Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Spots around the house

A friend was supposed to come over today, and then she couldn't, as her daughter was napping, and she asked me to come to her. I couldn't leave the house. Not in that so-depressed-I-can't-leave-the-house sort of way, but rather just that I've been really feeling safest here. I think it's because it's where I connect to Otis, and have that sense of mama love the most. I took some photos today to remind me of the spots I feel him the most sweetly around me.

This table set up is what I see when I lie in bed. I stare at the shadows that the trees outside cast upon our shades. I stare at that big fish tail. The wood piece is off the beach from our honeymoon in Tulum. I spend a lot of time staring at this table in the morning, as I lie in bed and think about Otis. After Otis died, there were always fresh flowers on the table, and I learned to love seeing them there, so now I try to keep that table stocked with fresh blooms.

This is the top of Otis's dresser, also in our bedroom, but around a cornerish type thing, so not easily viewed from bed. Right next to this dresser is where we put the elliptical, now that we took the crib out from that space. The dresser is pretty much exactly as we had it before Otis was born, except his clothes and cloth diapers have been removed from the insides, and they sit empty, and now his ashes sit there in a tiny little box. This is where I stop every night to kiss my boy goodnight, and to tell him how much I love him.
Finally, our bed, and Otis's baby blanket. In some cruel and awful twist of fate, the blanket we fell in love with for him before he was born has a Day of the Dead motif with skulls across it. I loved the fabric. My mom gave us the blanket at one of our showers. I sleep with it every night. Even though Otis's little body never got to touch it, it's one of the ways I feel closest to him. Note the various sleep aids on our bedside tables. E and I always ask each other when we're making the bed who wants to have the Crab pillow and who wants to have the Octopus pillow. ("Are you a crab or an octopus today?" I am usually the crab...) I always slept on the crab side until I got pregnant, and then slept on the Octopus side because it was easier to get to the bathroom from. And there's the Woo, source of constant cuteness and a lot of comfort for me these days.
The bedroom is as close as I can get to him these days. I spend a lot of time in there, it's my sanctuary. When Otis first died, we put the TV down there with the idea that the distraction might somehow help me. Four days later, I was going nuts, sobbing at the idea that I destroyed my sanctuary. It felt like the distraction was pushing Otis out of the room. I woke up the next morning and practically threw my back out dragging that old piece of crap TV out of there.

Before Otis, I never cared much about making the bed, or keeping the room neat down there (though I always liked it when it was made.) In the days after his death, our friends made it a point to go in every day and make the bed, change out the flowers, and straighten up. Now it's become a bit of a "thing" for me - I have to have the room cared for. It's where I feel his presence the strongest.

And for the record, I do see the inherent wrongness that I am posting pictures of furniture and spots around my house where I "see" my baby instead of posting his 9 week old photographs of him in his new outfit or doing whatever it is that 9 week old babies do that make moms want to take photos. Shit like this has been occurring to me all day, pretty much every day. Yesterday I was holding the Woo (my 15 pound dog) on my lap and he was restless and I couldn't figure it out, but I picked him up and held him and he let out this big burp. "For fuck's sake, I'm burping my dog instead of my baby," I thought, "it really doesn't get any more pathetic than that."

ps - to those of you who get this as a feed, sorry for all the edits post-publishing. and to all of you, I apologize for the fact that I can't think or write for shit these days.


sarah said...

And in case it sounds weird that I refer to our bedroom as "down there" - it's because we have a bit of a turned around home, and our bedroom is actually down a long hall and down three stairs from the rest of the house.

æ said...

oh yes, i totally got the "down there." it really is like that, isn't it. and i noticed how beautiful and sacred your room looks sarah, wow it really does. of course you feel close to him there. he spent so much time growing in you in that very space. so much time getting to know you, and you him.

9 weeks. oh my darling friend. 9 weeks. i wish you had photos of your 9 week old baby as well. i imagine how striking he would be. and you would be sharing with all of us old-timers what you're going through and what it's like...i would have loved to hear those stories. loved it.

as it is, i love that you are opening to us here and having us in. your writing, as always, is real and grabbing.

i love you so much,

p.s. i hope the song was delivered to you, and i hope it felt the way i intended, which i'm not really sure how to describe because it's not "good" but not "bad" either. thinking of you often, and otis too. talking about you so much as well.

kate said...

your room feels so serene... the perfect safe haven.

can i admit your post made me smile? of course, first you made me cry... but then i suddenly found myself confronted with an image of the Woo sitting on your lap and doing an almighty big burp and somehow through the tears i did a half guffaw...

your writing is brilliant sarah - honest, powerful and moving, with a perfectly placed moment of black humor... only you could do that.

i love you and otis (i see that wonderful photo of him with his movie star hair lying on the dresser - what a beautiful boy).

kate xxx

Anonymous said...

Sweet girl you do not write for shit- this was perfect. A glimpse of your safe haven (which you know is my mantra) and a journey through some of Otis' belongings. Thank you so much for sharing....

Hope's Mama said...

Nine weeks. You're not even at double figures in weeks. So soon, so soon. It makes my skin crawl to think about how much pain you are in now. I remember it well, but in other ways I have buried it deep within me now, as it truly was the worst time.
Sending love and wishing you had your adorable nine week old in your lap.

Missy said...

I feel the safest at home too. And it is because he is there and everywhere outside is a reminder of where he is not. All of the things that I cannot share with him physically as I had wanted so badly to. And it is so damn depressing. Much love to you momma and thanks for being so supportive about my Thanksgiving day meltdown. We talked about it a little. They can come but I will not be doing a damn thing!

hayley said...

I read this before work and thoughts of you in your safe space, close to your boy, kept coming up through the day. I don't know what you are going through lovely girl, though my heart breaks to think of that little box of ashes and what should have been. you take comfort where you can and if that comes from staying home then you stay home, it's so soon love.

let me echo the others who have said how beautifully you write, I am glad you writing and I am glad are being heard.

all my love to you.