Wednesday, November 25, 2009


The thing about a good mommickin' is that it's always followed by scavenging. Decks without houses and houses without decks and other parts litter the beach waiting for someone in need . The someones in need gather the parts and, through the sweat of their exhausted yet good-humored brows, wrestle them back into shape.

In the Outer Banks town where I lived for a few years after college, it wasn't unusual to see entire homes composed of storm-washed, found materials—monuments to the durability and versatility of pressure-treated 4 x 4's. These homes (the year-round variety) were squatty and homely, built and re-built for survival rather than for looks.

I spent last weekend in another of my favorite coastal towns with a group of babylost mothers - Angie, Sarah, m, Lani, Tash, Niobe, Julia, Molly, and Laura. It's difficult to wrap my brain around this experience. I met 9 amazing women whom I likely never would have met if my daughter and their children had survived. We ate and knitted and talked and laughed...a lot. The weekend was rejuvenating and transformative but I can't possibly be happy about something like this, can I?

Maybe it's enough to marvel at the terrible beauty of randomness and be thankful that I've washed up on such a welcoming shore.

I remember watching a newscaster bobbing along Bogue Sound in a skiff immediately following Hurricane Ophelia. He gestured to the twisted, malformed houses in the background and spoke of destruction and damage. To me, and anyone else who had lived on the island for any amount of time, the houses looked the same as ever, beautiful in their randomness.

A trailer with a rooftop deck may not look like much to a dit-dotter from off but if you climb on up those rickety stairs you can probably see forever.


  1. I think that is wonderful that you got together with some other moms. I'm happy it was rejuvenating and transformative for you. xo

  2. I love the word mommickin'.
    It really does describe how it feels. It sounds right too somehow?
    Glad you had a good weekend. Would love to have been there too. xo

  3. I've mostly given up thinking about what would've been if they survived. They didn't. It sucks. I've concluded it will always suck. But in this reality I let myself draw comfort and joy in the company of the ones I've met because they didn't survive. I'd rather we met some other way. But in the horrible reality of living without my son, I find great comfort with the ones who know.

    I was just telling my husband today about the black humor session we had Saturday afternoon. He too laughed until he couldn't breathe. And then I told him how the coda on that session was how nobody else laughs at this stuff. And he knew exactly what I was saying too.

    It was so nice to meet you. I am really not just talking about the soup, I promise. :) And yes, I am still incredibly impressed with your knitting gang and the tangible progress you all made through the weekend.