Thursday, July 20, 2006

More about my Breaking Heart

Here is a pastel drawing of my heart yesterday. I feel so much better after writing about how I was feeling - after realizing how I was feeling about her leaving. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. Wandering around my house, not feeling like doing anything at all, restless and tired. Tired even when I got 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. There is some deep, primitive part of myself who really would just like to go to sleep and completely ignore that my daughter is moving 1000's of miles away. The pain of her leaving is just too great.

I have these weird thoughts. Like when I held my daughters in my arms at their birth, I was always overwhelmed at the thought that all the little ovum that would become their children were already inside them. It is like standing in the river of life - generations gone before and generations yet to come - like looking in two mirrors when you can see forever. In this way, I have thought of my children as always being with me. If one of them asks, was I there, then - asking about some memory I am sharing. If they weren't born yet, I will say, "yes, but you were just a little egg in my ovary". And Erin was in my heart for a long time before she was even growing within me. I dreamed of being a mother. I planned. I looked forward. I took parenting classes at University while I was still single. I dreamed of her. It has been far more than only 20 years that she has lived in my heart.

Here she is in the hospital in the arms of her older sister (I hate the term 1/2 sister - how can one be 1/2 a sister? They love each other. They are sisters. But Sarah has a different mother...) Sarah was so excited to have a little sister and she loved her instantly. This is one of my favourite pictures.

Once she was so small she could fit on a little cushion for the arm rest of the couch. This was her Dad's couch and he took it with him when he moved out. But a friend who was moving a couple of years ago, offered me an old couch - almost exactly the same as this one (it has yellow and gold stripes). I took it and gave it to Erin because of this picture.

Here she is at 3 months old, hanging in the jolly jumper. She never did jump in that thing but she learned to swing herself... She liked to hang there and watch me in the kitchen. She was my constant companion and needed to be with me all the time.

I have always said that Erin has a very brave soul. By entering my life, she saved me and then I, in turn, saved her. At that time, I did not care enough about myself to get out of the abusive situation I was in. But I cared enough for her to leave. I could not bear for her to grow up to feel about me the way I felt about my mother. And I could not bear for her to have the idea she would have had if I had stayed, of what being a wife and mother is. I wanted better than that for her. And so I got out. She was a huge catalyst on my healing path. Our life together has not been easy. We have been through some pretty tough times together and I will always wish that I could have given her an easier childhood. She gave me a great gift by being born at that difficult and unhappy time. I will always be grateful.

Get set to hear lots about Erin. Its what I need to do!

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