Grief: What kind of ancestor will I be?

Written 12/28/2017

Yesterday, I got the call that my dear friend, Wendy Trenum had transitioned.  It was Cat who told me.  We met years ago, brought together by Toytown Germany, an online forum, I think.  We met at the Irish Pub in Bamberg, Germany.  We had all just moved there:  Cat from (can’t remember the city) Korea, Wendy from Atlanta, and me from Las Vegas.  Wendy and I had actually met a few days before at a colleague’s party in the center of town, but it was at the Irish Pub that our friendship really formed.  Wendy, Cat, and I.  It was so deep, Cat invited us to her wedding, when her husband would return many months after that, the wedding that they really wanted, the one in their religious tradition, not at a German justice of the peace before he deployed.

That early and magical night in Germany, probably over German beers and ciders and hot toddies, we bonded, and there were so many adventures.  I have had flashes of them all day while listening to Ibeyi’s, “I wanna be like you”, which reminds me so much of Wendy:  wild, free, wondrous, bright, brilliant, and limitless in her loving.

A long while after Cat made the call to me, I made the call to our friend Irene in Germany, another of our little Bamberg crew.  She said, as we were remembering Wendy, that she had never known grief, didn’t know what to do in response to losing a friend.  I thought to myself, what a freedom and what a beginning to learn what we are guaranteed in life:  we live, we suffer the loss of our loved ones, we die, and we are mourned.


I started writing this post initially on October 25, and I returned to it on October 27th, the day after we did our culminated our IVF process.

I’ve just returned to this post on December 26th.  After the loss of Wendy and before that Mary Stone Hanley and before that Andrea Murphy and then while we were also waiting to find out if we were pregnant and then while also doing the work as a new program director and serving on rank and tenure and being on several boards and such … I couldn’t keep up with the practice of writing a blog a week.  I couldn’t keep up with the practice of writing.  I just had to keep breathing and finding joy each day, even while my heart was hurting desperately.

November 9th we had our first pregnancy test.  The night before I had a bright and vivid dream that our son had come to our room, my side of the bed, to tell me that he was with me and what his name was.  I felt warmed and settled in that light.  The following day, we found out that we are pregnant.  November 13th we did the next blood draw to see how the levels were rising and they were strong.  I knew they would be strong and to keep them that way, I found myself loving my friends and mentor who had passed, knowing that they would be celebrating with me this emergence of a being.

And on November 27th we saw that strange first bouncing image and heard the fetal heartbeat at 150 beats and on December 11th we saw him again with his strong heartbeat at 170 beats.  He mooned us, and I thought of Wendy, and thought of spark and saying that I hope this wasn’t an indicator of future rebellious behavior (and yet silently hoping that it would be).

I’m thinking a lot now of that life guarantee.  In carrying a child, I am becoming a mother and also a future ancestor.  What kind of ancestor will I be?  I have great models.  So many models.

#34of52, #52essays2017, #whatkindofancestorwillyoube, #twt

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