancer)
5. Your father? non-existent
6. Your favorite thing? books.chocolate.naps.Nature.goodfood. (is that cheating?)
7. Your dream last night? nothing
8. Your dream/goal? globetrotting (I almost wanted to say “world peace”, LOL!!)
9. The room you’re in? cluttered
10. Your hobby? reading
11. Your fear? Loss
12. Where do you want to be in six years? peace-bliss
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. What you’re not? brainy
15. One of your wish list items? Tesla-electric-car
16. Where you grew up? Singapore
17. The last thing you did? scratched
18. What are you wearing? sloppy
19. Your T.V.? dusty
20. Your pet? none
21. Your computer? lifeline
22. Your mood? overwhelmed
23. Missing someone? yes
24. Your car? Sienna
25. Something you’re not wearing? shoes
26. Favorite store? undecided
27. Your Summer? crappy
28. Love someone? uh-huh
29. Your favorite color? white&blue
30. When is the last time you laughed? can’t remember
31. Last time you cried? last night
That’s all for now, folks! I believe by now everyone has been tagged, but if you have not been tagged yet, and up for playing, please do and leave me a note so I can go over and distract myself!
And before I sign off, I learned of this online bookseller that just is so cool. Check it out:

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Miscellany

As I have unashamedly confess before, either here, there, or somewhere… I have a humongous pile of recipes that needs to be indexed. Yes, yes, I want them all in a searchable database, where I can also organize them into neat little piles, like the one for welcoming spring, another one for “unusual” vegetables, and one for the holidays. And the holidays, you know, are looming over us. And I detest that. Those holiday merchandise, I hear them a-screaming at me every time I enter a store. And honestly, it annoys me to no end, and it totally drains all the chi from my body each time my eyeballs come into contact with anything that is black, orange, red or green, sparkly or glittery. I feel like marching over to the holiday display, pulling everything down, stomping on the merchandise a few times, and then slap my hands in satisfaction before I nonchalantly saunter out of the store.

I really want my days to pass by like this- slowly. Truly, one slow second ticking after one slow second. I don’t want to be time-machined into December already, especially when we are still experiencing triple-digit daytime temperatures here. Holy crap! I would like my body to slowly adjust to the changing light, the days that are darkening earlier, and the temperatures that slowly, slowly, take a dive. Let the whisperings of time creep into my consciousness. Stop shoving everything into my face!

Oh, I digressed…. recipes. Yes. I came across a simple (but great) cookie recipe by Celia Barbour. Yes. I am looking ahead to see what to bake when the temperatures dip and I can turn on the oven and heat up the house with wild abandon. Yes. I am insolent; I am daring. I am planning ahead. Defiance.

But I want to tell you why this simple (but great) cookie recipe warmed itself to my heart. It’s Celia’s story behind that recipe. It kills her to make it.  All that time, all that stirring, and then pressing the dough onto a teaspoon, slipping it off, arranging and baking. Spreading a thin layer of fruit preserve and sandwiching the cookies. And, said Barbour, you really have to wait to eat the cookies. At least two days. Because then they morph from good to transcendent. So much work, for tiny bites of divine moans. And she wished she could include with her gift (and each colleagues gets but four cookies) a message that says, “I slaved for three nights over these. I cried while baking them. Please- just like them.” But she could not. So, she said, “I wear extra concealer under my eyes as the week wears on, and caffeinate myself into a jolly mood. On the last night, I package the cookies, a process that routinely proves to be its own small hell.”

And she took my heart with these parting lines (before generously sharing her recipe):” … why I’ve bothered: so much trouble for just a few bites of pleasure. But perhaps it is always painful to give away something you love a lot, because a piece of your heart is on the line, too… It’s a pain worth risking; it can’t be helped. What you love you are compelled to share.”

*****

If you’re smart, you’ll know what I really wanna write about is not that cookie recipe. Sure, I am planning ahead, because I am hoping this year will be different. The past few years it had always been a very last minute decision as to what assortment of cookies I will make for that winter. A combination of being a procrastinator, a glutton for punishment, and just plain being so greedy and indecisive I simply could not decide. So I can relate to staying up late, baking, and then packing assorted cookies into tins and delivered just before Santa comes crashing through the chimney. (And no, I do not believe in Santa.) This year, I am hoping everything is baked by, say, December. (guffaws) And this year, I am thinking, no assorted cookies. Just a few variety of mini bundt cakes.

