This poem was written for my sister who recently received the heartbreaking news that at 16 weeks gestation her baby’s heart had stopped beating.
I won’t allow myself to give into the fear that terror provides, and I refuse to let my kids live in fear of terrorism.
The familiar words reach our ears. I hate that they are familiar. Isis. Extremist. Suicide bomber.
And then my cousin fell into the grave. At first there was silence. And then we laughed.
The early knowledge that those who mean the most to you are not invincible, that your love is not enough to save them – it turns the heart not to stone, as stories would have it.
I was jealous. Fifteen like me but petite, hair a brown cascade brushing the waistband of her cut-offs.
In this past year, I’ve come to see hardship in the same way I’ve seen snow. We fall, struggle, mix with the earthiest parts of ourselves, and melt into puddles of who we are or who we once were.
What my son’s book doesn’t show, what he’ll learn as he grows, is that people can be both, happy and sad, at the same time.
I didn’t want her to grow up thinking that to be strong she had to put up an icy exterior. I wanted her to know that strength comes from vulnerability.
To the mom who lost her son last year, I want you to know that I remember.