the short story project


A Letter to My Daughter

Dear Baby Blackbird,

My little  girl, you flew  away so suddenly.  I still miss you. To  have you inside me was  like carrying a drinking glass made  in my  image. I wanted  to fill you with  all the things I loved  and to cherish you the way I never was.  

Now I think of you as all the beautiful parts of me. The  good parts; the innocent parts. You fly high enough to touch the  spirits and low enough to be divinity for the humans. Please  bless me in these times I now have without you. Guide me toward the light  of the world and deliver me from my darkness.

I was scared when you first arrived in me, but I grew to anticipate you.  I grew excited for your arrival. But you were gone 4 months after you came,  and you took both my doubts and my excitement when you left. You flew away with my fears. You left me with a serious realization of self,  as well as a deep sadness that you’re gone. I learned that my abundance of compassion and sympathy for the human condition makes it easy for me to fall into the habit of living solely for others, and coupled with my impressionable character makes it easy for others to take advantage of me. For I naturally love unconditionally.

Now I am alone in my body, and I am alone in my bed, once again. I felt empty in the beginning, to walk around without someone sharing my insides, and sometimes I still do. When I was alone before, I wasn’t truly by myself, cause you were there. Your father would be there too, and tried to be there after everything that happened, but once you left, my attachment to him dissolved and I let him go. For the better, I feel. I recognized that we still had growing to do on our own, and the only way to accomplish that is to stay away from each other, so I broke up with him before he left for the army.

I light a white candle for you every Monday because that’s the most special day of the week — the day I got to meet you, pretty girl. I  pray to you, the Raven at the edge of space and time,  to protect mommy, daddy, Bunny, your uncles, your aunts, your grandparents. Protect us, bless us, lead us to a better world. Especially daddy, because he lost two people too.

Perhaps this had to happen so that we could learn from our mistakes, get ourselves together, to be better parents in the future. But I’m sorry it had to happen like this. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I love you. Mommy loves you. Mommy will always love you.

We made you to love you, and to give you everything. I hope you’re happy and protected and that you’re not by yourself. My baby.

I’m gonna take this time that you gave me to make myself a better woman. For you. For when you come back to me. I won’t be scared next time, and I’ll make sure you get everything you want. You’ll have orange juice and fruits every day, and that pesto pasta from Gino’s that you love so much. I’ll keep you warm and hydrated, but most importantly, I’ll keep you safe this time. I’ll get the chance to hear you cry this time. And see you open your eyes. You’ll grab my finger. You’ll go to sleep. You’ll wake up. You’ll drink from my teat. Black magic baby, beautiful black magic baby, you’ll breathe air this time. You’ll get to come home. You’ll get to be grown. I can’t wait to fight with you when you’re a teenager.

My baby, my baby, my baby. Today was a hard day without you, but I kept myself together till I got back in my bed. It made me realize that if I don’t wake up grateful for what I have, I’ll just be sad about what I lost, and anxious about what’s to come. You made me realize that I’ll probably be a pretty good mama.

I didn’t expect gratitude to come from a miscarriage, but as I prepared for you, I  realized that my own mama did the best she could with what she had. I used to call myself an orphan for the seven years I was in care. I felt like my parents never took responsibility for the crimes I felt they’d committed against our family. But you gave me the chance to actually put myself in their shoes and understand their hurts, their pain, their struggle to be themselves and every role they have to play in their lives- brother, mother, cousin, neighbor, artist, gangbanger- whatever it was.

Just the short time I spent getting ready for you was hard, and I didn’t even get the full experience of being a parent. I understand a bit more about the joys and the responsibilities of being an adult and having to provide for someone who depends on you. You depended on me before you were born. You needed love and attention and care before you were born. Which meant that I needed to provide myself the love and attention and care that you deserved — and that I deserved.

I didn’t realize that the way I was treating myself was to my detriment. I saw myself as a tool to make everyone else happy and tried to lessen their woes whilst overlooking my own feelings and disregarding my own boundaries. You forced me to look at my life — the way I was living it, the people I surrounded myself with — and change it for the better in order to give both of us what we deserved. No more self-destructive behavior and perceptions, no more holding on to things that no longer serve me. I gave your father so much of me, I didn’t have any left for myself. In my attempt to bring him up, I lost myself in his own suffering. My body weakened, my mind attacked me constantly, I isolated myself and focused only on him or “us”.

I was miserable the entire time I was with him. But I thought I was in love with him. He’s a great guy in his own rite, but he was aggressive with his ideals and being as impressionable as I am, I knew I could not keep myself and still be with him. So we seperated. It was either him or me, and towards the end of our relationship, I chose me for your sake. Now I choose me for my sake. Only love and progress my child. You healed my tainted heart. Thank you.

Baby Booga, my blessing, my love, my magical child, thank you for all that you’ve given me. Thank you for all that you are, were, and continue to be. Thank you for your unconditional love and untainted presence.

Mommy loves you.

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