I got my test results via text last night as I was laying in bed. I had to go through such a procedure to actually view them though that for a moment I wondered if I was going to be able to at all. Codes and web sites, web sites and codes.
I do not have covid.
And so what have I had? Oh who knows and it doesn't even matter. I am feeling better, day by day. Physically, that is. Emotionally I continue to be crushed, as I am sure most of us are.
Do you want to hear something crazy?
Last night, when I put Dorothy Anne and Emily back to bed where they sleep under my vanity, I kept Rosa Violet out. My little Black doll. And I held her close to me as I held my babies as a young mother, as I held my dolls when I was a child, and I whispered, "I love you, I love you, I love you." I stroked her cloth arms and bonneted head and kept her tucked in beside me for quite awhile.
It was ridiculous and I could probably be put in memory care for such a thing but it eased my heart the tiniest bit. Don't we all wish we could have held Tyre close enough for him to be safe, to tell him that he was loved? I am sure that his mother told him she loved him a million times. He had her name tattooed on his arm. But she could not keep him safe.
Finally, I wrapped Rosa Violet up in an old baby blanket, swaddling her like you would a newborn, and put her next to her doll-sisters to sleep, all covered up together on their pillow bed.
I am embarrassed to relate this story but it's true and I did that. Every child who plays with a beloved doll knows that the doll is not a living, breathing being and yet, the child can and will imbue the doll with a spirit of its own so that it can be loved the way the child would wish to be loved. Perhaps this is why I love these old dolls so much. I recognize the child's spirit in each of them and I honor that. I think of the way Dorothy Anne has "I love you" written over her heart, or where her heart would be. That secret message left by someone long ago that I could feel the power of even when the doll was lying in that dark room in the top of an antique store so strongly that I sought her out every time I shopped there and held her for a moment in my arms. And Rosa Violet was my stand-in for all of the babies who cannot be fully safe because we live in a country where skin color is of such importance that we place higher value on one color over another.