I can’t help but love you because I am a part of you. Your DNA courses through my veins until my flesh returns to the dust. See, even though I never had your name, I had your blood. Yet, I hate that you chose to be absent from my life for so very long.
As a kid growing up, ease dropping on adult conversations, I couldn’t help but wonder who I looked like. I knew that my sister looked like her dad; that my cousins looked like their moms and dads; and, that I looked like you. Only problem was – I’d never seen you, let alone spoken to you. You were the unspoken half of me.
I don’t know if you ever realized how affected I was as a child, growing up unable to connect with the missing part of me. My identity was tied to you, and I was left feeling incomplete without you. You were the idol of my childhood dreams; a combination of nightmares and wonderful daydreams.
I guess the hardest part is that I just didn’t understand. How could I; I was just a child. But as I grew up, what separated us could never be reconciled in my heart as justified. See, AT&T was a norm when I was born; and the services only got better with time.
I wanted someone to blame, but they were non-existent. Mom didn’t bad mouth you to me; she just never talked about you to me. Then, when the silence was finally broken … I had already tossed you out into the sea of emotions and allowed you to drift outside my care. Maybe I was too good at hiding how much I cared or maybe, after 11 years, she didn’t know where/how to start that conversation. But to be fair, you could have started that conversation on your own.
Be honest with me? Did you ever think of me once the dye had been cast? I was the fruit of your loins, borne of your passion. Did I cease to be of interest so soon after the demise of what was? I was made to choose one parent when I would have chosen you both regardless of the relationship’s death. I had enough in me to love you both equally.
It’s too sad we wasted so much of the little time we were given. I can think of a thousand and one things I would have loved to have filed away in my memory chest. Unfortunately, I have to settle for the small parts I was given because they are priceless when compared to having nothing.
I could spend a lifetime crying over what could have been. Instead, I’ve chosen to cherish the minuscule discovery moments of the you I came to realize in me. Holding your hand, laughing at your jokes, looking into your beautiful brown eyes, relishing the memories of time spent in your presence. I can hear you now, whispering about things you thought I was too innocent to understand, wanting to protect my tender soul from the realities of your world.
There is no longer an identity hole in my life. It had long since been covered over by time. In the end, my prayers were answered. As I sat beside you, the knowledge of your final search for me was an overwhelmingly mix of both joy and sadness. I know you loved me the best way you knew how; the best way you could.
Now, like you, I am at peace with your absence. For my hope is fulfilled in believing we will share in eternity what we were never able to share here on earth … unity, as one, in Christ.
In the end, I still loved you, Chico…
Excerpt from “I Just Want to Say…” by Wanda Murry © July 24, 2019. All rights reserved.