Thursday, March 13, 2014


Dear Ellie,

It's been two months since your mother was admitted to the hospital because of her placental abruption.  It was cold that day.  I remember, because the night before I'd worn my jacket and then left it hanging on a chair in the kitchen upon returning.  In the morning, I left it there because I was going off to work and didn't think I'd need it.  When your mother called later and said she was in the hospital, I didn't have a chance to go back and grab it.

I was looking forward to winter.  All through your mother's pregnancy, I imagined what we'd be doing together come the following year.  Winter was special because that was the season, in your first year, that I would get to spend the most time with you.  You were supposed to be born in late May.  Your mother would spend the first three to six months with you.  After that, it was my turn.  I was going to take you down to the lake and on cold nights when the dense Florida humidity was gone, I'd bundle you up and we'd go out to see the stars.  Once all of the household chores were done and you were asleep, I was planning to do what I'm doing now: I was going to write to you.

But now my brain is confused.  This winter is gone already and the next is murky.  I haven't really been paying attention to geopolitics or science or the news like I used to.  While I'm here, I feel like I've been trapped in ice for some undetermined period of time, to be thawed out later once everything has changed.  Everything in my life is tuned to you and so time doesn't seem to be passing like it should.  My brain can't seem to wrap itself around the two months that we've been here.  It doesn't feel like two months, but neither does it seem longer or shorter, either.  It feels like it could all be compressed into a dream, because one mere night of dreaming can take you so many places and to so many times.  I feel like I might still wake up and find your mother pregnant and continue to wonder when I'll finally feel you kick.

Occasionally, I'll find artifacts of my old life, sitting untouched as they were before everything became different.  I went home just the other day to pick something up and saw my jacket sitting on the kitchen chair, just where I'd left it.  It looked ancient.  Like it was laying in some ruin or cave, a relic of a bygone age, collecting the dust of eons.  A relic from an age just two months ago, but distant and foreign.  Gone forever.

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