Her Name Was Alba
A broken condom. A broken relationship.
And then, a broken body.
That was the beginning of this journey, which has already ended.
After a few weeks, I just knew. The weight of it: bloated, rotund, full of water, full of life, tired yet tirelessly tidal, fluctuating.
I named her Alba, which means “morning song” in Spanish. Alba is also the sailor’s light of dawn, the hopeful anticipation of ocean crossings, of anchoring in the peaceful bay of earthly embrace.
After dark nights, mornings are full of blazing orange light -- the course of a child through the birth canal. In Spanish, we say dar a luz, which translates as “give to light.”
There was no lighthouse guiding us to safe anchorage. We shipwrecked in rivers of blood.
And while I mourn the loss of another child -- one that happened by accident (there are no accidents) and who wasn’t viable in my 40-something body -- I am comforted by the thought that motherhood is never lost when unconditional compassion is set as one’s intention in this human passage. Motherhood is heart, pure and simple, and not necessarily delivery of a fetus.
Women are mothers even when we don’t have children. Women connected by an invisible umbilical chord through blood, flesh, time and the indifference of centuries; separated by clocks, exiles, tribes and the mundane differences among days.
Alba, when I brush my elderly mother's hair, I think of you.
Dear girl, wherever you are, you are my lodestar. Make the most of another other vessel, even if I couldn't offer you safe passage through the storms.