When my children have their birthdays everyone tells them their story–how the delivery went, first memories of the child, what we ate in celebration.
Your mom told me about your birthday. She was in the hospital for a some time before you were delivered because you were a multiple birth. She was so excited about you. You all were delivered (most likely c-section) around 33 weeks old.
You were each tiny and perfect from the beginning.
She was overjoyed by your birth. They told her she would need help since all of you would spend three weeks in the NICU before leaving with three identical apnea monitors. They said they asked your grandmother to help out but she said no.
So they call us. I was young and stupid. The other foster mothers were older women. One had fostered and adopted many children, the other had only your sister and her own grown daughters. They made up lullabies for her.
When we left the hospital together people mistook me for the mother and them for my supporting family. We explained this was not the case.
I did not get to know your mom until they told me they were taking you away. She fought for her parental rights, but the system was well rigged against her.
Sometimes she would call me. She told the most interesting stories. It is these stories I wish I had written down, recorded, preserved for you, best would have been recorded, in her own beautiful voice.
So you could hear them now. So close to her birthday.
Trees remind me of home, as do the adorable wearable blankets one might buy for a baby born in a winter country. I struggle with the pronoun I, construct tree houses and wearable blankets out of words strung around the neck of a woman turning into the composite her grandmothers long gone on to the next thing…home…give me a cup full of it, your face, voice in my head, Man who shows up just in the nick of time in sorrow as piercing as joy.
Perhaps you know this place. Perhaps it is just up the hill, just around the corner, just out of reach on the spectrum of visible light
I get it. We are a messy, heterogeneous bunch. As I get older I get less and less religious but more and more convinced in the power of the God of Love.
Take this week for instance. This week we threw our all at trying to save a litter of kittens from panleukopenia.
When my children poured out their grief in each loss they said, I just want them to know that I love them. I just want her to know I love her. I just want him to know I love him. Or directly to the dead–
I just want you to know I love you.
When you believe in a compassionate, omnipotent God, getting love notes to kittens is no biggie. He keeps what we have committed to Him against that Day.
Even if the day is Friday.
Even if you thought the last one might make it through.
Even if the patient weighs less than a pound.
Impending demise might make some pragmatic, other it pushes on to say, no matter what