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The Daughter She Never Had

May 05, 1997

All this week we pay tribute to Ma with excerpts from the latest books on motherhood as we count down to Mother's Day on Sunday.

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In "Letters to Our Daughters" (Beyond Words Publishing), editors Kristine Van Raden and Molly Davis have assembled a collection of letters of diverse voices and perspectives that underscore how important it would be to write a letter "to our daughters, expressing our love and sharing our dreams and hopes for her, a keepsake that she could treasure and reflect upon in years to come."

A mother of three boys writes to the daughter she miscarried:

Dear Tawnie, the daughter I never had,

You have three brothers now, all nearly grown. So much time has passed that I seldom think of you anymore. I guess Solzhenitsyn was right: We mortals are incapable of sustaining faithfulness or grief. Life goes on.

Yet, I loved you for the three months I carried you. I dreamed of the blue-eyed, blond, chubby-cheeked girl you'd be. I planned to sew yards of pink ruffles and lace into your wardrobe. You had a family to welcome you. . . .

I am sometimes jealous of my friends who are mothers of daughters. . . . They seem to maintain a closeness and can share the misfortunes, whimsies and giddiness of life. There are women in my family with whom I can share anything, and I guess I always wanted to extend that to another generation, like a family heirloom.

I don't mean to carry on and make us sad. As I write I anticipate someday having daughters-in-law. It won't be the same as the one I raised, but perhaps, Tawnie, in missing you, I will try harder to welcome them into the family.

With Love,

Mother

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