Anyway, when we were still naive, we went looking at tables, and we both fell in love with a great big slab of timber turned into a table, but it was way above budget...we kept dreaming. It was 2.7 metres long, 1.3 metres wide, and had benches down each side. I dreamed about filling the benches with friends and family, having a table full of food to share. I dreamed we would have a dozen kids crowded around, all sharing fairy bread, cocktail franks and chocolate crackles. I dreamed I would sit at the table, with my morning coffee, or cutting vegetables for dinner, with my baby strapped into a bouncy chair up on the table, watching me, talking to me, smiling, sleeping.
Then we didn't need a table anymore. I stopped dreaming.
As April approached, my feelings toward making her room ready changed. Now I know it will never be her room, It will sit and wait until we need to get ready again, if we ever do.
We talked it over, we could put the cash toward paying off loans, we could buy the oven, dishwasher or other electronic appliances that would make life easier for us. It isn't our money though, it's her money. I needed whatever we bought to reflect that. In the end, we decided to buy the table we had dreamed of raising our family around. (Although it's a slightly different table because when I went to buy it, I found out the one we had seen was an import, not WA made. The one we are getting is still enormous, a slab of marri polished and crafted here in Perth, with chairs not benches, but Michael's going to make them for me.)
It will always be with us, wherever we go. It will be part of our daily lives. Every time we sit at that table, every meal we share, it will be a reminder that she was here, and in a weird way, it will be like having her in our lives again. It's not a painting to sit on the wall and be admired, it will acquire marks and scratches over time, as we use it, just as a person acquires scars and reminders of the life they have lived.
As I lay in the bath thinking about the table we had ordered, it struck me that of all the tables we had seen, we bought the only one with curved edges - it's an 'O'. Then, I thought that it might be nice to engrave the centre, or inlay it, with a small 'O', just because I want to make it Olidea's Table.
Last night, Michael got angry at me about that. He doesn't want to 'ruin' the surface. Neither do I, if we do put the 'O' into it, it will be a carpenter who does it properly. . But more importantly, he doesn't want me to mark the table with anything that will tell other people that it's Olidea's Table. I can put the plaque from her coffin underneath the table, where no-one can see, but I can't tell anyone why we have bought a dining suite that costs the same as a second hand car.
He tells me that he doesn't want me to tell people, because he doesn't want to share our daughter.
He told me I can't tell my family, because they would be uncomfortable sitting at a table our dead daughter bought for us.
I can't tell my best friend, because according to him, she would also be too uncomfortable. These people and other friends already know, and it's not a problem for them.
I'm really angry that he tries to project his own opinions onto other people, to manipulate me. He has done it before, and he will do it again. I don't know why he can't just fight fair.
He says his best friend would refuse to sit at the table if he knew. His mum isn't to be told, because she will refuse to sit at the table.
My respone to that is:
According to him, that isn't fair. It might make people uncomfortable. I'm not allowed to make other people uncomfortable, and dead babies make people uncomfortable. If I am asked, I have to say I have no children, I haven't carried a baby in my body, I have not felt the confusion and pain of her body coming out of mine. I haven't washed and dressed my child for a blessing and naming ceremony. I haven't carried my baby's cold body to the path lab for autopsy. I haven't cried as I laid flowers and photos around my baby girl, before screwing down the lid on her coffin. I haven't cried, looking at an empty crib with only her ashes to lie in it.
I am not a mother, because saying I am night make you uncomfortable.