Friday, December 21, 2012

Vesuvius and I

I thought that Skeeter was going to be my End of the World post, but this morning I woke up to howling, and for a split second, I thought it was here. The room was dark and for a few moments, I lay in bed and listened, carefully, as the howl began and stopped and then I realized that it was Sophie so I sat upright and then called out and The Husband, who was sleeping with Sophie, said it's all right, she's having a seizure, and by the time I walked the few short paces to her room, she'd stopped howling and just lay quietly. I left The Husband lying next to her and went back to bed, but about a half an hour later, it happened again, more howls, another seizure, a pale face, drawn turned sideways, her hands clammy, nearly wet, her limbs jerking, then loose, our hearts beating rapidly. That's it for today, I said quietly, willing it to be. It was time for the boys to get up, for the last day of school, and it wasn't the end of the world. I wasn't going to write anything this morning, but the writing calms me, the words out, the fear dispelled. Did you know that I fear my child's death each and every day and each and every day I dispel it through writing? Fear, confronted head on, acknowledgement, is a wisp then, a returning to earth, to dirt, to cloud and to sky.

I read Vesuvius this morning (no pressure, dear friend and fellow writer) and felt my fears dissipate into the cold blue sky Los Angeles morning.

May the long time sun shine upon you. 
All love surround you.
And the clear light within you
Guide your way on. Guide your way on. 

That's it for today. And it's not the end of the world.


  1. This touched me deeply; how many people truly understand what it's like to fear the real possiblility of their child's death EACH and EVERY day? Peace be with you, Elizabeth (and with your family as well).
    Kris M.

  2. "Did you know that I fear my child's death each and every day and each and every day I dispel it through writing? "
    And with your writing you help dispel our fears as well. A beautiful unintended consequence.
    I am kissing your face so softly you probably don't even feel it. But I am.

  3. This is stunning post, Elizabeth, and it made the tears just flow.

    I have tried to say much more than this, but twice my comment just disappeared, so I am going to take the hint from the universe and leave it at that. Only, you are the bravest woman I know. And I am so deeply grateful to know you.


  4. Good god. I did not know. What a testament to the power of writing and the strength of a mother.

    You inspire me again and honor me too much. Peaceful solstice, my friend. All love surround you and your family.

  5. May you be filled with lovingkindness
    May you be safe from inner and outer harm
    May you be well in body and mind
    May you be at ease and happy.

    I have this taped to my bathroom mirror. I don't know what it must be like to fear the death of your child each and every day. I'm glad writing helps, your writing helps me, for sure.

  6. Bless your heart. I thought the same thing that Mary did, that your writing helps so many others too.
    May you and especially Sophie have a peaceful day.

  7. That is so sad that you fear her death everyday. I hope you know we are all out here reading your blog and sending prayers your way. Keep writing....

  8. I want to just sit with you in this. In your everything. Present .

  9. I hope that Sophie got relief from the seizures today. I do know the feeling of fear each and every day. Thankfulness when he wakes up, prayers when he goes to more day.

    Peace to your house tonight.

  10. It's heartbreaking for you to have to live with this fear. And yet, understandable.
    Sending love...

  11. my heart breaks for you, yet you always put these things that sound so heartbreaking into the most lovely of words. your daily fear is mine as well, and i try to dispel it in the same manner. every morning when i walk into her room and she is not yet awake i think "is this the morning i find her gone."

  12. I don't know how I missed this post. It is wonderful. And heartbreaking and yes, I do completely understand. I ran errands with Maggie yesterday (before our St. Stephens Day glorious nap) and thought of the year to come and realized every year, month, week, day, I wonder if this will be the one that I lose Maggie. Fortunately that realization doesn't hit me too often, but it's always there.



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