I found out that Abby’s twin had died when I was 15 weeks along- in a mall. A mall. My mother, sisters and I had gone to an ultrasound place that only determines gender and would tell me a full month sooner what the sexes of the babies I was carrying were. The poor Ukrainian obstetrician didn’t have to deliver the news, it was plain to see. I wandered out of the mall, holding in the tears until I could collapse in the backseat of my mother’s car to scream and cry.
After a while I calmed down some and with my chest still hiccuping from overexertion, I watched as my sisters came out to the car, laughing as they carried their purchases. I could not imagine how such happiness could exist in the same proximity of the pain I was feeling. How could they be happy? How could their world still be turning the right way on its axis? Soul fully rung out, I put on a brave face for when they joined me in the car.
Last night my world kept turning even through the news in the background showed people whose pain I cannot imagine. In an effort to keep my mind off of the tragedies that continue to unfold, I did silly things on Facebook and preoccupied myself with the mundane. I became the person on the outside. The person whose world should not be turning, who should not be laughing and talking about anything else than the horrors of the tornado in Oklahoma.
My sisters jumped in the car and carefully asked how I was doing and each hugged me. Then they handed me the bags they were carrying, each containing the cutest little girl gifts you’ve ever seen. Our surviving twin. Our only girl. In the space of time that I needed to be by myself, my sisters were handling things the way we all do- by doing what we can to lift up the people in their pain. They knew they couldn’t take the pain I was feeling from me, but they could empathize and try to cheer.
The same goes for us today, though the pain is on a level I think few can understand. I know I surly don’t. I spent the morning curled up watching the latest reports, before it became too much. Adding my grief to theirs doesn’t necessarily help them, especially if I didn’t do anything besides cry. It wasn’t until I remembered that feeling- of seeing a world that continued to spin when I felt in my heart that it should just stop-that I realized that the world will still go on. We’ll remember this tragedy by the city name, the date, or maybe even just ‘the tornado.’ But I could do something now. I could provide some bit of help and support and even cheer in this time of pain.
I donated to the Red Cross. If you think they don’t provide cheer along with the necessities, you’re wrong. I had the opportunity to serve alongside the Red Cross after Sandy hit. They are an amazing organization that provides food, shelter, clothes, cleaning implements with their disaster relief, along with provide warm smiles and a shoulder to cry on. I watched as a Red Cross worker hugged an elderly resident who had lost everything she owned in a storm surge. She hugged this lady for a long time, then took her to get a warm dinner. I watched as she sat and talked to the lady, holding her hand some, as they ate.
It’s an amazing organization. We can’t all be everywhere when disaster hits. Our worlds to move on. But we can help those that are there to do more. To be more places. Please consider donating to the Red Cross. It’s super easy. All you have to do is text REDCROSS to 90999. This will add $10 to your phone bill, and extra relief for people who are going through more than we can understand.
Thank you in advance.
2 thoughts on “For when the world stops turning”
Lexi, you inspire me to do and be better. Thank you.
I so relate to how someone’s world can keep turning, when yours has stopped? How joy can exist among such loss and pain. About a month after Madeline died, I heard a priest say that one way to help your pain is to help others in need. I then went and helped load household goods for people coming to the U.S. with nothing. Did it help? I don’t know. But doing something, feels better than nothing and ultimately you feel your world begin to turn ever so slightly. Thank you for urging others to give. I have heaps of clothes that I have bagged that the boys outgrew in very good condition. It will feel good to know they are going to good use