Letting Go Of Italy

by Laurie
(Yakima, WA)

Emily.

I’m looking hard for the tulips.
The windmills.
The Rembrandts.
Hell, I’ll take a clog.

Although I know that it is just a different land,
not a disgusting filthy place,
I’m drowning in the foreignness.

I keep looking for those tulips at 3 a.m.
as she races around the house.
Why is it always 3 a.m.?
I look for tulips in the diapers,
the scratches on my neck,
my hair in between her fingers as she pulls and laughs.
I look for those tulips when she falls yet again.
The drool saturating her shirt.

I want to experience your Holland.
I was inspired by it.
I cried.
I taped it to my fridge and faithfully read it every morning as I poured coffee.
This new diagnosis. This initial shock.
This grief and pain.
But I don’t want to mourn Italy anymore.

Ok Emily.
I’m beginning to understand.
Today I saw a tulip.
She wrapped her arms around my neck
and her legs around my waist.
She hugged without biting.
I held her.
Actually held her without her pushing away.
I seriously felt our hearts beating together.

Ava’s smiles are like entire bouquets of tulips.
She does not give those cheaply.
With Ava, you earn it.

I can actually look around now. Accept this detour.
I see beauty in her wild ways.
Racing about the house, skipping outside,
twirling and looking at the trees.
Ava is beautiful. Joyful. Different.
Ava giggles and points.
She climbs and reaches.
God she’s beautiful.

Ava is feisty and alive.
I wouldn’t want to be anywhere other than Holland.

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