Monday, September 12, 2011

Day 221.

Writing a letter to a two-year old I've never known, because it's almost her birthday and she needs to know some things. Untangling all the mess around it to say only that which needs to be said. Heart work is hard work, and tears come frequently.

I'm stuck with all these pictures of us you probably don't even remember having taken. I wish I could create a little digital package, copy all the photos, put a bow on it, and hand it to you so you could help carry the weight of this heartbreak, because my spine is curving under this heft.

I could print them, stuff them in an envelope sealed with my tears, sing a sad song about longing and goodbye and forgiveness and what it's like to leave the past right where it is, and bravely and with an open heart look ahead. Put 37 stamps on it and scrawl my old address on it (the one that was supposed to be my address for years and years) and stick it in a mailbox under a pistachio tree.

You were supposed to be home for me, and she was supposed to be home for you, your lifelong commitment. And she was wrested from your life, your lifelong commitment torn away from you. And maybe that's what this is, repeating patterns of destroying home, breaking commitment, not believing that home is deserved, even when home is not perfect or easy? I won't know, probably ever, but my limbs are weary from the effort of fucking with the bricks and mortar only to watch it crumple. I guess I never have been good at building walls.

I'm still searching for home, and will never know what it's supposed to look like in this post-modern, post-diasporic world . . . when all I want is a place I can plant an avocado tree and a human who wants to commit to creating and nurturing another human with me. You were a paper doll, and I tried to cut along the dotted lines and plop you into my story book. Once animate, your feet up and walked off my page. And what was I supposed to do then? Brew a pot of tea and have a conversation with you about it? You were gone, and you were surprised that I took your gone-ness seriously.

She'll wonder about you, and maybe one day she'll know you again, and you'll show her the letters, and you'll tell her you love her, and maybe somewhere in the story will be the piece about the woman who held your hand and pressed your chest to get the tears out and held you as you wailed in the middle of the night from the excruciating loss. Maybe I won't be lost in there, as just another person on the support team. Maybe I won't be just another in a long list of names. Maybe hindsight will remind you that I gave you more than I gave others, that I gave you more than others gave you, that that's who we said we would be to each other. Maybe one day I will get a whole sentence in the story of your life, all to myself.

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