I had an anxiety attack yesterday.
It started at a cafe where I was waiting with Anaya for Brent to finish an appointment. It happened that I sat next to a girl I know who has lost her children to the ministry because of her lifestyle choices. I try to practice compassion and non-judgement but I couldn't help getting angry. Angry with God, angry with her, angry with the world. I wanted to scream out loud how unfair it is that MY baby, who was so wanted and so well taken care of, is fading away. How lucky this woman is, to have healthy babies, and it seems she doesn't care enough to be there for them.
While these thoughts were going through my head Anaya started crying, then she started choking. Everyone in the cafe was looking in our direction. I helped Anaya through her spell and got up, paid the bill and left.
I felt an incredible sadness descend upon me. It settled about my shoulders and my heart like a cold fog. I shivered and tears spilled from my eyes and ran down my cheeks, falling on her golden head like raindrops. Wrapping my arms about my little love, we continued on down the street. I wished we had known when she was born that she was sick. She looked so perfect. There was no reason to suspect. Our moments turned into minutes, days, months, and now we are 8 months past the time when a stem cell transplant would have saved my daughters life. Would she have crawled by now? Would her little giggle resound through the house? Would her first word be Mama?
We could have found out with a simple blood test. We are want to provide the means for future parents to get this test if they want it at the nelson hospital. It's the same heel prick that they do for the usual newborn tests. We could have helped her but now it's too late for that treatment.
The tears kept falling, the anger building into frustration, my sobs bubbled out of my chest like unwilling prisoners. I felt nauseated and trapped, wanting to run, to scream and kick, wanting to fly out of my body. I wanted a healthy baby.
I met up with Brent and we went to the pharmacy to get Anaya's meds. I sat down on a chair and buried my face in her golden hair. She slept peacefully, my heart hammered against my chest and I wondered if I was going to have a heart attack. The anxiety of all my fears and grief and anger gripped me and I wondered if it would kill me. That made me laugh at my own thoughts. How ridiculous! I realized I was having an anxiety attack and forced myself to slouch into the chair and focus on cuddling the baby. I felt her breathing, her warm, trusting little beingness. I felt my own breath and slowed it down to match hers, I felt my body in the chair. I felt the air moving through my nostrils.
I began to feel my love for her radiating towards me, mirrored in the eyes of the people watching me cuddle the baby. A warmness embraced me and my heart slowed, the nausea faded and the anger disappeared. I realized that I will go on giving her more. All of me cares, all of me finds joy in her. I would not trade this journey for another. She's a keeper, if only I could keep her.
The impermanence of all life is what makes it beautiful and wondrous. Even when I can't go on, I'll go on.