Moss and God

January 14, 2019

By Sanda Rathamone

“Every woman is a gift when she becomes a daughter. Every woman is beautiful when she becomes a lover. Every woman is special when she becomes a wife. Every woman is a god when she becomes a Mother.” - Vivek Thangaswamy

I have finished reading two novels since the start of this new year: The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards and The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. It took a few months to finish Edwards' and about four days for Diffenbaugh's.

Obviously, The Language of Flowers had me hooked. I am currently in a haze where I can't seem to come back to reality. Booksters call this a "book hangover."

What both of these stories have in common is the hard lesson of what a family truly means: unconditional love. Both stories honor the saying from Lilo and Stitch, "Ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind." 

I don't want Elijah to be left behind; that is why I carry him with me, everyday. I carry him in the form of tears, prayers, thoughts, and sometimes, his bear or a pendant. I can't let him go and shouldn't have to. Elijah is family. Elijah is my family.

In the Language of Flowers, the main character, Victoria, suspects she is pregnant. The pregnancy, though unwanted and unplanned, was expected. She had been in denial of the pregnancy, while also trying to hide it. There was a part where she said something that made me cry:

I wished it would slip under the door, onto the street, and into the body of someone who wanted it. There were plenty of women dreaming of motherhood..." 

I read those lines another two or three times and tears began to stream from my eyes. In my mind, I heard myself say longingly, "I want it. I want the baby. Give me the baby." I said this more than a few times. Each time I said this, it would stir up fury and a stinging in my heart at the same time. This is something I will never understand. Why are some blessed with the ease for a child and others are not? Why are children given to those who do not want nor care for them and not to those who would do anything to love them?

I hate this unfairness with all of my heart. I envy every woman that take pregnancy and their children for granted. If only they knew how lucky they were to never suffer the pangs of a starving and empty womb or witness the death of a baby who had yet to breathe his first breath and open his eyes to see the face of his mother...

In the book, Moss means 'maternal love.' Because moss grows without roots, so does a mother's love; it can grow almost magically, spontaneously out of nowhere, and continue to grow. This maternal love has grown within me before Elijah was born, even before he existed.

I remember being that girl who didn't want to grow up and be a mom. I remember being so reckless, stupid, knowing that all I had to do was swallow a pill everyday.

Then, one day, I found the guy, or he found me? Ever so slowly, moss began to grow from the center of my chest, spreading, moving through my veins. It took years to reach every corner of my body - in all but one place. My womb. This is why my womb is so painfully empty. Nothing grew there for years.

It seems that Elijah was magic himself; he just... grew out of nowhere. And then he died. Was it not enough sun, not enough love? I doubt it. I had so much love, I had so much to give...

The other day, Jehovah's Witnesses came by. I was in the garage putting away the Christmas things and they saw me before I could go back into the house.

Usually, I would wave them away, but something told me to let them stay and talk with me. A man was holding the same grey bible that my husband received from an old coworker. On top of his Bible, the man had small book, "What Does the Bible Really Teach?" I had that same book; I grabbed a free copy from a table some time ago, only reading a few pages and never again reopened it. I was actually going to donate the book...

I told him about our share of the same books. He asked me had anyone ever mentioned on how to use the small book. Answering him with a "no," he opened the book to the contents and asked me which line appealed to me the most. I pointed to, "11. Why Does God Allow Suffering?" I wanted to know why there is so much pain, wondering about those who are unfairly suffering in this world.

Why people, like me, suffer the loss of a child? Why some women, like me, suffer empty wombs?

I read the chapter alone. All I could grasp from the book was that this is Satan's world and that he causes pain and suffering, not God. That suffering began from the rebellion and sins of Adam and Eve. That God created humans with free will and that it is up to humans to decide what or who will guide them.

I cannot seem to blame Satan for losing my baby. More than anything, I had wanted God to save him. I prayed to God to give him to me and then to save him...

In The Language of Flowers, Victoria hires a girl to help her flower business. Her name was Marlena.

During my stay at the hospital, the last nurse I had while in Antepartum had the same name, and she was everything that a sign from God would be. A couple of days after Elijah died, Marlena mentioned a story of a man who was a believer in God and had everything taken away from him. Unknown to the man, Satan had caused tragedy and loss as a test to prove to God that the man only believed in Him because of His blessings. After all of the catastrophic events, God had rewarded the man two-fold because of his unwavering faith in God. Two years later, I learned that this is the story of Job.

Sometimes, I wonder if Job's story rings true for me. But, honestly, I don't know. I don't know what to believe. 

I sat on the toilet the other day and said to myself, "I don't know if I could do this." I don't think I could live everyday suffering the jealousies I have of other women with their babies. I don't think I could live with this grief. I don't want to live forever, suffering this pain.

Occasionally, I have had these thoughts that make it more difficult to function in this world, which no longer makes any sense to me. How could a mother live without her baby? I have done this for almost three years now and it frightens me to face any more, like a life sentence to prison. I have never been so tormented by life to yearn for death.

I often wondered if this is karma for the time in my life when I did not love myself, nor honored my body. Is this God's way of making me pay for my sins? If so, then I am sorry and I have learned. I am sorry for lots of things, stupid things. 

There is this joke that lurks around, "You should have been a teenage dropout if you wanted a baby so bad!" It's funny how in your teen years, you are so careful to not get knocked up. You would do anything to avoid pregnancy; pregnancy was what you feared.

But once you are ready, making a baby is like searching for Santa Claus or a unicorn. You start to wonder if such a thing exists - for you. You would do absolutely anything, ANYTHING, and are desperately trying to get pregnant. Then, you lose your shit when you get your period and cry like a baby because you don't have a baby. Pregnancy then becomes something you fear will never happen.

I have a moss agate stone that has been sitting with other forgotten crystals, collecting dust on my desk. It is a stone for gardeners -- connecting to the Earth, abundance and groundedness. It also aids fertility and assists midwives and childbirth. I got it one day for whenever I tend to Elijah's tree; it was dying at one point and we were trying to figure out how to bring it back to health. It has now been over a year since we dug his tree out of the ground, took it home, and transplanted it into a pot until time decides our next move.

When I look at the stone, the dark green hues look like actual fibers of moss, trapped and preserved inside of a protective shield. The fibers look to have been growing and then frozen inside of the stone. I could imagine that if broken, the fibers would cling onto the nearest surface and continue to grow, reminding me of Elijah.

If he would have continued to grow for another four months, would he have thrived to become something other than a frozen past?...

I had a dream the other day that I was a mother to a very chubby, well-fed, adorable baby boy, with a luscious patch of dark hair. He was a sign of health, abundance, and moss. Yesterday, we were driving. Moss had been draped on all of the trees on the road, like a soft cloak from a mother who had plenty to give.

With love,
Must Read:
Read the full story about Elijah:
Elijah's Story: From Gender Reveal To A Spontaneous Delivery

Photo: maxpixel

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