My daughter is visiting, and as I went to tuck her in last night, she said, "I just sent you this, but watch it with me." The second she clicked it on, I knew what it was and what was coming. She watched me watch it, watched me tear up. It was not, I told her, only because of its sweetness and sadness, its universality, but about history. She did and did not know what I meant. What example, from the innumerable examples, to present my child at 10:30 at night? Had she read or seen Sophie's Choice? She said she had not. I told her, we'll watch it while she is here.
I got in bed, the "Baby Mine" song in my head. I started to sink, to think. A hole opened up, the deepest hole there is and can be, a black tunnel in space and time. There is a sound inside. It is the synthesized sound of billions of mothers and children ripped apart. There is no screaming, or weeping, or words, or rather there are all these things but it's now just one sound, a constant chord that never ceases. I tapped into this hole, I was inside it, and I wept. Then the hole closed over, the sound stopped, the pain was not just healed over but as though it was never there. That it did not exist.
I thought of one of those movies where the character is looking for the secret passage, she tap-taps on the wall, nothing; it's absolutely smooth, and then she taps it in just the right way, and the wall gives, there is the passage, but it will only open when you know how and are ready for it.
I tapped again. Again, it opened. I hovered above this mass of pain and listened and said, I will hold on for you. You were not allowed to, but I will, for you.