Friday, October 15, 2010

Dear Ella

And away we go.

I got my first proper rejection from a publisher today. I knew it would come, I know they will continue. Over and over, like endless, unrepentant waves on a shore... Much the same as my realisation of the way the grief of losing you was going to work as I started to wake up in my new life seven years ago, a few months after you left.

You should be here tonight. I miss you tonight. Why? Why tonight out of all the other nights that have passed this year since your sixth birth day? Well, it's as random and unpredictable as what I expect your behaviour would be (as a child of this age). I was lighting a candle just before for today's Remembrance and it hit me. The candle was next to a photo of your sister as a baby. The shelf above has a photo of you, older than her in your photo. How is it? You passed each other by. She mentioned you again yesterday. It happens a lot and then peters out again, as her little mind comprehends that bit more. "Ella's my sister and she's in our family but we'll never see her again," her forlorn little voice trails off from the back seat of the car. Keep it together, you've got mascara on, I say to myself in the front.

So the night will wear on. We have a house full of family expected. I can't get motivated to clean the house and get the dinner on. I have to. My cheeks are flushed. My mind is on you. On the relentless rejections I am going to brace myself for in the lead-up to Christmas. Hey.... as I said, I knew it would happen.

It's time for me to release myself from this project a little, so that I can cope with it. It's not a matter of toughening up. I've lost you. I'm tough. I'm as resilient as stone.

But now, to find a way for my head and my heart to work separately, for I am not ever severing myself from my journey with you. But now, the book becomes a part of the world. Just as when you came and left again, you very clearly showed me you were not ever mine alone to own.

I love you, baby girl. And along with those 12 other little lost beginnings of life of mine, as well as the countless more around the globe, I remember you today. As always.

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