Where Have You Gone?

Sometimes, when my heart allows it, I see you everywhere.

In the lyrics of a song…in the casual words people string together without thought…in the rush of memory a picture evokes…in the gait of a stranger…in the pain all around…in the walls…in the corners and in every speck of undusted past around every jagged edge of my battered heart.

Most times, I cannot find you anywhere.

I search for you…under every rock weighing down my soul…but you have disappeared forever and I am left wondering what could have been…wishing my life had been different.

When you were born, I refused to acknowledge you. I was so angry…so hurt that another human being was going to be part of something so damaging. I wanted to hate you…but you smelled of innocence and hope and when I held you I felt something shift inside me and a door opened just a tiny crack to let you in.

I wasn’t home much…you grew up with me on the sidelines…always an outsider…and you weren’t even sure how we were related.

But when you saw me, you hugged me.

I hadn’t known touch to be pure and loving and I hugged you back, probably too tight.

Each time I saw you, I got to know another little part of you. You became something of an ideal for me. You were the little one with all the potential I never got to have. Maybe I was a little jealous.

There were so many brief moments…so many times we built on this distant connection…so many times we almost sealed the bond.

Then we got to have magic.

Four and a half weeks of magic marred by a whirlwind of emotional turmoil and exhaustion coupled with an inexplicable physical drain…

But of course, we know what it was now…we know that it killed you and there was nothing we could do to stop it.

You went home and I tried.

I tried to keep building…I tried to make something that could last forever.

I failed. You slipped away from me…in every way…and when you died I lost the part of me that believes our fates are never sealed…that we have the power to change the way we live our present so that our past can finally rest.

My past tosses and turns in a shallow grave while you lay in one too deep and inaccessible to me.

I have only small remnants of you left and they get swallowed up by the ever-dying embers of lives that should have been…children always protected and loved…individuality accepted and embraced…cancer beating down a door built so strong and impenetrable that it shatters every ugly cell.

So, I look for you…everywhere…and sometimes I find you…but most times…I don’t.


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