Kate Colored Glasses

It hasn’t happened like this in a long time. I found myself lying awake, writing in my head. I pay a really wonderful lady a pile of money to listen to me week after week so it seems writing doesn’t come as easy these days simply just because what I used to write here day in and day out…now I say to her.

I was thinking about J35, the beautiful momma whale carrying her baby now into the second week since it passed and I thought…”we’re really not so different, you and me, momma whale. Only difference is that the world seems to understand you and feel your grief.” It got me thinking: is it because people can see her calf? Is it because people can imagine carrying the physical weight of a lost child? And now, on the eve of two years and seven months without her, I’m here to tell you. I still carry Kate, too.

She isn’t a newborn bundled in sweet blankets, just up from a nap. She isn’t a squirming toddler ready to explore but unsteady on her feet. She isn’t sleepy and smelling divine, fresh from a bath.┬áNo, she’s not in my arms. She’s not got her head on my shoulder, breathing sweet breath on my neck. She’s not giggling into my ear, sending goose bumps down my spine. She’s not so tall with such long legs that her feet bang against my knees as I creak up the stairs, weary under the weight of her. But I carry her.

I carry Kate into each and every thing that I do. Her life is my life’s rose-colored glasses and now, I see everything through her. Should I be lucky enough to see the sun rise or a morning-glory in bloom, I speak to her about it. I speak to the bunny in my back yard, munching on clover as if she’s with me and we’re watching it together. I don’t make a change to the sheets on our bed or buy a new set of pillows without thinking about how I’ll part with the old ones…because she knew the old ones. Her physical presence existed with the old and anything new just HURTS. I don’t visit a new place or think about my future without her being intimately involved.

I seem to have what I now refer to as “Kate Colored Glasses.” They are part of me and I cannot seem to see without them. Every choice. Every thought. Every new experience. Every memory. Every plan. I wear them with her in my full front view. I involve her in everything. I carry her. Oh, yes, I carry her with me. You may not be able to see her, but I can.

I am her mother. And just like J35, I will carry her long from now. Forever. I have been all along.

4 thoughts on “Kate Colored Glasses”

  1. The world is a more beautiful place with Kate. Thank you for sharing her as you do to allow us the privilege of a glimpse of seeing through Kate glasses too. As always, your words are beautiful and heart-breaking.

  2. You are a talented writer. Thank you for sharing this, part you and part Kate.

    We haven’t met. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Kalli Hyde and her boy, Cashy. He passed in 2012. She is also a powerful writer, both in courage and in grief.

    When your story went viral, I (like thousands of others) wanted to bolster you and Kate with thoughts and prayers and love-filled intentions. But then we watched, like the world is now watching J35, as the wretched, all-consuming grief swallowed you whole. I know there are songs about time healing broken hearts, but platitudes are no remedy for your loss. So all I can offer is sympathy and praise to you for taking up the unimaginable work of retelling your story in an effort to raise awareness. Thank you.

  3. I thought of YOU when I saw the J35 story. It was immediate. I wondered if you saw it and how it would make you feel. We have never met. But please know you touch my heart with every post.

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