Saturday, February 26, 2011

Unsung Lullabies

Dearest Vivian,

You're haunting me again. It's a thought that makes me laugh and cry. Perhaps if I had kept you inside of me, perhaps if I had been strong enough, you would doing the same thing. You'd be about two months old now, I think. You would just be getting the hang of living, and I--I would still be so amazed at the fact that you existed.

Do you haunt your father? He haunts me top, although perhaps in a more tangible way than you. He has a hard time admitting out loud that you were ever here at all. You mustn't blame him, my darling one. I've ceased doing so. I think the thought of what we almost had and almost were hurts him so deeply he can't face it. He can't be strong enough, so you and I must do that for him.

Or perhaps I will do that for the both of you. I'm just fine doing that.

I would have been such a wonderful mother. I would never have let you see the things that we went without. I would never have put anyone or anything else before you. You would have been the most brilliant thing that had ever been mine.

Although, of course, that ownership would have been so bittersweetly temporary. Before I was ready, I would have had to surrender you to the universe. I would have only been caretaker and guardian to the most wonderful girl in the whole world.

It happened before you were born anyway, the surrendering. Although there was less surrendering and more of you being ripped away from me.

It's three thirty in the morning. It's nights like these, weeks like these, that I miss you the most. I'm listening to Ray LaMontagne, one of those gravelly voices with the guitar that I listen to when I hurt so badly. These are the lullabies I would have loved to sing to you. These are the things I would have whispered to you in the stillness of the night.

I think everyone thinks I need to let you go. But letting you go, turning my back on you... That's just something I cannot bring myself to do. I am not so naive as to think there wouldn't have been moments I would have resented you. There would have been minutes, hours, days, weeks perhaps, that I would have looked at you and felt something akin to misery.

But darling, I loved you. I love you. I fell in love with you the moment I knew that you were there. And then you were gone, but my love didn't seep away during all those hours when I was hurting. My love for you didn't melt away as I took the painkillers and laid my head, wincing in your father's lap. Your father's love for me, your father's gentle fingers in my hair, his tender words of reassurance--even these things which usually could calm me, did not quell the ache inside of me.

Nothing can.

Will you ever come back to me, I wonder? Will you come back and let me hold you, will you look up at me with wide eyes full of wonderment and trust? Mother is the word for God on the lips of all children. You are still my child, even if you are not here.

Your father left me too. Don't be angry with him, dear one. He does the best he can. We're both tormented. It's such a sweet hell, and perhaps the most gloriously tragic thing to watch. You would be the one to know.

I have such a hard time sleeping. I would if you were alive too. You'd be awake right now, I think, wanting to be fed. You would be in my arms, latched onto me, taking from me the most that I could give you, metaphorically and literally. I see you in my dreams, I reach out to you, but you--much like your father--are just out of my reach.

This can't last forever. I suspect that in time, I will learn to lift myself and carry on. I will always feel that missing part of me, that sense that I've lost something I just cannot find or replace... But I will carry on.

I do love you so.


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