The last time we spoke and I was looking at your face, I don't remember it. I was there. But I was, for the most part, completely unaware. You sent me a picture this spring of the first photos you had taken of me out of the hospital. I'm about 5 months old, sitting up, laughing---probably looking at some silly stuffed animal the photographer is holding. The photo is dated January 26, 1981. My adoption papers say that I was placed at the agency on the 29th. What happened during those 3 days, M? You told me on the phone last summer that you never planned on giving me up. So what happened? I know you told me already, we've had many a phone call in the months since Kathy the Social Worker reunited us. But really, what went wrong?
I'm still processing all of this. In some ways, I think I'm just starting to. For the first time in a long time, I easily tear up. It actually feels good to feel so...raw. I'm relieved that I can cry. I'm relieved that if I need to when I see you, my heart won't simply remain lodged in my throat. I'm putting it all out there for you, M. I'm trying my hardest not to block you. I can feel myself being a bit protective of my heart; I don't want to be burned again. From the looks of that baby picture you sent me, it looks like I got sideswiped a good one. I had no idea what was coming down the pike.
And so everything changed. Not all for the worse, most certainly not. I have no regrets, but that's because I live my life in a circle. We all do. So do you; especially you, M. We're circling back around to each other this Saturday. Finally.
You're 50 now. I'm 31. I imagine how the day will go---only up until the moment I see you. After that, it's the first day of the rest of my life. Outside of having my son, this is the most outrageously emotional endeavor I've ever endeavored. Even more than falling in love. Actually, on second thought, this really is the most outrageously emotional endeavor I've ever endeavored upon.
On Saturday I'm going to bake lasagna from scratch with my best-friend-like-a-brother's recipe (nutmeg, being the secret ingredient, I found out.) I'm going to carefully pin my hair up so that it's not in my face. I'm going to put on my polka dot dress and get into my car and drive past the ocean on Ventnor Avenue and then go to the Philadelphia Airport. I'll stand on the hard concrete floors, amidst fast-moving travelers and feel like I'm in a dream, trying to run while swimming. When I see your face, I won't look away. We'll walk up to each other and as everyone is walking past us, around us, surrounding us, there will be this moment. Where we are each other's only space. Where everything strikes sparks; the moment before we touch. It will be like light passing through a window and while we may not notice it as it's happening, for that one moment, on the vigil of Easter, we will coincidentally, rebirth.
I missed you, Mary.