Love at first heartbeat.
Years ago, as I reclined comfortably on an examination room table, an attendant jellied my belly with sonogram goo and, within a few seconds, I heard a sound I... would never forget for the rest of my life: your rapid, sparrow-small heartbeat.
Even though the heartbeat was strangely distorted in it's muffled amplification, all I heard was life -- precious, vital life. There was life inside me -- a heart beating inside my womb! It was so hard to believe a human being's heart could beat that fast, but, then again, you were no bigger than a hummingbird at the time. Yet, there you were, alive, inside my body, making your presence known. You were undeniable.
When I first heard this manic, throttling little drum, I immediately and instinctively understood the power it would forever have over me, and I knew, also, that you would look to me as its source. Accepting this grand responsibility came as natural to me as breathing, and, before you were even born, I had already fallen deeply, unshakably in love with you.
I recognized the racing beat of your heart as the sound of love itself. And, at that moment, I knew you were my one true love, my forever girl.
Months later, as I screamed and screeched you into this world, all the blinding pain that accompanied your birth was silenced the moment I saw your face.
Something dramatic was going on in that hospital room -- a big fuss was being made with doctors. There was craziness and faces were covered by blue masks. But you and I were already in our own little world. Nobody could touch us, nobody could enter.
Something intensely awesome had just occurred, something -- miraculous. We experienced a frozen moment in suspended animation: I touched you, you felt my touch and we both knew all the drama of the world would forever melt away in the bliss of this true love. You had the prettiest little face I had ever seen. My forever girl.
I held you so tightly -- and didn't loosen my grip for years. I walked with you strapped to my body my back aching, my nose eternally sniffing the top of your sweet head. I'd know that smell blindfolded, even today.
As I watched you grow, my heart expanded with each new step you took. And every time you fell, I felt the pain in ways only a mother can understand.
Then, of course, there was that awful day, Friday the 13th. They told me you were going to die and all I could think of was, "No! My baby. She's only 20 years old!"
In Plano Medical Center that horrible night, I held your hand as the tubes went in and out of your frail little body. You endured test after test, and I sat there, hiding the reservoir of tears behind my nervous fingers. Your beautiful, sweet face soaked in blood from the gun shot wound to the head forever ruined...
BUT YOU WERE SO STRONG! My forever girl.
Still, my poor little baby how could this happen? You fighting for the life of the little baby inside you, and I thought there was nothing you couldn't conquer. Slowly I watched as your babies heartbeat diminished. The sound of love slowly dying. My heart sank watching your babies passing.
My thoughts were of all you and that baby would miss together in life. Things I had with you. You learned to read, write, act and dance. You thought deep thoughts, loved music, challenge me daily and surprise me constantly.
When you where at school, I delighted in your independence. And, when I pick you up each afternoon, the second you parked that 12-year-old body in the passenger seat next to me, everything in my life suddenly becomes better. You were a survivor! You were loved!
My youngest child. You're just a few months away from being 21, but, still, I never pass up an opportunity to check in on you as you sleep. Your face? Purity. Your breath is all the peace I will ever need in this world. My forever girl.
I whispered in your ear after your baby passed and told you it was ok to go. I loved you with all my heart. I was proud to be your Mommy.
You moved on, like the radiant pulse of energy and love that you've always been.
You are the greatest thing that has ever happened to me! Your life has given me something I will never, ever lose. You've brought love into my life, a love that will never fade. You really are my true love, and, after all, isn't that what Being a Mother and Daughter is all about?
Every day now my heart walks around outside my body, but I know this...
Just like Christopher Robin said to Winnie the Pooh, a story you constantly had me read-
"If ever there is a tomorrow when we are not together ...There is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think, but the most important thing is, even if we're apart... I will always be with you."
I know this is true! My forever girl. Love forever and always, Mommy