Teardrops in the wind…

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It was the March of 1979.
Breezes turned balmy
and I pulled off my shoes,
letting swollen feet tramp across warming earth.
I was pregnant with my first baby,
due on St. Patrick’s Day.
For weeks I had ached for time to stop,
squeezing myself shut
to the coming separation,
the word “relinquish” hanging heavy on my heart.

 But today the weather had turned
and hadn’t everything somehow changed?
Spring had come with her own dreamy wildness
and waves to ride far beyond the looming loss.

I spent the day sunsoaking,
watching the wind gently stir the tireswing
I’d played on not so long ago.

I was newly seventeen,
an “unwed mother”
with an unwanted chore:
to give my baby to someone she deserved.
Soon she would come apart from me,
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.

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 As the sun began to dip low,
a storm of pain rumbled
and hammered down urgency inside my belly
and grownup voices began
herding me into the night
and toward the hospital.
I wanted to crawl into bed and hide beneath the covers,
cradling the life inside me one last time.

 My body was betraying 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 the bed
and tried to sing a last lullaby
but could do only tears,
a fragile goodbye.

I followed strong contractions into the night,
returning home with only fierce memory
of her tiny fingers and face.
But I’m forever marked by her essence,
often swept away by her melody
as it drifts across my heartstrings.

I recognize her song.

Thirty five  Springs.
I honor each of her days.
Today I tenderly comfort the girl-in-me who carried her
before she was transplanted into the garden
that nurtured her to thriving
and remember those shimmery days when we were just us,
when she was still mine.

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I know.  I post this each year.
I will until my heart feels it to stop.
Somehow I need to honor those days out loud
where anyone can read them,
to raise my voice for others who maybe never found their own.
Thank you for letting  me share.
Hold it gently,  please.

Comments

  1. Dear Jennifer, this annual post always touches my heart so deeply, I feel it through my body like an electric current going through.
    How unfair the world around you was back then. What a bitter sweet memory to hold on to. To be a mother is to understand this unending torment of possibilities.

    Life sometimes just doesn’t seem fair because we don’t understand the bigger plan. It’s a tough pill to swallow because it wasn’t right to separate you from the fruit of your womb. You did what was expected of you and someone else benefitted from your great gift. Along with this gift, went a piece of your heart.

    Your love comes through and penetrates all circumstances, time and places. Your love for your daughter transcend the world interference and remains steadfast and true.

    Warm hugs, love and comfort on this Anniversary.
    JB

    Sending you warm embrace and gentle hugs.

  2. So beautiful…so well written…thanks for sharing such a personal experience. I love that you do this annually…

  3. Tears and heart felt hugs.
    And I love that first photo you illustrate it with. ‘Grey pythons’ have always spelled magic to me – though I couldn’t understand for years why they had that silly name.

  4. No need to feel shame. It was an act of love and unselfish sacrifice…the most motherly act of all. My heart aches for you and the loss you still feel, and the annual repeating is good for all of us. Sending tight hugs! xoxo

  5. i have tears in my eyes right now. my heart aches for you, for all that love, the loss and the sacrifice you made. sending you lots of hugs and all my love.

  6. I have tears in my eyes too. What a gift you are!!! And you gave such a beautiful gift !!!! You gave the gift of life!!! Even when it hurt, you gave. Looks like Jesus to me.

  7. Ah Jen I wonder how many hearts you have expressed across this world today? Other young mother’s who have made such sacrifices and who’s hearts are haunted and yearning still.

  8. Holding you in my heart, and wiping tears, sweet tears, from my eyes.

  9. Absolutely beautiful Jennifer. One of the sweetest and heart wrenching depictions of adoption I have read. A beautiful tribute indeed.

  10. I wasn’t here last year to read this. So deeply moving, Jennifer. If your daughter reads it one day she will receive the most wonderful gift of all: she’ll know that she was loved and is loved still. ♥

  11. I’m crying and wishing I could spend some time with you. You are so brave. I am sending you peaceful thoughts and love, kathy

  12. You are so beautiful.

  13. I can only send you warm love and hugs…your tribute is amazing.

  14. I can only send you warm love and hugs…your tribute is amazing.

  15. Love is endless.

    And is great, being shared.

  16. This is so beautiful. A precious friend of mine forwarded your site to me.

    I too gave up my little one when I was but a child and my life was never the same, as was yours, I am sure. The loss and sacrifice becomes a part of who we are.

