How Finn Saved Me
July 25, 2013
I had a dream last night where it I was holding onto a colorful umbrella and it was incredibly windy. I was about to be lifted into the sky and taken a way. Just as my feet were leaving the ground my eight-year-old son, Finn, grabbed my hand and said, “kiss me.” I saw his little pursed lips and that kiss saved me. His kiss kept me from being lost forever.
This is not the first time Finn has saved me.
I believe he saved me nearly nine years ago. Finn was conceived the week my mother died. Mama and I were very close. Her death was a tragedy. She died of lung cancer less than five months after her diagnosis. The last time I saw her I should have known it would be the last but Mama was never good at good-byes. It was October and she said she would see me for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I should have known when she had me return a sweater to J. Jill that was just her style. I should have known when she gave me a floppy disc with her writing on it – she never shared her writing until she was ready. I should have known when her face looked gray and ashen as she slept on Daddy’s recliner. But we both pretended we would see each other again soon.
When Daddy called to tell me Mama had died I screamed and fell to the floor. I felt a huge hole in my chest. It was a physical pain as much as it was an emotional pain. That pain lingered for months and sometimes echoes through my body at trigger moments.
A few weeks after her death I discovered I was pregnant. It was bittersweet. How could I have another baby without my Mama and after two miscarriages? How could I take another loss so soon?
Not everyone loves being pregnant but I sure do. I am not one to get morning sickness. I love growing a little human inside of me. I always dream about my babies. Growing Finn gave me a focus away from my grief. Sometimes my joy and grief intertwined and I did not know I how I felt.
When Finn was born I noticed his blue eyes right away. Mama had blue eyes. Neither Rob, nor our daughters nor I have blue eyes. I wondered if they would stay blue. They have.
Along the way Finn has guided me in many ways. He was terrible at nursing in the beginning so I learned the reasons why so many women want to stop nursing. I learned how to latch better. I learned about pumping and hand expressing. I learned to be a better Lactation Consultant.
He has informed my mothering. One morning when he was about two and I tried against all odds to get the children out the door to school on time I lost my temper and yelled at he kids. Finn stopped and with big alligator tears he told me, “You have to be patient.”
I don’t know what happens when we die but Finn used to talk about where he was before he came into my belly. I like to pretend that Finn is Mama all over again. Finn loves me unconditionally the way Mama did. He tells me the truth and keeps me in line the way Mama did. Finn does not replace Mama but he fills a gap and has eased that pain in my chest.
Life and death are full of mysteries. These days many mysteries can be proven or disproven by science. There are some aspects of life I like to keep mysterious: love, dreams, the afterlife.
I will keep trying to listen, be patient and not fly away to soon.