Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Some thoughts, a project?

Your words take me into your arms, curl around me, help me feel loved despite my imperfections. And hearing I am not the only one who struggles with this helps, more than I could ever express.

Grief is a lonely place. Recovery is a lonely place too. And alcoholics tend to isolate. I did. I mean, I felt isolated, and didn't do myself any favors by drinking and hiding behind a computer. I made the best decisions I could with the tools I had, but they weren't great decisions all the time. I always sided with righteous, yet lonely, indignation. Maybe now I can see that it wasn't so righteous, or all that indignant. It was guided by fear of rejection.

Today an ex-work colleague sent me a message on Facebook. I posted a submission request for still life 365 (we need work, people), and it reminded her that she wanted to write to me. She thanked me for my blog and for still life 365. Though she hasn't experienced a loss, she sent it to the people she loved who had. And they conversely told her that it helped to read my words and to see the art of the grieving.

I forget sometimes.

I forget that I have now been in this community for two years and four months. And that I don't always have to be here. In fact, most days, I don't have the compulsion to write about grief. I think about Lucy every day, perhaps every hour, but I am not floored by her death in the same way I once was. I don't cry most days, or even weeks. But that meant something to me when I was newly grieving. It meant something to hear that it gets better, and that I wouldn't have to be stuck in Bloglandia for the rest of my life. Because that is how it felt some weeks, like I had been exiled to this country of women who grief and write, who are smart, amazing and funny, but are located in a hypothetical place located in a small box that sat on my lap. I couldn't go there. I couldn't touch them. I couldn't hug them. I could only read their stories. I felt simultaneously fettered and free--chained to my home and computer where I was free to be myself. I looked for people with time and experience. I laughed at their blogs. "Look," I thought, "women become funny, wise, kind, normal again without forgetting their grief." Integration. I have experienced integration.

A few weeks ago, I sat with someone who basically read out of the "What Not To Say" handbook. She really hit the big five 1. God's Plan, 2. Have another kid, 3. Try a grief therapist. You are grieving for too long, 4. Are we talking about the same baby? That baby didn't even breathe, right?, 5. Other People Have it Worse. Interestingly, I didn't run away. It was the first time in my grief that I allowed someone to have her opinion about tragedy without making it about how fucking horrible what she said was.  My instinct was to nod politely and then never talk to her again. I just calmly disagreed with her, and nodded when there was no response needed. And I called her the next day. I forced myself. And it was fine. We are all people that need to figure out ways to exist in this world, to feel comfort in the wake of destruction and tragedy and absolutely heartbreak. My way is not the way I would recommend for anyone but me. That is something I learned these last few years.

When she started saying, "Other people lose many children, lose their partner of twenty years and leave them with six children alone, (insert horrible tragedy that belittles Lucy's life and death)."  It started enraging me, but I stayed silent. Why do I have to defend the tragedy of Lucy's death? I read recently, "Do we have to feel better than someone else in order to feel okay?" No. We don't. But maybe that helps her deal with her tragedies. Who am I to say? My righteous indignation was more like a shrug at the end of the conversation without the rightness or the indignation. I know my grief, and fuck, it wasn't helped by any one of those thoughts. It was only helped by this space, and the space in me that I created for grief. By allowing myself the time to grieve in the way I needed to grieve--the good, the bad and the ugly of it--I was able to come to this place where I don't need this space.

I keep coming here and writing because I want to write here. Because writing helps me process the intricacies of my life, and there is part of me that writes because I hope someone reads something that helps for that moment. I hoped, last week when I weighed whether or not I should share my battles with recovery, that one person might read my words and say, "Yeah, me too. Maybe I need help."

All of this is just to say that grief gets easier. It gets harder before it gets easier, but it does get easier. Not because your child becomes more dead, or because you become better, but just because time and experience help you face situations often enough that you learn how to deal with them. The first time someone said any one of those things to me was a week-long torment of what she said, what I did say and what I wanted to say. I love Dan Savage's It Gets Better Project. God, what I would have loved was to hear those messages when I was a suicidal, goth chick waiting to get out of East Oblivion, Pennsylvania. It would have helped to hear that I would fit in somewhere else. When I read my friend's email this morning, I thought we should have a It Gets Better project for the babylost. People, in all their stages of grief, talking about the ways in which their lives have gotten better, situations that they are better able to deal with. I don't know. It is just something I am thinking. Maybe a day where all of us can sign up with a Mister Linky (I happen to have a subscription, so I can host it.) where we just write a blog post about how it gets better, how grief gets easier to deal with, how we grow. Let's discuss. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

about the drink.

