Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Missing Faces at Fingerpainting Time

Yesterday I bought my great-granddaughter a set of fingerpaints. She will be 2 next month. I simply adore her. I remember how my children and grandchildren loved to fingerpaint. I found myself thinking, as I was taking pictures, of the missing faces of grandchildren I would never be able to teach or enjoy the simple childhood pleasures. Those were the faces of the children my two daughters had aborted. I did not know at the time how this would affect me in the future. I did not support their choices, but they did not seek my advice. Through the years, it has been a subject never talked about. But I do think about it from time to time and the older I get, the more I think about missing faces and opportunities. As I write this, the almost 2-year-old paints quietly and intently in the kitchen, her pictures all spread out, the prerequisite handprint with the date set aside to be framed later. Still I am haunted by the little hands I never got to imprint, the little lives never brought to term, and I am saddened beyond words at the loss. And I wonder if there are others out there who feel the same sense of loss at the missing faces.

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