Although SC is my oldest friend, we’ve grown apart in the past few years. She had weight loss surgery a few years ago and I consider that the beginning of being less that the best of friends. There was no big blow out or anything…we were close and then one day we weren’t as close. I think there were some back and forth jealousies over the years. Me of her getting thinner and her of me being pregnant. One big thing, although we never talked about it, was that she put a time limit on my grief for Greyson. At a certain point in her mind, I should have been done with it and moved on. She’s never been a parent and never really wanted to be. Even when we were young teenagers, she expressed that she didn’t think that was in the cards for her.
Last year, she and her husband of one year, decided they wanted to begin the process of becoming foster parents. She had decided she wanted a family, he didn’t particularly want a baby but thought he could handle an older child. They went through a year of jumping through government hoops. I went through a year of looking forward to becoming parents at the same time as my oldest friend to eventually wondering what kind of torture it was going to be watching her become a parent while I was facing the most brutal loss of my life. Around Christmastime, she told us they hadn’t been approved to become foster parents. She wouldn’t talk much about it, just that they’d been turned down and were very upset about it. I was upset too, of course, but a tiny, ugly part of me was shamefully glad.
About two months ago, she told me she was going to try to get pregnant. She wanted to ask me for information about my doctors, tests and IVF and I did want to help. On the surface I was calm but inside I was writhing in pain. She didn’t pick up on the change in my tone of voice. Life could be cruel enough to take my children from me and give her one to keep. It was a horrible feeling. I wanted to wish the best for her but I didn’t think I could handle watching her become pregnant and then watch her mother a child when I couldn’t. I cried a lot about it. Our other friends whom I confided in said they thought she was selfish and insensitive to ask me for advice when I was still so deeply grieving. I cried with them, but not with her. My counselor wondered what in hell I was supposed to learn from this. I thought if she brought home a baby, I would never be able to go over there and watch her be a mother. A forty year friendship that began in kindergarten….over? I’ve already lost so much.
We went to dinner Friday. SC and two of our other friends. She started talking about how she had something awkward to say and she didn’t know how to say it. I thought My God, she’s pregnant already. She tells us there is a 14 year old student at school who is pregnant. I jokingly said the girl could give it to me. SC said that’s what she wanted to talk to me about. Did I want to look into adopting this baby’s baby? The girl had asked SC to take the baby but because they were previously turned down for foster care they weren’t eligible. SC had thought of me. I started crying hard right there in the restaurant.
My God…if she’d said she was giving birth to a blue baboon I couldn’t have been more surprised.
A few times since the twins died, people have asked me…what now? Was I going to try again or adopt? I told them all that I was in no way capable of moving forward on anything right now. If God wanted me to be a parent he was going to have to push it right into my lap. Sure, I would joke, if someone called me up tomorrow and said, “Do you want this baby?” I would say yes.
But I never in my wildest dreams thought that someone would call.
And after that fateful dinner, we all went to a dueling pianos concert at a theater I went to in my youth which has recently been restored. So I’m sitting there, singing Bon J.ovi and Billy J.oel songs at the top of my lungs while experiencing a weird nostalgia brought on by being in this theater with SC and my mind going a million miles an hour, trying not to be overwhelmed by my emotions. Every once in a while I’d say something under my breath to MB who was sitting next to me about what SC had said. I’m telling you it was the most bizarre night I’ve had in a while.
173/365 – Dueling Pianos