Dependent

Dear Carter,

Yesterday I got a new insurance card in the mail. It didn’t have your name on it, and I just looked at it and let the tears come. I took the old one out of my wallet, the one that listed you as my dependent. I couldn’t throw it away. That word stuck in my head for the rest of the night, on repeat — dependent, dependent, dependent.

Dependent. You depended on me. For everything. Food, shelter, clothing, cleanliness, safety, love, nurturing, education, medical insurance. Every single thing you needed came from your dad and me. And still we couldn’t save you. Couldn’t snatch you back from the edge. Couldn’t bargain you back to life.

Dependent. The job of a parent is to care for their dependent children until the children are INdependent — able to survive and live and function and work and thrive without help. I guess that’s part of why I feel so lost. My life had a purpose and then it didn’t. One morning I woke up with you depending on me for your every need and four mornings later, you were gone, along with the fulfilment that loving and nurturing you brought me.

Dependent. What would you have me learn from this word? I know that I miss being who you depended on, so maybe my lesson is just how much I love being a mom. How special it really is to bring life into the world and to be depended on by a child. That’s something I would have never known if you hadn’t been given to me.

I guess I’m depending on you, too, to show me all of the lessonsI would have never learned if you weren’t born or if you didn’t die. It’s lonely here, trying to seek out the light, the wisdom, in the darkness of the pain. But I have faith that you will lead me to each ray of sunshine, each bright place of knowledge you would have me find. My beautiful star. My shining boy.

I kiss you, my sweet dependent.

Love you forever,

Mommy

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