Daughter of my youth
children swirling around your legs
you are The One
I bore through the death of another child.
Wow! I said it and I know what a burden it is for you and how it affects our family’s life and yet I cannot seem to do anything about it. It happened. I was pregnant and my four year old died and it felt like I did not see anything for five to ten years. Somewhere in that decade, you jumped in front of my face asking me to really look at you and I did. “Be spontaneous” you said and I began to learn how to be alive all over again.
One of your daughters asked me recently, how long have you been a grandmother, Nana? Hard to believe all those years have flown by and I have loved you with a wing and a prayer since before you were born. Her birthday is coming next month and I will be a mother for forty-five years. What work has been wrought in my life due to that event.
Do I hold you extra tight? I know that I do. I remember when I was birthing her and I was told she would die right after birth “well, I just will not have this baby; you cannot take it from my body.” But, they did. Wrested away in the middle of the night, I was left bereft in a “ward-style” hospital room where all the other mothers received their babies at feeding time and mine never came. I would look up and hear them cry and try to determine by sheer will that she would come into my arms and feed from my breast. She never did. I knew you were coming. I knew you would help me. I do not think children are supposed to help their parents want to live again. You did that for me.
When I write: “you are my favorite;” I mean you are the one who drew me out and caused me to love again. With your sister, the middle child, I had such a close contact emotionally and spiritually, it was as if I could never let anyone else into that cocoon. You ripped it right open saying to me time and time again: “you need me” and I did and I do.
Your big brown eyes shine like the light found in your 19 month old baby and I am amazed with the original copy of you planted among three others. What a responsibility as I enter retirement. I would not have it any other way.
The secret to living is loving. Love means I do not get to give up. It means when I am called by the voice of a child or someone acting in a child-like fashion, I come out to play.
Life is richer, fuller than my wildest imagination could predict.
I am so glad you loved me and kept on until I could see you, hold just you and cherish the person you are until I left the walls of the cave with red paintings on the wall and ventured out to greet the world, once more. Love is the essence of living. It cannot be denied. It cannot be explained and most of the time, it cannot be understood. Love is–in the present moment. I receive hugs today, I hear your voice during this hour and I see your pain when life has become too burdensome and then you right the ship of your life. I pray I may have many years to be the watch person you need as you live out your days of loving kindness.