My mother didn’t meet the son I named Daniel until she was 72. She was living in the nursing home in Maine, and Jeff, 23, was visiting from California for her birthday party. In her room, as I watched them together at last, these beloved bookends of my physical life, I marveled at their matching sea-blue eyes and freckles.
Lori Miller Kase
In theory, sharing a 14-hour drive with my daughter sounded like a reasonable idea. But as soon as she takes her first curve, I reflexively grab for the door handle like I used to do when she had her learner’s permit.
The everyday, lately, has been uneven. Our house lost power. The dog injured her leg. My husband has shingles. My employer is bankrupt. My father-in-law tore his aorta. And yet the everyday is still there.
I can only imagine what it must have been like for LJ’s birth mother to relinquish her baby, to wrap her in layers against the November chill, set her down near a hospital gate, and walk away.
For the first time since my water broke, I feel like melting into my husband’s hazel-green eyes, but then I notice the abnormally deep creases beneath them. At the hospital, he never left my side, a truth I barely registered until he tried to go to the bathroom after our son was born; I remember gasping, “Don’t leave!”
Andrea J. Buchanan
The second time I wanted to die also involved my children. It was not the pain of deliverance, though, not the surrender of acceptance. It was the powerlessness all parents are confronted with at one time or another. The guilt of a split-second of inattention.
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