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Of Them All

This post is part of the Mirror Series. If this is your first visit to the Mirror Series, please click here and follow the arrows at the top right of each post to read the series from the beginning. Thank you for reading!

You almost came to be when I was two. Nobody could tell who you were. Brother? Sister? Yet, you’ve haunted me for years. People make impressive lists chronicling the People They’d Like to Meet, always designed to impress.

Of them all, I wish I could meet you.

Sometimes, I glance up from the bowl of the sink as I’m washing my face and wonder how much yours would’ve resembled mine. I see a striking sunset and try to imagine whether you would close your eyes and let the final rays warm your face in peace or scrounge for the camera and miss it like I do all the time. Would our personalities attract like the right sides of two magnets, perpetually joined with the familiar bond I envy with a twang in my heart every time I see it in the wild? I daydream that we’d be close, trading secrets, understanding what it’s like to not-quite-fit. Maybe you’d visit me, and we’d stay up all night sharing the minutiae of our separate lives.

I think you’d be a singer, blessed with our Mother’s ethereal voice, belting out show tunes at parties with our Father’s uninhibited personality. Worry wouldn’t furrow your brow. Regardless of your genetic encoding, you’d be the person to make me lighter, as I encouraged you to realize your dreams.

Perhaps.

You had lots of dreams, floating in your tiny sea. Snatches of them flit by my ears embedded in particles of air. On the street, I see remnants of them in random unfamiliar faces. I seek you everywhere, hoping you landed inside someone I’ve yet to meet, a person my soul will recognize because part of me died with you. Bits of me were never born, because you never existed to complete them.

You rattle chains around my aura and tap my headboard when I dream. Of all the phantoms that walk the Earth, What Might Have Been is the hardest one to shake.

48 Comments Post a comment
  1. mtm #

    Speechless?

    October 20, 2011
    • You?

      October 20, 2011
      • mtm #

        Forget about the “Like” button, where’s the Featured Post Widget so I don’t have to blather on about how searing this is.

        October 20, 2011
      • You never blather, Dear. That must be saying something, coming from your wife. xoxoxo

        October 20, 2011
      • Blather, blather, blather…..

        October 20, 2011
      • Stop it, Carnell.

        October 20, 2011
    • +1

      October 20, 2011
      • Glad it isn’t -1, Bill. I wonder when Google+ is going to put that up. I use -1 in comments all the time. 🙂

        October 20, 2011
      • I agree it would be interesting if Google+ had a -1, but I’ve never had the occasion to use it here, so I haven’t missed it.

        October 20, 2011
      • I am forever -1’ing things as a sign of solidarity for posts when it calls for it.

        October 20, 2011
    • Blather.

      October 21, 2011
  2. Beautiful! You captured it. You captured me….guess I’m not so unique after all.

    October 20, 2011
  3. Lovely. Thank you.

    I am amused by the video you linked…I had no idea you were a Kanye fan.

    October 20, 2011
    • I’m not. When I did a link search for blogs with that term, it was the first one that came up. I thought it was random and included it. 🙂

      October 20, 2011
  4. Powerful and haunting. This will stay with me for a long while…

    October 20, 2011
    • It gets to me more today than it did when writing it. This is such a common thing, yet I found so little written about it from this perspective.

      October 20, 2011
  5. <> Lovely. Complete. And incomplete.

    October 20, 2011
    • [ Bits of me were never born, because you never existed to complete them.]

      The quoted part didn’t survive the double less than brackets…some coding thing.

      October 20, 2011
    • I am glad it made you feel that way. It’s how I feel about it.

      October 20, 2011
  6. “For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: ‘It might have been!'” ~ John Greenleaf Whittier

    This was VERY poignant, Andra.

    October 20, 2011
  7. Just…wow…

    October 20, 2011
    • (head slowly nodding in contemplation)

      October 20, 2011
    • I hope I didn’t explode on your blog yesterday, Brett…….;)

      October 20, 2011
      • You kidding me? One of the best comments ever. You…you are something else. I’m gonna talk to the boss about you… 😀

        October 20, 2011
      • Well, I meant what I said. 🙂

        October 20, 2011
  8. Thank you for linking to my blog! And for this beautiful, heartfelt post.

    October 20, 2011
    • You are welcome, Jenny. I love your writing and have crossed everything on me that you will have your heart’s desire.

      October 20, 2011
  9. A Guess #

    “Life is a very and beautiful thing.” Roberto Begnini – Down by Law. Gorgeous piece my dear.

    October 20, 2011
  10. A Guess #

    oops – blew it!
    ” Life is a very SAD and beautiful thing.”

    October 20, 2011
    • Life is Beautiful. One of my favorite movies, however sad it is.

      October 20, 2011
  11. I’m haunted, too. His name is Noah…beautiful as always.Amazing how you strike a chord so deeply every time. I do admire that.

    October 20, 2011
    • Thank you, Kate. This touches so many people in different ways that end up the same.

      October 20, 2011
  12. My “almost came to me” was in 1992. Lost forever to another place and time, hopefully to be reunited with mother, father, brother and sister at some very very distant time in the future.

    The cool thing (‘cool’ seems not to have quite enough depth as a word, but I guess I’ll run with it since it fits well enough) about this post is everyone can relate to it. Our lives are rife with “might have beens” that are reflected back to us in parts of the journey. And sometimes where and when we least expect it.

    October 20, 2011
    • I’ve been struck today by how common these feelings seem to be. I mean, I know miscarriage is common, but I didn’t realize this post would speak to so many people.

      October 20, 2011
  13. earlybird #

    This: ‘Bits of me were never born, because you never existed to complete them.’

    October 20, 2011
  14. Excellent. I love it when you write from the heart. I know it can hurt to let your feelings bleed out into words, but they are so much more powerful when there are real emotions behind them. It is times like this that I am impressed by both your skill and honesty – which go together more than many people realize.

    And having been through the same thing as your are writing about here… I know the pain.

    October 20, 2011
    • In thinking about this series, I imagined this post first. I’ve been wanting to write it for a while, though allowing myself to vary the format of posts gave me better options for making it a moving piece. Thank you for encouraging me to branch out with your direct honesty.

      October 20, 2011
  15. That line… ‘Bits of me were never born, because you never existed to complete them.’ Haunting.

    October 20, 2011
    • Several people singled out that line today, Amanda. I must make a note of it for the future. 🙂

      October 20, 2011
  16. Amber Deutsch #

    singular and amazing – awestruck

    October 21, 2011
    • I wish I’d heard that earlier, but it came at just the right time. Thank you for giving me a desperately needed pick me up.

      October 21, 2011
  17. Debbie #

    Such a sweet and touching story Andra. Your writing just gets better and better. I think this is my favorite!

    October 22, 2011

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