I punched my pillow, rolled over and sighed. It wasn't yet light out but my mind was acting like it was noon, awake and hungry. It wasn't going to let me get back to sleep no matter how hard I worked at trying to get comfortable in bed.
I surrendered and reached for my robe. There were thoughts to capture and release. They'd been playing hide and seek for almost a week. Here one minute, gone the next. The seeking part of the game began when I found these two sentences in different places:
"That's what writing is. You're keeping people alive in your head."
"It's an unfortunate side effect of grief that the bereaved need to tell their stories. Often. Even ad infinitum. I know; it can be tedious, especially to the uninitiated."
On this fretful morning, the sentences swirled together and compelled me to reflect, once again, on the children I never delivered. Unlike my thoughts about them - which have a habit of visiting regularly - my children-to-be were here and gone in a span of weeks. Still, their impact on my life was enormous.
They remain in my heart but my heart though has not been allowed much peace. In the years since we tried to bring our children into this world my head stayed busy in the wee morning hours confusing my heart, often torturing it with thoughts that were anguished, tempestuous, searching. Rather than devoting time to nurturing, raising and loving little ones, I'd find myself reflecting instead on who they might have been, what they might have looked like and how they would have enriched my life.
Other days, emotion-laden thoughts would come by way of songs, movies and other people's writing, gently encouraging me to reconcile what is with what might have been. Mercifully, in time, the urgency and ferocity of thoughts awakening me earlier than I would have liked died down. While less tormented and frequent, my thoughts today are still provocative, searching.
On this dawn, as I pour my first cup of coffee, I see the two sentences fit together like puzzle pieces creating a picture. I see my writing in a new and comforting light. My bereaved and mending heart will always want very much to keep alive my dreams, to stay connected with my elusive children. My dutiful head cooperates, working hard to tell stories ad infinitum.
It can be tiring for me, to be sure, but not tedious. I am among the initiated. I understand.