My mother, herself only just turned 26 left this world suddenly leaving behind my sister, myself and my baby brother; on the eve of my fourth birthday.
For too many years; my life has been lived, out of necessity, like a well-tightened jar. All the confusion and grief of that little girl has gotten stuffed down with all the subsequent confusion and grief the growing girl, the newly-married girl, the bewildered mother-girl. Once and a while the lid will squeak open just a touch and slowly, as I go from strength to strength, little bits of all that hurting come spilling out of the jar. Somewhere in all that mess; healing happens and something beautiful get's reborn every time I am brave enough to revisit that death.
I know it is out of the ordinary for me to post something like this here on this blog, but bear with me won't you? Let us be two souls who can sit comfortably with my grief and trembling put out on the table. Somehow in it's nakedness there's a comfort; like somehow to put all of my heart's pain out there as though it sat between our two cups of tea takes the mystery and fear out of it, and I am left with the peace of said my piece.
If nothing else I hope you see some light in my circumstance; that perhaps the pains of my heart might touch and encourage the pains of yours, and somehow in mutual understanding we can go somewhere new with what we have been left with.
I have absolutely no idea what to title this...
If this was all that I had left of you...
It would be the moment in my day when I looked at your face.
Saw myself in it and looked harder and harder and harder still
For something more.
If I had the chance to ask for just one more thing from you
It would be would be a cruel thing in and of itself, for you could never give what I want.
Another lifetime, another history with more than this.
I do dream small dreams
But they take place humbly in kitchens, where you teach me recipes
Bathrooms where you brush my hair
Bedsides where I make my confessions
And hear yours.
If I had more of you than this
I wouldn't have my breath catch up with me
Stolen wouldn't be the word that springs to mind
And my birthday of 26 years wouldn't feel like a precarious thing
Falling on the anniversary of your ending at 26 short years
22 Years ago.
If somehow you had left more behind
Perhaps my questions would finally be answered
Perhaps my children would sit in your lap,
Play with your necklaces
Hunt for sweets in your pockets
The way I did
When I had more of you.
More than a distant memory
More than an aching need
And a desperate prayer for God to fill the void that is left in the wake of not having
All of you.... since I was four years old
A little girl celebrating her birthday
Her family reeling behind her back.
I make do with what is left.
But sometimes I catch myself in weaker moments looking too hard into your picture
Trying to emulate you in my tasks
Conjuring up some ghost form called "mummy", or who I imagine you to have been
Someone sitting in my living room
At my kitchen table
On the other side of the phone.
The suddenness of your leaving still hits me and I get stuck like a small girl thick with slow motion feelings of wondering when you will return.
Reality can't really hurt a child who still believes so much in fairy tales can it?
On better days I am reminded
That there is in fact more of you still left behind than just a photograph.
For in the ache of absence, I can say that in this reality
Perhaps my courage is greater
Perhaps my capacity to rely on Greater Strength is more realized
Those muscles of trust more flexed
Born out of tragic necessity.
Something of living force stronger than just one life
Lives on in me
I am at the threshold of where you left this life behind
My arms and heart are full
To follow the journey you set out on
And completed far too early.
The heart of this motherless mother beats differently
Than all the perhaps in this world could suppose.
For it beats with a percussion that was what you left behind
For me to find, pick up and take hold of
And never take for granted.