On the last day of normal, my husband took a photo of my swollen belly, just before we went to dinner.
We ordered extravagantly from the chichi menu at our non-kid-friendly favorite restaurant. “Can you believe that tomorrow, at this time, we’ll have a baby?” I said.
“Let’s keep us,” he said. And I agreed.
But the us that we knew no longer existed, and once we met our son, we forgot.
We became a new us.
On the last day of the world, my son was two weeks old, and my husband stood in front of the mirror, post shower, with a towel wrapped around his waist. I went to kiss his shoulder and froze. The mole that I’d traced over and over, for the past however many years and lifetimes, had become black and flat. “You have to go to the doctor. Now.” I said.
He did, and the doctor said that there was no time to wait. It was cancer.
It was the end of the world when my husband had surgery while I tried to function on two hour bites of sleep between baby feedings, worries, and wondering how I’d raise our son if his father died.
On the last day of normal, we went to the hospital, and I cried, and told my husband’s cancer doctor that I cannot do this without him and to just fix him.
And, he did. Enough, for now.
It was the first day of our new world the day that somebody told me “It’s NOT just a speech delay.” It was the last day of the world when I spent years trying to figure out whether my son has autism or developmental delays or both or something different from either. Of trying to figure out whether what he is or why he’s delayed matters, when it comes to how we’re helping him. It doesn’t, by the way. Every day is the first day of the world. Milestones, progress, and life. For all of us.
It was the last day of the world when my son started mainstreamed kindergarten, and I cried the kind of tears that leave unseen scars in your face, worrying about him. It was the first day of the world when I found Grace There.
It was the last day of the world when my son was three months old, and, while sitting on my front porch, alone, praying to the stars, my past kicked me in the face. It reminded me of the night – years and years ago – that I prayed to all of the Gods, saying “Please. Give my life to a woman out there, dying, who has children because I never will be able to.”
That I sent that prayer out there… That’s the end of the world.
That I do not know how to take it back is, as well. It haunts me and causes me to wake in chills and sweat, from deep sleep in the middle of the night.
If you know how to take back a prayer, meant at the time but not meant now, please tell me because it becoming true would be the end of this world, for me. And I’m not ready yet.
After all, my world has only just begun.
On the first day of the world, a child was born.
On the first day of the world, my child was born.
I became more than I was and a part of the place between stardust and hope and fear and all of the scary but humbling and magical betweens.
The first day of the world was today, when I woke up and realized that it’s the first day of the next part of everything and that whatever I regret and whatever I miss and that whatever I frown over is from yesterday, and that all of those things are part of the last day.
I sucked a little bit today. Tucker came home from school two hours early, and I had to work. I felt guilty when I was with him and I felt guilty when I was with my keyboard and my conference calls.
Tonight, though, on the first day of the rest of the world, I’m going to say fuck that, and know right now is the last day of the world.
And that because it’s the last, it’s also the first.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post, where writers and bloggers gather to complete a sentence. This week’s is “When it comes to the end of the world…”
Your hosts: Me (Kristi from Finding Ninee)
Co-hosts: Nicki Gilbert of Redboots and Jena Schwartz of Jena Schwartz. Jena’s this week’s sentence thinker-upper. She runs writing groups (you can sign up on her site – the groups are wonderful), which is where this sentence came from. Please take a moment to check Nicki and Jena out if you don’t already know them. They’re super fabulous.