Dear Mom,

I am so sorry you had to go through so much pain & misery in order to have your son. And I am so sorry for your losses.

After a perfectly normal pregnancy & a nearly perfect delivery (I did wind up having an emergency C-section because I stopped dilating after 5 centimeters & my daughter got “tired”) with our first child, I had a stillborn daughter 18 months later. Then, as we were trying to get pregnant, a miscarriage — which I wouldn’t even have known about had I not been hyper vigilant. Then, a son — we called him Samuel, which means “begged from god,” not bad for an atheist. Sammy is 16 years old now, our oldest Riva, is 20, & they both know about Ruthie, their sister, the angel. (Even an atheist needs the language of the old books to explain things more painlessly to kids.) She was just someone they grew up with. Actually, Sam owes his life to hers, we only wanted two kids. It’s a strange dichotomy of emotions. No, that’s not correct — it is more precise to say that is a witch’s brew cauldron of emotions.

Thank gods for therapy! You sure learn quickly who can handle the kind of pain you carry within — there were people who could not write me, could not look at me. My pain was too much for them. I understood. I did not blame them. Most people said they were sorry for my loss, & I appreciated it. It sure changes your DNA, doesn’t it?

And yet, and yet … I understand people who say they would never want to give up or forget the worst things that ever happened to them, survivors of Holocaust, survivors of trauma. Our experiences define us, make us who we are, shape our lives. Would you give up the worse thing that ever happened to you? I think I’ll write a blog about it. (Some would argue I just did.)

Written by

Writer and storyteller, immigrant, wife, mom, knitter, collector of jokes, lover of cheap, sweet wine.

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