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Watching Zev’s friends grow up is at times gut-wrenching. Reflected in their shining eyes is both the love I have for Zev and the agony of missing her physical presence.

I want to see her grow taller, reach her reading goal of 1,000 points by 5th grade, hit puberty, learn to drive – all of the painful and wonderful stuff of our teenage years. I can even visualize her as a wife and mother; she always said she couldn’t wait to have her own little girl.

So if my eyes fill with tears when I see kids on a playground, or if my heart sinks as I am hugged by her peers, it is because I see in them what I long to be a part of. Keeping my distance is the only choice… for now.

Oh, you little mirrors of joy and of love! It is not possible for me to explain the depth of sorrow I feel inside when I hear of your adventures and see your smiling faces. And yet I welcome your hugs and you will all have a special place in this broken heart of mine, always.

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