I have been waiting. And while my wait is different from the writer of this letter, it isn’t. But “They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength…wings as eagles.”
Being the child of a doctor who cared deeply for every patient of his facing infertility, meant I came to care deeply about the Hannahs and Sarahs of this world. This is where this story is from. It is also an ode to He who makes us wait, but only to make us ‘better’ for the ‘best’.
It has been a while, hasn’t it my love? A long, long while. Maybe a little too long even.
Remember back when we first discovered love could take the form of a person? And we would leave letters for each other in places no one else thought to look? Because like our love, our letters and the words they spilled out were nothing we wanted to share with anyone else? I miss those days. I miss the care-freeness that was new love, the thoughtfulness that discovery affords… I miss it, not because what we have now is a little less (it isn’t) but because we have evolved, grown and it is okay for old love to mourn its youth.
Dear Sam…. Have I ever told you how much I love your name? The forthrightness of it, the succinctness, the tasty morsel it is on my tongue, a morsel that leaves me wanting more, that leaves me wanting it all. Still.
Samuel. I asked him of the Lord.
And indeed I did. I asked you of the Lord. I prayed for you, I ached for you when you were not mine, when you were still only a dream that took flight with the approach of dawn…
I have been dreaming a new dream lately. It takes place in a different place every time but aside the setting, the characters and theme is the same.
Last night, you fell asleep before I did and I watched you. Your eyelashes seemed even longer as if that were possible. Your mouth was slightly open, your lips pale. I confess to tasting you as you slept, to breathing myself into your dreams. Did you dream of me then? Did it work?
I fell asleep sometime before 1am and I dreamed the future again. She is a little more than 6 months old in these dreams and can sit up for herself. She wears diapers with cuddly bears printed on them and nothing else. Last night, she was sitting on a terrace I have never seen before, holding a rattle in her hands and speaking the language of angels. I am amazed by all of her as only a mother can be amazed by what she has made but it is her hair that strikes me the most.
It is a dark brown curly Afro within which is hidden the oars of your Nordic ancestors, the calabash of my grandmother’s hearth, my father’s nappy curls, your mother’s wavy brunette.
Her eyes are mine, huge and knowing. Her nose is yours, perfect. Her round baby belly reminds me of yours when you are constipated. She has taken more of your skin tone than mine. When the time comes for the three of us to walk down streets together, my skin will be the odd one out but I will find a bridge back to you hidden in her hair.
Yesterday’s dream was more vivid than all of the others. I could smell her. I could feel her. This is how I know it won’t be long now. This is how I was able to get out of bed today and face another round of prodding and pricking at the clinic today. This is how I could smile even as tears filled my eyes when the nurse punctured another hole in my body. This is why I could make a joke while my ankles were imprisoned in stirrups and my left hand in both of yours, waiting for the doctors in their white coats stained with empty promises. This is why I am a little changed these past few weeks. This is why I can write you a letter for the first time in 9 years, since the first moment we started waiting on the future.
I should never have stopped writing to you and I am sorry I stopped. I am sorry I stopped being the woman you fell in love with. Sorry I forgot to treat you like my Samuel, the one I asked of the Lord. Sorry, I stopped being thankful for everything you are. Sorry that by looking forward to the future, I forgot to look beside me at the present.
It is my penance that our daughter takes so much after you. It is my penance to name her Samuella, so that every time you say her name you know just how needed and wanted you have always been.
She is almost here, Sam. She is almost here. I can tell from the clarity these dreams have taken on. It is the same clarity that heralded your coming into my life.
But while I wait with great excitement for our future, I will be content in my present. I will be a better wife so I can be the best mother. I have asked many things of the Lord. But most of these things were not flesh and blood. For you, he made me wait. For our daughter, he made me wait. I know now that the best things are waited for. It is the only way to make us better for the best things.
I love you. She is almost here. But you, you are here.
Adurodoluwakijiofo – He that waits on the Lord is NEVER ashamed.
Song of the day: Colbie Caliat – I Never Told You