Then it just happened. I bled. Like females sometimes do.
Yet for three weeks, everyday, I had waltzed over the snow past the tree in our yard, forming its fruits. In Winter. What was it? I asked my roommate, “A japanese plum tree,” he replied. I had never seen a tree that bloomed in winter.
I meditated daily on those branches, on that sweet perfume, on those glorious, defiant fruits until the swelling of my breasts reach their zenith and she was gone.
How do I know it was she? Because she has come to me - everytime. Because her name had been on my lips since the moment I fell in love with her father. Her name was Hazel. And because she came to a friend, who sees all things. And this friend said to me,
“Who is Sue? Who is she?” Sue. Sue? Oh …. Sue.
My friend had seen: Sue cradling my baby, in the nether realm, grasping my unborn daughter’s hand in the other world...Sue was another mother to me - before the tyranny of breast cancer and a lifetime of emotional labor caused her to succumb to an early, undeserved death. The last walk we ever took together, Sue and I, in Montana’s winter land, was at night in the crisp dark air beneath the twinkling stars, between edges of deep snow, holding on to one another. We giggles, we slipped. We grasped one another so we wouldn’t fall. I would never see her again.
So Sue was gone, long ago, left behind in winter’s unwise undoing. And now all these years later I was sniffing the sweet scent of winter’s perfume, but there would be no baby. There would only be fruit that would fall and rot. Hazel was with Sue now, holding hands on the other side.
The seer said, “Hazel wants me to tell you that you did everything right. It wasn’t you. You did everything you were suppose to do. But Hazel won’t come here until the time is right. She wants only the best, for herself, for you, for him. She’s not coming until her father gets his shit together.”
After a month of swelling and sniffing the sweet Japanese plum perfume I wept like the dead when I bled. I hallowed, and few - few understood. They sanctioned me better without the unborn legacy of a man gone mad. They might be right, but so was that soul, that stood so resolute and declared, as she held Sue’s hand, “Mom it wasn’t you - you did everything right. I deserve the most. I won’t arrive until he’s ready too.”
And then I got on a plane and went to Japan. And then he relapsed. And then my heartstrings broke. And then there was no more us. And then...
She haunted me.
The first time I saw her, dreaming on my bed in foreign ground, she was sweet and seductive, as her father lie drowning in a tub of familiar excess, all she said was, “All he wants to do is swim with you.” But water is emotion, and all the buckets in the world couldn’t keep this cohort from drowning so I repeated, “No.” And turned a corner, letting go of her hand. The flashing lights, the opulence, the chaos, “It’s just not my style.” And I left here there, with him.
Hazel, sweet baby Hazel, I didn’t know it was you. I never imagined you would want to hold onto what me, you Mama, couldn’t, didn’t want too. Him. Us. This gateway into this world that you had chosen.
Then she came again. It was deep at night. So long since I’d been touched I felt I might die of fright, freeze right up the next time I came in contact...and there it was. Deep in sleep, late at night, under the veil of Pisces and Scorpio I was TOUCHED. I’ve never lived this long without intimacy, joke as I may about being so tight I’m a born again V-jay, I don’t want dick. All I want is to hold someone tight. To be touched. Contact. Connection.
So there, in the middle of my dreaming night, just last week, as real as this laptop on which I type, an unseen force had emerged from beneath my blankets and I was being touched. And that is all that mattered. Touched. First it was him. Then it was her. Two hands, one on each hip, reaching up from under the covers, grasping, touching, pleasing. Unseen, but felt.
And then they were gone.
And finally two nights ago this karmic story of soul connections came to an end. I gave birth. I felt her crawl, emerge out of my flowering cave, as real as the first time I gave birth and lost. And I begged the nurse, “She’s alive! Where is she? Show her to me!” But she had fled. I had abandoned our dream, because I quit a boy who couldn’t be a man, couldn’t be a father even after she begged me twice not to. I choose myself instead. And that meant she had no more business with me, because our contract? I could not, would not fulfill. Instead of becoming her abandoned, abused mother I chose to free - to free her and me. From a life of uncertainty.
I don’t know where she will be. I don’t know if she ever again will love me, the way she loved me when my breast rose and the petals fell, not so long ago, just last winter, in the snow and the storms, beneath the Japanese plum tree. Her sweet perfume will ever be, my favorite reminder of why I am her and she is she. I’m in Japan. That promise was true. The promise of you? Who knew. Maybe now. Maybe never.
But nonetheless, I love you. I miss her, Hazel. With the emerald eyes and the yellow skin, the copper hair and the unshakable grin. Maybe some lifetime, I’ll get the chance to be your mother, again.