(Guess what, I do not even have mini bundt cake pans! Not yet, at least!)

Again, I digressed. (You are getting used to this by now, yes?) Nope, I did not really want to write about the cookie recipe.

It’s just… in this current state of mind and being, everything is extrapolated to… his death, and this pregnancy.

The emptiness after, was so great because we anticipated so much, prepared so much. I did a thorough internal house-cleaning on myself- body, mind, and soul. I wanted to be a darn good mother. But, as cruel Fate would have it, he decided not to come. Not yet, not now, sorry. And what’s more, not having a medical reason left me wondering where the hell did I go wrong?

I had to give him up to Life, I had no control, no votes to cast. My opinion was not counseled. All the work and preparation, only to be met with devastation. Although, like what Celia wrote, there was joy, oh, pleasure, and unbearable bursts of love. Only, too short. And yes, it is painful to give away something you love a lot, because your heart is attached to it.Sometimes it feels a piece of my missing heart is out there somewhere, tumbling around in the dust, tossed and lost, over and over again.

But, despite that risk of pain, we decided to try again. And I am slowly coming to the point where I do not want to be stingy and hold back. Do not want to hold back the love and hope and anticipation. Why? Didn’t they say what’s the point of doing if you don’t give it all, and make it a good try? I feel that way, even though I live daily with an axe dangling right over my neck. I want to just expose my heart, raw, fresh and throbbing and see what happens, and hope that the risk will be indeed worth it.

I was at Gymboree the other day, shopping for the girls’ winter wardrobe. (No, they do not wear everything Gymboree. I don’t have a tree growing dollar bills in my backyard. Just a few choice items.) Slowly I inched my way to the back of the store, where they display the infant clothing. Gingerly, and trying to be as inconspicuous as possible, I ran my hands through the clothing, browsing, and pondering in my head, what looks good, what may fit.

And, wouldn’t you know, voices started to argue in my head:

What do you think you are doing?!?!

Just looking.

Looking what?! Seems like you are assuming something here.

Uh-huh.

Are you assuming that you are going to have a live baby?

(snaps) No. But alive, or dead, a baby needs clothes, no?

Oooooohhhhhh no, I can see it. You are assuming. You are getting bold. Arrogant even. Not good!!

I am not getting bold. I am just defiant.

Put that hanger back already.

NO.

Why tempt Fate?

What difference does it make?! I have no idea where that radar is sweeping.

Well, you buy clothes you bring attention to yourself.

Stop being ridiculous!

You really don’t want to do this to yourself… …

What?!

The  heartbreak… … you still have clothes you need to clear out and give to someone who could use a little boy clothes…

(crackling sound. heart shatters.) This baby is this baby. This baby is a different one. Different.

+++++++

I think this baby has some kind of past soul connection with S. It’s just an uncanny feeling I get when S touches my belly, pats it, hugs it and whisper sweet nothings to it. I may also write about this some other time, but this baby is not a returning soul, as I thought in the beginning. No, it’s not him again. It’s another soul. An unexpected gift.

+++++++++++++++

Yes, I am scared, but I also gotta live, and I do not want to live in fear. That is no life. I am just trying to strike a balance- being cautious and being alive. Not that those two things are opposing; not that it has to be one or the other… I guess what I am saying is I am not yet ready to live with abandon. Yet. Right now, I just live every second as a beginning, as well as an end. Keeping hope alive that this little soul will make it through. Inwardly I am highly anxious and almost hysterical, but if I remember to breathe and breathe and breathe, a certain degree of calmness starts to set in.

+++++++++++++

The other day, for the first time, I saw the shadow of fear fall across S’s face. With her hands on my belly she looked up at me, about to utter something, and I looked into her eyes and I saw fear and I heard her thoughts–“I hope baby does not die.” In that moment, I saw that she was afraid too that lightning will strike again. She was afraid we will make our way back to pain and grief again.

It’s not the pain and grief that I fear. It’s her little fragile heart that aches my heart.

++++++++

I am de-cluttering through the entire house, tripping up against memories all the time.

This weekend we leave for San Diego. After we come back, we have visitors in town for another week. So, I guess I’m offline and off-blogs for the next two weeks. I’ll be thinking of you all. You’ll be enjoying respite and silence from my blathering. But I’ll be back. Take care, all.

