AN UNFINISHED DIARY
by — H. Schwab, originally in German, translated to Polish then English
October 5: Today my life began. My parents don’t know it yet. I am smaller than the seed of an apple, but already I am I. And unformed as I am right now, I’m going to be a girl. I shall have blond hair and azure eyes, and I know I’ll love flowers.
October 19: I’ve grown a little, but I am still too small to do anything by myself. Mother does just about everything for me. And what’s funny, she still doesn’t even know that she is carrying me here right under her heart. And feeding me with her own blood.
October 23: My mouth is just beginning now. Just think. In a year or so I will be laughing. Later I will be able to speak. I know what my first word will me-Mother. Who says I’m not a real person yet? I am, just as the tiniest crumb of bread is till truly bread.
October 27: My heart began to beat today all by itself. From now on it will gently beat all the rest of my life. Without ever stopping to rest. T hen after many years it will tire, and stop, and I shall die. But now I am at not the ending but the beginning.
November 2: Every day I grow a bit. My arms and legs are beginning to take shape. But I’ll have to wait so long before my little legs will carry me running to my mother’s arms, and before my arms can embrace my father.
November 12: Now tiny fingers are beginning to form on my hands. Strange how small they are. Yet how wonderful they will be! They’ll pet a puppy, throw a ball, pick a flower, touch another hand. My fingers. Someday they may play a violin or paint a picture.
November 20: Today the doctor told Mother for the first time that I am lying here under her heart. Aren’t you happy, Mother? Before long I’ll be in your arms.
November 25: My mother and father don’t even know that I’m just a little girl. Perhaps they expect a boy. Or twins maybe. But I’ll surprise them. And I want to be called Catherine, like Mother.
December 10: My face is completely formed. I hope I turn out to look like Mother.
December 13: Now I’m just about able to see, but it’s still dark all around me. But soon my eyes will open on the world of sunshine—and followers—and little children. I’ve never seen the sea, or a mountain, or a rainbow, either. How do they really look? How do you really look, Mother?
December 24: Mother, I can hear your heart beating. I wonder if you hear the whispering beat of mine. It’s so even—tup-tup, tup-tup. You’ll have a healthy little daughter, Mother. I know some babies have difficulty entering the world, but there are kind doctors to help mothers and babies. I know, too, some mothers don’t even want their babies. But I can hardly wait to be in your arms, touch your face, look into your eyes. You’re waiting for me, just as I’m waiting for you, aren’t you?
December 28: Mother, why did you let them stop my life? We would have had such a lovely time together.
Editors’ Note:–This story comes from the scrapbook of motion-picture and T star Loretta Young. Originally written in German by H. Schwab, it appeared in Sodalis magazine in a Polish version, from which this translation was made. We believe, with Miss Young, that this story of an unborn child is eloquent in any language.
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