Not many people know that I have four children, not three. For the past thirteen and a half years it was easier to just say I had three children rather than having to explain where the missing child was. However, each time I told that white lie I could not help but feel a twitch of pain in my heart for I knew the truth. It made me feel as if I was hiding you from the world, which is entirely untrue. I told this fib as a form of self-protection more than anything else. You see, the only way I could carry on with my life without you while remaining a functioning person in society and a Mom to your brother and sisters was to keep all of it buried deep inside of my heart and soul only speaking of it and you when absolutely necessary.
Please, do not get me wrong here…I NEVER once stopped thinking about you, loving you, needing you, and wanting you in my life. NEVER! NOT ONCE! There has not been a single day that has gone by without me thinking of you and praying that you were okay. But I did and continue to do so in a very private manner, well until today, your very special day. The day I have waited ever so patiently and obediently for as he made me agree, your 18th birthday! It is finally safe, or so I believe, to speak about you and how losing you was such a tragedy. So much so that it changed an entire family and more so myself in such a way that we will never be the same again.
When you were taken it rocked me to the core of my being and I felt as if my heart, my soul, my everything was ripped right out of my chest in the same manner you were ripped right out of my arms and my life. I have been living on, for lack of a better term, life support ever since that day in May 2001. The “life support” I speak of is what finally allowed me to breathe again. It is and was all of my hopes, dreams, and prayers deep inside my heart that on November 17, 2014, or soon thereafter, we would be reunited again after all of these heartbreaking and torturous years. Years of living with a void, larger than the universe, in my life and heart.
The only way I knew I could survive until today was to grieve for my loss of you and to bury all of my thoughts and memories of you and us safely in the deepest part of my heart. I had no choice as the pain was, and continues to be, unbearable and unfathomable especially when those memories sneak up on me. And as I write these words my hands tremble, along with my lip, as I cry harder than I have cried since that day way back in May. These are not just tears that are streaming down my face but a painful, soul wrenching cry, as I bellow out loud completely out of control. The type of cry that only a parent who has lost a child can understand and explain. Feelings so intense that I have not allowed myself to feel them for so very long now, come rushing back to me and consume every fiber of my being. Almost paralyzing me, but the need to express all of this to you drives me to push forward.
After all, if I do not write this how will you ever know how much I love you and that I never stopped loving or wanting you, not for a single minute? How will you ever know that I did not abandon you all those years ago? How will you ever know you were ripped from my loving and caring arms because I tried to protect us both? And most importantly, how will you ever know I have been waiting, ever so patiently, for you to come home to me, home to my open and loving arms yet again?
How will you know? Well…I know you reached out to me in the slightest of ways a few months back…I’ll never forget the moment or day I received the notification that you were now following me. From an account I have assumed you created just for me as there is only one other follower on there besides me. An inquiring way to find me just to see what you now see about me? An account that suddenly, almost magically, appeared out of nowhere back in July…just about the same time you made your way off to college to spread your wings and fly. How do I know that…he told me! An account in which a picture of nothing but your beautiful face magically appears every month without a trace or a word written. Ever wonder if I had seen? Is this really you reaching out to me? Well, this is me reaching out to you now that you have finally turned 18!
Happy Birthday My Little Sunshine, Jaynee Marie!
More love than you know,
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