Not Again

Los Angeles.

I had always thought that perhaps going to Los Angeles as like a pilgrimage on the wavelength of a trip to Mecca.  Except in my case I wouldn’t be praying to Allah, I would be looking to have my holy moment at the shrine of Rick Springfield.  I could make a whole day out of going to important sites from Rick Springfield’s history, perhaps culminating in a meeting with the man himself.  These days that last part was certainly in the realm of possible, and of course I would never dream of telling Rick about the geekiness that I would have thought of doing beforehand (although he did find it endearing when I confessed in an email sent to him on his birthday last year that I had always made him a birthday cake in late August as a kid).

But my star studded dreams of fandom were not in play on this trip to Los Angeles this year.  We were staying in Santa Monica to attend R’s cousin’s wedding.

R had seventeen first cousins, but we lived near only a few.  They ranged in age both years above and below his mid thirties. Fifteen of them were from his father’s side of the family; his father was a Croatian immigrant who had five siblings and a mother who didn’t speak any English.  R’s mother was a different story.  She had just one sibling, a sister, and her parents were good old Southern stock.  His mother had grown up in Washington DC, but her upbringing had been peppered with the Louisville, Kentucky background of her mother.  R had only two first cousins on his maternal side.

One of those cousins, Carey, had been married several years ago.  I’d actually been pregnant during her beautiful, upstate New York wedding, but didn’t know yet.  This time it was her brother, Peter, getting married, in a snazzy Los Angeles affair. I was newly pregnant for this wedding as well, which led to lots of jokes about how we were very glad there was no third brother or sister.

Everything so far had been lovely; a gorgeous rehearsal dinner outside with heat lamps keeping us all toasty warm; a babysitter to keep Melinda busy while we went to the church service; a lovely walk around the Santa Monica area the day after with a visit with my uncle and aunt, who had driven up from their home half way to San Diego.  We entertained them in our lovely art deco room at our hotel, and everything just seemed right in the world.  We could afford to fly to Los Angeles, we could celebrate a happy family moment, our children were well behaved and well liked.  Other than my constant tiredness and nausea, I felt a certain “this is the life I was meant to live” peace.

Except.

The tell tale stains that kept showing up every time I went to the bathroom.  The ones that looked like brown, old blood.  The ones that looked exactly like the ones I remembered from two years ago.   The ones that preceded my doctor informing me that my baby was dead in my womb.

Suddenly, I couldn’t wait to leave the warm, dry beaches of SoCal and find someone, anyone, to put some cold gel on my belly and tell me everything would be OK.

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