Cat’s birthday party was Saturday night. Cat is a new friend of mine, but when we met, I knew we were sisters. Her smile makes you want to laugh with her for hours, and her mermaid hair makes me jealous. She welcomed me into her home and introduced me to her friends. Like me, Cat casts a wide net in her circle of friendships, and there were so many different and beautiful faces coming together to celebrate her life.
I ventured out to the patio after visiting with the other guests for a while. It was lit with twinkling fairy lights and laughing faces, soul-filled music playing. These are the people I love- people that come together with flowers in their hair over homemade mermaid cakes and good cocktails. Cat’s daughters and other family greeted me right away. Cat’s girls are stunning creatures and it is clear they come from their mama, all her goodness and radiant joy lives on in them.
I couldn’t help but notice that Cat’s girls are close in age to my own. They even resemble my daughters, one blonde and one brunette. The dark haired one was stunning in a gypsy pirate way and the blonde’s smile was a crescent moon. These girls were promises of what my girls can be, a whisper of what I pray is our future. They live fully in their bodies and their appetite and joy for life is infectious.
Stevie Wonder came on the radio, dancing started. Cat’s daughter, in bare feet and a sarong skirt and belly chain, grabbed hands with another guest and they began to twirl, around and around, spreading smiles and making memories. My breath caught. All I could think was how very much I wish this could be my girls, being sisters, holding hands, dancing in the moonlight at their mother’s birthday.
The truth is, I don’t know where my oldest daughter is. Part of my heart is walking free somewhere in this world, and my skin feels incomplete without her, as if it doesn’t quite cover my whole body. I feel raw, unnerved, unsettled. Somewhere along they way, the wheels came off and my Hanna went to find her way and I was unable to drag her home. I spent the last five years healing every wounded thing in my own life, yet this one broken wing remains. I need her to know I am not the same mama, and the home she left is not the one that waits for her now.
“Come home, come home, come home. Be safe, love yourself, come home.”
This is my constant refrain. I sing this song along with a choir of angels and I whisper prayers for healing into my pillow every night. Now I add, “Dance with your sister under the moon, raise a glass with us to toast beautiful moments, wrap your brothers in the warmth of your smile. Come home, my precious girl. Oh, how your mommy loves you.”
I am grateful or the gift of my new friend, and her birthday, and the moon at a party that illuminated my greatest wish. I bury my pain sometimes, hide the loss under lipstick and work and busy-ness. The truth is, I miss my baby, and I want her home, and the weight of how powerless I am to bring her back to the nest crushes the breath from my bones. But prayers of mothers are powerful ones, and mine are constant.
The Creator is powerful and the Universe hears our words. The faith that my grandmother instilled in me moves mountains and makes miracles and this is something I know like the beat of my own heart. This will heal. My babies were not made to grow up outside of my arms, out of reach. My children were born to grow next to me and with each other, they will lock hands and eat cake and raise each other up. This is something I know. The fibers of my soul live in the filaments of their beings.
We belong together.
Come home, come home, come home.
Your mommy loves you.