Dear child of excitement, we wanted you so. Statistics meant nothing as you grew in our hearts. We tickled your feet and wrapped you in love; we counted the days and we waited.
Dear child of horizons, you grew as we learned. Our new life came together as you formed in my womb. Hammering, planting, milking and dreaming, baby goats slept in my lap til your kicks woke them, yelling. You were safe and warm while my hands stayed busy; straying from my work to touch you through my skin.
Dear child of exhaustion, how we longed to meet you; So heavy to carry but so loved in our hearts. Those final weeks dragged, so hot and so busy; so much to tend when I just wanted to sleep.
Dear child of my fear, how we battled to birth you. Sick to my soul, sensing danger within me, our efforts all failed; you couldn’t get out. For 33 hours I made deals with the gods, before doctors took over and cut you from my body.
Dear child of delight, you were perfect and precious; so loved by your parents and siblings alike. I mourned the calm meeting I’d hoped we would have, but gave thanks for your safety while my wounds ached and bled.
Dear child of contentment, you filled up our hearts. 6 pieces, all perfect, our baby forever. I treasured each milestone as an end to a chapter; our last-born, our sweetheart, completion so small.
Dear child of elation, you were sweet from the beginning; Surrounded by admirers and never put down. Your days spent at my breast or wrapped to my heartbeat, you slept in my arms and woke to our smiles.
Dear child of my anguish, you were there when I heard it. My sobs woke you in the darkness as the world came crashing down. You searched my eyes, hopeful smiles and confusion, as we rushed off on our journey out into the cold.
Dear child of my heartbreak, I clutched you in the mortuary. You reached out as I kissed her, your ‘Hello’ and my ‘Goodbye’. So cold to my touch, the one who gave me life; the ground shook as I wavered, Daddy holding us up.
Dear child of my numbness, the wind bit as we buried her; a stranger to you, but whose blood runs in your veins. We came home, life resumed but my soul weighed so heavy; your sweet head always salted from a river of tears.
Dear child of my grieving, you gave me such comfort; Your smiles an elixir that chased shadows away. We cared for your siblings, loved your daddy, existed; but peace was elusive, I was wavering again.
Dear child of my weakness, I struggled and struggled. Grief and regret brought me lower again. You spoke, you crawled, always seated on my hip; nourished by my body while my heart bled out within. Brief moments of rest where only we existed; I soaked them up, life-giving, sustaining once more.
Dear child of the sunrise, the weight finally got lighter. We found Mama’s smile and the world turned once more. So much sadness remaining, but our work could go on now; sisters and brothers and life all around.
Dear child of acceptance, you helped me find peace. I saw her in your eyes, in your chin, in your fingers. She lived on in the flowers, in the birds, in the sun; she lived on in her grandchildren, and their mother as well.
Dear child of renewal, you grew and you grew. First walking, then running, a new chapter began. We smiled and we laughed, you played and you danced; in the clouds we found rainbows and the warmth of the sun.
Dear child of our turmoil, we couldn’t believe it. A knock at the door; sheaf of papers and rage. Accusations and courtrooms, the banter of lawyers; we fought for your sister with hearts on the table. Success, but what cost to our peace and our progress- back to the trenches, to fight another day.
Dear child of my sadness, the fog never lifted. So scarred and so weary, a burden too large. Washed away in a current I couldn’t float back on; to struggle and sink so far down in my pain.
Dear child of my darkness, that wasn’t your mother. So fearful, so angry, so hurt and so sad. A sickness slipped languidly into her being and stole her away; never making a sound.
Dear child of my healing, we are now moving forward. This new path, long and rocky, laid out to the stars. I still hold you so tightly, until you are ready; to run on your own and let go of my hand. As you grow, I grow with you- no longer afraid.
Dear child of reflection, your life hasn’t been easy. The road that we’ve traveled has been rough from the start. We’ve worn so many faces, fought so many battles; your eyes are so wise for a person so young. That faraway gaze that I catch on an instant; an understanding that stretches beyond your two years.
Dear child of redemption, please don’t become jaded. Grow stronger, not harder, for all that you’ve seen. My sweet little boy, how I wish it’d been different; calm seas with no storm clouds, to sail while you grew.
Dear child of persistence, let your wings lift you higher. Take this life by the horns, have no fear of beyond. A survivor already, you’re a strong little soldier; while I carried my baby, my baby carried me.