28 July 2010

Dear Cheyenne,

You should be sixteen by now. You should have gone out yesterday for your driver's test with your mother. You should have known the lusciousness of sweet sixteen. You should have tasted your first kiss. You should have let your mother run her fingers through your long hair.

Instead, your mother mourns.
Instead, your mother pines.
Instead, your mother longs.

All of us long, Cheyenne, for you. For our children. And none of us will ever let anyone take that away.

Because it is in our longing, our mourning, that we hold onto you and remember you and continue to love you.

Cheyenne, you should know that you have the most incredible mother.

Because of you, she has created a place where all of us babylost mothers feel a little less lost, a little less lonely, a little less marginalized in our grief.

Do you know how huge that is?

Many people live their entire lives without doing something this large, this selfless, this courageous.

Your mother, Cheyenne, could have chosen to remain on the floor of the closet, but instead she built a foundation--the MISS Foundation--on the tears of your absence. She holds the hands of the grieving daily and helps all of us walk through this maze of confusion, of angst, of loneliness, of fear, of pain, and somehow, all of us feel a little more love because of it.

Cheyenne, your life and what your mother has done because of your life is really indescribable on so many levels.

We would all of us give up this work, for a moment with our children. But we do this because it is time spent with you. It is our way to continue to love you.

But here is what I know:

For the rest of your mother's life, she will wonder what the color of your eyes would have been. She will wonder if you would have laughed like your sister or like your brothers. She will wonder what it would be like to console you after the stupid boy who first kissed you decided to break up with you. She will wonder, as will we, for the rest of our lives who you would have married, what you would have done when you grew up, what the test score would have been of your most recent exam.

We all wonder, Cheyenne, about so many things.

But I want to thank you for being who you are. Because your gift to me was the gift of knowing your mother. And that is something I can never repay.

So thank you for that.

And to your mother I want to say that I love you with all my heart, and I am so, so sorry that you have to cry so many tears again and again and again. And I am so sorry really in so many strange and complicated ways that we have to know each other at all.

But for that I am forever grateful.

And I will never tire of watching you becoming...


Dr. Joanne Cacciatore said...

Oh, Sarah.

I thought my tears went on at least a brief sabbatical. I think not. No more truer words, so beautifully spoken. It's a big girl year, and all the years in between, and so much lost. No time, no time at all. Not even time to hear a breath, or time to say hello or goodbye or I love you or beg her to stay. No reward for the ten long months of gestation and the swollen ankles and the sleepless nights and the biggest most immeasurable love.

It's all so damned unfair.

Let's curse Death in September. We can even use profanities. I can't wait.

You are my sister-in-grief.


Dr. Joanne Cacciatore said...

PS Your blog helped push me over the edge and write again today. THANK YOU.

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends...

Sarah Bain said...

You are LOVED! Period. End of sentence.