There is a painting above my fireplace. I painted it when I was pregnant with Nik. The urge to paint it was overwhelming and I couldn’t function until it was all out of me, and on the canvas. When I was done, it was as though a part of my soul was sitting outside my body.
A few days ago, Anjali looked at it, and then at me, and then back at the painting, and finally, with real frustration in her voice, asked: “What IS that, mom? What does it mean?”
And that opened up in me a flood of emotions and memories. In my mind, I was painting it again, and then when I was done, standing back and looking at it, and realizing what I had done, and how much of what I had gone through to get to that point in my life, that miraculous point in my existence where I had a living, kicking, healthy baby in me that was going to stay, and be born… how much of all that was in that painting.
And then I looked at the beautiful boy who was sitting there at the kitchen counter, eating his cereal, looking at me, waiting for me to answer his sister.
And I started crying. Large gulping sobs tore out of me, frightening them. I saw them look at each other and I knew I had to say something.
So I said: “I painted that when Nik was in my tummy. It is a picture of all the darkness and sadness that was my life before Nik, and it has the babies that I lost, and it shows how I felt that God was giving me another chance and finally trusting me with Nik. And giving me a vision of what his power is, tearing through all that darkness. And that, at the center, is Nik. But I didn’t know that was what I was painting until I was done.”
Anjali nodded, and looked at it again. And Nik looked at me and said: “You lost babies?”
So I told them. I told them that they had a sister and a brother that died before they were born. And Nik looked at me with so much empathy in his eyes, that I was crying again.
And he said, “I think they are with God.”
And then: “They are with God. I know it.”
Now I know it too.