jade luck

by ann

I found it suddenly amidst the mess: a rabbit the size of my thumbnail. I rolled it in my hands; the cold jade nagged at my memories. With each roll, excitement burbled slowly within me because maybe..could it be?…that this was the child we had lost?

It was after our firstborn-the “Will you marry me?” Taco Bell hot sauce packet- sometime sophomore year of college. We had wandered a Mexican flea market in San Antonio and there adopted this bite-sized jade rabbit and a sibling (a horse, I think). I was ecstatic by how Lilliputian they were and carried them with us everywhere, which was their downfall.

Remember that day? We had spread out newspapers on my living room floor to paint something or another, placing our two children side by side to watch. And then they were gone, lost in some moment. We speculated they had disappeared in a hurried clean up. It seemed like a terrible omen at the time- to have lost our beloveds in mere days!- but time passed and the loss slipped from our minds.

I immediately sent you a picture when I found the jade rabbit but you were unsure of whether this was really our long lost child of yore. Wasn’t our rabbit made of onyx, you asked. I paused. It’s been quite some time. But here’s what I told you: We lost a child long ago, perhaps an onyx one, perhaps not a rabbit at all, but this one appeared. And it appeared now, reminding me of what had been lost, like a sign to say: it will all be okay. Hah. This all sounds ridiculous-the obvious: why did we love to call inanimate objects our offspring?- but I admit the wee thing has been a comfort. The last few days have been heart-wrenching and I am afraid. Change is here.

Yet I savor these moments: chaotic and full with tender love. I have staved off hysterics to be truly present for it all- late-night home renovating, planning for Amy’s wedding, our sixth anniversary- but what I truly love has been the minutiae in the day: deep belly laughs with the girls that rise above the restaurant din; hours sprawled on the study room sofa with my mom, watching episode after episode of a Korean drama; you procrastinating and playing guitar while I read, humming absentmindedly along; and the quiet, unhurried moments cruising in my car. This is what I will miss the most.

In spaces of silence and loneliness, of doubt and uncertainty, I will grasp that piece of jade luck and this feeling of warmth.