I have struggled for the past seventy-one days with how to talk about what I have been going through in my personal life. It is a strange experience to write publicly about your life. You expose your vulnerability and  weakness in glimpses, turns of phrase, perhaps in a passing comment on a blog no one reads, but it is incredibly scary. You have the luxury to clean it up, polish the rough edges, maybe expose only a quarter of the picture. But the real picture, the full picture, you control.

I made one resolution this year--to make peace with my body. As I began this year, flummoxed about how I was going to do that, I realized that I had an incredibly skewed sense of self. It was skewed because I had such shame about the things I hadn't been speaking aloud. We are only as sick as our secrets. And I felt like I may be dying.

My last drink was a ginger mojito after a reading in Delaware on January 9th. I drank it quickly and obsessed on why everyone else was nursing their drinks. That is what drinking was for me, an obsession, a deep love affair. I was driving home, so I only had one, but I wanted sixteen, or maybe seventeen. I know now that no number would have been enough for me. When I got home, I popped a beer, answered email. I had no idea that the beer and mojito were my last drinks. If I had known, I would have drank more beers, or gone out to buy a bottle of bourbon, my drink of choice. But then, I knew somewhere in me, that perhaps those were my last drinks. Because every day I thought this is my last day drinking, until it was. January 10, 2011. That was the first day I didn't drink. Oh, I spent most of 2010 not drinking, and 2009, and 2008, if I'm honest, but even when I was sober, I had a drunk mentality.

On January 10th, I felt bad. It wasn't hung over, but I was withdrawing from alcohol. I didn't realize it. I thought I had a virus. It seemed absurd that I was detoxing when I was a moderate drinker. Then I googled moderate drinker. A moderate drinker is someone who drinks one drink a day. ONE DRINK? Who the fuck has only one drink? I asked myself. And then I realized that I was an alcoholic. I went on a trail of clicks through the internets about alcoholism, detoxing, hitting your bottom, sobriety, the twelve steps, lies. I learned more about myself in that series of google searches than I ever thought possible.

This has been by far the most humbling experience of my life. I was in deep denial about my drinking. As I uncovered the lies I told, I found more and more. Today, I am sharing at Glow in the Woods about my relationship with alcohol, its interconnectedness with my grief and my newfound sobriety. This was by far the most exposing and vulnerable post I have written about myself or my grief to date. For a while, I didn't want to write about it at all. I wanted to protect my drinking and my family and ultimately, myself. What if I drank again? What would you think? What if I really am not an alcoholic and I realize that eventually?  But truthfully, admitting that I am powerless over alcohol has been the most important admission I have ever made. My entire life is different in the seventy-one days since I first googled "alcoholism". Every. Little. Thing. I know enough to know that I know nothing. I am taking life one day at a time. And some days, I take it minute by minute. I hope that you will stick around for this part of my journey, though I understand if you can't. Much love to all of you. Without you, I would not be able to do this incredibly hard work.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Sometimes there are no words.

I don't even know why I am writing this, because every single letter of this sentence feels inadequate, but the weight and reverberation of silence feels more oppressive this afternoon than the sound of saying something wrong. Silence can be so fucking glib.

I just feel so heartbroken. Three losses in the community this week. Another friend was told by a relative that God didn't let her be a mother. The tsunami in Japan. The bombing in Libya now and the wars in the Iraq and Afghanistan, and the thousands of little tragedies that mark everyday. Some intersect my life, most do not, but it moves me nonetheless. I am privileged to hear people's stories everyday--about suffering, abuse, strength, survival. I sit in tonglen meditation, and it is not enough. I couldn't possibly feel the depth of other people's suffering. I couldn't possibly relieve it by sitting in my warm house in front of an altar trying to touch that pain, yet I persist. Reading Jen's words today, put me right there in the car on winter solstice, shoulders slumped over, wondering how the fuck I am supposed to leave my baby is that cold fucking hospital, wondering how I will ever feel anything close to normal again. I still have no idea. I don't think I was normal before her death. I was misguided and ignorant. I am more me than I was before Lucy died. But maybe that is how most people feel when we are so profoundly changed we don't even remember who we were.

To be perfectly honest, I began writing this post last June, when Barb suffered her loss. All I wrote was the first sentence. I sat at the computer with a bottle of wine, weeping and staring blankly at the screen. Since then, I have revisited this post every week or so, staring at the first sentence:

Sometimes there are no words.

