Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August 4

Today is my birthday, and I'm really not into it. My older sisters have told me "if you decide not to get any older then it means we don't either". Hmmm .... fair enough!

Don't get me wrong, I use to love my birthday. Jim would always make my birthday something to honor ... but then, we really enjoyed celebrating each other and what better day to do this then on a birthday? Last year Jim was pretty compromised. I chose not to remind him that it was my birthday and actually forgot about the day until a friend showed up with blueberries and a card for me. But Jim didn't forget ... he remembered far more then I ever could have imagined and thus made my birthday last year perhaps the most memorable one of them all.

And, believe it or not, this is not about MY birthday. It's about the birthday of a sweet little girl named Skyla Mae Walker, who was born yesterday, on August 3, 2010 ... and I was there. She is my grand-niece. I am one honored and proud auntie of her mum, Jennywren, who invited me long ago to be part of her very small birthing circle. She asked that I perform acupuncture for her as she was going o'natural and already knew and had experienced the wonderful endorphin high of acupuncture. First off, mum in the birthing pool does not make for great acupuncture access! So I say I did a teeny tiny bit of the Chinese medicine for her .... and she was just incredibly phenomenal and amazing.

This experience of being an active observant of this fundamental, but amazing, process has stirred up all kinds of emotions in me. It has not slipped my awareness that only 4 months ago in May I was intimately involved in the Hospice experience and orchestrating the atmosphere of my husbands death only to now be intimately involved in - though not controlling or orchestrating in any way - a birth. This circle of life is encircling me.

At 4:50 AM little Skya came projecting out ... and I say the midwife had to catch Skyla "on the fly" as this baby went from a bit of a crown to a WHOOSH and a SPLASH and she was in the arms of her midwife! ... but in this incredibly quick "whoosh" Skyla emerging from the water in the pool is now forever held in slow motion for me. In that moment she looked directly at me and the look on this infants face was so astonished, so wide-eyed and simply saying "WOW! WHAT THE HEY?!" before she was put into her mothers awaiting arms. Yes, I was in tears ... of joy this time. Of joy.

So, birth and death. From death springs life. All those cliches. I wish Jim was here to see this newest addition to the family. He loved children and kids flocked to him as he was the kind of adult who loved to play. He could make the most mundane become something fun and exciting. Even a 50-something birthday.

Welcome to this world Skyla Mae.

Loving you all back,


  1. Great to hear about Skya and what it means to you! I do hope you have a great day also. Thinking of you. Dave/ Stretch

  2. mary,

    What an amazing pair of postings ( i'm commenting on the last two. You have many talents and have had few careers, but you have
    a real gifts for teaching and communicating.

    I have heard many times that "grief and moruning are part of living", but your writing in "My Old Man" bring a reality to those words.
    How the fridge looks now, how the bed feels, what it is like to cook for one and not two ( and those numbers mean much more than "one" and "two"), how the lyrics of a song you have heard many times now sound different. AL of those are things we can each relae to inown own daily lives. And it gives me a way to understand and feel a small part of your loss.

    I enjoyed reading about skyas "projectile birth"
    and your thougths on it. Happy birthday to Skya- and you, too.


  3. Wow! You're right in the thick of it. What a whirlwind of emotion. I keep believing your strong internal compass will see you through this gale, where the familiar landmarks appear and disappear as if through veils of swirling snow.

  4. Oh, Mary, all best wishes to you and your grand-aunthood!