Babies dying...
By Katie Hodge

Babies dying.
Mothers crying.
When does it end?
The world has fallen out of order.
The world has been pushed out of order.
Unseen reasons lie behind empty-armed mothers.
When does it ever end?
In this human capsule we hold so dear to another human form.
We say: He’s my life! I gave him life!
Didn’t I?
When did I learn I was separate from you?
When did I learn to fear your departure?
Breathing for only one now.
Making decisions for myself only.
Cleaning up after no one but myself.
I’d rather clean up after you;
Your empty drink cups,
The disposable plastic cups that somehow entertained you for hours…they were blue. I remember.
The dried fruit cocktail I had to use a knife to scrape off the floor…
At this very moment, a mother is hearing her child is dead.
What a waste.
What a failure!
That was my only job! I loved that job!
It was hard but I was complete, I was whole!!
You son-of-a-bitch!!!!
Who did this? I want names, addresses, phone numbers!!
If I can’t slap God Himself across the face I’m going to do whatever I can here on this earth!
I want justice!
I want revenge!
I want Them to endure this pain for the rest of their lives-like I have to!!
I want to punish Them!!

In the end…Do I?
Do I ever punish anyone more cruelly, more severely, than I did myself?

I was the Mom!
My one and only job was to keep him safe!

What a failure.
Failure. What a permanently hopeless word.

But what did I really fail at?
Not having ESP? or a premonition?
Not seeing the future in my crystal ball?
Did I fail at not seeing the signs? Or not paying attention to them?

Or is the truth really that I am failing now?
Am I failing him now?

Yes, I am alive.
And although I cannot yet say I am grateful I survived, I did.

I am here.
Blake is not.
Not in a way I can see him with my eyes,
feel his hand wrapped around my finger,
play with his earlobe between my lips,
or take a long deep breath of him.

Blake is here in his way.
I must learn to see him with another kind of eyes.

I see him in the hummingbird that flies close and stares back at me.
I see him in the powerful thunderclouds that race across the sky.
I see him often in the brilliant, pink sunsets. The ones that take your breath away.
I see him staring back at me every night through the holes in the sky we call stars.

He gives me the strength of an army every time I am consoling a fellow grieving mother.
And every time I tell his story, I inspire one more person to be more careful in the deadly weapons we call cars.
To take a little longer before proceeding through an intersection.
And to Never, Ever run through a red light.
If nothing else, I hope Blake and I are teaching parents to tuck their children in a little tighter, and to give them an extra kiss good-night.

With every breath I take, I am created anew.
With this breath, I choose to live.
With this voice, I share my son with you.
With this laugh, Blake is laughing as well.
I will not fail Blake.
I will Live.
I will change the World.
I will live.
I will live.
I will live.

For C. Blake Cash
September 12, 1998 to February 18, 2000

Author Biography
Katie is Blake's mom, Director of Operations for the MISS Foundation, Secretary for, a damn fine poet, and much, much more than any one label can say!

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