This is hard to share, but important.
In November of 2002, I found out I was pregnant. I was elated – I’d been wanting another baby for some time, and had pretty much realized it wasn’t going to happen, but the appearance of that double pink line changed everything. It was four months before my 25th birthday, two before Dru’s 5th birthday; we were living in Rochester, NY (upstate on the lake). We were all thrilled and excited. I knew immediately she would be a girl. I told everyone; family, friends, co-workers, strangers, everyone.
We named her Caelia Faith.
9 weeks later, I lost her.
This story does end well.
When I lost her, I lost more than just a baby. I lost my hopes and dreams. I lost my faith in my gods and in the universe. I lost touch with my friends, my partner, and my little boy.
I closed my heart. I lost myself.
I spent a year in that place, dark and cold. Alone even when surrounded by loved ones. I pushed us to move away from Rochester before we were financially capable. I desperately needed to get away from that room, that house, that street, that city… those memories. That sense of lost.
We moved, life moved.
We moved to Chicago. I got a job, life moved on. Eventually, my heart-sick eased, faded. I was lonely, so I joined a tarot class. I’ve long loved tarot, and it felt like an easy way to make friends – and it worked. The teacher was a Reclaiming witch, and she drew a bunch of us into the tradition. I wound up being an integral part of the Chicago Reclaiming community. My friendships deepened, my self-work adventure started, and I came out of my shell.
I reopened my heart and deepened my connections.
Then I lost my job.
My job-hunting skills were sadly lacking. Since we’d moved before we were financially able to support such a loss, we were immediately in serious trouble. After several months without work, we began to realize that we were going to lose our apartment. I tried my best, but my best wasn’t enough, and eventually we couldn’t pay our bills anymore. We moved back to Texas, moving in with my then mother-in-law. I lost my friends, my beautiful apartment, the city I loved more than any other. Here we go again.
My partner, my son, two cats, and myself – and enough stuff to fill a two bedroom apartment – moved in to one tiny room in a house with a crazy woman. After only a few months, the crazy woman met an even crazier man. Things got worse – and far more surreal. I was depressed, despondent, bored, unhappy, lonely.
Around this time, Pace entered my life. During our first conversation ever, she said, “I really like you, Kyeli, but your life really sucks.”
My life really sucked.
I protested. I got off the phone immediately. I cried. I hemmed and hollered, whined, complained, and cried some more.
Then I realized Pace was right. My life really sucked.
Time for change!
I started evaluating myself and my life. What sucked? What didn’t? Why? What could I change, what could I work on, what needed to go? What was wrong, what was right? What really mattered – and what didn’t matter at all?
In answering those questions, I turned my life around. I severed some really intense bonds, I gained self-knowledge, I grew and learned and changed. In the past four years, I went from someone full of self-hate and despair to someone I respect, admire, and love.
Sometimes the really, really bad things are secret good things in disguise.
Now, my days are full of love and light. I spend my days surrounded by people I want to spend time with, talking to people I want to talk to. I have several hours a day to spend with my son, nearly all of which is high quality. Pace and I spend several hours a day doing what we love, making the Usual Error Project grow, touching people, blogging, talking, connecting. I have good friends, good connections, and lots of hope and faith and love.
I’m strong. I’m fierce. I’m powerful. My life is awesome.
This is the path that moves me.
This path started the day I lost my baby girl. It’s never been easy, but every step – every single step – has been worth it. Without her sacrifice, I never would have become who I am today. The lessons I’ve learned have been immeasurably important, and the life I’m living honors her memory. Every day.
Thank you, Caelia. I couldn’t have done this without you.