I told a friend that in response to my “I got the job” declaration, I was showered with 150 congratulations! As well as a smattering of yays, way to goes, awesomes, yippies And several I still haven’t figured out yet. Yet amid this cloud of well wishes and happy thoughts Not a word from my daughter. You have to figure out a way to let it go, I was told As many times as I have considered this advice I still have no answer as to what that would look like Does that simply mean not speaking aloud? Of what is swirling about incessantly in my mind Or ignoring the pain that throbs deep in my heart. Can you ever really put behind you The pain of what feels like rejection? Whether it comes from a direct confrontation Or a slowly descending veil of silence. Transition provided for lifelong friends, the impetus to vanish silently into the shadows, never to be seen again. Even having sworn to erase them, having refused the whispered call of a shared memory. Their ghosts continue to materialize unbidden, Reinforcing the truth some memories and traumas are indelible. But family is different isn’t it? Doesn’t blood and DNA matter Seems like it would, wouldn’t it, seems like it should, shouldn’t it? What’s all that blood thicker than water mean? does it matter at all? Or is it simply a thin pencil line on a family tree Reaching out into the world each day through my words Visible and vocal my presence is obvious What triumph or tragedy is currently playing out in my world Can’t be missed by anyone that would choose to look. What does it say when your child prefers not to know? Does my genetic connection give me a special right to expect her to? How do I judge if my expectations are unrealistic? Or should I simply assume parents’ expectations of children are always unrealistic?