I feel so impotent. I feel so tongue-tied and silly. My friends are bleeding, in physical pain, in emotional turmoil the likes of which I have not felt for a long time, but I feel so heartbroken too. I remember that pain like she just left my body. The people who visit this blog have suffered such a wide ranging experiences of suffering. I wanted to write about their losses, struggles, wounds, but those stories are not mine to tell. And so, I have been writing about me, my family, coming to terms with happiness and contentedness while living with the huge grief of losing Lucy. This blog feels so glib, so wrong, in lieu of other people's suffering. I recognize how fortunate I am, even as I grieve. I love what Tash said in her last Glow post about the relationship between self-pity and self-compassion. I am trying to practice self-compassion. It occurred to me that maybe self-pity is simply self-compassion run riot. Maybe that is the most profound change in my grief--the shift from being brutal and unflinching with myself to being kind(er), perhaps even a tad more compassionate with myself. That is a gift from reading other people's blogs. I have also shifted from seeing what I have rather than what I don't have, while still acknowledging that I suffered. I have not suffered more than anyone, but still, I have suffered. And that is worthy of grief. But days like today, when other people's suffering stares me in the face, I cry for my friends' losses, for their second, third and fourth losses. So sad for the hard choices and the hard work some have to do to grow their family. I am rooting for each spark, like it were my own spark. Love should be enough.

To be perfectly frank, this afternoon, I soaked in the bath, then I wrapped myself in my robe, crawled into my spare room's bed, pulled the covers over my head and wept. It has been a long time since I have done that, and I cried out of sadness, but mostly, I cried in anger. I wanted to punch shit. I felt so much rage at the injustice of it all. I want to be the universal muscle for all the women I love. I want to kick the universe's ass, even though I am a pacifist.

Tomorrow is vernal equinox, Ostara. Kukulkan, the famous descent of the snake on Chichen Itza, happens tomorrow. And so I mark the passage of my own Lucy again, my contentedness slithering down the side of me, pooling into a grief and compassion puddle. We feast, cry, look at the huge Worm Moon. Tonight, as I sit under the moon again, I will remember aloud. I will say their names, like a litany, for the world.  I will scream it through the night, like a howling banshee, so that it echos for a year. Then I will whisper on the wind, so that it might fall on the smallest of buds, and bloom into something beautiful. Maybe that is the sound I want today, simply the sound of their names, because to me, that is the sound of love.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I wrote my first full-length feature story in Mrs. Bolasky's second grade class. It was a joint writing project. I paired up with my best friend, Jason. It was 1981. A boy-girl team of sleuths run away to live in a lighthouse that is haunted. They are precocious and brave. I can't quite remember what happens, except the girl escapes by tying a rope to the top of the lighthouse and jumping down the middle of the spiral staircase. After that, he was my boyfriend on and off until the seventh grade. That year on Valentine's Day, he gave me a heart of Ferrero-Rocher chocolates, then dumped me for Jennifer B two weeks later. She was rumored to make-out with tongue and let you feel her up. If I was into that sort of thing, I might have dated her too.

Jason and I have been friends since then. In high school, we were in different social circles. He was in lots of the honor classes I was in, but he played soccer, dated a cheerleader, hung out with the rich kids. I wore combat boots, was opinion editor of the high school newspaper, wrote long depressing poems about death and being misunderstood. I would stand in front of the afterschool literary magazine group, "Here is my latest poem, Death Surround Me Like A Shroud, #623. Oh, Death, my only friend..."

Even though we both had our own cars, some mornings, we would drive to school together just so we could talk. He would make coffee for us both. We would drive Coffeetown Road, and talk about politics, argue the validity of economic systems, discuss what we wrote for our history papers, debate wars and presidents and fashion.

Do you talk to your girlfriend about politics?
No, that is why I have you and my mother.
I have a feeling this is a pattern I will be repeating for the rest of my life.
Probably. You are too cool to date.

After he shut his door, I sometimes whispered, "But I think I love you." Unrequited love became my muse. Selfless adoration, pure writing fodder. It navigated my poetry. I had a boyfriend, after all, I don't know what I expected. I didn't love him as much as love the fact that fate kept us apart. I wanted to be a writer from the moment in second grade where Jason and I stood in front of the class together and read our story. The teacher fawned, and the other kids said it was awesome. That was in 1981, when awesome meant something. And I knew that I always wanted to live in that world with a lighthouse, and a beach, and mysteries that second graders and no one else could solve. All my other worlds are tangentially connected to the lighthouse world. That is the beach an hour's drive from the apartment where two characters are breaking up. There is a lighthouse in the hometown of the mother of the narrator of my novel. When the L&D nurse told me to find a place of calm during Lucy's birth, I sat against the lighthouse, breathed in the salt air, cried into my lap.

