This photograph hangs on my wall, right beside a great big window where I sit and think about the last year of my life, the years before that, the steps I have taken to get here, and the steps I'll take to move on.
I was once with a man who, no matter how much I wanted him to be, was not the man for me. And sometimes I think to myself, if only I could change reality. If only I could go back to when he was a boy, and be the one to take care of him then. I would have told him how good he was, how smart he was, and how brave he was; and all of those things would have been true. I would have told him that to become better you have to make mistakes, and to become who you are you have to be all of who you are. I would have written songs for him, baked pies for him, and sung to him at night. I would have been his cheerleader at the game, his protector at home, and his ally in the world.
But in this reality, my power is limited, and my love was never enough to make things right.
And as I sit by the window wishing he could have been what I wanted, or that I could have been what he needed, I see the picture that hangs on my wall. There she is: my chance, my turn.
She is the one under my care and protection, she is the one I nurture and sing to--she is the one who might someday be the mother to a beautiful and deserving boy, and posses the power to heal his heart long before it ever breaks.