Friday, April 27, 2012

So. I did something kind of funny last night.

I was at the laundrymat, doing a small load of late night laundry. I was alone, and started cleaning out my pocketbook. I got rid of old receipts and envelopes from bills I'd payed. I gathered up all of the markers and stickers that belong to my son.

And then I gathered up all of the money. Loose floating dollar bills. Most of them singles, but there were quite a few. I had a small fortune when I was finished.

(o.k. I didn't really have a small fortune- but I had almost $30!)

I folded the money neatly and put it into my wallet.

Then I took it out.

I wrote Beatrix's full name on each bill, with her date of birth and the number of a Bible verse about holding on to Joy.

I fed some of those bills into the change machine last night, where they will be disbursed into my community. Four of them, to be exact. Maybe by today, four people have wondered who Beatrix Elizabeth was.

I gave a $10 bill with her name on it to the boy who works in the pizza shop near my job.

As he took the bill, he said, "Let's see what this says... Beatrix Elizabeth......."

It's the first time I have heard anyone outside of our family- our immediate family- say her name out loud. It shocked me, and thrilled me, and knocked the breath from me all at the same time.

He said her name.

Her whole entire name.

And he didn't look uncomfortable, or disturbed. He said it like it was a real person's name. Like it wasn't the name of the dead, sweet baby that dances on my shoulders.

It's like a drug- I should warn you. I sat down in the pizza shop and quickly wrote her name on the bills I had received in change. I don't want to miss this opportunity- the opportunity to hear her name spoken without fear.

Someone is thinking of my daughter. That someone isn't me- or you- or my husband, kids, friends.

It's someone who may imagine her as a human being. Fresh and breathing. A person who wears shoes and maybe plays a sport or two.

Someone with life.

Someone who doesn't know.

Someone who walks around like she owns the place.

How large the swell of my gratitude was today.

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