Site Meter


Copyright 2009-2010 by
Mary Brotherton
All Rights Reserved

Inside my Brain

email me

Saturday, July 10, 2004


Tomorrow, I leave my home and drive five miles to be with my sons, my mother, my former in-laws, and hopefully doznes of friends.

I am and am not looking forward to my road trip.

I am Jacob's Gramary. He was stillborn on June 10th and cremated shortly after. We knew his life on earth would be short, as he had been diagnosed with anencephaly, a congenital disease that modern doctors tell expectant parents "is incompatible with life". Harsh words to explain that my first grandson had a "markedly defective development of the brain, together with absence of the bones of the cranial vault and the cerebral and cerebellar hemispheres, and with only a rudimentary brain stem and some traces of basal ganglia present: (According to

Infants with this condition have no life expectancy, and parents are given little hope. Depending upon the time of discovery, which is almost always in the final trimester, mothers are told they must carry this child to term - clinical abortion is seldom an option.

My daughter-in-law gained a large amount of fluid weight, and lost 32 pounds the day of delivery. Jacob's "birth" was induced once they discovered that his heart had stopped beating. His struggle was over.

My emotions have run the gamut in the past month. My son and his wife decided to have a memorial service for Jacob in their current home state of Maryland, and would bury his cremated remains at another time, in another place. I started planning for a very long road trip, with my mother at my side, once I picked her up in South Carolina. I've tried to live life as usual, but I know people have seen my moods change with the wind.

Once Jacob's remains were brought into my son's home, his wife felt uneasy. She feels a compulsion to lay him to rest. She has two other small children who are asking many, many questions, and she is, at this moment in time, unable to answer them all. So, Jacob will be laid to rest near his cousin Andy.

Andy was a little over two years old when his life was snuffed out, tragically. He and his young mother were visiting friends when the husband left for work. Andy ran outside to hug him "goodbye". His mother grabbed him, but his young energy allowed him to pull out of her grip on his shirt. As he did, the friend was backing out of the driveway in a huge truck...Andy's tiny head was crushed.

I find intense irony in the fact that Andy's skull was crushed more than 27 years ago, and now his cousin's son has been born without a skull at all. Special arrangements have been made to accomodate Jacob's remains at the foot of Andy's grave.

I am anxious to go see my family. I long to hold my sons in my own arms and rejoice in their lives. I am eager for a break from Lancade. I am excited to be able to spend time with my family and some close friends. I dread leaving Curtis, even though he will join me one day later. He will return to Lancade and I will remain behind. I look forward to the break in my routine while at the same time, wishing it was all over and a memory to me, instead of something I still have to "do".

Some days, I am weepy; others pensive. I've been poetic, angry, sad, but mostly I have been uncharacteristically quiet - both in my writing and in my words and thoughts. Inside my Brain is quiet...almost too quiet.

I have thoughts that won't complete themselves, jumbles of thoughts, and fragments. I'm numb.