Summer - Part 2
"Moments will pass...seasons can't last..."
From "Summer Moved On" by a-ha - 2020
When Darcy arrived home from work that night he was beaming. My husband’s enthusiasm for most things was on the subtle side, but not today. He never curbed his enthusiasm with Miller and now he was having another baby! He could hardly contain himself (and I think it’s fair to say that he was extra ecstatic knowing that it had not required drugs or a turkey baster…he may have missed his time in that “Fun Room” though!) His grin was nothing short of magic. The kind of smile that filled my soul.
We agreed right away that, since I was older, and for all the reasons most people feel cautiously optimistic in the early weeks of a pregnancy, we shouldn’t tell anyone right away. We should wait out the first trimester and make sure all was well.
Well, that plan lasted for about two whole days. That very week, Darcy returned from work one night with a whole bunch of gifts in his arms and I gave him a questioning look. He grinned a sheepish grin when I asked “Why are you getting all these gifts, Bear? The show isn’t even wrapped.” It was common for people in the cast and crew to gift him at the end of a production to say thank you for bringing them onto the team, but he had barely started shooting. “Ohhhh, ummm well, Matt, the sound guy, wanted to say congratulations. And also, Steve, the transport guy… and a few others….”
“You mean to tell me that Matt the sound guy and Steve the transport guy both know about our new baby but our parents and siblings don’t??” Oh my god. Maybe you'll think I should have been upset that he'd spilled the beans, despite our cautious agreement, but for me, this was the best. He was just too elated to keep it in. He had to share this triumph with anyone who would listen and that elation was all that mattered. What were we thinking? We had a miracle on our hands and he wanted to shout it from the rooftops. Honestly, what could be better?! I look back at that memory with such fondness. It was one of the happiest phases of our life, when I was pregnant with Summer and the three of us got to anticipate her arrival. In retrospect I’m so glad that we didn’t rob ourselves of all the extra weeks of celebration that occurred when we just let the floodgates open and we allowed our amazing news rush out to everyone who cared.
'Summer of 2015'
Photo Credit - Rhonda Dent Photography
I often think back to that experience and realize that withholding our good news or suppressing our excitement wasn’t going to protect us from anything. It wasn’t going to ensure that this new baby was without challenges, or that the fetus would be viable or born without a brain injury or another surprise. Being guarded about it would only have taken away our opportunity to experience the true joy of that moment, and so I’m glad we didn’t keep it quiet for long. We ceased the moment, allowed ourselves to feel pure bliss and trusted that, even if something happened and the baby didn’t thrive, at least we would have had that joy. At least our bodies would have experienced the energy of the miracle. The loving connection that is created when two cells meet and multiply and become a being. That alone was worth celebrating! It had never happened for us this way before, and if our baby hadn’t have come to fruition, we’d have only had the grieving part of the experience. We were in the middle of something wonderful and magical, no matter the outcome, and to not allow ourselves to breathe in that experience would have been such a waste.
What I know now, for sure, is that all we have is this moment. And Summer’s surprise arrival into our family really gave us the opportunity to solidify our values around living for the moment. I will never hold back my excitement about something “just in case things don’t work out”. I will never find myself in a happy place and hold back my joy in case the other shoe drops. We NEVER know what’s going to “work out”, do we? We don’t get to know. So why not celebrate the part that feels good? I am so glad that Darcy and Miller and I celebrated that baby right away and that the four of us celebrated ALL the other miraculous moments in our lives as much as possible without trying to protect ourselves from disappointment. We got really GOOD at that.
We were good at choosing to do all the fun things we could think of, right when we wanted to. We were spontaneous and we did our best to live out our ideas, take the trips, try the new food, explore our options and not put things on the back-burner for “someday’. Just imagine all the memories we WOULDN’T have made with our kids if we had held back until we had more time, more money, the right weather, the perfect conditions. We lived. Darcy lived. And I will forever keep up our tradition of taking advantage of the now. Because the now is all we are sure to have.
At the zoo with Dad - 2017
Summer gets her wild love of animals from Darcy. He is alive in her deep appreciation and understanding of all creatures great and small. I love it.
In his almost 10 years of parenting Miller and 6 years with Summer, Darcy created a lifetime of memories with me and those kids. He crammed so much LIVING into such a short time. He made an event out of every Saturday and Sunday. Every long weekend was an opportunity to go somewhere or try something new. He showered us with enough gifts to last a thousand birthdays, Christmases, Mother’s Days, and more. If we lived our whole life without ever receiving another gift, we would be fine. That was his love language and he fearlessly exercised it, not because he felt that material things replaced love, but when they were given with such thought and care, an experience was created! He put time and effort into choosing things for us and he enjoyed the whole experience of researching and purchasing the perfect gift. It was never a burden or an obligation. There was value in the entire experience for him so he never held back. He knew what living was all about and he taught me to engage in the fun of it all, too. It’s my intention to keep up his legacy of being the “fun coordinator” and I am doing my best! It will get easier once we have weathered the storm of our current global conditions and we can move more freely… til then, I am allowing my creativity to kick in and teaching my kids how to ‘Carpe Diem’ as best I can.
Absolutely in the moment. Deception Pass, WA. 2017
I have said this to myself and to my kids a thousand times since he died. Although he left us way too soon and I am not discounting our deep deep grief, most people don’t have a Dad or a husband like Darcy for even one DAY of their lives. And we got him for so many. We are the luckiest. Our gratitude for that is what helps us move forward with lighter hearts.
So yeah. Summer. How does that word make you feel? Does it make you feel the warmth of the sunshine on your skin? Does it sound like the ocean waves rolling in? Does it conjure up the taste of sweet ice cream dripping from a cone or the smell of the cottage you visited with your grandparents every year? The delightful hesitation as you run through a cold sprinkler on a hot day? Butterflies in your tummy as you dare to go higher on the swing or a nap on the beach? All of these sensory experiences are miracles to be savoured in the moment.
Last one, I promise. She is just so cute.
To let ourselves simply love and enjoy all the things and all the people and all the experiences as they arise without the fear of losing them. This is everything.
Til Next Time,
Heal & Be Healed.