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  • Writer's pictureCaroline

Our Daughter

An angelic young lady stood on the stage and captured my gaze. Her beauty grows every time I see her, and yet this evening, she took my breath away. Her high cheekbones, revealed by her having pulled back her long curly locks, gave her an air of regality. In her I saw the likeness of you, and yet also a uniquely exquisite young woman; tears flowed without consciousness. In the humdrum of daily living we sometimes miss each other, and then a moment strikes us from the spiritual realm and impresses upon our soul how remarkably exquisite the gift of the shared humdrum is.

I could feel your presence, as if your spirit were palpable to my own. I felt your pride emanate from your being towards her, and yet, call me a fool, I swear that I felt it wash over me as well; that you were proud of and grateful for me. Could it be that I was feeling your love for me? I wept silent tears to not disrupt the audience unaware of the presence of your spirit. You had grown warm flesh, full of life. The last time I touched your hand and gripped your arm, begging you to remain, it was cold and limp, a mere cadaver of the person I had moments before known as my kin.  I imagined you seated next to me in flesh, my arm linked with yours, our heads leaned in against one another and our love drenched thoughts saying out loud, “that’s our daughter!” I could feel the height of you, just a few inches shorter than me, my slightly longer arm embracing yours in a sisterly show of affection that our relationship hadn’t known since we were young children ourselves, tending to our doll babies as if they were our flesh and blood babies. Such care and tenderness between us, before life hardened our hearts in its own way, unique to each of us. Our doll babies were replaced with real babies, ones that I have tended to all alone all these years, without your unrivaled loyalty to stand beside me. You left before you could meet my own flesh and blood, a void of an aunt they’d never know.

You left without an embrace, a word, a vow, a priceless reassurance that if not in flesh, in spirit, you would remain. Yet this evening, I felt you as if you never left 14 years ago, but had been miraculously restored to your place beside me in rearing our children together, aching through the trials of life with a camaraderie that only sisters know. It was as if in these hallowed moments in the high school auditorium as our daughter sang, you opened my spiritual senses to your presence all along.

“Our daughter”, how many sisters can share those words; yet words I share with you only in spirit. I will never hear your audible words on this side of heaven. “Our daughter”, oh how the ache is so deep that such a tragedy and a beauty could exist in this. “Laura”, your name so foreign, so familiar. I whisper to myself your name and feel the roll of the syllables fall off my tongue, a name that in the lonely nights of despair when my house is empty, has crescendoed to a plea for you to be near, to look me in the eyes and hold me and allow me to hold you in return; yet it is only right now amidst this mass of strangers that I feel your presence and must retain it to myself. The clock ticks away, and the moments are gone, and you with them; once more I am alone to do this solitary task of raising our daughter without you.

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Jun 21

Such an achingly beautiful picture painted with your words. My heart aches for you, friend. For the headache you've endured. The brokenness of this world causes so much pain this side of heaven. I know one day, it will be made right. I'm so thankful you and I can hold onto that.

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