my Little One… …
I call you Little One, but actually, your soul is probably much, much older than mine.
And wiser too.
I understand now, almost totally, I think, your decision.
I know why you chose not to come live here.
I understand, and accept, (most of the time), that you walk a different path than mama.
And you are perhaps even nearing the end of your “journey”. Very close to Eternal Bliss. Probably already at Eternal Bliss.
Perhaps you were tempted for a little while, and thought perhaps, maybe, life on Earth cannot be too bad.
But you came to your senses, and remember what Nirvana truly is. And you departed. You chose the right path and you went.
Oh, Ferdinand, that makes me really sad. But I understand. At least, I want to really understand, and be very, very happy for you.
We miss you still.
Your sisters watch “Teletubbies” (don’t scold me, they really like the show) and when they see the sun, with the baby face in it, they call out loudly, “Hello Ferdinand! Hello Ferdinand! Hello, hello!!” They run to me and say, “That is Ferdinand! By day he is the sun and at night he is a star. He is high up there, in the sky!” They are very happy. They do not feel sad. I guess they are also much wiser than mama.
At night, sometimes they give a flying kiss after the light has been turned out, and they say, “Goodnight, Ferdinand!”
And inside, quietly, I say, “Goodnight, Ferdinand. Goodnight, my star.”
I am still very sad.
The weather is cooling down. Up at the cabin, you can really smell that Fall is in the air. The leaves are still green, but it has been windy. Very cold at night and in the mornings. The breezes are cool, chilly. We need to prepare for autumn already. The Autumn Moon Festival is this Wednesday. We’ll be gazing at the moon and thinking of you, Ferdinand. I think this first “holiday” will be hard for me. Autumn Moon is about gathering, reunion, wishes. Women wish for fertility and husbands from the Moon Goddess. Travelers all and far look up to the moon and think of their home, their loved ones who are also gazing up at the moon on the same night, and in that sense, they are parted and reunited at the same time.
We will be looking for you.
You father’s lower back has been very bad. It aches and spasms. I am really worried.
And sometimes, I feel terrified.
He has been to the chiro a few times and the help is short-lived.
You know how I feel? I sometimes can’t help thinking if we have reached the age, or phase, called “starting to go downhill”. Like, in terms of life quality, health, etc. Like, you start hearing more and more sad news- people get sick, people die, worries, etc etc.
But anyway, in a sense it is good, so this weekend at the cabin he mostly relaxed.
We did go to the Cold Springs Ranch waterfall though. Your father mentioned it and of course Valerie was all raring to go. You cannot tell her anything and then say something to the effect of “do it later” because she will demand that we do it now or she will keep buzzing in your ear like a crazy mosquito until you tell her exactly when you will do it with her. Then perhaps she will relent a little bit.
The “hike” was not too bad at all. We went Friday around noon time. We were the only people there. Very quiet, and nice. Blue skies, white clouds, the gush of the water falling. Clear water. COLD water. Your father insisted I at least put my feet into the water. He said it will do a lot for my circulation. The water was really cold. But both your sisters got in, shrieking with delight! I sat and watched them, and I thought of you. In the midst of Nature, in that big embrace, I felt very lonely. Because I yearned for you. I could feel your spirit around us. I could feel you just being there, and quiet, and just accepting. You were just there patient and quiet with me. You did not try to egg me on. To smile, to laugh, to be more joyful.
Last week your father and I had a small fight. He told me I needed to “move on”. You know, I know he did not mean to hurt me. It is just that this loss is painful for him, and he wants to try to pull away. But I am loitering around. He raised his voice at me and said, “Move on already!” And I stared at him, and I know my face distorted and suddenly the tears gushed out. I pushed the bowl away from me, stood up and walked away. Then I laid on the floor in the family room and curled myself up.
What the hell is moving on? I am really trying, my son. Little things. The de-cluttering, the cleaning. I am cooking almost regularly now. The last time I looked at your clothing I did not cry. I talked to V the other night, giving her all the details of the circumstances surrounding your birth and I did not cry. Not a drop of tear. I told her you chose your path and I accepted it. Were you proud that I did not cry? I really did feel quite calm then. I almost thought I was “over it”. But I don’t think any mother ever gets over her child’s departure.
Anyway, I was telling Cecille the other day about a star named Ferdinand. And she told me a few days after she lost her mother, when she was in college, she went out at night with a few friends to look at the sky and there was this star so shiny and bright she felt it could only be her mother looking back at her. And she said since then others have shared with her how, after a loved one’s passing, they seem to find a new bright star in the sky. I told her I had the same experience. Tell me, is this how stars are formed?
On Saturday it rained nearly the whole day. The creek was low and by evening, the water level had risen and starting to seep into our yard again. I am glad it was too dark for Sophia to see that; she is still rather traumatized by the flood we had. But the next morning she told me the water in the creek looked like chocolate. It was muddy. Two-and-a-half-inches of rain in a day. It rained in the night too. Because it was raining we could not do anything but stayed inside. Read, play games, eat. I read “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan”. The story of two girl friends during a time in China when young girls had their feet bounded. It was a cruel practice. When you read it, you think you are so lucky to be in a different age. But then, maybe it is not so different. There are still so many atrocities. And for some, the relationship between men and women had not changed that much really. There is still, Suffering. That very first Noble Truth. Life is suffering. Existence is Suffering.
The character Snow Flower was pregnant eight times, but only three of her children lived. I cannot imagine, Ferdinand, I just cannot imagine. Her second child was a daughter and she wrote to her dearest friend “My baby daughter was born dead.” You know my heart skipped a beat when I read that. Like someone punched me real hard and I could not breathe. She wrote of how she held her baby’s feet in her hands and thought how they would never know the agony and pain of footbinding. She touched her eyes and thought how they would never weep in sadness of having to leave one’s natal home, of seeing for the last time, of saying goodbye to a dead child. She wrote of putting her fingers over her baby’s heart and how it would never know pain, sorrow, loneliness and shame.
Ferdinand, when I held you…. I touched your eyes and thought of how I will never see them sparkle and smile at me and challenge me. I held your fingers and wept over how I will never feel the warmth of your fingers wrapped in mine. I held your feet and my heart ached that they will not feel the grass and ground underneath them, that you will never toddle in them towards mama, gurgling and drooling. I held your head in mine and thought of how your head will never rest on my chest for a nap, or a good cry, or in laughter. I put my hand over your heart and cried that it was not beating. I touched your nose and I mourned that you never drew a breathe in this world. I traced your lips and I wanted to watch them open and latch on, and cry and smile and laugh and coo and talk to me.
But, you know, perhaps I should be happy like how Snow Flower thought of how her daughter will not know of pain and sorrow. You were just a sleeping baby. No, you are a wise, traveling soul, and I hope truly that you will never know pain, sorrow and loneliness. Not to worry, and fret and agonize. Hopefully, one day mama can be the same too. No worries, no fears, no pain, no sorrow.
There is always an emptiness, no matter where I am. A space where you are meant to be. I know I have to let you go. Have I let you go? There was nothing I can do to keep you with me physically. And I suppose I should let you be free in spirit and soul too. I think you are. I think you are truly free, because you do not visit me in my dreams. So you must be totally free and unattached and moving onwards in your special journey. It pains me, yet I feel happy. For you.
And I still feel grateful that you were with us, even if shortly.
And forever we will have a bright star in the sky to call our own, Ferdinand.
I miss you. I love you.
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