Concrete Heart

I hear him crying in the farthest reaches of my mind. That universal waa, waaa, waaaa of a newborn babe. I fumble for my glasses and glance at the clock, 2:24. I knew I had just collapsed into sleep myself, surely he can’t be hungry so soon.

I stagger to the kitchen and turn on the hot water. I stand in the glow of the opened refrigerator door, looking for one of his bottles. As I find one, tucked in the farthest corner, well behind the gallon of milk, I swipe a slice of cheese from the drawer for my own middle of the night snack.

I munch on the cheese as the bottle warms in a bowl of hot water. His cries have slowed some, I suppose if I waited a bit, he might fall back to sleep. I finish my snack and test the milk, soothing warmth to fill his ever-growing belly.

As I approach his bassinet, he hears me and renews his vocal tirade. I scoop his swaddled self up and snuggle us into the rocking chair. He gulps hungrily at the proffered bottle as he and I settle into a familiar rhythm.

Rock, suck, rock, suck, rock.

In no time at all he’s finished the bottle. A small river of milk flowing down his chin as he drowsily yawns and peers up at me from his blanketed cocoon. I hold him close, inhaling the intoxicating newborn smell. My heart overflows with motherly adoration, at this wonder of creation nestled in my arms.

My love is palpable, a pleasant ache that wraps us both in its tender embrace. I know I should put him back in his bassinet, but I continue to relish this quiet minute and before I know it, I’ve joined him in pleasant dreams.

I wake with a start, peering through the darkness, fumbling for my glasses as I ascertain what time it is, 2:24. I look down at my empty arms and realize it was nothing more than a dream, a whisper of what once was. The tender ache of newborn love has been replaced with the raw pain of everlasting sorrow.

The heaviness in my heart threatens to consume me, to anchor me down to this very spot and never let me go. I weep until I think I can’t possibly find any more tears to shed.  Each tear adds to the weight of my grief until my heart is cast in stone, an unbearable burden to carry.

I struggle to reclaim my dream, I close my eyes and wait for sleep. Rocking gently, my arms empty save for the weight my concrete heart.

This post inspired by the prompt “Concrete” by Studio 30+.

Critiques are always welcome.

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Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , | 26 Comments

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26 thoughts on “Concrete Heart

  1. It’s so heartbreaking. there are no words..
    And yet time and time again, you find words and you share them… and they tear into my soul. You’re an amazing woman.

  2. I’m praying that your everlasting burden (somehow!) gets lighter as time goes on…

  3. jas h.

    love, love and more love…

  4. Sairah

    (((hugs)))
    -Sairah

  5. beautiful and bravely written

    wisdom,grace and strength
    Rene

  6. beautiful writing Amy. Thank you for continuing to share.

  7. Patty

    Wishing this wasn’t a story you had first-hand knowledge of. Continue to keep you in prayer that somehow you would find some ease from the pain.

  8. I am choking back tears as I try to write this. I pray for your comfort and that of your family’s.

  9. You made me cry. Doesn’t happen often. Not supposed to, but then I suppose I’m not alone. Your pain is a gift to the rest of us. I don’t know how this works, but it does. You might ask Jesus. I think he knows. I do know our combined tears float us all a little higher in spite of our concrete hearts.

  10. Amy – your strength and resilience and way with words – leaves me speechless. Mitch has been very sick this week and we have been in and out of the hospital for the past few days. Each stress of his UCD, each time he coughs or is sick, each hospital visit…..a small piece of my heart is chipped away. I thought of you many times over the past few days – not knowing how you did what you did for so many months. I pray for you every day – I cannot imagine the pain. No mother should have to feel that pain – EVER. We are hosting a fundraising dinner on Friday evening and we are going to be honoring David’s memory throughout the evening.

    All our prayers and love are with you.

    Amy

  11. Tonya

    Amy, I’m so sorry your heart is hurting so. (hug/squeeze) The closest I can relate to ur pain is 2 miscarriages, set of twins@ 4 mo.’s, followed by another single, then nearly losing/reviving our dear baby Isaiah. I recently read an inspiring true story “Heaven is for Real”. It’s about a little boy that visited heaven during an operation, & returned to his body telling his parents of his journey. It is comforting to me & if you get the chance to read it, you won’t be sorry. 😉 I love you sweetie!

  12. Your descriptions were painted beautifully and took me back to the exhausted days of having a newborn.
    And then.
    Heartache.
    So real.
    I’m holding you in my thoughts.

  13. sharon

    Hauntingly beautiful Amy. The loss of David may have shattered your heart but what eloquence pours from the shards, the recording of a Mother’s never-ending love.

    xoxox

  14. One of my favorite posts you’ve written, by far.

  15. Love. You. This was so beautiful.

  16. This is so very touching. I wish it weren’t.

  17. Wow. I hope you realize how unimaginably brave you are for pouring your heart out like this. You are an inspiration, truly.

  18. idiosyncraticeye

    Loss is the most painful thing. Thank you for being brave and strong enough to share yours with us all. 🙂

  19. This is a beautiful post. You are so brave to open your heart and life up to the world like you so. Thank you.

  20. GirlatRockShow

    This was tough to read. Thank you for sharing it with us. It was beautiful and heartbreaking. ((((HUGS)))).

  21. beautiful post. i have nothing more to add.

  22. This is so beautiful. And heartbreaking.

  23. Simply amazing. Breathtakingly beautiful and heartbreakingly sad.

  24. This is my first time here and I do not know your story but the pain is so evident through your words. I can’t even imagine.
    Warm hugs.

  25. So beautiful. Thank you for sharing that. I can’t even imagine.

  26. Oh hon. My heart breaks for you. I wish I lived closer so I could wrap you up in a hug and bring you chocolate.

    Your posts are so full. They’re beautifully and powerfully written. Each word is a hammer, a nail or, sometimes, a piece of silk. They reach me, someone you’ve never met, sitting far away, in a house you’ve never seen, and impact me in ways you’ll never imagine.

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