Tony Woodlief remembers the birthday of a daughter who died 12 years ago, at the age of three:

I suppose we all of us have shadowed places in our lives, places where reside only the ill-formed shapes of what might have been, never clear and untouchable and framed only by their absence of light. But we have what has yielded those shadows as well, or at least the memories of them. I can’t know how her voice would sound today, but I can recall her singing ABCs; I can’t know what it’s like for her head to reach my shoulder, but I can remember carrying her on my shoulders.

In every life there are the things we have and the shadows that haunt us, and which we call could have been. Maybe part of enduring is looking where the light is, rather than where it is not.

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