When you were in my belly, I started writing to you. I was afraid that you might grow up without a father. I wanted you to know some things, specifically how hard I tried to keep that from happening. Now it seems you will do your last half of growing up without a mother and the grief overtakes me. You will always be my baby boy. The baby I desperately wanted despite the challenges I was facing.
It’s been nearly a year since I have been able to hold you close, read to you, laugh and cry with you. There have been brief reprieves with a few moments of connection but they are quickly lost. I miss you more than I have missed anyone or anything and as I cry myself to sleep, I often ask, who speaks for Henry?
You will be 12 years old this Sunday. You cannot contain your anger toward me. Your rage comes out as utter disrespect and defiance. You are a disowned piece of my own soul; an 11 year old little girl who could not connect with her own mother yet wanted to desperately. Noone spoke for her so who speaks for you? Deep down inside do you want to connect with me? Why are you so full of rage on the heals of a long and difficult mediation with your father? A mediation in which my only goal was to earn the right to have time with you. My only purpose was to speak for you while you are too young and too scared to speak for yourself. Who speaks for you Henry if I cannot?
What will it be like to finish growing up without a mother? I think I can answer that. It is frustrating, sad, scary, and very lonely. At times the rage is so powerful that it must go inward. It goes so far down that it becomes like a volcano waiting to erupt. You are the volcano within me Henry and have started to erupt. I watch this volcanic explosion with terror, helplessness, and often without hope. I am watching the remnants of my own 11 year old soul smolder into a giant pit of ashes. This must be pain with a purpose; a birth will surely result. Who speaks for you Henry if I am too busy mourning the death of my 11 year old soul?
Could this piece of my soul have spoken for you Henry? What would it have said? She would likely have understood you, but could she actually speak to the intense sadness and lonliness that you feel? She would applaud you for being so angry since that is the only way to protect and cover up such despair. She would talk about her own mother and her own repressed volcano like anger coursing through her veins. She may try to play basketball with you but she would not hug you for she does not really know how. She would simply bear witness to your pain and pray to Jesus and to God to have it removed.