Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ripped Away

June 14, 2001 -California

I was on top of the world...bursting at the seams..literally and figuritively.

One and a half days of work until my maternity leave started.

I wanted a few days to put the finishing touches on the Curious George nursery.

Some time to enjoy being a husband and wife before we became a daddy and mommy.

I was doing meaningful work I loved with fantastic, supportive co-workers.

They were my family since my own lived thousands of miles away.

Pregnant with my first child.

We didn't know what we were having. We didn't want to find out.

We loved the excitement and anticipation of the unknown.

The element of surprise.

"What are you having?" they would ask.

"A baby! We are having a baby!" I'd say grinning.


June 13, 2001-New York

He was almost 18.

Black hair and the most amazingly beautiful blue eyes.

Sweet, funny, respectful, the only boy among three sisters.

He was going places. So much talent. So much potential.

I remember the day he was born. I was twelve. I was obsessed with babies.

It had been a difficult birth and he stayed in the hospital for what seemed like a very long time.

Other images come in fragments.

At 2, sitting in my lap playing peek-a-boo with a giggle that drew a crowd and a grin that melted hearts.

A Christmas picture with his black hair coiling like a slinky sitting with his blonde sister on Santa's lap.

The cousins posing in front of the faded swing set, him perched upon my would be hip, smiling at the camera.

At 14, all dressed up for my sister's wedding.

Talking excitedly about the train trip that brought them from New York to the midwest. His first time to travel out of state.

At 16, shyly sharing a scrapbook from his travel abroad with a United Nations youth program when Big Yankee took a detour on our honeymoon to visit family.

June 14, 2001 California

We were standing around in cubicle city, debating where to lunch.

The piercing shrill of my government issued phone.

Big Yankee asking my lunch plans.

Was I coming home?

No, I wasn't planning on it.

I wanted to savor the last two days with my work friends.

 He really wanted to see me. He wanted me home.

He needed to see me before he went down the hill for work.

He was relentless.

My friends and I decided he must have a surprise for me and our baby.

Walking into the front door, the air felt heavy.

Standing in the tiled family room he turned to me and said,

"Your mom called. Your cousin JB..........."


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64 comments:

momfog.com said...

Oh no. Heartbreaking.

Stephanie B. @B4Steph said...

Heartbreaking juxtaposition, Robbie, but lovingly rendered.

Louise Ducote said...

Love your spare, restrained style here, Robbie.

christina said...

it's insane the way things happen sometimes.

Kenja Purkey said...

How terrible. New life and death all wrapped up together. What an incredible mixture of feelings you went through. I can't imagine how hard it was for you.

Kathleen said...

I am in awe -- absolute awe -- of how beautifully you tell this tragic story.

christie.o.tate@gmail.com said...

It's amazing, isn't. The cycle of life! Truly awesome.

carrie said...

Oh no, so sad. It gave me shivers. I'm so sorry for your families loss.

Kristen said...

Beautifully told story. Love the way you tell things. Beautiful and raw at the same time. xo

Kristin said...

What a touching remembrance for the anniversary. Bittersweet.

SouthMainMuse said...

How bittersweet and painful. That is the terrifying part of giving birth. Not being able to protect your babies all the time once they physically leave you.

Delilah Love said...

You gave me chills with this one Robbie. Wow. Heartbreaking.

Robbie K said...

yes..very heartbreaking.

Robbie K said...

thank you. I have been needing to write this for a long time.

Robbie K said...

thank you for your generous compliment and for reading.

Robbie K said...

yes it is. And there's more..much more to this story.

Robbie K said...

It was horrible and heartbreaking. Thanks for your thoughts.

Robbie K said...

Thank you for such kind praise.

Robbie K said...

yes it is. thanks.

Robbie K said...

Thank you for your thoughts. It does the same to me all these years later.

Robbie K said...

thank you. I wanted to write it last week on what would have been the actual day but I just wasn't ready.

