He rubbed my leg. Back and forth, back and forth. Wanting to comfort me.
“Rubbing my leg doesn’t help,” I whispered. “I know you’re trying to help.”
Rob immediately withdrew his hand, but not himself, seated a foot away on our bed.
I didn’t know this would be so hard. A miscarriage at eight weeks. Fifteen months of trying since then. Tonight, a call from my sister-in-law who loves me enough to let me know ahead of the family gathering on Sunday that she is pregnant. New life is in her this Easter. And in me…nothing.
Rob left the room to call and congratulate his brother. That’s when I sobbed. I’d kept count the first year after the miscarriage of how many people close to me—family, friends, Bible study—God blessed with a baby. I think I got to seven, and have lost count since then. I developed the analogy of those team games at recess in elementary and middle school, when my dread grew with every person chosen for teams, as I continued to shuffle and look unaffected. That’s what it was like as person after person was chosen for parenthood. Tonight, I decided, the teams are chosen. I’m not on them. A new wave of hopefuls will surround me, but it’s for the next game. I’ve missed this one entirely, and God didn’t pick me.
Off the phone, Rob came up behind me in the bathroom, where I’d decided to wash the mascara off my face. “Anything I can do?” he asked, putting his hands on my shoulders.
“I’d like to blog,” I said, knowing he’d planned to use the computer.
“OK.” He left again, and I again went into the bedroom and sobbed. Sobbed because I was hurting and he did not—could not—know how to help.
A couple sentences into this entry, he showed up at the office door. Leaned against the doorframe.
“Are you still planning to paint the bathroom tonight?”
I’d previously been too tired. Now I said, “Yes. I’m probably going to be up until midnight.” My eyes and jaw took the combative stance; I knew I sounded like I was mad at him. I thought about saying I wasn’t…
“OK. Is there anything else I can do for you?”
I looked at him…and shrugged. “I guess not.” Then silently willed him to come to me. Kiss me. Tell me he loves me. And he did. He came to me, bent over and kissed me.
“I love you. We’re still the same. It’s still us.”
“I know,” I said, tears crowding again. “I’m just convinced God doesn’t like me. ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock.’ It isn’t the stork knocking.”
Rob looked at me. And then started laughing. “Didn’t see that one coming.” I didn’t want to laugh, but I couldn’t help it.
He sleeps now, untroubled by this pain. I wish he could feel it with me…be in it with me. I know he’s doing what he can.
As for me…I sit with red, scratchy eyes, a stomach of tears, and a blank wall in my mind with no dreams to splash across it. So I’ll occupy my hands and distract my heart with what I do have: a bathroom wall waiting for stripes to be painted upon it.