Sunday, January 4, 2009


Dear Imogen,

Your 8th birthday was quiet this year. Our opportunities to honour you were limited. Your little brother had a busy schedule of x-ray and doctors appointment. (He's good - still pneumonia but clearing) We visited the zoo and I stood for a long time looking at the tiger. Big, beautiful, quiet. He, in his own quiet space. I, in mine.

I'm repeatedly struck by the quiet. It's not the big red hot volcanic quiet of before, it's more green now, of the wind through trees variety. Red or green, it still makes an impact. Your absence is observed.

No little girl running around. No sisters running around. No big brothers. No sibling interactions. No chatter. And no one remembering this, no one thinking about this with us. It's all a thing of the past now. Right?

Of course the quiet would be so much more ear piercing if Magnus were also not here. We get to have some noise after all. I love the noise. But still..........you know............it's just...........not noisy enough. And I'd like someone else to be here arguing with Magnus instead of that job always falling to me. I'm positive you would have done the job quite well.

Two incidents occurred. The first was at the Hardware store. I usually let your little brother explore stuff. He was quite interested in the plumbing pipes and connectors this visit. So as he examined them (I was down the row a bit) a family strolled by. 2 parents, 3 boys. The middle boy around Magnus's age, chimed, "Is that boy lost?" His mother said, "Oh no, that's his mother over there!" I smiled. She turned to me and smiled back. Then chuckling, she said, "He's been lost recently. So he's thinking about it alot." I chuckled and said, "Oh a wanderer. Yep, I understand." She chuckled and said, "It was easy when we just had the one. Much harder now with 3!" And just like that. Slice. The scar received it's incision. I was on the outside looking in. I nodded but made no comment in return because what is there to say. I suppose she is right. After all.

The other occurred at the New Years party at the neighbours. While chatting with the dad next door, he was commenting on how different Christmas was this year because their boys are now teens. "Sometimes, when they are both at sleepovers or at camp, we find it so quiet. It's a glimpse I guess of what is to come when they move from home. The quiet." It was hurting him, thinking about it. I can tell he loves being a dad. I wanted to say, "I know something about quiet too." But I didn't. It was his moment to share. Mine is yet to come. He wanted to convey how important it is to not miss a minute of a child growing up because it goes by so quickly. I simply said, "Boy don't I know it. It's something very noticeable to me." My minds unspoken thought was - because one day they might not be here anymore. For good. Creating a permanent quiet empty place.

What would 8 look like for you, Imogen? A tiny girl no doubt. Miniature. My archetypal image of you is with a huge, thick book under your arm (regular sized for us); tiny in form, big in mind. We'd have to cut a special door for you into our big doors so that you could come and go as you pleased. Maybe we'd paint it purple or something. I once said this to one of your nurses and she had a good laugh. I wonder if she remembers our hopes and dreams for you, planning your independence even then, planning your purple door. I always said you had a mind of your own and you would be the one to decide your fate. I still hold to this thought.

A friend tells me from time to time that she can sometimes see a little white haired girl bouncing around after Magnus. Of course you would. I have no doubt that if anyone could make this happen it would be you. Maybe one day, I will see too. Happy Birthday to you. Send me some noise.

Love,
Mummy

10 comments:

cindy said...

Happy Birthday sweet Imogen.

Kel said...

happy birthday karin.

Tinniegirl said...

What a beautiful letter.

Kerrie said...

Oh Karin...

I'm so sorry I missed Imogen's birthday, just caught up with things here...there are no words, no real reason, I just missed it. I'm very sorry.

I love your thoughts about Imogen and her spirit, she certainly knew what she wanted and who was in charge, didn't she..??

Sending you love...

kate said...

Happy Birthday, Miss Mighty....

I love the image of the purple door!

1,000 Faces of MotherHenna said...

Lots of love to you, Sweets...and birthday hug vibes to Miss Imogen -- I hope she's playing with Kota somewhere.

Thank you for always sharing such amazing posts. Every visit here makes me stop and just listen.

xo's
me

SandyR said...

Thinking of you as you remember your sweet girl 8 years on.xx

Leah said...

Sweet Imogen, Happy number 8 Birthday!
Oh Karin, she sure owns a purple door in your heart, and you gave such a wonderful insight into that with your letter. Thankyou so much for sharing her and all your glorious children. They are honoured and remembered. x*

Tracy, mom2many said...

I'm so glad you shared that about her purple door. I didn't know that before. I long to know more of your children, how I wish there was more to learn every day.

Happy Birthday Miss Mighty. You are loved and missed, Bright-eyed beauty.

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

A really beautiful post that has brought tears to my eyes. Happy birthday Imogen.