My niece became a mother this week to a perfect baby girl.
As she holds that tiny, intact human being in her arms, I imagine that she anticipates a lifetime of possibilities yet ahead of them both. I imagine that a seismic shift has already occured in her heart, her outlook, her plans for the futures of her and her perfect, dependent, fiercely loved daughter. It's a phenomenon not easily described, and best understood from the perspective of the new mother.
Everything has changed.
And will never again be what it was before.
Yesterday, a young woman from our town died in a car accident. She was married for just one year, and before that, she was that daughter. The one that changed her mom forever. The daughter that shaped the way her mom saw the world, what she wanted from this lifetime, what she hoped, and dreamed, and anticipated. I imagine their baby time, the toddler years, the school years, the teenaged parts. I imagine the bond, the joy, the anticipation of what was yet to come. I imagine that mother's heart.
How do you breathe when your daughter cannot? And do you want to?
I'm a mom too. And a daughter. I've tried to imagine what it might feel like to lose my daughters, and I just can't. I don't think its even fair to because its not possible to relate to something so incongruent with my hopes and expectations. My own mother turned eighty-six this week, and there's a vague sense of survivor guilt for "having it all"- having my mother, being a daughter, being a mother, having my daughters.
Life is just plain stupid sometimes. It's maddening and discouraging and senseless and unfair. There isn't a thing I could really say or do to make this less awful.
God, have mercy on us all.