If I had a thing to tell my unborn child it would be: it’s all about the warmth, the texture and the smell of the skin, clothes and hair. How close you feel to those you love and how well you recognize their scent.
I know, it sounds a bit beast-like and unremarkable even but, that’s exactly what I would tell him or her; it’s truly all about the warmth, texture and smells.
The texture of my father’s favorite suit, its scent and distinctive shade of grey are all crystal clear to me even today, thirteen years after I last saw him wearing it. Last year, when I visited Brazil, I was quite shocked to see that my youngest brother, the man who was named after our old man, received me at the airport wearing our dad’s favorite jacket. I noticed how well it fit him and how mighty he looked in it. I was shocked not because I was appalled or even bothered, quite the contrary: I was honored I was able to remember the texture and smell of that jacket for so many years without losing any bit of what it meant to me.
I was delighted that the moment I was in its presence again I knew that my memory hadn’t failed me: who my father had been was exactly what I’ve always known him to be. His scent, the texture of his outfit and the brutally tanned skin of his hands would never change because certain memories are hard to kill.
What my unborn child must know, however, is that memories do trick us so he or she must learn to notice the difference and keep it simple: smells don’t change, the texture doesn’t waste away and the way light runs through the hair will brand our memories like hot iron on warm skin.
I would tell him or her that the warmth of our loved one’s presence will never disperse or lose its weight because our whole existence makes room for their warmth, the same way the earth makes room for roots to grow forever and the air allows trees all the space in the world so their branches can reach endless skies.
Maybe, someday when my unborn children are actually around they will learn that I was mistaken and that it’s not really all about the texture and scent but more about the weight and the colors… I don’t mind. They will be their own people by then and they will have experiences of their own but I will want them to know that
~ I will never forget the texture of their favorite jackets, the scent of their wavy hair, the color of the skin that protects their bare hands and that I shall take this memory along with me, even when I’m gone and my body has turned into the dust of a star out there, somewhere in the sky.
My shape will resemble the sun’s light running through their hair and the glow I’ll flare as a star in their skies will remind them of their own warmth. Forever. ~