Terrible Day

If I had been kinder to myself, to my body, if I had better timing, if I made different choices, if I were biologically inclined, if I were emotionally capable, if I were not betrayed this time or that time, if I had been with someone else, someone who cared, if I had then a partner, if I were not as appealing to those who would take advantage of me, if I were not infinitely looking to be taken advantage of, if I were not so determined in my destiny or not as impulsive or possibly more impulsive – truthfully – if I were not afraid of loving someone so much – I might have a child now, about aged 5 or 6, or maybe even 10, even 20, older or younger – anyway, I might.

A little boy or a little girl learning how to read, jumbled letters suddenly turning into words before their brand new eyes, an infant growing in me – cell by cell, tiny fingers closing into a fist, a tween pestering me for the iPhone 5 and One Direction concert tickets, a confused and frustrated young adult unsure of where to turn. These possibilities, these people who never were might haunt me at times, but they leave no bitterness or cold spots in empty rooms. They don’t slam doors in the house of my heart. My own choices held them at bay. My life is my fault. All my fault.

I think about the events on this terrible day, and I think of all things that have been taken from me or that I have carelessly tossed away, cups I chose not to drink from, trays never offered, life rushing past me like a river and the stones that I threw across the surface that skipped and those that sank and the stones I never picked up, all those small decisions that make up a life, and just this terrible, terrible day, I think myself lucky, I suppose.

I have never had a child, and I know nothing of what being a parent might feel like. My heart has never nearly exploded at the sight of another so precious that their existence would be unbearable if it were not also inevitably perfect and essential as air and light and water and food and God and life and more. More. I have never loved anyone to the point it was both endlessly fulfilling and constantly terrifying. My happiness is never at risk in the rapidly growing and ceaselessly delightful body of one I have created.

Loss to me is trivial. Loss to me might be material, spiritual, whatever, but I can afford it. I can recover from anything, as I have little to gamble. I am just me. I’m always going to be ok.

For all the parents who lost so grievously today, I cannot even comprehend your pain. I suffer and try to empathize, but it’s a hollow gift, an empty box underneath the paltry dry evergreen of a fake plastic tree.

But for what it is worth, I give you all of my love. I give you my silence in honor of your suffering. I tear out my heart to put into your chest to let it beat alongside so for a moment you might not feel alone. I breathe in your unimaginable grief and breathe out peace so that you might finally close your eyes and rest. I give you all I can, realizing it isn’t much, because I cannot know the love you know, I cannot understand the love you lost. But I give you all mine. Take it. Please.

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18 Comments. Add To The Mix…

  1. If we’re all truly connected how can we not be effected by anyones sadness. Artist have the luxury of expressing our feelings out loud, but what about those who have no outlet?

  2. I love your heart Margaret..It’s one of the many things that makes you so beautiful.
    This post brought tears to my eyes, as do many of your blogs.

  3. I have reposted this on my FB page – I am in the same childless place. Your brilliant ending of giving some of what “we” have to nurture the loss from afar is a perfect pairing of emotion to language.

  4. Thank You. We need people, more people,
    like you on this earth. You are valuable, very
    valuable just the way you are. It is special to
    not have kids and be so amazing and compassionate.
    You have expanded the spctrum of empathy for
    me. Its special to be a smart, strong, beautifully
    Tattooed, shit-stirrin, super Autie role model!!

  5. You know love, and in addition to many other things, you are love. Your letter, in all of it’s raw depth and beauty, is understood. Thanks for writing it. In a certain way I am with you. Peace.

  6. Perfectly written Margaret. I do have a twenty-eight year old son who I will appreciate more today because of what you’ve written. Yes, that’s how deeply your words have touched me.

  7. wow margaret. it’s unfortunate that such a tragedy was needed for you to write when i saw a shooting at a school just the other day and the day before that and the week before that. it’s a shame over 15 years to see people and not bear false witness for marketing, advertising, or promotion that involves homophobia, sexism, racism, molestation, pedophilia, domestic violence, human trafficking, forced prostitution, intellectual/creative property theft and more — this violence is repugnant and one very crucial reason why i am saying goodbye to the united states perhaps forever. maybe FOREVER. the world isn’t perfect but an homophobic curriculum in the US of A involving too many uncle toms — in the negative sense — for 15 years has been the ugliest, most ignorant, most intolerant and stinky piece of crap i’ve ever seen. being injured for “a kids project” while being turned away from hospital care (as a queer male) when injured during this “discovery” rubbish — your words are very beautiful and considerate margaret. i’ve seen many schools shootings and it’s both tragic and i’ve been trying to let people know (for years) that it’s not good karma nor is it a positive move forward with an imbalanced use of technology.

    that was lovely margaret. sorry it took this tragedy for you to write. peace be with you, happy holidays, and adieu.

  8. Children are everyone’s responsibility. Not being a parent doesn’t mean children are not in your life, or are unaffected by what you do.

    My daughter and nieces admire you as a performer and a role model. They don’t always understand your jokes but they see a woman who looks like their mothers and aunties and cousins, who is beautiful and entertaining and on TV. Who looks like someone they might become.

    Thank you, Ms. Cho.

  9. “Lovely” is not the word.
    As a post-op transwoman who tried (with her partner) for 15 years and produced little more then a single miscarriage I can only imagine how it must be for the survivng parents and families.
    We are a society that needs help and communication. Yet it seems like we get neither.
    I think “Heartfelt” is a good description of your post.
    And sad.

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