How Long?

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a brief interlude inspired
by Emma Hellenkamp and Jenna Johnson

How long will I love you
As long as stars are above you
And longer if I can
How long will I need you
As long as the seasons need to
Follow their plan

How long will I be with you
As long as the sea is bound to
Wash up on the sand

Wantage, New Jersey...

Theresa walked out onto the back deck and looked up at the star-filled sky; glad for the benefit of living semi-rurally with little ambient light. She sighed and wondered if her girls saw the same glorious display. They all inhabited her heart but one in particular the past few days.

“Honey? Did you hear from her?” Angela called from the kitchen. Theresa turned and half-smiled; glad for the contact even if it left her frustrated.

“She’s still being a loving and caring daughter.”

“Which means they still see her the way they want to see her, right? It’s so wrong, Ter,” Angela said; echoing her partner’s frustration as she joined Theresa outside.

“I’m…. Don’t get me wrong? I am so grateful for our life, Ang….”

Two sons; both married and certainly with loving families even if they all struggled with the change in their father. Terry would always be their Dad even as Theresa finally emerged after Angela’s love and acceptance gave her strength to emerge from chrysalis to transgender butterfly. Of course, Angela’s love would always enable her to ‘get right’ whatever Theresa told her.

“With two girls in heaven?” Angela gasped; even if they were miscarriages, that void that might never be filled even with a lifetime of grace from an understanding loving God. She walked up to Theresa and pulled her into a hug as they cried; no longer much for the loss they still felt as much instead for the hope they held for a daughter they had never met.

“Do you think she sees them?” Theresa said; pointing to the stars as their sobs ebbed. Angela smiled through teary eyes and nodded.

“Tell her to look up tomorrow night if you talk to her?” Theresa nodded.

“And….I know it’s not much, but let her know that Theresa and Angela love her…like she’s our own….”

Theresa looked at Angela with puzzlement; as if to ask why. Of course there was nearly no need to ask after two lifetimes of love, but Angela answered the unspoken question.

"If she’s your daughter, then how could she be anyone but my daughter as well?" They both began to cry again, but in the hope that the beautiful child they were never privileged to bear would know that two Mommies knew and cared and loved their faraway child…..

Now more than ever with Mrs. D's passing, I've come to realize just how much the real girl in this story came to help Mrs. D's understanding my own story. I trust that she looks down and loves the girl more than ever as well. Thanks for reading.

How long will I give to you
As long as I live through you
However long you say

How long will I love you
As long as stars are above you
And longer if I may

How long will I love you
As long as stars are above you

How Long Will I Love You
Words and music by Mike Scott
as performed by Ellie Goulding

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This story is 588 words long.