Robbie K said...

thank you X100.

Robbie K said...

It is terrifying and the first time I was scared about pregnancy/giving birth/being a mom.

Robbie K said...

Thank you.

I only wish this was the last of the heartbreak but there was more to come.

Gia said...

Ohh noo. So sad. :(

The Preppy Girl in Pink said...

Oh my goodness! I was trying to figure out where this was going and I would've never guessed down this path. I had goosebumps when I got to the end of this. I'm so sorry that this is a true story in your life and I don't even know the outcome but my heart tells me that it isn't good.

Sarah Reinhart said...

cliff hanger! my heart isn't liking where this is headed though...

Joe said...

Not the ending I was expecting. I'm sorry for your loss.

Kim @The G is silent said...

Wow. What a turn. Great post.

Guerrilla Mom said...

Oh, that is so sad. I like the way you let your story unfold- but wow- how heartbreaking.

Robbie K said...

yes-definitely changed a lot of things.

Robbie K said...

It was heartbreaking and sadly it didn't end there. more to follow soon i hope.

Robbie K said...

thank you. none of us expected it.

Robbie K said...

Thank you. I wish things had turned out differently...

Robbie K said...

There is more to tell.....

Robbie K said...

Thank you for reading and your kind words.

Kristin @ What She Said said...

The juxtaposition of life and death on TV and in movies always gets to me. So heartbreaking.

Erin said...

Oh no...I can't imagine how difficult this must've been while at the same time trying to rejoice in the birth of your baby... I'm so very sorry.

Jenn and Casey said...

CLIFFHANGER. And sounding sad :( Thinking of you <3

Kerry Ann (aka Vinobaby) said...

Oh...I wasn't expecting that. Life and death, such a heartbreaking juxtaposition. Sorry for your loss.

Tara Pohlkotte said...

oh, i get this. i lost my grandma two weeks before my daughter was born. we're pretty sure one sassy lady had to leave earth to make way for a new one :) so heartbreaking to lose.

Jennifer said...

Perfectly written, and so tragic. The pain of losing a loved one when they are so young is so biting. I'm sorry for your loss.

doseofreality said...

Oh God. I am so sorry. I can already feel that those words will be necessary.

Michelle Longo said...

So sorry. Such a loss, I'm sure.

The Writer, Rinser, Repeater said...

Chills. So sorry.

Dude of The House said...

Wow, the roller coaster of emotions was intense.

Alison@Mama Wants This said...

No, no, no, no.

I'm so sorry for your family's loss. I want to but I don't want to read the rest of the story. Sigh.

mannahattamamma.com said...

Uncanny...to have to say congratulations in one direction and condolences in the other. Shudder

fiftyshadesofpeach.com said...

ouch. I felt this one. Beautifully written.

Your Doctor's Wife said...

So sad! The timing is awful...
I love the way you crafted this story.

Robbie K said...

Weird how things happen sometimes. It was unbelievably heartbreaking.

Robbie K said...

Thank you. It was a dark, emotional time.

Robbie K said...

I appreciate your thoughts. It was totally not what I was expecting when I walked in the door.

Robbie K said...

thanks for your kind words. It was the very last thing I was expecting too.

Robbie K said...

I love the way you said that..one sassy lady having to make room for another. I am sorry for your loss.

Robbie K said...

Thank you for your sweet words. Biting is such a perfect word to describe it.

Robbie K said...

Thank you for your words.

Robbie K said...

Thank you. It was a huge loss to so many who knew and loved him.

Robbie K said...

thanks.

Robbie K said...

It was very intense-and completely unexpected.

Robbie K said...

thank you. I know what you mean about the rest of the story..I must write it but can't yet.

Robbie K said...

yes..such a mess of loss and celebration.

Robbie K said...

thank you.

Robbie K said...

It was horrific timing. and my son was born on what would have been his 18th birthday.