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Concealed in My Heart
The night before her departure, Charity went into Suzette’s room to rock her to sleep one more time. Suzette was sitting in her crib, chewing on her beloved teddy bear’s ear, so Charity pulled the rocking chair next to the crib. The day before, she’d run across the baby book she had given to Maria a couple of days before Suzette’s birth. Looking through it, she discovered a letter
Maria had written to Suzette. Even though Charity knew Suzette was too young to understand the message, Charity decided to spend her last night reading some of her mother’s thoughts and words of love to Suzette.
She reached through the wood bars and caressed her baby soft hair. “Hey baby girl! Does Teddy taste good?”
Suzette grinned through fur and slobber.
Her smile always made Charity smile too. “I know you don’t understand everything right now, but I’m leaving you tomorrow. I haven’t thought it through as much as your mom did so I’m going to read what she had to say to you. Okay? The book will be here when you’re old enough to read her words yourself, but tonight, I’m reading more for my benefit than yours. Okay?”
Suzette gurgled so Charity took that as her approval and began reading,
“My Darling Child of my Heart, if you know nothing else, know I love you, and
wanted you from the moment I knew of your existence. I know you will grow up
knowing love. Your father loves you, and he will see that you have enough love
to make up for my not being with you as you become who you are meant to be. I
would give anything to be with you, but sometimes God’s plans do not match our
own. I have no doubt you will grow to be the most beautiful and amazing person
ever. I want nothing but the best for you. Never doubt that you were and are
loved. I am leaving you in in the care of my two best friends. Your father and
Charity will see you never lack for anything, of that I am certain. When you see
the sun, know it is only me keeping watch over you, but don’t despair on the
days there are clouds. The sun never leaves. It is only tucked out of sight for
a short span in time. That is how I see death. I’m only tucked out of sight for
a short period in time. I’m waiting for you behind the clouds, with love in my
heart, and my arms opened wide, whenever you need to talk. I’ll always be here
listening, whenever you need me. Have a wonderful life and always have an open
and willing heart.”
Charity cleared her throat because it was now constricted with emotion. She watched as Suzette pulled herself up using the bars of the crib. Her clear blue eyes were locked on Charity’s face, intently watching, as if she understood everything being read, so Charity continued. “Here are my hugs and kisses. I
wish they were for real. I pray that in my absence you never wanted for real
ones. If I know your dad and Charity, you never will. With all my heart, and
with all my love, Your Mother.”
Charity closed the baby book and placed it on the nearby dresser. She leaned forward in the rocker and pressed her face against the crib bars. They were now nose to nose. “I tried my best to give you the hugs and kisses your mom couldn’t. I’m leaving tomorrow. I know you don’t understand, but I don’t want you to ever think I deserted you. I love you. I didn’t carry you for nine months and we don’t have the same DNA, but I love you like you were my own daughter. I don’t know if you will even remember me, but if you do have some distant memory of me, let it be that I loved you with all my heart.” She kissed the end of Suzette’s nose. “I always will.”
Charity picked Suzette up out of the crib and started getting her ready for bed. After putting Suzette’s pajamas on, they played their usual silly little games, and then, when it was obvious Suzette was exhausted, Charity rocked her to sleep for the last time. She even managed to do it all without breaking down and crying. She never noticed David standing in the doorway of the nursery while she read to Suzette, nor did she see his departure when she took Suzette out of the crib.
Regina Puckett is an award nominated author for her short story, Balloon Wishes.
Borrowed Wings, has received the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval.
Memories won first place in the 1st WSBR International Poetry Contest. This poem may be found in her book of poetry, Tilting at Windmills and Words.
Slowly Drowning won second place in the 3rd WSBR International Poetry Contest. This poem may be found in her poetry book, My Words into them Beyond.
Sir Galahad Comes to the Rescue won third place in the 3rd WSBR International Poetry Contest. This poem may be found in her book of poetry, Ramblings and Dreams.
Her collection of poetry, Fireflies, won 2013 Turning Pages Poetry Book of the Year.
She has been writing for over forty-five years. She lives in Tennessee with her husband of over forty years. She has two grown daughters and four grandchildren.