Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Shimmering Chimeras

Barnacle Boy, true to form, wanted to hold onto me tonight. "I never said how long I wanted to hold you, I'll never let you go, Mom!" I pointed out to him that I was always holding onto him, that some of his cells were still in me. Fetal microchimerism, the decades long, post-partum persistence of fetal cells in the mother is a relatively recent discovery. My own little barnacle was quick to pick up on the principle. He wanted to know where I kept his cells - in the uterus? "No, all over my body, even in my blood." The lights went on. "Oh, I'm always in your heart! Literally! Your blood goes right through your heart, with me...." A short pause was followed with, "and so you were always in Grammy's heart, too. Even when she's dead, you're still in her heart." I suspect he meant it literally, he's a pretty pragmatic guy, but I read it more affectively, on this of all days, All Saints Day - to hear that I remain always in my mother's heart, unto to death and beyond.

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