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October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day in the United States.

Three things we can do:

  1. Just look away.
  2. Burn a candle at 7pm, whatever time zone you are in. Light a candle in memory of all the babies lost in infancy or during pregnancy. If you keep the candle burning for at least an hour, there will be a wave of light sweeping across the nation, in silent rememberance and honor.
  3. Support the Stillbirth Awareness and research Act:

More than 25,000 children are stillborn in the United States every year leaving mothers, entire families and communities devastated. Estimates of the rate of occurrence of stillbirth make it at least as common as autism.

Stillbirth is not an intractable problem. Greater research would likely significantly reduce it’s incidence, but good research requires good data. H.R. 5979: Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act is under consideration by Congress. This proposed bill would standardize stillbirth investigation and diagnosis, thus providing more data for the needed research. Better research means fewer children born still. Lobby your Congressional Representatives to get this bill passed! The government funds research on breast cancer, heart disease, AIDS – why not the death of babies?

On October 15th, remember the thousands of unfinished children lost and the families who remain to grieve them. Honor them by taking action. Let’s help pass H.R. 5979.

Action Steps:

Step 1. Use Your Blog to Enlist Others
-Copy the contents of this entire post and publish it on your blog immediately.

GOAL: Enlist 10 of your readers to spread the word

Step 2. Use Your E-mail to Enlist Others
-E-mail 5 bloggers and nicely ask them to publish these action steps on their blog. Consider contacting celebrity bloggers, political bloggers, medical bloggers, or bloggers who are not part of your reading community. Email friends and family to inform them about this bill and to ask them to honor your baby by participating in the world-wide October 15th Wave of Light.

GOAL: Enlist 3 bloggers outside of your normal blog sphere to spread the word in other online communities.

Step 3. Help Pass the Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act
-By October 15th, publish a post on your blog supporting H.R. 5979 Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act. For maximum impact, title your post: “Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act.” Aks your readers to lobby Congress to pass this research bill.

GOAL: 1,000,000 Google results for “October 15th” or “Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day”.

The MISS Foundation
International Day of Remembrance
Bill H.R.5979
Stillbirth Research

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Lost, or found

I will not lie, I have my stash of magazines for commode reading. I have travel and gourmet magazines, science stuff, sometimes financial stuff that R makes me read, yoga-related ones, but for some reason I never read my Shambahla Sun while balanced on a piece of white porcelain.

When I read the travel magazines, and sometimes Gourmet, and learn of beautiful places that exist beyond my four walls; or even better, beautiful places with good food to boot, I just want to stand up, flush and go.

Go– far, far away, and be swallowed by a Nature much bigger than me, be taken care of, pampered and just plain lose my mind. Go– far, far away, from fellow homo sapiens, and curl up with a book and live on nothing but fresh coconut juice and fresh grilled shrimps served in hollowed out mango shells.

I have wanderlust, I do.

During our “courtship” days, R and I backpacked a lot, to “remote” places, running far away from the touristy crowds. And it had always been worth it. Worth all the achy muscles, ice-cold showers, the hard beds with no pillows, and the lack of toilets.

These days, we need to think “family-friendly” and that usually means you stay with the crowds. Egads. We watched “Nim’s Island” last night and I cringed through that part of the movie where the obnoxious tourists flooded onto the pristine beach and created noise pollution; and for some reason, just their plain enjoyment of the beach, by placing their pale bodies and loud music on it, seems hideous. I cringed, because we have been them. When in Bali, when on that beach in Thailand… and probably when we will be in San Diego in two weeks.

I dream of going some place far, secluded, quiet. Away from people, away from flash and glitz and consumerism. Away from the so-called “realities” of life. I am not sure though, I yearn that in order to be lost, or to be found. Or do I need to get lost, in something bigger, in order to find myself; to really communicate with myself?

I know in the early days of travel, I reached out for the unfamiliar because they seem to fill in the many unknown, unexplored voids in myself. But, learning about the unfamiliar, also helped me realize there is something similar in my own culture, I just need to go back and acquaint, or re-acquaint…

I am not necessarily looking for the exotic; I am seeking both the unfamiliar, unknown, familiar and known.

But definitely I need quiet. Solitude. Silent company that only demands that I tread with respect and compassion for myself.

Do you like to get lost too? Where do you go find yourself, or lose yourself? Will you be willing to share your little happy place?

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