Letters to Elijah: Entry 11

October 13, 2018

By Sanda Rathamone

"If I know what love is, it is because of you." - Herman Hesse

"Dear Elijah,

I had a dream a few days ago. There was this baby in my dream that I hope was you. I mean... in every dream where a baby appears, I have always hoped it was you.

My dreams are the only place that I feel like I can truly be a mother (especially your mother) and it gives me these mixed emotions of grief and joy when I am awake.

Oddly, these dreams brings a bit of happiness and feels so life-like that I can name them as real experiences.

In the dream, I knew this baby was a boy. He was at least 6 months old - not sure if he could crawl. I had him laid out on the floor with me and sat where his little feet were. I could see that the carpet was a deep shade of red, a similar color to the carpet at my dad’s old house.

His facial features were so unique, yet, familiar - like I had seen them before. It dawned on me that this baby was you and this is what you could have looked like as a 6-month-old. This baby looked a bit like me, but also like your daddy. Looking at this baby who “looked” like you was uncanny, while at the same time surprising and unbelievable. 

The way I felt about this baby - I was full of pure, unconditional, and maternal love - and I had a knowing that I was his mother. I felt bonded with him, as if we had always been mother and child. I felt like a mom. At the same time, I wasn’t fully sure that he was my baby because I was aware that I lost you and had no baby to feel like an actual mother. 

I dressed him in khaki shorts, a green or yellow shirt, and white crew socks. We were going fishing as a family. I even had a pamphlet laying right beside the baby that was about dressing up for fishing (which I thought was weird, why would I need to know how to dress my baby for fishing?). But there was something about the baby that I found strange and somewhat worrisome. 

Behind his lower left leg, I found a red rash. As I touched it, I could feel the dryness and bumpiness of his skin. For some reason, I knew he had eczema, but it was no ordinary rash. It was a part of his identity, something that gave me an assurance that it was him and he was my baby - kind of like a birthmark. 

Every time that I would talk to him in my regular voice, it was like he didn't know it was me (his mother). But when I would talk to him in a "sing-songy" voice, he would do this adorable baby laugh and kick his legs, as if he was dancing or expressing his lighthearted joy just from hearing my sing-songy voice. 

I did this repetition of regular voice and sing-songy voice a few times. I don't even remember exactly what I was saying or singing, but know that I was saying and singing anything just to see his reactions. It was strange, while at the same time addicting and fun. I just loved making him laugh with my voice. 

I never got to see myself pick him up or feel myself holding him in the dream. I wished I had. I wanted to actually feel him. 

More so, I wish I could see you in the same way as how I got to see him (which I know was you), but in real life. I want to see you with my two eyes as a 6-month-old, laughing and kicking your legs as I play with my sing-songy voice. I wish you were here right now in khaki shorts, a green or yellow shirt, and white crew socks. I wish we got to take you fishing.

I don't know why, but I had a thought about the rash. It would be crazy if we did have another baby with that same rash on that same leg at that very exact same spot. It would definitely be a birthmark of some kind...

This one night, I was catching up on my reading of I Will Carry You by Angie Smith.

I read about how one of Angie's daughters, Kate, wanted to give a page of a princess magazine to her baby sister, Audrey. Kate couldn't understand why Audrey was no longer a baby, like how she had seen on the day she died, and why Audrey was buried under the ground. She was disappointed that she couldn't hand the page over to Audrey.

This not only made Angie cry, but also myself. It was just so sad, while at the same time, touching and understandable. How I feel about not being able to share and do things with you is exactly how little Kate feels about her baby sister. It still doesn't make sense to me that I can't touch you, hold you, kiss you, or see you anymore. You should be here...

When I read Angie's letter to Audrey, it just reminded me of the letters I have written to you. There was something that she said that really spoke to me. To close her letter, Angie said, "Audrey, there is much more to say. I rest knowing that you already know it before it has left our lips." 

That is how I feel about you; that everything I think about saying, telling, or praying to you, you have already known and heard of it. You have known all of my thoughts and emotions surrounding you and my pain of living life without you. Because of this, I sometimes find it hard to write letters to you.

Just like how deeply connected I felt with the baby in my dream, my connection to you has and have always been powerful and goes beyond anything in this world. I wouldn't need to write a letter to you because you have already known every word and every feeling that I wanted you to know. Because you are a part of me and I am a part of you.

Part of you lives in me and part of me lives in heaven. Angels follow me everywhere because of you. I know because I can feel them and because I feel so loved when I am under the sun or when I am walking alone.

The end of October should have been the timing of your birth. It makes me sad that you would be two years old. Instead, it has been almost two-and-a-half years since you died. I think about you and having another baby every day. I just wish that that dream was a dream come true. I love you.

Love, Mommy."

Elijah Rathamone-Saeteurn 
Born Thursday, June 16, 2016 
6:51 a.m. 9.9 oz and 10 in 
Due October 30, 2016 

To read previous Letters To Elijah, click here.

With love,

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