Funnily, it never occurred to me that I should be inventing stories for my daughter's bedtime. I bought collections of Greek Myth, folktales from around the world, Hans Christian Andersen, Inuit myth and nursery rhymes. Her bookshelf keeps growing and growing.  A year or so ago, she asked me to tell her a story about a little bunny named Andrew and his little sister bunny May.

What book is that, mijita?
Just tell me the story.
You mean, make it up?
Tell me a story about a bunny named Andrew and his little sister named May.
Um, okay. Uh, once upon a time there was a little bunny named Andrew. And he was asked to watch his little sister May. And uh, they were hopping along...and uh...

It was a tragedy.

Not the story, the telling of the story. I kept pushing through, though, then one day, it clicked, and I began my career as a toddler storyteller. I began weaving magical yarns about a distant place where princesses only wear one color and flowers of all varieties grow in the same garden. Where there is a hedge maze, and a wishing well, a dragon, and little bunnies who speak. Sometimes there are holes to fall into, or other kingdoms with horses and unicorns. She has favorite stories now that are repeated, but mostly, I get elements from the girl and integrate it into the story she wants to hear as I sit on the edge of her bed. She pulls the duvet up to her chin. She always wants a princess. A blue princess with a poodle. A  red princess and a yellow princess. The princess is sometimes bratty, sometimes brave. Sometimes she is very sad and lonely, or magical and flirty. She is as diverse and weird as me. Some days, the princess has problems very much like the ones we just faced before naptime, and she works them out in a way we simply were unable to work them out. When I fall afield from her request, Beatrice heckles me. "What about the red sailboat? You forgot the red sailboat."

You must be patient, my angel, the red sailboat will come. The blue princess and her poodle climbed into a red sailboat on the edge of shore. The princess was careful to lift her gown up, so that it would not get stained with the salt water. They sailed out to sea, hoping to find their home again, hoping to find the kindly dragon to welcome them into their kingdom. The red sailboat sailed the sea through storms, and calm days without a breeze. The princess was lucky to be carrying her wishing stone, which allowed her to eat popcorn, candy apples and bubble gum soda whenever she wished. After twenty days on the sea, and making friends with some very friendly sea turtles who guided the princess and her poodle, the princess finally saw the flickering light in the darkness. She knew instantly, because she felt her magic stone tremor that she was in her very own kingdom, and the light was from the dragon's lighthouse. And the blue princess and her poodle were finally home. They were finally home.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Leaving the house.

Wake up. Take medication. Get some coffee. Pour some orange juice. Water the baby. Water the dog. Water the mama. Add some logs. Do the crossword puzzle. Let the dog out. Feed the dog. Change a diaper.  Read an email.  Make breakfast. Check the calendar. Listen to the news. Herd children. Make  children eat. Sing a song. Remind children to eat. Let the dog in. Ask children if they are eating. Remind the girl to use the potty. Help wipe a bum. Wash hands. Weigh myself. Clear table. Meditate. Pray. Thumb through a book. Write. Call sister. Unload the dishwasher. Load the dishwasher. Wipe the counter. Eat something. Take laundry to the basement. Load washing machine. Shake a rug out. Chase baby. Tickle baby. Light Lucy's candle. Sigh. Kiss girl. Grab the baby. Herd children upstairs. Let dog in the bedroom. Pick out clothes. Chase baby. Catch baby. Dress baby. Lie on the floor. Wrestle. Get kicked. Put in contacts. Brush teeth. Load toothbrushes with baby toothpaste. Hand out toothbrushes. Brush hair. Brush little teeth. Brush fine hair. Sing a song. Clap. Herd children downstairs. Sit on chair. Rub feet together.

Close eyes.

