Sunday, March 22, 2009
Handle With Care
Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult
"You don't have to say I love you to say I love you," you said with a shrug. "All you have to do is say my name and I know."
When I looked down at you, I was struck by how much of myself I could see in the shape of your eyes, in the light of your smile. "Sa Cassidy," you instructed.
"Ursula," I parroted.
"Now....," and you pointed to your own chest.
"Can't you hear it?" you said. " When you love someone, you say their name different. Like it's safe inside your mouth."
There are legions of us, I realized. The mothers who have broken babies, and spend the rest of our lives wondering if we should have spared them. And the mothers who have let their broken babies go, who look at our children and see instead the faces of the ones they never met.
"They gave me a choice," Annie said, "and even now, I wish they hadn't."
"You can't win. Either you have the baby and wear your pain on the outside, or you don't have the baby and you keep that ache in you forever. I know I didn't do the wrong thing. But I don't feel like I did the right thing, either."
Here are the things I know for sure:
When you think you're right, you are most likely wrong.
Things that break-be they bones, hearts, or promises-can be put back together but will never really be whole.
And, in spite of what I said, you can miss a person you've never known.
I learn this over and over again, every day I spend without you.