Surviving Octobers, and Other Streams of Consciousness

Talk amongst yourselves.
User avatar
stupid happy
Posts: 2818
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2003 6:57 pm
Location: atlanta

Surviving Octobers, and Other Streams of Consciousness

Post by stupid happy » Fri Oct 10, 2008 3:41 pm

hiya, EC peeps.

an explainer about what you're about to read: i wrote this several years ago (as you will see), following a really turmoil-filled time in my life. this weekend is the anniversary of much of it, and to commemorate, i send out an e-mail with the below thing i wrote to my friends, partly as a "thank-you" for their helping me get through an unimaginably difficult time, and partly because the main event that i described deserves a memory. i am the only person on this earth who would remember what happened back in 2001, so it's my responsibility, every year, to make sure a little person named David is not forgotten.

i hope you don't mind indulging me, here. but people sometimes are critical of my distaste for recent EC music. part of my opinion is due to the fact that i *truly* find much of what the band puts out these days sub-par...but there's also this reason: Everclear's music played a small role in my life during a few years of great tumult, and like many others of you, Art's music really pulled me out of some dark days. below, i pay tribute -- as i do every year on this day -- to not only the memory of my stillborn son, but also to what Art's music has meant to me in the past...something i will always have such gratitude for.

warning: it's long. and you might want a hanky handy. but just so you know, i can read this now and not be sad. i hope you won't be either.

just try to be grateful for what you have in life. everything is very precious -- even the rough stuff.

-- peace.


***

today's a rainy wednesday. oct. 8th, 2003. i woke up feeling compelled to write about history -- my history of octobers past.

one year ago today, i saw everclear for the first time, at emory univ., which was a really great time for me. i was stupid, like a little kid excited about the magic of christmas, or something. after the show, i flew to nyc while [my ex-husband's name here, deleted] was in the middle of an alcoholic blackout, unaware of where the girls were (or so he told me). and it wasn't to be his last blackout, either. he went to florida last halloween with his buddy [name removed], and according to [name removed], spent the entire weekend in a blackout. the day he came back from florida, i remember noticing that [my ex's] hands were shaking a little -- i didn't know why...but i knew why.

anyway, back to my history. a year ago tomorrow, i won a lot of money on a game show. as i exited the "who wants to be a millionaire?" stage, i remember thinking, "i just won a way out of my marriage." what a sad thought to have had, in retrospect. fucking awful. i don't think i felt sad back then, though. i felt relief, more than anything.

i believe that who i am today is a conglomeration of things that have happened before this minute; that said, while everything i've mentioned to this point was incredibly significant in the story of my life, none of these events are what i want to really write about today.

two years ago this friday was...i don't know -- if a word exists to properly describe that day, it doesn't immediately come to mind, but i will try to remember things as accurately as i can.

i don’t have a ton of recollection of oct. 10, 2001, that much i’m sure of. i think i screamed when i was told that there was no longer a heartbeat – but i’m not positive that that's a real memory, or if i think this because [my ex] told me i did. i had to wait a day to be checked into the hospital (the 11th) and have my labor induced.

he was born at 2:35 a.m. on the 12th of october. despite every drug known to man pumping through my system in an effort to help me forget the experience, i remember everything about this time – go figure. so much for knock-you-silly drugs. i was alone in the room. my water broke, and thirty seconds later, he came out. i had buzzed the nurse in those 30 seconds, but the baby came before she could run into that pitch-black, dark room with no window and put even more drugs into my i.v.

i never even touched him. never saw his face. never held him.

a couple of weeks later, i had a check-up appointment with my midwife (a woman with dreadlocks named, appropriately, jewell, who worked for [my ob/gyn's practice]), and i was still in really rough shape, emotionally. jewell sat down, held my hand and started telling me the story, from her end: when the nurse came running into my room with the hypodermic needle filled with the liquid that eventually did put me into unconsciousness, jewell came in right behind her and they began their tasks. cutting the umbilical cord. delivering the placenta (she told me i woke up several times during this and kept saying, "are you getting all of the placenta? is everything okay?"). cleaning me up. she weighed the baby, measured him, all that. cleaned him up, too. she said that it's hospital procedure to do the footprints, fingerprints and take a photo, even in the event of a "fetal demise" (such a funny term). she said it was about 4:30-5 a.m. by the time she and the nurse had finished all their chores, and jewell was waiting for someone to come and take the baby to the crematorium. she found an empty room with a rocking chair. she said she sat there with him, and that he was so beautiful. perfect. beautiful little lips, perfectly-shaped head, pretty little hands and toes. little bitty red fuzz for hair. she said he looked like he was made of fine china and that he looked like he was just sleeping. she said she didn't know how long she was in that room with the rocking chair – thirty minutes to an hour, she guessed. she rocked with him in her arms and sang to him, and talked to him about me, about his sisters, about how much he was loved. she told me she prayed over him and asked god to take care of me. she assured me that at no time was he alone. he had been cared for -- she made sure of that.

