I remember the moment I opened the e-mail attachment like it was yesterday. No, like it was a minute ago. A second. It contained a headshot of a girl — no longer a baby, not yet a toddler — dressed in a blue and white striped t-shirt with a second yellow t-shirt draped over it, so that you could see some, but not all, of the blue stripes underneath. The striped layer underneath might have been a little roomy for her, as I could see a large swath of her neck on the left side of her face but only a tiny sliver of it on the right. She wasn’t smiling. Why should she? She was looking slightly to the left of the camera, unhappy about something. Perhaps she had just been woken up from a good nap or taken from some toys she would have preferred to play with to have this photo taken. Her eyes were serious. I loved her immediately. (more…)
Filed under: my daughter | Tags: cancer, daughter, epilepsy, health, pregnancy
My beautiful, darling Sophia,
Finding someone is not knowing someone. I can tell the story of how I found you in two words: by miracle. But the story is how I came to know you.
Your father and I both secretly believed that we were unworthy of the miracle that is you. I was old, epileptic, unhealthy. He was a cancer survivor who smoked. We were too poor to sensibly give you a good home. So, we never spoke about you. But, at night, we’d secretly, separately dream of you. In the mornings, we’d pack away our separate dreams and get on with our days. Years passed.
One day, when you had been in me for about 19 days, I was driving home and I felt so peaceful that I was dizzy. Over the next few days, your father and I took five pregnancy tests. We couldn’t allow ourselves to believe the results. Finally, we worked up the nerve to go to the doctor. The nurse said “congratulations,” They handed us pamphlets, and we left in shock. (more…)