A blue and white dutch plate with an hour and minute hand that has never worked.
We have had it some 5 or 10 years and never so much as wound it or put a battery into its back.
Last night, after we put the snowflakes to bed, I started to tell hubs about how a visit to see my uncle who is battling cancer had reminded me of what a cruel thing cancer is. I told him how it got me to thinking about Peyton and how just royally screwed over she got in this life and that as I was driving home from the visit, I had started to cry. As I was telling this story, an electrical storm rolled in - the kind you get after long hot summer days with loud claps of thunder and bright shocks of lightening - and wouldn't you know it, that little clock on the wall started to tic-tic-tic.
The storm lasted maybe ten minutes, and as it moved out of our area, that little clock went back to a standstill. I couldn't help but to feel that it was somehow a message from Peyton. But of what?
If Peyton could reach me I would like to assume that she would give me a message like "hello" or "I love you," but last night the feeling I had over that little clock was not one of comfort. It made me wonder if that was her message - to let me know that she is angry with me.
If it was, I can't say that I blame her for it.
When I replay the last day of Peyton's life in my mind, it doesn't matter that the doctors told us she had no hope. Nor does it matter that they walked us through, in painfully graphic detail, the way the fungal infection caused by the chemo was going to overrun her body. It doesn't matter that they proposed removing large portions of her face to combat this, a move that would not have cured her, but perhaps bought her some more time living in intense pain.
I am familiar with the above facts, but what do they matter, really?
I was her mother.
I should have found a better way.
A way that didn't involve my five pound little girl struggling for breath as she left this world.
There is no making peace with something like that.
I know, because I have tried.
I am living between two worlds.
As I wash pacifiers and bottles for the little joys that have come into my life, and my mind wanders to all that we couldn't do for their big sister.
Not being able to enjoy treats here or there because where others see a junk food indulgence, I see additives and preservatives and chemicals and poisons, and don't want to take the chance with my kiddos.
When the topic of something cancer causing comes up, and everyone around me plays it off as no big deal and my mind and body go into the mode of hyper-vigilance because I NEED to protect my living children, or when the light hits a sleeping baby in just such a way that the sense of calm that I am feeling is overrun by memories of those final moments with Peyton in my arms.
Each of these things just reinforce the fact that new joys (and yes I feel an incredible amount of joy from the snowflakes) cannot erase old sorrows.
I can not un-learn what I have learned.
I can not un-see what I have seen.
There is no such thing as un-remembering.
People in the witness protection program are forced to assume a new identity. They are told to act as if nothing has happened as a means of remaining safe. To those around them they seem fine. Normal. They blend in no differently then the rest but the truth of the matter is that they are living a sort of half-life - hiding behind a new identity while constantly looking over their shoulder and running from their old one.
As a bereaved mother with two rainbows, this is what I have become.
I am that woman, the new mother of twins, the one with the huge smile on her face as she pushes a stroller into her future, forever checking over my shoulder for the fears from my past.