Sunday, March 8, 2009

Do You Know the Way to New Hope?


It wasn’t until the night before we left for our weekend getaway that I realized the obvious irony of the plan we had made. We were going to a town called New Hope. We weren’t aiming for irony…scheduling this past weekend’s escape was an act of rebellious self-preservation…since we can’t afford a real vacation right now, we figured a weekend away, even if we could barely afford that, would bring some much needed peace, allow us to feel like the young vibrant couple we supposedly are, despite the crushing weight of the sorrow we now carry. But yes, we could use some new hope too.

We arrived late morning, dropping our bags at the B&B that was to be our home for the evening, and set off in search of the path, the tow path that runs along what was once the
Delaware canal. Finding the access point, we set off in the direction we thought (hoped) was town, looking forward to a walk, and possibly lunch.

Twenty minutes into our walk we realized we hadn’t even bothered to ask how far we were from town, how long it would take or even definitively whether we were heading the right direction. What had started as a well-maintained gravel path quickly gave way to mud and muck, and we began to wonder if we were doing this right. I have always had innate sense of direction, but since Ezra, I fight back demons of failure daily, which threaten all of my competencies, not just my baby-making skills. The couple times we saw other people on the path, we asked for reassurance,
Is this the way to New Hope?

And yet, as with every other moment of this journey since Ezra, we held each other’s hand tight and slogged through the mud…and after what we later learned was 4.5 miles, we reached the town, enjoyed a quiet lunch and headed back, more assured on the muddy path before us.

No epiphany happened this weekend, no sudden moment of healing. But away from home, breathing different air and taking in new things, we did feel a little lighter, a bit more playful.

There’s a change I’ve noticed in myself for at least the past week, very subtle but its there. I am noticing a new energy in myself, I feel physically better, healthier, lighter. This month I’m more hopeful and at peace with our efforts to bring a younger sibling for Ezra into this world. Ezra feels farther away than ever now, I feel like I have been the mother of a dead baby for a lifetime, not 6 months and a week. Emotionally I am still (and will likely always be) completely shattered…I am not the same person I was before. The pain of losing Ezra is deep within my core and that hole in my heart will always be there. I am awakened to new layers of that pain daily. I still pry myself from the bed each morning, lie there wondering how life became such a heavy burden. And the same dark emotions of despair, rage, anxiety, jealousy bubble up each day with the same intensity as before. Yet this new energy is there, expectation, I can’t explain how or why.
Is this what people mean when they say time heals?

When we reached the town of New Hope, there was no signal of our arrival, no arrow to point the way. In fact, we missed the turn over a small bridge that would take us into the center of town; we were hailed back in the right direction by an elderly couple walking behind us. Sitting at lunch we reveled in our accomplishment, we had made it this far, even though we knew we still had a long walk back. This journey of grief has taken us places we never expected to go, places we didn’t know existed, places for which there is no clear path or map. So far we’ve survived just by holding each other tight. As we set out to return, we noticed large white signs with bold red lettering, which hadn’t been there in the other direction: ‘Tow Path Closed for Dredging.’ Laughing, we grabbed each other’s hand and just kept walking...

17 comments:

Barbara said...

We're planning a getaway soon, we shouldn't, we should save the money for gas bills and such but we need to breathe some fresh air.

I'm glad you got away and I'm glad you're feeling a new energy, and I'm so glad you are laughing.

xxx

Dani819 said...

I've been waiting for this post!

Hand in hand on the way to New Hope- can't ask for a better road map than that.

Hope's Mama said...

Sarah I missed you for two whole days! So much to catch up on with you. This post sums up how much of my weekend was, but without the time away. What a perfectly named little town, if I do say so myself, and how perfect it was you ended up there. I spent much of my weekend at my very own New Hope myself. New Hope within myself... Chat soon friend xo

Sara said...

I'm happy for you for the lightness and energy. I hope you are on the road to new hope.

aliza said...

sarah,
i'm so glad you got away and found new hope. it is perfect. i love hearing about your adventure, and that you are feeling your own sense of new hope, not that it takes any of the rest away.
sending you love

Gal aka SuperMommy said...

Beautiful...

Dreding indeed. Perfect word. I'm glad you guys got away for a few days. And that you have each other.

Carly Marie said...

Feeling new good energy. I love it. I am so happy for you Sarah. What a beautiful post, Thank you x

k@lakly said...

Glad you were able to find New Hope...both kinds. 6 months is where I started, emphasis on started, to feel 'used to' the dead baby shoes I was walking in, although it was also about midway through when I found out I was pg again so I had to readjust my feelings and my perspectives all over again.
I hope your new found sense of self continues and that you are soon on the journey to bringing a sibling into the world for Ezra.

Lea said...

Sarah...
I think you have given us all "new hope" just by posting your lovely experience.
My husband and I got away a little while ago too. It was very nice to just "disconnect" from what our world is right now... and to "breathe some new air". Nicely put.

Lea xo

CLC said...

Glad you got a much needed weekend away! And I am glad you found your way to town as well as a new bounce in your step.

Rach said...

I am so happy for you that you have found some new energy and some hope. What a beautiful post. xxx

Sophie said...

Beautifully written. I think I understand exactly how you feel.

All the best,
xx

Dalene said...

Hmmm, makes me realize how much I could use a getaway, if only for a weekend. Six months was a tough place for me as I came out of the fog and shock and realized that this is my new life.

Lani said...

my family used to go to New Hope all the time to see shows at the playhouse. It was such a cute little town, just perfect for a quiet little getaway.
sounds like it did what you needed it to- these precious weekends away are really important.
love hearing that you are feeling a new energy. always thinking of you sarah. xo

Funsize said...

We all could use little escape every now and then, I'm glad you got your getaway. I'm glad you found a new energy with New Hope.

(hugs)

Cara said...

This sounds just about right. New energy, new hope - same grief, just with different edges. That's times work.

I'm so glad you feel the possibility of another coming your way. Ezra is and will always be your first. No one can ever take that from you.

xoxo

Paige said...

I'm relieved to read that you're feeling new energy with the passing of time. Cayden's death is so fresh that I have yet to feel any positive energy, but you give me hope that it will come, with time.

Thank you for your sweet comment. I'm so lucky to be surrounded by such warm, loving mamas.