May 26, 2009

I used to call your mother that, and I still do sometimes, when I talk to her. I often wonder if it confuses you that I call you babe but turn around and praise you as a “big girl” for an arbitrary chew of food or because you drew what looked loosely like a cow,on your paper, with a marker that curiously looks as through the tip has been bitten off. I know that when you realize what I am saying, you will be close to understanding. In fact, every day it seems you get closer and closer. The day hangs like a shadow in some horizon, which I cannot see; but the long reach of it appears daily and it brings company. I wonder how you will get “perspective?” How will I tell you? Will you remember her? What will I say? How can I ever communicate what she means to me? How she fixed me? How she unlocked me? How she filled the corners, painted the rough edges, built me up…? I cannot. Even after you read all of our letters to each other from Fort Leonardwood and Afghanistan, seen all the lil notes and cards and photos – Even after you have seen all the home movies, eaten off her China, held her clothes, eyes closed and taken her in; I will not be able to communicate what she is to me.

I see her in you sometimes and it makes me genuinely laugh. You are now noticing roles and refer to people in them… mommies and daddies. You sometimes act like a mommy to your babies. You look at your feet and say, “I got mama’s feet.” You asked me the other day, “When’s mama coming back?” I just held you close so you couldn’t see my tears. How can I even begin to respond to that? I am sure the questions only get tougher. You say, “Mama’s in heaven with Jesus!” and I believe that to be true. I believe that we all have things to accomplish here; and if we could really see what it is like there, in heaven, we would get on with whatever we had to do. Your mama was just finished. And for some reason, we are supposed to make it without her. It has been tough, but I am glad that we have had each other to get through it. I believe that your mama sees you and she smiles when we kiss her picture every night. I believe that when you say, “Mama’s so pretty” that she smiles and tells you the same. I wish that she could be here for you, hold you, paint your toenails, build tents with blankets and pillows, snuggle with you, sing you to sleep, have tea parties with you and your bears, and so much more. I hope that I am doing okay. Maybe by the time you can comprenhend this, you can let me know if I did okay. I love you Babe.


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