The children chase each other, giggle. They stop at the play kitchen to make me egg, strawberry and lemon soup. I want to breathe them into me. Or pour this moment in a pyrex container, so I can take it out of the deep freeze some day when I am old and lonely. I will simmer it over a low flame. The house will fill with the smell of baby-head and vanilla breath. I'll ladle a warm bowl of love and the ordinary for myself, curl up in front of the fire, and sip it, savoring them. They are everything I imagined them to be, my children. They are all knobby-kneed and corny jokes, long feet and kisses all over my hand. I try to listen to them without being seen, but it's nearly impossible. They always notice me. But when she pretends to be the mommy, she calls her stuffed babies 'honey', kisses their eyes, and tells them she loves them. One day, he will sleep through the night. Later, he may fancy the girl who lives next door, and try to impress her by riding one of the unicycles in the garage. One day, she will tell me about a boy and complain about her thighs, which will look strong and beautiful to me, and fat to her. One day, I will be grey and not the most important person in their lives. As I sit, I cannot shake the feeling that I may not be here for them. I want to tell them that every moment of their lives I felt grateful for them, that every moment I wanted to catalogue in some fetishistic photo album. "Here is the back of her head with its flush of red birthmark that I worried over in the early days. Here is the scab he developed after that weird blister. He was brave when we burst it." I hope I remember, but I am already forgetting what they were yesterday. I want to tell them I will be always there guiding them, you know, if I die, which I totally probably won't. I will show them the way if they listen to the wind. I want to tell them that I will come back as a hummingbird and a ladybug and anything else they think is beautiful, but it won't be enough and I will be sorry for that. I want to tell them that, but it doesn't seem right. They are too young. They have had too much loss already. My death has not even occurred to them yet. I open my eyes. He is standing below me smiling, wanting to be picked up. 

Pick up baby. Squeeze bum. Smell head. Stand up. Put on shoes. Wrangle the girl. Tell her to put her shoes on. Refill water cups. Pack diaper bag. Put on jackets. Walk out the door. Lock door. Smell head. Thank the universe. Thank. The. Universe.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Random Monday

Thank you all for sharing your favorite posts with me. It meant a lot to me to hear what resonated with you. When I began writing here, there was a compulsion to it. I absolutely had to write about Lucy's death, grief, learning how to mother, and my life. Last summer, I cut and pasted my blog into a word document. I had about 650 single spaced pages. It reads like a Manifesto of Grief, with the stubborn earnestness and maniacal urgency of the Unagriever.

I only grieve. And all who don't grieve, don't belong to this tribe.

Not surprisingly, I don't feel that way anymore. I am more than my grief. I think what is interesting about my point of view now, perhaps, is that I see everyone as a griever, even those who have not lost a child, or a parent yet. People grieve work loss, relationships, thinness, health, freedom, innocence. I realized, only after two years of grieving, that the Lucy-grief touched all the grief already in me. It is a feeling of which lit the fuse of the thousand different feelings that I stuffed into an angry little black ball and stuffed into the cobwebbed corner of me--anger, fear, self-pity, hatred, aggression, anxiety, depression, negativity, know, I know that you know. And those very human emotions and experiences are not the sole property of the grieving, they belong to everyone.

Whenever I write, it comes back to grief. It has the gravitational pull of the sun. I can revolve out from it, but always slingshot back to grief at the end of the day. Maybe it feels like the only certainty now--whatever happens, I will grieve. I will be happy, but that too shall pass. I will be sad, but that too shall pass. I will contented, but that too shall pass. I will be knocked on my ass, wind gone from my lungs, gasping for the ground beneath me, and that too shall pass. But I will always grieve something. I will always grieve Lucy. It is the constant that factors into every equation of my life. That is okay. Thinking about her doesn't make me sad. That she died makes me sad, and that sadness is in every grey hair and every black one too.

I come to this space now with the same kind of urgency. Urgency to write. I just find less time to sit. I sometimes see that as progress, and other times I see that as integration. I have integrated grief into my life in a way that it simply wasn't two years ago. I sometimes spent all day on the computer, reading blogs, reading the archives of blogs, reading articles about grief and stillbirth and parenting a dead child and art about grief. That was an important stage of my grieving, connecting with the babylost community. I still love this space. The urgency of that has lessened, but it is still there. It still helps to be understood by someone in the world. You. It still helps to be understood by you.

Last year, one of my before Lucy's death friends stopped being my friend. She said that I was not very forgiving, and that I was angry at people whose point of views she understood. She said I was mad at my mom, my friends, strangers...there was no making me happy. She said that one day, she felt like, she too would let me down. So, she stopped writing to me, or calling, I guess. I kind of loathe the phone, so I avoided talking to anyone. Strangely, I read her words with a kind of peace, because deep within me, I knew that I did the best I could. I felt a lot of guilt for those feelings of anger at well-intentioned people. I knew what they meant, but it didn't hurt less. I was an open, pulsating wound, and I had to protect myself. I knew those emotions would change, because the only thing that doesn't change is that things change. And in the end, I felt okay about us departing from the friendship. I wasn't at my best in the first year since my daughter died. The people that are still in my life love me at my worst. They love me when I was most unlovable.

