“Each of us has his own alphabet with which to create poetry.”
I remember the very first letter my son, Julian, wrote. He was four-years-old, and his hands were only just learning how to hold and maneuver a pencil. But meticulously, he worked with determination, writing a simple note that said, “I love you,” in his adorable little boy scrawl.
“What are all those things?” I had asked, noting the lumps in the envelope he’d closed. Shrugging, he let me look, and inside I found two color crayons, a handful of homemade paper snowflakes, a variety of stickers, one almond, and one cashew next to the note he’d created.
“Can we mail that letter tomorrow, Mama?” he asked me, as I struggled to hide my emotions. “Will you hold my hand and walk me across the street to the mailbox so that I can mail that letter to my sister?”
To Boo…of course I would, I told him, but…to what address will we send it? For Julian’s baby sister was dead, and God hadn’t given me a forwarding address.
The next day, the letter was missing. Watching Julian grow agitated, I patiently helped him search the entire house. Many drawers emptied, many boxes turned upside down, we finally called my husband at work, because the letter in question–we now remembered–had last been seen with him.
“Yes, I’ve got it,” he reassured Julian over the phone. “It’s in my bag, safe and sound.”
“Well, don’t forget to bring it home, Daddy! I need to mail that letter to my sister!”
The issue settled, Julian stayed on the phone to chat while I listened to his one-sided conversation with his father while working in the kitchen.
“You gotta go help with a C-section? What’s a C-section? Oh. Well, is the baby coming soon? That is soon.” Here Julian paused, thinking seriously. “You know, Daddy, when that baby does come, I think that I should help name it. But why not? Well, I could still name it if I wanted to.”
After he’d finished his conversation and hung up the phone, Julian turned to me and said, “The baby’s only zero years old right now because she’s not even born yet. But when she is born…well, then I think that all those doctors there with Daddy are going to make sure that this one doesn’t die.”
Breathe…I remember closing my eyes with his words, focusing on the warm water drowning my hands in the sink…just, breathe.
♥…And, Happy Birthday, today, to the 5th child that I lost, Keanu, whom we call Ki-Ki, who was born, and died, on July 14, 2014 at 2:04 a.m. May you be running in a field of wildflowers today, with your brothers and sisters there by your side…xoxo…♥
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