April 12, 2011

April: deathdays, birthdays - Nesdoly

An April cake for my eight-year-old. © V. Nesdoly
April 14, 2011

Spring. Pink blossoms
pile in boulevard drifts
float in rain rivers along gutters.
In the kitchen a cake
decorated with pastel eggs
and twenty-eight candles...
If, that April, twenty-nine years ago
I had been able to stop the cramps
the doctor to staunch the bleeding
the Doptone to hear
from its cold spot
on my burgeoning belly
a flutter of life
I wouldn't have sobbed
through Easter empty-wombed
but we also wouldn't be lighting
these candles today.

© 2011 by V. Nesdoly


April is a month of many family birthdays. Dad and Mom were born in April. So were four nieces, a sister-in-law, and my daughter.

I was thinking of my daughter's birthday (which is on the 14th) and remembering her actual birth day the other day. Then, for some reason, my thoughts went back even farther to the year before that when I was in hospital having a miscarriage in April. Pondering the juxtaposition of these two events made me see in a new way how painful and joyful things in our lives often dovetail. It's a bit like Good Friday and Easter.

On the road ahead may you find your deathdays also morph into birthdays as you experience the implications of Christendom's saddest event that changed into its most joyous victory.


  1. Violet:
    Whether its a gain or loss, in the routine of life emotions do not come easily or simply for me.
    But your poem touched me--the simplicity in which the story was told and the pathos it evoked.
    An fresh introduction to Easter, comparing the parallels in our own lives.

  2. I am also touched by this post. We have had life/death events recently and are so glad for the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

  3. It brought to mind the saying that love and hate are the most closely related emotions... or how 'genius' is just a step away from 'idiot'. it seems this paradox is everywhere, including your life and death comparisons. Like the pain of childbirth that brings unspeakable joy, so it is that death will usher those of us that believe into everlasting life ...So much to ponder with this post. Thanks Violet!

  4. "...painful and joyful things in our lives often dovetail. It's a bit like Good Friday and Easter."

    Well said, Violet! I need to train myself to also remember the joyful things instead of always dwelling on the Good Friday things.

    I also had miscarriages, and I understand some of your memories. One thing that I'm grateful for is that the miscarriages confirmed in my mind that we have the children God wanted us to have. When I have problems with a certain child, I remember that God has entrusted that particular child to me, and He must have a good reason for it.
    Pam M.


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