And you, my blog readers, love me too, even at my most unlovable, just as I love you. You made me feel normal when everything in my little world was absolutely abnormal. So, thank you.

NOW, I have some announcements to make. WINNERS. I picked three, as I always do when I give away three things. Call this coincidence or divine intervention, but usually when I have three things, and I pick three people, I usually get three people who want each of the things I give away, which makes everything tidy. This time, the three people all wanted paintings, which is totally cool with me. So, here are the winners:
Ya Chun, Sarah, and Hanen. Please send me an email at uberangie(at)gmail(dot)com so we can work together for a painting that is meaningful to you. YAY!

In other news, one of my paintings The Carnival is in the current issue of Exhale. If you don't know what Exhale is, you need need need to check it out. Exhale is a literary magazine geared towards the ALI community. The magazine is was first founded by Monica LeMoine of Knocked Up, Knocked Down fame. You should also buy her book. It is good stuff. I have had poetry and an essay published in Exhale throughout the years, but this is the first time I have ever had a painting published, well, anywhere. The magazine is now being edited by Kristin of Once a Mother.


Also, this week, I am helping my friend Kevin Patrick promote his new album Hi Fi Heart on a Low Fi Budget. Kevin and I went to university together, and he is an amazing man and musician. He used to play in the Philly band Divine Lorraine. Kevin is a cancer survivor, writer and musician. He also volunteers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to play music for the kids, and he is also involved with Camp Cranium where he volunteers his time to put on shows for children affected by brain injuries. I know that really doesn't change the fact that his music is just plain ol' good, but my point is that he is a great guy on top of being a talented musician. Kevin needs "likes" on his Facebook page. So, if you have a moment, and a Facebook account, check out his page and "like" him.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dear Lucy,

I have never actually sat down to write you a letter. For some reason, it just didn't seem important. I don't talk to you in my head, or in my prayers. I used to cry and call for you, but nothing happened. It was still silent, and so that ritual fell away, like so many others. I wish I even had a sense of what someone so little and dead would want to talk about. Maybe I thought the talking was more for me than for you, and that felt selfish. I'm sorry, love, if you felt abandoned by my silence. I have wanted to talk to you and feel you around me since I knew you were no longer with me. Even before that, mijita, even before that.

I think the pain of not talking to you aches in me as much as the shock of your death. I don't have a sense of who you are or who you would be. It is easy to talk to my Nan, because I knew her, and I knew her humor and we can laugh together, or I can share things I know would be important to her too. I miss knowing you and all the little things that make you Lucy. I miss that part of being your mother. When Beatrice and I are cleaning, I ask her all her favorite things. Her favorite day is Tuesday, and her favorite colors are pink and orange, and she thinks that people falling over is about the funniest thing, but only really if they laugh about it too. Would you like that too? What is your favorite day? My least favorite day is Monday. That is the day you were born, and for many months after than, Monday seemed cursed to me. I think my favorite day is Thursday.

I feel tender when people tell me that you would be proud of me, or what you would want for me, or what I should do in your name. If I don't talk to you, sometimes, I possessively think no one should talk to you. I know you never belonged to me, but still sometimes I feel like you did. I feel like that about all my children, actually, like each of them belongs to me, and then realize over and over again, that they belong to themselves, and I just am blessed to watch them figure out their lives and their favoriteness for themselves.

Yesterday, Beatrice explained to me that even though you are naked and dead, you are still cute. I think that is when it occurred to me that I should tell you that more often.  Lucy, in the list of people I think are cute, you are there, right on top, eternally little, beautiful, perfect, like a wax figure of love in my mind.That is what you are, and what you taught me, and what I know about you, you taught me about what love is and how to love in every inch of me--from my tearducts down to my aching, engorged breasts, from my brain, (no matter how I explicated it, I loved you) to the state of pure energy that resides in my chest. I love you without even a breath from you.

I'm not going to sign this letter. I think you know it is from me, because I whispered it on the wind to you, and typed it directly on my heart, and published it on the internet in case you are visiting India and can only access my thoughts in a cafe which charges the US equivalent of ten cents a minute.

Have fun seeing the world, my little beauty. Wish you were here.