This is a story about New York City.
This is a story about Lily.
This is a story about Lily, New York City and a mother's heart.
This girl is my soul.
Friday night found us at Pepolino's for a rehearsal dinner for the wedding of David's cousin Jennifer to her bridegroom Vinay. It was an extraordinary meal- every morsel deliberate and delicious.
While there Lily decided to sit with my brother and sister in law and their daughter. It was so strange seeing her across the restaurant. She was laughing and eating and charming everyone.
Lily charms with every breath she takes.
I watched her go up to the bar and order herself an orange juice. She met new family members. She mingled and chatted and played and I just watched.
Little by little I felt myself choking and my throat going tight. I could see the future in bittersweet clarity. Lily grown and moving about the world, flying from continent to continent, gracing the world with her joy and laughter.
I could feel the first cracks in my heart begin to form and even now as I write this, I know that some day her leaving will destroy me.
That night I had a horrible dream.
Lily was gone. She was missing, dead, lost- she was gone permanently and there was no bringing her back.
In the dream I wept and cursed and railed. I tore my garments and cried out, "Tell me where she is! I have nothing anymore!"
When I woke from the nightmare, she was next to me sleeping and I thanked god that she was safe and alive and that I could touch her warm skin and hear her breathing.
It was a relief, though a shallow one, because my grief stayed with me, like a cold fist around my heart...
Part Two to be continued...