My Dear Little One,
It’s been a year since you left, and I think of you every single day, but today especially.
You are a part of who I am now, as you have been since the moment I discovered your tiny existence… Since before that, really. You color my vision both of the past and of the present, and you will forever alter my outlook for the future.
Sometimes the thoughts of you come back unexpectedly, like when I’m digging for some trinket in my cedar chest, and your first photo catches my eye. There are times I think you have some control over my thoughts of you; it can’t just be coincidence that a feather will find me when I’m upset.
Other times though, I conjure images of what you might look like today, what your laugh might sound like. I know you’d be a funny little thing – that’s just genetics. I’d be so proud to introduce you to everyone I know, and many people I don’t know in person who hoped and prayed along with your dad and me. You’d be my absolute pride and joy today.
Still though, I am proud. Proud that I have the honor of being your mother, if maybe not in the traditional sense today. I’m proud that I carried you for however long I was able, and I’m proud that having loved you then exposed a whole side of me that I never knew existed.
I’m proud too that your loss broke my heart, but not my spirit. When you left, it forced me to rebuild, forced me to be strong in the face of so much grief and what felt like injustice at the time. Losing you taught me things about myself, and about your dad and me, that I could never have learned otherwise.
And I’m proud and grateful that you helped pave the way for those discoveries. A helpful child, just the kind any mother would be proud to have.
I hope that you’re proud of me, too. I know that things weren’t pretty at first; it took me a long time to really grieve you in a way that created any peaceful resolution. In fact, I am still working through that today. For the longest time, I put on a brave smile and went about my life all fierce and full of defiance in the face of tragedy, when in reality, what I needed was to truly feel, accept, and let go.
Once I wore myself out with all that bravado, I became fixated on getting answers as to why we lost you. To say that I was obsessed might be a bit of an understatement, and probably not my proudest moment. It took me some time to realize that answers wouldn’t bring you back, and that maybe you were part of a greater plan that I would never understand fully.
I’m living in that acceptance now. I understand that it wasn’t my body that rejected you, and it wasn’t you that failed either. You just weren’t meant to be my child on this Earth.
And that’s sad, but it’s okay.
You were meant to be my feather on the wind, my accountability, my hope. My angel.
You were meant to come and go from my life in a way that would teach me what it truly means to be a parent.
You were meant to be the inspiration for many changes that I would make, and some that I am still making in life.
You were meant to be my child – my daughter, I think – who will forever carry around a piece of my heart, while mine is still trying to mend itself.
I think that’s part of the amazing trajectory this journey has taken: a piece of my heart went missing, and you have it; yet somehow, I’m regenerating that loss. This only proves that becoming a mother, no matter in what way, causes your heart paradoxically to grow and become impervious to lasting damage, while also being more sensitive than ever.
Losing you broke my heart, but having you still has somehow mended it.
I’ll never forget you, dear one, for you’re imprinted in my heart, my soul, and my very skin. I only hope to make you proud by proving every day that I am worthy to be called someone’s mother, and to use what you’ve given me to be a better person in every way.
I love you every day.
Thank you for being mine.
I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always.
As long as I’m living,
My baby you’ll be.