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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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