Essays, Essays Archive
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The wedding album

L. D. Diem | The Wedding Album | Raising Mothers

my daughter has a fascination with my wedding album

she makes her daddy or I turn each page delicately

we are supposed to point to each family member or friend

and name them, including ourselves

she likes to repeat us

slowly drawing out the syllables on her tongue

looking up to make sure

her pronunciation is correct


each time she nears the page

he resides on, I dread it

she has proudly memorized his name

and frowns when I tell her “that’s daddy’s old friend”

she obviously doesn’t agree with my identification

because it’s not how we have referred to him before


it is potentially the greatest lesson I could ever teach her

about forgiveness and empathy

being a kind human being

to the ones that rip us apart


when she is older I will explain

who he was and the things he did

and how her daddy’s insides burned

when he got back that pink teddy bear

a welcome present he had sent to their firstborn


she doesn’t know that it is the same stuffed animal

that she sleeps with

curls her tiny body around

each night


a permanent reminder

that those that break us down

have the power to harden us-

but only if we let them

L. D. Diem lives in Michigan with her energetic toddler, “always has to be right” husband and unusual barkless dog.

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Sherisa de Groot (she/her) is a writer, community builder, and founder of Raising Mothers, literary membership community Literary Liberation, and pens A Home Within Myself. Her work has been featured in a variety of publications, including Kindred by Parents, Refinery 29, Mutha Magazine, and Oldster Magazine and she was a contributor to the book ‘100 Diverse Voices on Parenthood’ by A Kid’s Company About. With a focus on intersectionality and social justice, de Groot’s writing explores the nuances of motherhood and the experiences of BIPOC mothers and marginalized genders. Through her work, she aims to amplify the voices of those who have been historically silenced and create a more equitable world for all. Raising Mothers was the 2021 Romper People’s Choice Iris Award Winner. Originally from Brooklyn New York, she is a first-generation American turned immigrant living in Amsterdam, NL with her husband, two children, and cat.

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