A Week Before Mother’s Day

I’ve been trying to write you something and I have one month left until June 6th and the right words aren’t arranging themselves how I would want them to. So I’ll tell you something else.

Today someone I know lost their baby at 36 weeks. Somehow this seems right to tell you, because maybe someday you will feel that this first year of life (and however many you are given after) was owed to you. But it might not have ever happened. That was possible too. However many years you get, and however many I get with you, I hope you’ll know each one was not owed to you. In school they may tell you something else, but this is why it’s important we learn to count things. Because our bodies know they won’t reach infinity on their own, but we do not.  

You wouldn’t sleep last night and I’m tired today. The reason you wouldn’t is still a mystery. So much of your existence is wrapped up in these little and grand mysteries. The mystery of why I was given this year with you, and some aren’t given so much. Down to the mystery of why you couldn’t sleep last night. You’ve been teaching me minute by minute how to exist without knowing anything. 

If I’m honest, I do wish I could know more. 

How to settle a mind that wants conclusions before things have concluded. Conclusion is not owed to me. That you are still breathing and growing and thriving is the opposite of you concluding. Grief is the business of being given conclusions before we are ready for them. 

Today I will keep my tired eyes open to you a little wider and a little longer, because today was not owed to us. I’ll wash you, dress you, and sing softly into your ear to help my eternal heart be present in this physical moment. I’ll hold you to myself and quiet any thoughts of the sacrifices I have made for you, and redirect them to how many opportunities I was given to sacrifice for you. What gifts. 

And when my thoughts turn to fear, because death makes me fear conclusions will be drawn too early;

I’ll listen to your laugh, and I’ll pray it’s eternal.