My darling Maggie,
How are you today? Silly question, I know! The answer is that you are wonderful! I know you play with the children who belong to my friends. I see the river that you dance near. I see the arms you fall into. I see your smile. I can almost hear your joyful and contagious laughter.
So often people ask me what your name was. I always respond, “My daughter’s name is Magdalene Thérèse. We call her Maggie.” I sometimes wonder if this confuses them or if they even catch what I say. Most of us speak of people in the past tense after they have died. His name was. She loved. He lived. There are those who have even spoken of me as your mother in the past tense. “You were such a good mom to Maggie.” I understand all of these statements. Death is so very final and there is no coming back. All of the memories are simply that. The future has no memories to look forward to. But on the other hand, aren’t you very much alive? Don’t you enjoy the presence of God without thought of time? Haven’t all of your tears been dried? Isn’t your tumor gone? Isn’t your brain whole again? Aren’t you able to see again? Aren’t you able to control the motions of your limbs? Doesn’t your body no longer shake from a seizure? Isn’t your fear completely gone? Haven’t those braces disappeared? Am I not still your mother? Do I not still love you? Talk to you? I weep as I consider the truth. You are not dead. You are very much alive. You are very much present! It is the physical that I miss with the deepest of intensity. My darling girl, how I miss you! I will never stop saying this. I know the truth of your life in Christ. I feel it in the depth of my very soul. I will never stop speaking the truth of this beauty. Maggie, keep praying for me. This life is long and the suffering is deep. Pray that I am granted courage and strength for the path ahead.
Your name is Magdalene Thérèse Ramirez and always will be.
“Every lament is a love song.”– Nicholas Wolterstorff