Friday, September 4, 2009

it was a village...

WARNING: THIS POST IS WHOLLY UNFILTERED. MY HEART REACHED OUT AND TYPED THIS ITSELF.



On this day, the three month anniversary of Persephone's birth and passing, and as we surround Debe, Kris, and Sorren with arms outstretched, I really wish I knew what in god's name else has to happen in order to mend this community.

In the past four days, I have driven close to 200 miles to pick up food from people I've never met, who have never met the Brookses, who greeted me with tears in their eyes, hugs, stares borne only of this particular sort of senselessness, and a love that can only come from the connectivity of mama hearts. Debe's home is filled with the love being sent along. I have retrieved cash from single mothers who have never met the Brookses, and their sisters, and have received meals and checks from almost as far as Detroit. Another single mom I know not only gave them her CSA this week, but also drove clear to Portland last night and went hella wild at Trader Joe's and we delivered the goods circa midnight. My broken heart is tempered by an anger at the universe over the losses of these baby girls, but this outpouring, which shows no sign of slowing, has rendered me awestruck and has reminded me what an amazing community this...can be.

I am incensed to be witnessing the continuation of fucked up petty grievances in the midst of such loss. Frankly? No one I know is anywhere near over the loss of Persephone yet. She is spoken of constantly, partly out of the deep remaining pain, and partly with respect to the impact her passing had on our community. We all walked away connected that day, and personally, in the precious moment I was so blessed to have with her, I thought this immeasurable unity was her tiny legacy, and many echoed the same sentiment.

However...

(Note: This is my blog. I have the right to say whatever I want, and I intend to, and if the truth hurts, leave or change.)

Within a month of that sweet baby's lost life, while many of us were still in a haze of disbelief, others, mothers, friends, trusted allies and supporters, ignited a spontaneous social forest fire that still blazes. It so happens that I was the target, despite so many crocodile tears wishing "this whole thing would simply end." The obvious answer is that if ruthless attacks and slander against someone who has wronged you in no way is uncomfortable for you, don't do it. But that's just me.

As an aside, the previous month "everyone" hated someone else. This begs the question: Was junior high school really so great as to sustain that hateful bullying mentality our entire lives? With everyone scrambling to be in with the elites? And when have the elites ever been the nice ones?

BABIES ARE DYING! Get over yourselves. I am appalled to have learned that certain mothers so determined to see my ruination, while never specifying my alleged wrongdoing, would not drop off food for Debe on the 1/1000000000 chance of crossing paths with me. Meanwhile, my beloved, scared, trembling, heartbroken friend was sitting at home wondering when is the right time to birth her deceased baby. That is my priority here, and I could give a flying fuck whom I see. I will pick up food from anyone of you, but you are too immersed in hatred to make this about Debe, and not your own social posturing. Shame on you.


Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I will always atone for anything I've said or done that has caused offense, pain, sadness, anger, etc. Always. I am approachable, honest, accountable, and also imperfect. But I was never charged with a crime. Just convicted. Like that. And that's fine. I've climbed out of the poisoned well and I am never looking back. There are some premium mamas around here, who have stopped everything to offer anything they have to Debe's family, and would never give a thought to whom they will see, the social hierarchy, nor who is facebook friends with whom.

Tuesday night I delivered some bags to Kris, while Debe slept inside. I've always had a joking relationship with him, and the depth of his seriousness was really more than I could bear. I started telling him who had given what, to which he replied, "Who's Jennifer? Who's Jacob?" I nearly lost it. It dawned on me that they are new here and don't even know the people reaching out to them. He was so humbled and surprised. He said Lennon had explained their options, being induction and waiting. I sheepishly, softly asked if they were leaning in either direction. (Deep breath.) This man, so strong, such a wonderful papa, devoted husband, looked at me with the thinnest-paned windows to his soul eyes, and said the most painful words I've ever heard in my life:

"I'm still waiting for a miracle."

This man has lost a daughter he wanted more than anything, whom he named immediately, and cannot grasp letting her go, let alone the bags of food he's holding, yet across town it's still very important to a select few that I know that they will not see me, that to them, a baby's death does not transcend icky, needless drama. What empty, cold lives yours must be. Kris broke my heart so deeply I could scarcely see through my tears to drive home, but I wouldn't have traded that experience for anything.

To those of you who have mailed checks, brought food, cooked, sent cards, and everything you've done and continue to do, I extend my most heartfelt thank you on behalf of the Brookses, and for restoring some of the faith I had lost in our community. You are the unsung heroes of this very dark hour, and you have eased some of the burden from this family.

And to the mean girls, whose worth and rank are more important than babies lost, to whom personal grudges, real or imagined, trump the efforts being made by the rest of the group to lift this family up, scant months after losing our first precious girl, there are no words to describe the disappointment I feel in you. You want to pummel me with lies and subject me to months' worth of slander and bask in your wonderful betterness? Knock yourselves out. To fail to see past this to support a mama who is carrying her dead daughter right now, as I type, because she can't let her go, is so egregious you are eroding this community. Right now, with your hatred, your desperation, your running to the open arms of your sworn enemies to make sure you will have alliances. Contrary to your bullshit, Cheyenne is not the one tainting this group, it is those of you who would not hand me a dish for Debe who are eroding its purpose.

To you, and you, and you, and yes, even you, if one of your children died, god forbid, I would be the first person at your door, offering whatever I could, my whole heart. Even after the things you've done. This isn't about you. It isn't about me. We are mothers. We have all lost these babies, and it is incumbent upon us all to infuse Debe, just as with Carmela, with as much love and strength and unity as humanly possible. But we can't do that if we're not united. Figure it out. We are being called to action.

FOR PERSEPHONE CAMILLE ELIZABETH AND SIDNEY JOSEPHINE:


You are loved and remembered.

6 comments:

debe said...

I'm sorry that your willingness to do all of this for us has forced you to be reminded of all the drama that's gone on in the past, but we are so grateful for all that you've done. You're one in a million and we are so lucky to have met you.

Cheyenne said...

Ack--You're the creme-de-la-creme, but my point is simply that there are so many fantastic people out there, this is no time to hide.

mental chatter said...

Oh no! What happened? I thought that EVERYONE was rallying around this family in one way or another...

stone hunter said...

Yea, it certainly seems clear that those with mean spirits lost an opportunity to return to the mode of decency.
Love you honey, beautiful,powerful post.

Mom

Amanda said...

Debe and I were friends for a good amount of the time she lived in Salem before I moved. I think I was the first person she met from the group. I enjoyed her company and conversation and the history in Tracy, CA that we shared. After a difference of opinion and some harsh words from us both that lead to an awful misunderstanding, we lost our friendship. But despite that petty bull crap, I would be sitting there holding her hand and loving her if she asked me to.

Chey, you said it all. Petty crap means nothing. We are a community and we are mothers, we are friends...... And even though I have been distant from the "ins" of what is going on, it hurts me that these people can't let go and live. I know there has always been an "elite" part of our group. Sometimes it hurt to feel excluded from it, but I found deeper, truer friends in the people that choose to distance themselves from the bullshit. Like Debe.

And Debe, if you read this, I'm sorry for our spat. I do actually miss you and I feel so horribly hurt and pained for what you are going through. I love you and I am here if you ever need me.

Amanda

Susannah said...

Chey, you said it all. The truth is, I do believe this *can* be a village again. It would take so little from so few to change the current climate.
<3 to Debe and family and to you, Chey.