Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ezra's Great Uncle

Tonight I am amazed
and overwhelmed
At the souls of my ancestors swirling around me.

Tonight I learned that Ezra had a Great Uncle
My mom had an older brother.

He died.
Just as he was being born, he died.

I never knew.

And my grandma Marion,
For whom, Ezra got his middle name Malik
Never forgot.

My Granddad Eugene, for whom Ezra is named
always remembered his first son.

I never knew my grandma Marion
She died just after I was born
After many years of being sick.
Too young to die.
My mom deprived of her own mom
just as she became a mama herself.
Depriving me and my brother of a grandma.

But I was very close to my Granddad
He died in 2001
A brilliant man
He delighted in life
And could always make me smile.

Tonight I was telling my mom of a visit I had this week from a babylost mama
Her son died 34 years ago, just 2 weeks before I myself was born.
I was telling my mom of the wisdom and perspective her visit gave me
She still talks of her son with tears in her eyes.
And my mom says,
"Well my mom felt the same way, she never wanted to return to Tacoma, because that's where the baby died."
My heart stopped.
What baby?!

My mom insists she told me
In fact, David confirms that she did
When I was still in the hospital
Out of my mind with the drugs and the hormones and the grief
I have no recall
I would have remembered something like that.
(Makes me wonder what else I don't remember from that fateful weekend)

Grandma Marion went into labor when she was full term
And it was taking too long
So the doctor went in with forceps
And the baby died

65 years ago.

He did not have a name
He's buried in a Jewish cemetery somewhere in Seattle
Baby Boy Bereston

I wonder how my grandma managed on her grief journey
A stranger in a city not her own
Living in Seattle as my granddad served his duty at an army hospital
As the world conspired to destroy itself
Through the toxicity of world war

My heart aches that my grandma experienced this pain I now know
And the tears that are pouring as I write are no longer just for Ezra
The tears are for Baby Boy Bereston.

But my heart also leaps to realize Ezra has spirit baby family
A wise soul to show him the ropes
For certainly Baby Boy and Ezra found each other
Perhaps thats why Ezra knows so much magic already
And awakens me to it daily.

Yet mostly I am overwhelmed by this legacy
Baby Boy, almost forgotten in this family
If not for Ezra's tragic death.
Baby Boy's life mattered
He is real
Just like Ezra is real

And yet our lost babies are hushed into silence
Swept under the rug to make way for happier stories
Of round bellies and pink screaming newborns
As if nothing ever goes wrong.
As if nothing could go wrong.

And yet it does go wrong.
With all that could go wrong
It's amazing it ever goes right
That anybody is born at all

Tonight along with Ezra, I miss Baby Boy Bereston
And all the loved and yearned for babies
Whose stories deserve to be told.


Gal aka SuperMommy said...

So chilling... And so beautiful at the same time. I love the image of Ezra with Baby Boy in that beautiful place our angel babies are, connected to all those of us here in our mortal bodies can barely grasp, much less understand. Times are different now, and we are part of the change - telling our babies' stories and honoring them in a way that allows us to not have to go it alone. I have to sit with this for a while... that Ezra is not the first in his family to be born sleeping. Wow...

Hope's Mama said...

Thanks for sharing this story with us Sarah. Thinking of you xo

Anonymous said...

Truly amazing - I also like the idea of Ezra having someone to show him the ropes. He is in such good hands and loved & missed of course.

CLC said...

Wow, that gave me the chills. Thanks for sharing the story with us. And I hope Ezra is with his great uncle.

msatchell said...

Hi Ezra's Mommy,

I just re-discovered your blog, and I realized that there's yet another angel baby up there with Ezra taking care of him and helping him to watch over you.

My dad's sister died as an infant in 1951, when he was just a child himself. And while I don't know may details because he's never wanted to talk too much about it, there's a little bit of her in me, since my middle name is Denise, her name.

My father often calls me (and my sister, whose middle name is that of his late mother) by my middle name as a nickname, and I think it's his way of honoring and acknowledging her, and it makes me feel special to know that I'm carrying around her legacy.

I hope that 2009 brings you and Ezra's Daddy peace and comfort. Please know that you're continually in my thoughts and prayers.