it was at this point that jewell said, "you know, we prepare a birth package for all parents, even for the ones whose babies don't survive. would you like to have yours?" i said no, i didn't really want anything like that. i didn't think i could bear it. i did ask what the package consisted of, and she said it had a copy of his footprints, and photos she took of him in a preemie cap and t-shirt, and mock-birth certificate, and a few other keepsakes. jewell said she understood if i didn't want all that, but if i changed my mind, i should let her know.

for days after that check-up, the story of the birth package stuck with me something fierce. as i worked through my grief, i kept thinking about it. two weeks or so later, i called her and told her i'd changed my mind, and asked if [my ex] could come by to pick up the package. she said of course. when [my ex] came home and handed the purple box to me, i didn't want to look inside...i was just glad to have it in my possession. it belonged to me. it's probably silly, but the thought of that box being anywhere but with me was completely unacceptable.

one day, i don't know how much later after the fact (maybe a few more weeks?), i was alone in the house on a sunday afternoon, cleaning up the den and kitchen while listening to an everclear cd i bought earlier that year but never opened (the first time i ever heard "songs from an american movie, Vol. I: learning how to smile"). i ran across the purple box while i cleaned. i held the package for a long time as i sat on the floor, listening to the music. i contemplated its contents, not really sure where i should “putâ€
Stupid happy with everything....
* * * * * *
Yeah, I'm a crack-smoking board cougar nun. You got a problem with that?

Don't taze me, bro! Don't taze me! OOOOOOOOWWWW! OOOOOOOOOWWWW!

User avatar
ekeown
Site Admin
Posts: 2000
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2003 12:39 am
Location: Tejas
Contact:

Post by ekeown » Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:42 pm

Wow, I literally have tears running down my face, I couldn't tell you the last time I cried. I know I my eyes watered when Avery was born, but this is crying. I'm so sorry for your loss, and your pain. I'm sure your story effects me so much more because of the recent arrival of Avery.

I never mentioned this to anyone, it was just so scary yet comes nowhere near the hurt you've experienced; Avery came out completely blue, not breathing, with the cord wrapped around her neck, and pinned between her arm and the birthing canal, further cutting off her oxygen supply. My wife could see her, I just stood there repeating "breathe, breathe" in my head while I tried to remain calm so my wife wouldn't know anything was wrong. I couldn't bare to worry her at that moment. They quickly showed her Avery and rushed her off to get her breathing. Avery began to breathe and cry with out any resuscitation as they put her on the warming bed. We were very lucky.

Thank you, so much for sharing. I'm sure it was unbelievable hard to do...
Eric
Hungry & Hollow
http://www.hungryandhollow.com

User avatar
sunflower
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2004 5:44 pm
Location: Jacksonville
Contact:

Post by sunflower » Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:35 pm

i am sitting here balling my eyes out right now wishing i could run to atlanta and give you the biggest hug.

god you have lived through any mom's worst nightmare and are still an amazing, warm, caring person.
little david is up there somewhere thinking about how cool his mom is.
Image

Focus Driving Rocker Mom!

User avatar
Silver Ginger
Posts: 1607
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 3:16 pm
Location: England

Post by Silver Ginger » Sun Oct 12, 2008 3:51 pm

SH, I won't insult you by even trying to imagine the pain and heartache you went through and no doubt , at times, still do, but truly I am so sorry for your loss.
I f**king love this band.
And anyone that doesn't is, quite frankly, a c*nt. - Ginger / The Wildhearts

User avatar
stupid happy
Posts: 2818
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2003 6:57 pm
Location: atlanta

Post by stupid happy » Sun Oct 12, 2008 4:21 pm

thanks, you guys. today isn't the easiest day of the year, that's for sure.... but time goes a long, long way, where healing is concerned. i do appreciate your thoughts, tho. there's something so lovely about the kindness of strangers....

and eric, bless your heart -- what a scary few moments that must've been. i am SO glad that all turned out well...how is Miss Avery doing, anyway?
Stupid happy with everything....
* * * * * *
Yeah, I'm a crack-smoking board cougar nun. You got a problem with that?

Don't taze me, bro! Don't taze me! OOOOOOOOWWWW! OOOOOOOOOWWWW!

JuanCarlosVejar
Posts: 387
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:33 am

Really Touching

Post by JuanCarlosVejar » Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:53 pm

is really nice that art´s music can do that to you
and i can really relate to that because I feel that his music touches my spirit and just shines even in the darkest times of my life.

even though i don´t know you
i feel that a love you
and that i love your son
I´m amazed by the fact that you are still a gentle person ofter under going that experience .

May God bless you
and I am very greatfull to know that there are still kind people on this earth

User avatar
EverclearGTFABA
Posts: 1031
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2003 8:39 pm
Location: Upstate New York
Contact:

Post by EverclearGTFABA » Tue Oct 14, 2008 12:28 pm

sunflower wrote: god you have lived through any mom's worst nightmare and are still an amazing, warm, caring person.
Couldn't have said it better.....

