In the days before your silent arrival, I wrote you a letter. I remember crying while writing it because I knew it was just the beginning of me writing letters to you. My plan was to keep these words secret from you throughout your childhood and give them to you as a surprise on your eighteenth birthday. As I wrote, I was trying to imagine what you would look like the first time I saw you and how you would be years down the road. During these thoughts, you wiggled around in my belly and I just kept encouraging you to keep dancing along. All of these movements reassured me for what I thought was a promised future.
These words were full of one promise I’ll always keep.
The letter I wrote on that day is my favorite that I’ve ever written. There was so much innocence and positivity in every up and down stroke. Even when I told you I expected you to break my heart and challenge me as you grew. I wanted you to know that no matter what you did, your mother would always be there for you. That no matter what trouble or ‘bad’ thing you think you did, I would right here to help. I told you I would be your lifelong cheerleader who would embarrass you at every turn, but I knew you would always be appreciative of those times.
To be honest, I forgot about this letter and a lot of other things when you were first born. My mind blocked a lot of those precious moments in the beginning. It wasn’t until the first time I was home alone at your grandma and grandpa’s, with just your urn and flame flickering away, that I found this letter once again. In that moment, I wanted to throw the notebook across the room. I would never get to embarrass you in the ways I wanted or I would never know what you’d look like at age eighteen. All the letters I had planned to write were gone and they were filled with different words now. Each up and down stroke was still filled with innocence and positivity, but the writer who was reading into her past had changed.
It flickered in my mind just as quickly as your flame. Each motion reminded me of the pain I was constantly feeling. My whole world has fell apart, Jensen. You are no longer physically here and that absence crushes me. I remember in those moments of sitting there with your letter in my hands, that my soul was tugging from two angles. The first was cold and painful. It was always right there. In those days, it was really the only thing my body could process, so I welcomed it. Yet, there was something else in that moment. The second pulling, which was warm and inviting. It was the promise I made to you each day you were in my belly and it’s the promise I continue to make to you even in your death.
My promise to you, Jensen, is love.
Love is the only promise that can never be broken. I promise to love you with each breath I take. It is the only thing you ever felt on your time here on earth and it’s what you continue to feel in heaven. My promise to you is not only to love you, but surround myself and your memory with love that everyone will be able to see. It’ll be the way I can survive through tomorrow, the holidays, and each day I encounter. My promise of loving you makes my world continue to turn.
I miss you. I love you.
I promise you I’m doing my best.