Yesterday was our monthly trip to Saint Andrews Bay for an all day sampling trip on the pontoon boat, the first one I've been on since I came back to work. It was sunny but still cold. I was looking forward to being on the boat again but I was dreading seeing the people that had last seen me in November, when I was still pregnant with you. I didn't know if the people we meet out there knew that you were gone and I couldn't bring myself to ask. I guess my coworker must have told them because the woman told me she was sorry to hear about the baby. I was grateful that she said something, most people have pretended nothing happened.
I cried when the boat got out on the water. It was so beautiful, the sun was sparkling on the water and the wind was ruffling the surface. The wind was cold, but scented with spring and all the promise of new life. But something was missing and it ruined the whole day. You loved riding on the boat, at least I always thought so because you always moved a lot when I rode on a boat. When we came out of the channel and picked up speed we went straight through a large flock of cormorants. They flew into the air and seemed to hover for a minute, following along with the boat so that they stayed just ahead of it. I thought of you while tears streamed down my face and the wind blew them from my cheeks to blend with the salt spray.
I thought about my beliefs and that part of you, the energy that made you unique in the world, might be there with me right at that moment. I thought again of how like a cold spring wind my grief is. It blows up out of nowhere on a beautiful sunny day and knocks me flat into a cold and muddy puddle. Some days it's not hard to stand up and brush off the mud, other days it's all I can do to keep my head above the black sucking mud and keep breathing. I wondered if you would be angry at me for being so sad when faced with such beauty. But you aren't here, so it can't be beautiful.
I realized after an hour or so that the day was so hard because this was the last thing I remember enjoying. The last time I did this trip was shortly before you died and that too was a beautiful day. It was warmer then and I was happy. The contrast was stark. Yesterday there was no squirming to laugh about, no need to brace for the bouncing when we hit a wave, no worry about getting too cold or getting sea sick. No late morning sickness to keep me from eating. Just me, all alone, huddled in my jacket so that no one could see me sobbing for my lost child. I wanted to go home, and I wanted you. It was such a beautiful day, but you weren't there to see it.