    I recently met him again, along with his son. I’ve just started to write about it, although not as gracefully as you. http://leaninto.com/thirty-years/

    I have to figure out how to replace all those years of grief with the joy of having him back in my life. It is a bit confusing, to be honest. It is not as easy as it would seem, because you never do get your child back. And getting to know an adult is so much different than a young child. But it is good.

    Your life today is what it is because you made the choice to give life. And somewhere, a family has grown together because of your love. It is a wondrous gift indeed. Be Blessed.

  17. Thank you for posting it every year; I cry every year when I read it.

  18. Jennifer, I don’t know that you’ll ever “need” to stop posting this. Honoring her days, remembering your journey and challenges, your courage — raw courage and honoring it is indeed a gift. Why push it down? I hope you realize how much you inspire so many by your raw, clear honesty.

    I would like to imagine that someday you will be reunited — and part of that wish is for you. But a big part of it is for your daughter. I would like to think that one day she will get to know the remarkable woman her mother has become, the example that you set for her — in her best interests and probably for yours. I suspect if any of the genetic thread of your love and kindness went through to her, she is indeed a good woman.

    Sending big hugs.

  19. This is the first comment here. I’m always inspired and encouraged by your writing and photos that are filled with shining love. Now, I understand why; your daughter’s love and your love are united together without end, and it’s shining always in you, in your garden, and that brings us much light and love. Thank you so much for sharing this hear-aching but also beautiful post. I send my love and hugs.

  20. Anne Camblin says

    Every year I read this, every year I cry. I realize this time that they are not really tears of sadness, but tears of honor from the deepest place in my heart.

  21. My sweet friend, you describe so beautifully the heart strings that tug at childbirth whether the child stays with you or not! As I see how our counselors work with birthmothers, I see you. I am sorry that you had to experience this loss, yet who better to describe it than you! It can become casual to say, but these words are heartfelt. There was a family that needed your little one to love. You gave that gift to them. Even though your arms were empty, your heart screaming to share that love, you gave her to someone else and allowed them to fill their aching arms and calm their screaming hearts. There is no greater gift that you could have given! Thank you for bearing your heart and soul to us!

  22. My heart embraces yours.

  23. I remember when you Mom called our family after she was born and said that she was a beautiful baby girl that would be going to a loving home. She said that you were heartbroken but very courageous to give her up. We all hope and pray that she turned out to be a beautiful person just like you. Love is surround you today and always.

  24. Jennifer
    I am a mother to a beautiful, joyful and loving daughter because of a very young woman who, nourished, birthed, and unselfishly made a plan for her baby to be adopted into a loving family, 14 years ago.

    I have an abundance of love, respect and appreciation for birth moms and their braveness to endure their personal and unique situations.

    It is truly a gift for you to share this beautiful poem others.

    I am wrapping my arms around you and sending you love, light, and continuous healing.

    I know your daughter has a beautiful heart, and would be very, very proud of you.

    I have not forgotten about my little something for you. I can just get so behind sometimes. I promise, it will be on its way soon

    XO

  25. Joan Creasy says

    Not only do we honor her but you as well, Dear One! You gave and give life; you gave and give love. You both are treasured for who you are! With much love, Mom

  26. Thinking of you, dear friend. Holding you close in my heart and prayers.

  27. …the tiny life that had shaken my own with her gentle worth…” Oh god Jennifer. Now I understand how you can write as you do. You have been in the fire. The alchemy of love has transformed you into someone who has been purified by suffering. Please share this each year. You have paid for it.

  28. I’m glad you post this story each year, Jennifer. So beautiful and bittersweet.

    xo
    dulcy

  29. Jennifer,
    Two years after you gave birth to your little girl, I gave birth to my daughter Kate. You were 17 and single, I was 32 and married. I know how disapproving society was in those days, not so very long ago. I can’t even imagine how sad and overwhelming this must have been for you, and how hard it must have been to give up your child. I remember reading this post last year, and crying for you as I did just now as I read it again. Wish my older self could have been there to comfort you, Jennifer. I’m glad you post this every year – it renews your great pledge of love to her, and reminds those of us who were lucky enough to have been able keep our children (as everyone should be allowed to) just how fortunate we are. Wishing you peace and healing.xo

  30. So much love and respect for you. xoxo

  31. OMG!!! Those pictures had me feeling so very happy and hopeful, but the words! That story! My heart was breaking. I could feel the pain and the pull. I am so very grateful you are holding the young you gently and lovingly. What a beautiful piece to share. A piece of your heart, your love. Hugs to you. To your Little One. I know she’s not little anymore but they tend to remain our Little Ones no matter what.

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