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If I were there, I would have hugged you, reminded you of how little you once were. How I remember the day you were born and how I stood on my tip toes to peek at your ruddy shrunken face and tiny burrito wrapped body through the glass. I’d play up how weird looking you were, just for kicks, if I were there.

If I were there, I’d have cried on you in the midst of an embrace instead of in the parking lot of Home Depot. I wouldn’t apologize for getting teary slobber on your shirt. We would be too wrapped up in the moment, anyhow. I would have held your hand, shaken your shoulders, and squeezed your arm repeatedly until it hurt in utter astonishment of the miracle. It wouldn’t hurt you though, you’d be too entranced in the bliss of the moment to feel the pain of my abusive grip. My elevating scream would have been heard and rang throughout the hospital corridor, Ooooohhh  myyyyy… Aaaaaahhhhh!! instead of ringing in Michael’s ears, filling the front seat of my car.

If I were there, I would have watched you gaze down and whisper your first hellos. I would watch as your eyes well up in disbelief. You would be able to see ours well up along with you. If I were there, I would get you a tissue, because that’s the kind of thoughtful, considerate sister I am. I bear gifts of tissue. I would also bear gifts of flowers and present them to your beautiful wife, whom I am so thankful for and blessed to call my sister-in-law, feeling the superfluous excess of the, “in-law,” label an annoyance.  I would tell Shone Loc that I love her and I would offer to rub her swollen Hobbit feet, just as Peg did for me. If I were there, I would get to witness Shone’s uncomfortable, but polite decline to this offer.

If I were there, I’d get to hold little Kieran Adanedi Blake, my nephew, and be able to whisper, Happy Birthday. I would marvel at the wonder of his ten tiny toes, delicate fingernails, the curves of his pouted lips. I would comment on his handsome, dark hair, and wait patiently for him to open his eyes so he can view the blurred vision of his proud aunt, whom will undoubtedly become his favorite. I would tell the other aunts that I was kidding about that, and we could all share the title, if I were there.

I’d tell you how happy I am for ya’ ll. I would tell you I know you will remember this day for the rest of your lives. I would assure you that we all will too, even though we were not there.

We are here, separated 2,158 miles, but I would high five and hug you, tell you all I love you, if I were there.

Ray shone Kieran 2



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10 replies

  1. Beautiful, just beautiful! What a bittersweet piece…celebrating the joy of a new nephew, but being so far from him and his parents. You took me right there in the car with you when you heard the news. Very cool picture.

  2. Oh how I wish you were there!! The difficulty of not being there rings throughout every one of your words. It’s such a happy piece, but yet so sad. It was really, really neat how you started the piece by talking about your younger brother, who is now a dad, first. Great lead!!!

  3. Oh, Brighid – I’m crying in my kitchen. I wish you were there. Congrats to you, Auntie. I can’t wait for you to hold your nephew. Biggest congrats.

  4. Congrats!!! God they are gorgeous! Just stunning happy perfect new family! I absolutely love everything about this piece. The writing is ridiculously good and gushy, lovey, perfect. The repetition just hits hard and hurts that you can’t be there to share in this first part. Happy birthday, Kieran. What a wonderful first bday card.

  5. This is so perfectly beautiful. I especially loved your lead and the specificity of your details: his ruddy shrunken face, standing on your tip toes, his tiny burrito wrapped body. I could see it all! Congratulations!

  6. Besides the image you create in this piece, the feeling comes through loud and clear. I know this feeling, I know those miles. It sucks. Congratulations Auntie! I hope you get to hold that baby soon!

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