This has been a hard few days. I’ve really been grieving. Not only the loss of my husband, but also the life that we had planned.
The summer before Sawan died, I was working on getting in shape, trying to get my body prepared for a pregnancy. I had quit smoking that March, and was walking up to five miles a day, trying to take off the “quitting smoking” weight and also, I just wanted to be in the best athletic shape possible when I got pregnant.
I was emotionally ready to get pregnant that spring, but Sawan had been slightly dragging his feet about it. We had been planning, but he wasn’t quite ready for me to “pull the goalie” in terms of birth control. I (somewhat) patiently spent the summer talking him into it.
I was too stressed at work, so we decided to try to sell the salon. By the end of July, miraculously, we were under contract. It was going to be perfect. We were going to be out of debt and I was going to stay working there as a contractor with a flexible schedule.
Sawan had been unemployed, but had decided on a new career, and was in real-estate school, which was only a three week ordeal, and he would have flexible hours which would allow for fishing and helping out with a baby. Everything was falling into place.
So during what I was calling our “Enchanted Summer,” where he had all kinds of time, being unemployed, we walked. It was the first time in our marriage that he had been home every night, since he had always worked in restaurants. We walked all over the nearby neighborhoods. We found a little neighborhood restaurant with an amazing greek salad and walked there a few times a week. And we talked. We talked and talked and talked.
We talked about our family. We chose names.
If he was a boy, he would be Wyatt. Either Wyatt Gabriel or Wyatt Jerry, the middle name being after my brother or my dad. We called him our little cowboy. Wyatt Nail.
If she was a girl, she would be Yelena. It was always my favorite Russian name, I loved the way it rolled off your tongue, and it’s the Russian form of Helen, his mother’s name. She would be Yelena Leslie, her middle name after my mom. We would call her Lane.
One night that summer, after walking past hundreds of clean, neatly manicured, perfect yards, there was one that was utterly cluttered with toys, and the stoop had a half eaten happy meal strewn all over it. It was so out of place and comical. Clearly the kid had had a busy day, and no one had gotten to it yet. Sawan tried out our name. “Wyatt, get out here and clean up your toys!” he mock-yelled. Yep. That name will work.
The baby thing had begun to feel so real. We had named it.
During the first few days in August, I came home from a trip and we had a major conversation about having a baby. But this time was different. It started out as an argument about something else, but then it totally changed. I wasn’t convincing. I wasn’t begging. I wasn’t trying to manipulate. We just talked it through. And in the end, he said, “Let’s start trying September 1.” I made a bunch of phone calls, to make sure my health insurance covered maternity, to the doctor to see about the birth control reversal. My dreams were just within my grasp.
But Sawan died on August 24. In a lot of ways I feel like I lost Sawan, but I lost Lane and Wyatt, too.
I think that’s why Mother’s Day is especially hard.
This year, I decided that I needed to do something. I had thought about going up to the place where we had buried one of Sawan’s fly rods, and doing a little memorial for the baby of my dreams, too, but then I wouldn’t be able to see it often.
So instead, I bought rose bushes, to go in my front garden. I’ll get to see them everyday, and I think their flowers will cheer me up.
|One of the two pink climbing rose bushes|