sweet days of baby Rose….

ripplespeak
Saint Patrick’s Day 1979
Daffodils bloomed,
breezes turned balmy
and I pulled off my shoes,
letting my swollen feet tramp across the warming earth.
I was pregnant with my first baby….due today.
For weeks I had ached for time to stop,
squeezing myself shut to the coming contractions
and separation.
The word “relinquish” hung heavy on my heart.
But today the weather had quickly turned.
Spring rushed in like living oxygen,
lifting fresh color from the tired brown.
I felt, with relief, that everything had somehow changed,
this fresh palate erased all of the before.
Spring had come with it’s own dreamy wildness
and waves to ride far beyond the looming loss.
I spent the day sunsoaking
and listening to the trees whisper high above me,
gently rocking the tire swing I’d played in not so long ago.
I was newly seventeen,
an unwed mother
with an unwanted chore hanging over my head:
to give my baby to someone who deserved her.
Soon she would come apart from me.
Someone would bring me papers to sign
with official words like “relinquish” and “unfit”.
They would help me say that I release this baby
and instead
choose a good life for my child.
She would be gone before the leaves flushed out.
Their buds were fat and ready to pop….like me.
I went quiet with the knowing.
But this day was vivid lovely and it got inside me.
As the sun began to dip low,  a painful storm began inside me.
I felt an urgency to press back against a pushing forward.
The rolling tightness became swallowed panic as grownup voices
began herding me into the night
and toward the hospital.
I couldn’t do this….couldn’t have this baby.
It was bedtime and I wanted to crawl under the covers
and cradle the life inside me one more time.
My body betrayed me,
forcing me into a cold sterile world of tight lips and disapproving eyes.As my frightened parents gathered my things,
I lunged back inside for just one last moment alone
with the tiny life that had shaken my own
with her gentle worth.
I lowered my heavy frame onto my bed and tried to sing
one last lullaby.
It wouldn’t come.
Only tears,
a fragile goodbye.

I followed strong contractions back down the stairs
and into the night.
That was thirty two years ago.

Time has not erased the bright beauty of those days
with baby Rose.
I returned home with empty arms
and never saw her again.
But I remember her essence,
like a fragrance,
and am frequently swept into it’s melody
as it drifts across my heartstrings.
I recognize her song.

This is the thirty second celebration of the wonder of her life.
Today I let myself  remember those days
before she was transplanted into the garden
where she grew and thrived,
those shimmery days when we were just us,
when she was still mine.

(thank you for reading along and letting me share this part of my heart with you)

helen

Comments

  1. I'm overwhelmed, the beauty and poignancy of this post has me too choked up for words. You are a remarkable woman and I am sure your daughter is equally so, she would be blessed to know you and the love you have for her. Bless you and her…

  2. rachel awes says

    love always
    to you
    then
    & now
    & to
    dear
    dear
    rose.
    xoxox

  3. Jennifer, what a poignant story that tugs at my heart strings. This is so sad. I hope that some day you get to meet your daughter. JB

  4. i sit poised with my fingers over the keys but stunned into stillness at the poetry life is .. you have woven the memories in a special tribute to rose and her song

  5. sometimes love looks like the opening of hands and a bleeding heart…i pray your paths cross if that is the desire of your heart.

    Jennifer, the more I learn of you, the more I love you.

  6. thank you
    for letting
    that rose
    bloom here

    your heart unfolds
    such beauty

  7. …with you Jennifer.

  8. ShaRon Leaf says

    Oh, the memories…the feelings, the pain,
    the…your words express it all.
    You are an amazing woman,
    as is your lovely rose.

  9. Eydie Kugler says

    Jennifer,

    I wrote a long message to you last night and before I could hit the send button, it disappeared.

    I read your words early yesterday morning and they continue to follow every step of my day.

    How brave that 17 years old girl was. I have so much admiration and gratitude for all the women who have so selfishly made adoption plans for their babies.

    I'v had the most incredible experience of my life being my daughter's mothers. And because of a young women who made a decision 11 years ago, my husband and I became a family the second our daughter was placed into my arms. ( I wrote a post called, "what I did not know about adoption" which tells a bit about our story).

    My love goes out to you and all the incredible "birthmothers" who have given the greatest gift of life, the gift of love, the gift of family.

    Jennifer, as always, your words create such a vivid connection with your readers.
    You are truly a gift.

    If it is your wish, I hope that you are reconnected with your beautiful "Rose"
    I'm wrapping my arms around you and sending you lots of love and light.
    xoxo
    Eydie

  10. LindyLouMac in Italy says

    Such a poignant post which has really move me.

  11. What a lovely and powerful poem. I love how poetry gets right to the essence of things. Thanks for sharing this nugget of your life. Beautiful.

  12. Barbara Koob says

    Oh Jennifer- thanks for sharing your beautiful baby Rose both in this poem and for real. You are an outstanding woman of God to live through this and see the blessings of God that have poured through your life. Your words are so passionate. Hugs, Barb

  13. A powerful revelation and my heart is extended to your longing.

  14. Just Be Real says

    Blessings to you dear Jennifer. Your deep cutting words say so much every time. The emotion. The pain. The honesty. Blessings to you dear one.

  15. I'm so glad you shared your honest heart with us here Jen! You are such a lovely soul and by opening your vulnerable self and the words that come from it, others are being helped and can open up and begin to heal too. Thank you for letting us in to meet your baby Rose through your touching words. Wish I could give you a comforting hug in person.

    ♥Lee Ann

  16. I'm so glad you shared your honest heart with us here Jen! You are such a lovely soul and by opening your vulnerable self and the words that come from it, others are being helped and can open up and begin to heal too. Thank you for letting us in to meet your baby Rose through your touching words. Wish I could give you a comforting hug in person.

    ♥Lee Ann

  17. The one thing I think of as I read your posts is that your willingness to expose your heart will be a blessing to Rose should you find each other again.

  18. ….ouch : ( ….oh Jen…..hoping my words here can somehow feel like a friend sitting quietly by your side while you feel these feelings…..cuz that's what I'd do.

    …and I'd bring chocolate.

  19. my cousin let her daughter be adopted at birth 3 years ago…
    now i know two superwomen !!!

    i applaud the strength you had 32 years ago and again today while you shared your story….

  20. Jennifer… thank you for sharing parts of your private world. I, as well as your friends whose comments I always read before I share, feel that I sort of "know" you. The strength, trust, and raw boldness of your writings are a great inspiration. I always leave your blog a bit humbled, moved, and grateful for your words. And…. your art is just so brilliant and happy!
    xo
    dulcy

  21. Jennifer,

    Oh, Jennifer. There are no words. I just sit with tears rolling down my face and my heart weeps for you. I look over at my own precious daughter and I imagine your pain. And I know that you are a brave, strong, beautiful woman. And I know that some day your precious Rose will be blessed enough to know both her mothers. And I promise to join you in praying for that day.

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