Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer, 1987

24 was a big year for me.
It was the year I graduated from college.
It was the year I met my husband.
It was the year I started to realize I deserved to have a life.
A big year.
Scary and wonderful and pivotal.
A year I will always remember.

But I am reminded of a different year today...

I remember breaking into hives because they told me it was a boy.
I wanted a girl.

I remember the day you were born.
How loudly you screamed at the world.

I remember waking up early just to stare at your beautiful face.
I’d never seen something so gorgeous.

I remember being the only one who could get you to eat.
The loud giggles over Itsy Bitsy Spider

I remember you crying every time I left.
My heart breaking a little each time.

I remember your first day of school.
So scared of your giantess of a teacher.

I remember taking you to buy a dress for your first dance
The one you wanted was NOT appropriate.

I remember doing your make up for prom.
You looked like magic.

I remember the moment I realized that there wasn’t any more I could do.
It killed me, but you were going to do whatever you wanted. You always have.

I remember our last real conversation and how ugly it was.
You refused to hear me.

I remember knowing that I had to step back for my own sake and that of my family’s.
I know you hate me for it.

I remember almost every moment of your (and our brother’s) young life.

I remember from the moment you entered this world, realizing that I would love you forever with an intensity I wouldn’t know I again until I birthed my son.

I know that we don’t have a relationship, but I think about you every day.

You think that I judge you, that I feel superior to you.
What you don’t understand is that all I have ever wanted is to protect you.

From family history.
From habitual mistakes.
From the underbelly of dangerous choices.

I just wanted to see you safe and happy.
Not tethered by the learned mistakes of your parents.

I hope as you cultivate your life, you will cultivate an understanding of me, of my love.
I am not perfect, and I have made mistakes, but never doubt my love for you.

You were my first baby.
You’re an adult now, but you will always be that little girl who crawled into bed with me every night.

I love you with all my heart.
So much more than a sister’s love-I love you and our brother as I love my own son.
 I always have and I always will.

But I cannot be the parent I tried so hard to be for you.
I was never going to be able to fill that role, as it was not mine to fill.

I can send you love, and wish you well.
Even if you can't hear me.
I love you, beautiful girl.....

Happy Birthday, Baby.

I hope that 24 is a year that you will never forget, for all the right reasons.

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