You know who you are. I’m not sure what to call you. Not partner, not dad, but once you had the potential to be. You are more stranger than beloved. I haven’t completely made sense of that. This is what I know: two days before Thanksgiving 2008, I refused a glass of wine because I’d discovered that what I feared was cancer was, remarkably, an impossible baby. I stared at the positive test I took to save time at my oncology check-in and felt both jubilant and terrified. My only comfort was the knowledge that this was miraculous: part me, part you baby.
When I told you I held back. I focused on the glass of wine. My hand shook as I set it down. I stammered out the news. I wish I’d told you I loved you more than I loved even myself sometimes and that I needed you with me on this journey. Instead, I said, “I am as surprised as you are,” and “It’ll be okay…” which was weak, fearful, and unsure.
If I’d known then what I know now, I would have been bold. Your actions may not have changed, but I know our child. I’ve lived through sleepless nights, coughs and colds, skinned knees, and growing pains for nearly 4 years. I have laughed until tears streamed down my cheeks, taught her how to scramble an egg, told bad jokes and good bedtime stories, danced around the living room, kissed her golden dreaming head, looked up to the sky, and shared our imagination with the floating clouds.
It’s the most tremendous gift. She tells me she loves me every day. She tells me I am beautiful. She tells me I am the best mom she’s ever had. I believe all of this is true.
She has taught me how to hold on and let go. She has taught me that love is infinite and that pain fades and that there is so much power in just saying what hides in your mind and fills up your heart and balances on your tongue. So, I’m saying it. I live a charmed life. It has been impossibly difficult. I have been in places where there is no good decision and I made one anyway. I chose her. I am so grateful. It has everything and nothing to do with you.