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Saturday, June 21, 2014


Dear Josie,

I'm special, you know.

1 in 4.  1 in 160.  I can't keep track of all the numbers, but  I'm a statistic now.  So are you.
I keep picturing my kindergarten class kneeling on that red circle on our classroom floor.  Several heads are gently touched and he moves on.  I'm anxious and shaky as he approaches.  Goose. 

Except that I can't run.  I can't run from the life I now live.  Can't "pass it on" to someone else.  Wouldn't want to.  I keep thinking of her, the pregnant woman right now at home on her comfy couch.  She's smiling as she rubs her belly, oblivious as to what awaits her.  It makes me nauseous. 

When your father and I were married the priest gave his homily.  He talked about the term "extraordinary".  Today is extraordinary, he said.  Today is different.  Today is special. 

I've never been a fan of the spotlight.  Truth be told, I'd just assume slink into the background unnoticed.  I hate the attention, despise the eyes on me.  I'm completely fine with ordinary.  I'd give anything to go back to it.  Just another girl who had another baby.  Another uneventful ending.  Another birth announcement on the fridge for a week or so, never missed after its eventual move to the trash can.  Ordinary.  Everyday.  The norm. 

I can't get over it.  In my boring, everyday existence this extraordinary thing happened to me.  This monumental event.  This incredible, unbelievable, incomprehensible thing.  I'm the girl that people talk about now.  When this awful topic arises, I'm the girl in their conversation that somebody works with.  The girl on someone's street.  The girl someone read about.  I'm the cousin's husband's friend. 

Since you died I have noticed a change, a mental shift I can feel in my every movement. 

I  feel this connection to so many things, so many people I never could before.   I long for them, these interactions, these conversations.  Their words are no longer sounds to me, I can feel them.  I can see their pain.

You're the extra, my love.  The raise in the volume.  The step from the wall.  The brightest badge on the highest ledge. 

With the utmost confidence I shall house you, a pride I've never known before.  A beacon, you radiate through me.  A glow on the skin of the lost. 

I promise never to cover you.  My daughter.  My extra.  You have made me someone worth knowing, someone special.  I am forever grateful.  I am forever yours.


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