Chaos of Heartbeats

This is part of SheLoves Magazine “synchroblog” (people writing simultaneously on the same topic), A Love Letter to My Body. Follow along and read the amazing letters. While you’re at it, why don’t you do it too? Write a letter by July 18th, and link it up with SheLoves. Trust me, it’s good for the soul.


When did the first one begin? Did it count? Was it a full-on heartbeat or a succession of flutters? Because maybe you needed the courage, to gain strength- and really mean it… to beat…and continue for life.

I could know the exact amount of heart beats if life were predictable. If we’d never been overjoyed, or scared, or fueled with anger. And all of that drama happens by age two. The heart never beats like the ticking of a clock.

But life is full of the fast and the slow heartbeats, isn’t it?

It would be impossible to know the heartbeats of a single day in the life of our teenage years. Such glorious extremes. I’m sure my head and you, my heart, hardly knew how to keep up with the spastic flush of hormones. Slow, dull beats, and snare-drum rolling, placed somewhere between boredom and mischief. My heart, you and I made it through. Somehow.

Romance. The rapid-fire trembling of infatuation kept my cheeks and chest tinted in rose. Thumping hearts and awkward fumbling give way to desire.

Heartbreak. Do you remember what that sounded like? I do. Like a fracture, but wetter. Leaking a little with every thud. You didn’t stop, did you? I thought you might.

The healing scar made you beat a little differently. An extra click, perhaps? It’ll be okay, you are still here.

Finally, falling in love gave way to certainty. Real, honest love. The even, steady percussion, that looks forward to the next. You. Me. We. Trusting again. But let’s not forget that quickening, a better thrill. Eyes-dilating, brave-to-explore, a building throb of the heart, because I am his and he is mine. I can feel his heartbeat, too.

I don’t remember how many beats there were, but I remember hearing how quick it was on the ultrasound. As he grew, he heard you tap love songs. Once he appeared, he would lie on my chest, breathing the same, and listen to your love song. My own heartbeat interrupts with the occasional skip of fear. Maybe terror, actually. We were in charge of not one heart, but two. Tiny, helpless heart. With too many beats to count. How many beats ahead?

This body helped create three hearts. The three boys, somewhere between grown and growing. You and I, press on. Understanding chaos theory a little better than before. What makes you, my heart, so amazing, is your ability to persevere. To respond to the things you have no knowledge of. You are fast, you are slow. You move me along. Keeping count of me, for me. Till the last.



12 responses to “Chaos of Heartbeats

  1. Learning to be aware of our heart’s rhythms is a gift. Loved your words on heartbreak and the ones about our heart tapping love songs to our babies. I think of the ones I lost and consider my heartbeat one of the few mama gifts I was able to give them for the short time we had together.


  2. Beautiful. I loved how you focused on the heart, the core of how our bodies continue to be sustained by its heartbeat.


  3. I love this: “This body helped create three hearts. The three boys, somewhere between grown and growing. You and I, press on.” So beautiful … I carried three heartbeats too. Chaos theory, indeed!


  4. wonderfully written and shared. THe journey you shared, in a series of heart beats and life moments moved me. Thank you for being brave and sharing your journey.


  5. Thank you so much for joining in. I loved the ‘heartbeat’ stories you wove into this letter. So unique. Blessings . . .


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