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

User avatar
ndfan1993
Posts: 1000
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 2:50 am
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Post by ndfan1993 » Tue Oct 14, 2008 5:32 pm

We love you SH!

User avatar
stupid happy
Posts: 2818
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2003 6:57 pm
Location: atlanta

Post by stupid happy » Thu Oct 16, 2008 3:25 pm

<<<hug>>>

y'all are all so sweet. thanks for your words of encouragement...they mean a great deal. truly.
Stupid happy with everything....
* * * * * *
Yeah, I'm a crack-smoking board cougar nun. You got a problem with that?

Don't taze me, bro! Don't taze me! OOOOOOOOWWWW! OOOOOOOOOWWWW!

User avatar
TheGoodWitchoftheNorth
Site Contributor
Posts: 3989
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2003 3:01 pm
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Post by TheGoodWitchoftheNorth » Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:34 pm

That was beautiful and yet very touching. It's amazing how strong of a person you turned out to be, and yet I barely know you. I love you so much, SH!
~Elizabeth

"The goal of the emerging scholar is to write books, sell millions, and change the paradigms of the world." ~ Dr. C.D. Oliver on the first day of RELST 251 Fall 2007

User avatar
stupid happy
Posts: 2818
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2003 6:57 pm
Location: atlanta

Post by stupid happy » Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:55 am

thanks, love. :)
Stupid happy with everything....
* * * * * *
Yeah, I'm a crack-smoking board cougar nun. You got a problem with that?

Don't taze me, bro! Don't taze me! OOOOOOOOWWWW! OOOOOOOOOWWWW!

User avatar
Mr Vaughan
Posts: 868
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2003 5:11 am
Location: 123 Fake Street
Contact:

Post by Mr Vaughan » Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:03 am

Blimey, that was heart-breaking. My childlike inability to confront anything remotely serious will no doubt make this sound entirely perfunctory, but I’m genuinely sorry for your loss and glad that, as hard and painful as it must have been, you’ve been able to deal with it in such a healthy way.
However, if you ever needed validation of your all-round spiffiness, I’d rank you somewhere between Bertie Wooster and Ivar The Boneless in a list of semi-mythical people I’d like to hang out with.

Anyway, Learning How To Smile is also a fairly evocative album for me too, although for quite the opposite reason, I guess. I’m willing to forgive its pish production and defend the flaws because it reminds me of all the fun I had in the first year at university. However, I’ve never been able to personally identify with a lot of the lyrics and my enjoyment of Everclear has always been fairly superficial. Consequently, I’ve always dismissed Annabella’s Song as being fairly maudlin and self-indulgent, but it’s great to know that capable of inspiring something as moving as the above. I’ve just listened to it again and, although I’ll never be able to relate to it on anywhere near the same level as you, it was nice to be able to appreciate it from a slightly different perspective.

Pip pip

Duncan
Mr Vaughan has spoken

User avatar
stupid happy
Posts: 2818
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2003 6:57 pm
Location: atlanta

Post by stupid happy » Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:10 pm

oh, duncan...you know i miss and love you, above all others. thanks for your kind words -- although ME, being mentioned in the same breath as BERTIE WOOSTER, is quite over-the-top, even for you! ;) (frankly, hanging with Dr. House wouldn't suck -- plenty of vicodin to swallow, anyway....)

i'll always be the Miss Jones to your Mr. Rigsby, love. 8)
Stupid happy with everything....
* * * * * *
Yeah, I'm a crack-smoking board cougar nun. You got a problem with that?

Don't taze me, bro! Don't taze me! OOOOOOOOWWWW! OOOOOOOOOWWWW!

User avatar
Mr Vaughan
Posts: 868
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2003 5:11 am
Location: 123 Fake Street
Contact:

Post by Mr Vaughan » Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:02 am

Well, it was a bit over the top, but I'd definitely put you on par with a Tuppy Glossop or a Gussie Fink-Nottle. If the Stupid Happy package came with a problem-soliving, hangover-cure-dispensing gentlemen's gentleman then I'd be tempted to bump you up the rankings, but, as it stands, more rummy capers are required of you before I could seriously consider an promotions.
Mr Vaughan has spoken

User avatar
stupid happy
Posts: 2818
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2003 6:57 pm
Location: atlanta

Post by stupid happy » Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:29 am

Mr Vaughan wrote:Well, it was a bit over the top, but I'd definitely put you on par with a Tuppy Glossop or a Gussie Fink-Nottle. If the Stupid Happy package came with a problem-soliving, hangover-cure-dispensing gentlemen's gentleman then I'd be tempted to bump you up the rankings, but, as it stands, more rummy capers are required of you before I could seriously consider an promotions.
entirely understandable! :wink:
Stupid happy with everything....
* * * * * *
Yeah, I'm a crack-smoking board cougar nun. You got a problem with that?

Don't taze me, bro! Don't taze me! OOOOOOOOWWWW! OOOOOOOOOWWWW!

Post Reply