Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mortality

highway photophoto by Bruce Dale



From my very first heart beat my sense of mortality would be as comfortable as an old shoe. Some days I smile and I live and I breathe in and I don’t notice, but other days it rubs me raw. July I was rubbed raw.




I have been very aware of my own mortality since my first days. Unlike other kids, I was born knowing that I have a limited number of days. We all do, but for many people they don’t become aware of it until something forces them to confront it. I lived, and continue to live, knowing that each day is a gift. When Duc entered my life this feeling intensified. Suddenly, my life has a greater importance. I am a parent. I am the only parent to my son. No one knows him like I do and no one loves him like I do.



In addition to concerning myself with my own mortality, I suddenly became obsessed with his. He needs to live. He needs to grow and be the great man that I know that he will be. I think love makes you vulnerable—when you have love, life looks better, food tastes better, the little things slip away and those moments that really matter are the ones you focus on and live for. The sound of his laughter, the mischievous twinkle in his eyes, the smell of his skin when the sun has warmed him—these are the things I live for. But love also has the ability to break you and leave you lifeless. Anyone who has lost someone they have loved—through death, separation or divorce has felt this.



In July I saw the girl that would be my daughter. I wasn’t looking for her, but on some level I knew to be expecting her. There had been too many dreams, too many recently shed tears, just too much…for me not to believe that she was the one. Every argument I had for why she couldn’t be the one—the timing is bad, I have no extra money, what about Duc—there was an answer, a solution. She was exactly as I had dreamed—my little heart baby, a beautiful little 13 month-old. And suddenly everything seemed perfect. Things seemed to make sense and I wanted to bring her home in a heart beat. But there it was, that little heart beat. The one that haunted me from my first days. The one that haunted her. The one that had already begun to devastate her brain and waste her body. That one little heart. And my big heart would have done anything to make it right. I would have adopted her and loved her to the end of her days or mine.



But love can’t make all things right. And love doesn’t pay the bills. Love doesn’t give you endless energy or patience. And love doesn’t reason or make the decision any easier. It hurt then. It still hurts now and as I type, I cry.



Sometimes you go down a path and you have no idea why. I have no idea why I saw that file or saw her pictures. I don’t know why I connected to that child, but when I look at her photo I see Duc, and how I could I not fall in love with the face that I love the most?066_edited-1 copy

9 comments:

Kate August 12, 2009 at 7:19 AM  

I too was heart sick in July. Guilt and heartache consumed me for days. We made the right decision, letting her go, but it was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make in my life.

Erica, thank you. I appreciate your honesty and openness. I'm so sorry for your pain...and I cry right along with you.

Kris August 12, 2009 at 11:53 AM  

i wish i had the right words. i wish i could just sit with you and take your hand. it seems the best thing right now. better than anything i could say.

much love to you and your beautiful little boy, and that daughter of your heart.

Dave and Teresa August 12, 2009 at 11:27 PM  

I am so sorry, Erica. I don't have any other words for you because I can't imagine how you must be feeling, and how much you must be hurting. I will be thinking about all three of you and praying for God's comfort for you.

Kelli August 13, 2009 at 3:31 PM  

I am thinking of you and praying. I don't have the words to make it better even though I wish I did.

Kelli August 13, 2009 at 3:31 PM  

I am thinking of you and praying. I don't have the words to make it better even though I wish I did.

Angie August 14, 2009 at 8:55 PM  

Bless your heart...I'm praying!

Laurie August 15, 2009 at 7:20 PM  

Erica, I must have missed something very very big. I am not clear on what is going on in your life, but I'm not to dense to recognize that it has been life altering for you. Just know that you are in my thoughts and my prayers.

Laura August 16, 2009 at 5:24 PM  

You're still in my thoughts and prayers. I'm so sorry.

K September 17, 2009 at 11:33 PM  

Hugs. sorry I am so late responding.

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About This Blog

This started as my story, but has evolved to OUR story. This is the story of life as a single parent to a wonderful little boy while we wait for baby sister. China LID 2.12.07.


But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day.
Habakkuk 2:3

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