At first, while we waited for him, because of you I was so scared. Your body was formed to only live inside me, and even when we learned that your baby brother was growing as boringly normal as we had hoped, I was scared.
Because of you I know that even babies can die. I know that life is ever so fragile. I know that everything is not always going to be alright. And sometimes, just like that, things change and you can’t fix anything about them. It can even happen to me.
Because of you I know that life follows its own pattern and logic. Sometimes, beyond love and intentions and visualization and really, really wanting something- life follows its own course, and no amount of affirmations can change it. Not even healing crystals can change the course of life. In the middle of the night this knowledge wakes me up, rattled and scared. The lurking shadows and strange noises of the night, the house settling on its bones, my body readjusting to fear and cold – the world is vast, the world is huge and everything can end and hurt at any time.
Other times, the night is warm. I feel safe, cuddled together in our family bed. The light of the moon shines through the cracks in the blinds, and it brings me you. I feel you. Not as what could have been but never was, but as what you are. What we are: mother and daughter, separated by bodies, we come together in love. Sometimes I feel you so strongly that I forget it’s not enough. Sometimes the love is so powerful that the pain and the loneliness pale in its shadow. In those moments, because of you I can flow with the inevitability of life, trust that babies can also be amazingly tangible, healthy and alive.
It is because of you, also, that I trust life, that I hold on to the hope that things can be alright. Even for me.
Most of all, sweet girl of my heart, because of you we love this baby so.
It is true, our highest hopes and dreams for him were that he be alive. He has by far surpassed our expectations.
He might have asked you, in the realm of pure souls, where the unborn and the dead are pure warmth and love, to prepare him a mom and dad. He might have asked that you teach us to stretch the limits of our patience, that we learn to be more in the moment, to surrender to what is. He might have asked that you teach us, in a way that we would never forget, that life, when it is gentle, when it is ferocious and unfair, is always a gift. How a baby, a tiny new life, is a miracle and a gift for eternity. He might have asked you to make sure we remembered we are blessed, even as we role our eyes when he cries, confused and frazzled, in the middle of the night.
Because of you I held him, my eyes heavy with sleep, my post-partum body exhausted. I held him and rocked him, so vibrantly aware of the privilege that it is to have a tiny baby wailing in the middle of the night. Cuddling, nursing, holding, loving… until he serenely nuzzled against my body and fell asleep, as sweet and warm as I wished you had been.
I think about that sometimes. Really it jumps at me, the thought, the feeling, unexpectedly, it startles me. I get to do with Indigo what I so ached to have done with you. Sometimes he smiles up at me, with a love so unguarded, so pure and huge it becomes a cocoon for both of us. Abruptly, I miss you. I wonder what your face would have looked like at two months, smiling up at me. I wonder what you would have smelled like, if you would have liked your dad’s singing too. Your absence doesn’t hurt me those times. It’s not that stinging pain that leaves me gulping for breath. It’s not. It’s just that I just miss you. I wish there was a place were I could hold you and feel you in my arms. I wish, at least, I got to have that in my dreams.
See if you can visit, ok?