My dear daughter Aprelle,
It’s a warm night of April 2016. I am sitting here, oblivious of the people staring at me as I try to chew gum on one side and popcorns at the same time. Jordin Sparks’ No Air is blasting in my ears. I think I am just of breath, how much I think of you, how much I miss you, yet you are a thousand, I know I am exaggerating, but to me it feels like a thousand kilometers away. Damn fate that it had to separate us this early!
It is April, you are one year old, at least to me you are. To others you are just three months old. But I know better. Happy First Birthday! You have made it through your first year of this arduous journey called life and I am proud of you. Not only have you survived this but you have also become my friend, a friend I can count on. Thank You!
Baby Girl, this is your birthday month. Thank God it’s April, and now I can declare to the whole world why your name is as such. When you are old enough to answer questions for yourself, they will ask you; “Why did your mum christen you Aprelle?”
I don’t want you to tell them; “What’s in a name?” That is a tired phrase. Let them know that in your name there is something, a treasure. Let them know that your mamma did not just wake up one day, where she was having dreams about months, and the dream ended abruptly at the wake of the month of April. Or maybe she did, sometimes I tend to believe it too. Let them know that your mamma didn’t stumble upon the name on her way to school, picked it up, put it in her bag and stuck it on your face at birth. Let them know that it is not just any other name.
I have been asked time and again with rolled eyes, “So why Aprelle?” Baby girl, my heart gets heavy, my mind clouds, my eyes tear. I have to take a deep breath before I reply, lest I change my mind and take off. I hate saying it, my sweetheart. It takes a lot of control not to be outright rude and say, “Why can’t you just take the name, leave the ‘whys’ to the wind and MYOB. So simply I answer, “I named her Aprelle because she was conceived in April.” Which is true yet a lie. You know better why I named you that. You have been there, you have seen it, you have felt it, you have touched it, you have tasted it. Whatever it was that I had to see, to feel, to touch to down in my throat. I have seen you look at me quizzically, with your little innocent eyes, when you hear me tell the half-lie, half-truth. I can see you piercingly peering at me as if asking, “Mummy, haven’t you been teaching me to always say the truth, no matter how hard?” My dear girl, I am failing you in this, but forgive me, you know I can’t say it, until not yet, at least not now. Allow me this untrusted exception. I have tried though, and it breaks me even further.
So baby girl, I hope you will have the strength to speak my truth, and discard my lie. When you come of age, when you will find your voice I hope you will tell them how loyal you were, how enthusiastic you were to see me smile. Baby girl remember how you hugged me with your tiny cute hands on my birthday earlier in the year? I hope you will give them the story. I hope you will make them see the two Birthstones that are a mark of what your heart is, of who you have been in the past one year. I hope that they will see the Diamond in you that signifies symbolizes affection, strength, eternity and of course- everlasting love. I hope they will see the Garnet in you that is a symbol of fidelity and sincerity.
Aprelle, it’s my sincere request that you will tell them that it came to a point. A point “when your mamma saw something and it carried her away like a bus (forgive my direct translation).” Then she had no choice. The only choice she had was to name you Aprelle.
I haven’t finished my popcorns yet, my chewing gum is still on the left side of my mouth, but my music has stopped. Lights have gone out. There are tears in my eyes.
So long, Aprelle.
Much Love, Mummy.