Real Stories

You Were Mine

Dear Klara and Haven:

Or maybe you were going to be Isla and Crew.

Or those times when I got zen’d out on kombucha and patchouli-scented essential oils, you were probably Olive, India, and Bodhi: my trio of free-spirited darlings.

Whatever your names were, you were mine.

Long ago, I dreamt you up. I envisioned how you looked—if you would have my grey-blue eyes, rosy cheeks, rounded jawline, and brown hair. I wondered if I’d pass along my creative streak and love for nature to you, as well. I dreamt about reading to you at night and teaching you how to sound out the letters yourself; taking you on surprise ice-cream dates, whipping up breakfast for dinner, lathering your hair into shampoo mohawks during baths, and letting you mismatch your clothes for the day—because, kids, you had a unique style.

My instinct would have been to scoop you up in cuddles when you were afraid or scraped your knee, and your scribbles and watercolors would’ve been showcased on our refrigerator like museum pieces. And as you ventured out to explore the world around you, I was going to be an eager spectator of your wild curiosity and amazement. No matter how old you were or where your feet landed, I’d always be your home.

But just as we grew so close to one another—when, for a moment, I could nearly reach out and touch your little hands—I failed us.

My body failed us. For real this time—concrete, final.

No longer was there a silver lining, options, or miracles for us to grasp onto. The rope of yearning tied to you suddenly tethered away, and the fine threads slipped through my fingers.

And yet, the physical pain I endured for so long doesn’t compare to the anguish I feel for you now—the dream of you and me, merely just that: lost forever in a distant hope-filled ache.

Today, I am grieving you. Yesterday I grieved you, as well, and tomorrow I expect the same. I would do anything for you to have felt my touch as I wrapped you in a hug or kissed the velvety skin on your forehead. I’m trying to make sense of why we couldn’t be together, but how can any of this make sense?

They say that time will heal this brokenness, that someday the grief will be less than it is now; but I fear that more than I fear my own broken heart and the tears that stream at a moment’s notice. Because for me to feel less grief means I’ve let go, I gave up. And I can’t bear to let go of you yet, even though I know the chance for us to be together is no more.

Just yesterday, you seemed so tangible. Is it strange that I can still feel you when I rest my hand upon my womb? And yet, there is no more womb, and you were never even there. Somehow, I’m supposed to make peace with this, to not feel guilt or shame; to accept, in a sense, losing a child.

To my sweet Klara and Haven; to Isla and Crew; or perhaps my three bohemian babes—Mommy is sorry. The truth is, I’ve always loved you and will love you for the rest of my life. The choice I faced was heart-wrenching—a gutting sacrifice that now forever keeps us apart.

However, despite my resistance, for as much as it pains me, someday I will be able to let go of you just enough so that I may love another’s baby as intensely. And they will be mine just as much as you are.

But I want you to know that you will always stay with me, a constant reminder of the loving mother I was meant to be; the mother you made me want to become in the first place.

by Sandy Deringer

Aspiring author, student of life, and highly-introverted woman---but the latter is simply one of my greatest attributes. A visionary with degrees in the humanities and science, I've honed my quiet, creative, and empathetic tendencies with the intent of leaving a lasting impact on the world. Contributing writer with Thought Catalog, Honeyfire Literary Magazine, Our Verse Magazine, The Mighty, Highly Sensitive Refuge, and Introvert, Dear. I'm also slightly obsessed with dogs, freshly-brewed coffee, yoga, Hallmark Channel movies, and books.


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