"So it's bad either way," I hear myself say.
As before, I am not really asking.
"It doesn't look good," Dr. A. replies in a soft voice. "All we can do right now is pray."
He places his hand on my shoulder in a gesture of healing. My chest and abdomen rise and fall with the heaviness of breath.
I feel the blood receding from my face -- fear rising slowly in me from an unknown interior space.
I can't believe this is
I can see how they are all looking at me now -- the critical-care specialist, the high-risk obstetrics people, the radiologist. Suddenly I am that person -- the recipient of the news the physician dreads delivering, the one standing in the inner circle of tragedy.
When the tears come I can feel the threads of my world unraveling -- no more barriers, just an abyss of darkness underfoot, like the recurring dream of falling, except this time I don't wake up.
Crying never came easily for me -- the feelings there hidden out of sight, in the silence of my insides. And that always frustrated you -- wanting to know I could weep, that I would weep for you, if it ever came to that.
It has come to that.
"If I ever go, you'd better cry for me," she said to me in her playful way.
Can you see me crying for you now?
* * *
Aderet wakes wailing and crying. It takes me a while to realize what she is saying, but gradually it becomes clear. She is crying out for her Imma:
I want you... I want you...
I come into her bedroom. She is so tired that she has already fallen back asleep, but when I go to fix her covers she wakes for a moment.
"Did you see Imma in your dream?" I ask her.
She nods. Her thumb in her mouth, her voice soft and sad.
"What happened in your dream?"
"Imma was falling off a cliff! She was falling and falling to her death!"
I shake inside for my baby girl. Powerless to stop her falling mother. The terrifying sensation of dream-fall becomes the slipping away of her protection, the center of her world. I could hear the terror and the fear in her first screams. That was it. Dead. Gone.
In the morning I ask her again about her dream; I need to know that she is okay. In the meantime she has added a new element to the story:
She was falling almost to her death, but I flew like Tinkerbell, and I caught her and she was in my arms, and I gave her some pixie dust and she flied with me! I was almost to death, but I gave her pixie dust and brought her up to the top. And then she never fell. I was being safe with her.
Abba, can our dreams ever come true? 'Cause I wanted to save her for real. I wanted to save her for real, Abba.
* * *
I am relatively okay for large stretches of time. I think part of my old self has returned. Then, with the force and suddenness of a slamming door, I am back in the throes of it -- the hollow, sinking ache. My first impulse is to call Leah. To pick up the phone, or to walk in the front door ready to unburden myself into her presence. To enter back into the space of home.