Monthly Archives: February 2018

Heart Daughter

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Chloee,
They told me that you were born missing most of your brain,
But to me, you were perfect.
I’ve fallen in love dozens of times, but nothing prepared me for the way it felt to hold you in my arms and look into your grey-blue eyes:
Calm, still oceans that harboured secrets no one would ever discover.

You were not a child of my body, but you were a child of my heart.

Born to teenage parents who had underestimated the challenge of raising a special needs child, I cared for you in the hospital for the month after your birth while you waited for a foster home.
Doctors and nurses focused on how you wouldn’t live past ten,
But all I could focus on was the way you looked at me whenever I cradled you and sang,
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…”

Chloee,

What does it mean when a child is born imperfect?
Some people take uncreased sheets of paper just to fold them into shapes called “art”.
Some people pour gold into fractured pottery just to celebrate the beauty of splintered history.
If art and history can be subjective, then who am I to behold the creation of Almighty G-d and call it anything less than spectacular?
You, you are made of the magic of stars and cells, angels and organisms, fairy dust and molecules,
Spackled together by two people who didn’t know how to raise a child who wasn’t like other babies,
And I, I was the witness to this messed-up miracle of a sweet baby girl born imperfectly perfect, perfectly imperfect.
All I could do in your presence was hope that I could kiss you enough for both our lifetimes whenever I cradled you and sang,
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…”

Chloee,

Your name is a song that dances on my lips in the arabesque of a half-smile or the brise of laughter in a quiet moment.
Time races by in sunrises and sunsets,
Almost as fast now as those hours at the hospital where I counted your fingers, toes, and eyelashes.
Somehow, I have ended up loving you without you much longer than I loved you while knowing you.
The day I handed you to a woman I didn’t know to take you away to a place that I’ll never know, knowing that I’ll never see you again,
I sat down on the pavement outside the hospital and cried in the autumn rain.
They say that motherhood is momentous because it is choosing to forever have your heart walk around outside of your body,
And in that moment, as the raindrops beat down, I became a true mother.

Chloee

You are my Heart Daughter, and wherever you go, I will always long for you.
Every night before I go to sleep, I cradle all my love and hope and wishes for you in my arms and I never forget to sing,
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…”

Chloee passed away February 22nd, 2018. I will never forget her.

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 Creative Commons License
This work, “Heart Daughter”, by Beth Murch,  is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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