On The Professor’s 4th Birthday

Dear Ms. Feverfew –

Today is the Professor’s birthday – he is turning four. It is on days like this that I ache for you the most, days like this that I let myself pull out the sorrow that is us that is tucked tidily in the back corners of my heart. I dust it off, slipping it on like a prayer shawl. I let myself sit shiva, my grief a riverstone in my soul – cool, heavy, familiar. Invariably, I eventually have to set it aside and open the door to my life as it is today. But for now…for now I just let the tears fall where they may, my study door shut to the sounds of the Professor and his trains.

You should be here. I should have celebrated your fourth birthday with cake and ice cream and new toys instead of tears and old heartache. I should have held your face in my hand that morning and told you how thrilled I am to be your mother and how happy I am that God gave me the honor of having you in my family instead of offering up an unvoiced prayer, asking for forgiveness yet again.

Despite years of counseling and countless hours in prayer, I have yet to find the balm of Gilead that will heal this woundedness in my heart. My hope is that someday I can sit down to write one of these letters to you without my heart shattering into a thousand pieces as if for the first time. Today is not that day.


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