Day 31 of 99 in 33 goes to Autum and Morgan. Jill writes a beautiful letter, “Dear Autum and Morgan, I’m sure neither of you can remember back to when I started taking care of you, but I remember it very clearly. It was late when I got to your house that first night, and your grandma came and helped me put the two of you to bed. Morgan, you were about seven weeks old. You were so tiny; you still are. You cried a lot those first few days, but it wasn’t long before you were smiling at me. Autum, you were a cute little two-year-old. I went into your room that first morning, thinking maybe you’d be scared; you didn’t know me well. You just smiled at me from your bed, and reached your little arms out towards me. When Dad came in the house, you pointed to me, like you were showing him I was there. That first time I stayed for two weeks, but I was back before long. I loved taking care of you and watching you learn and grow over the years. I could never get enough of you. I can’t believe how old you both are now. I try to come and visit as much as I can, but I still miss you so much when I can’t be there. I will try to remember what you told me Morgan: “Don’t be too sad. It’s not like you’ll never see us again.” You two have wisdom beyond your years. I love you, Jill” Sharing special memories for Jill in a Memoir of Me book.
The next goes to Perri who writes a lovely story about Eleni. My daughter, Eleni, whose namesake means Bearer of Light, came into this world both wanted and made of Love. Learning that I was going to be a mother brought tears of joy to my eyes; I was thrilled to know I was going to have a greater part in the Big Scheme of Life. Eleni was born on her due date and I brought her home “healthy” to live with me, her father, and her “Abuelos” - her paternal grandparents, those first 10 months of life.
I took Eleni to her first well-baby check-up on a pleasant October day. The pediatrician, Dr. Takahashi, a cardiologist’s wife, detected a heart murmur. We learned that she had several heart anomalies, and it was likely too risky to operate. In addition to Eleni’s story, her only sibling, Eric, was born 2 years after her, with a hole in his heart in need of closure. He had open heart surgery at 3 years old, and at 16 had foot surgery for a congenital variation. He has cared deeply for his sister, and has carried mixed hope and grief for her.
Somehow as overwhelming as it has been for Eleni, and her family, I have persevered and made everyday still count, as Living Life with Enthusiasm. Having a strong spiritual awareness and supportive family and friends has also been my saving grace. My daughter has taught me that with all her challenges and all her pain, fears and despair, that I, her mother, must always be truly present, and the ultimate keeper of faith. Perhaps her greatest gift to me has been to have chosen me to be her mother, and nurture her, believe in her, and love her just as she is. Eleni’s soul has carried the torch; she has been my Bearer of Light.” Sincere gratitude for you, Perri and Eleni.
Two more days. Six more books. Love, Michelle