A Final Wish

I one time sat,
my desk a mess of papers,
so studiously and dulled
as I worked through the day.
When there by my side,
stood a man, just my size,
in a coat and woolen cap.

He was dapper and clean shaven,
no more than fifty years old.
His smile was careful and grim.
He watched me in silence,
his existence unnoticed
by all of those nearby.

I worked without notice,
ignoring his presence
so close to my tiny work space.
But soon I couldn’t resist
but to glance up and say,
“Sir, can I help you today?”

His smile widened
yet his face stayed the same.
Up reached his freckled hand
as he tipped his hat and said,

“Oh how you’ve grown,
so beautiful and fine.
A young woman you are now,
with a life of your own.”

His words of comfort and
air of friendship and ease
made me sit back against my chair
“And who are you, please?”

The man replaced his hat
standing upright and tall.
He closed his eyes and
cleared his throat and answered,
“No one you know.”

“I knew you once,
a long time ago
before your memories even began.
I’ve been dead these past thirty years
and return only to say
it is time for you to go.”

I couldn’t comprehend,
my mind tripping and faulting.
This was just a man here,
standing so close,
and not a ghost.

But soon I could see
the wall across from me
through the sad smile on his face.
I knew then it was true
he was not alive like
me or you.

I grasped at my thoughts
my heart beat in my chest
as I struggled to come to grips.
“What do you mean?”
I choked out,
fear holding my voice.
“How can this be? Do I get any choice?”

With a grim shake of his head,
fear was replaced by dread
as I waited for his response.

“Long long ago,
as I was resting on my death bed,
your mother, my friend,
was there by my side,
and there till the end.
Before I passed, I had a vision of a young girl,
your type,
dying a most untimely death.
With a tear and a frown,
she asked me to make clear
if it was her unborn child
she already held dear.

To her I replied that I hated to say
it was just this way
I saw in my vision so clear as daylight.
Against my chest, she cried broken hearted
and asked me to be there for you.
To watch and to witness your life to the end,
a promise I intended to keep.

So here I am, I’m sorry to say.
Your time to go has come.
But you need not fear,
for I am here,
fulfilling your mother’s greatest wish.
That you enter into
a life ever after
with a friend by your side.”

My tears began ceasing,
my anxiety slowly decreaing.
If I had no choice why should I cry?
I wiped my eyes
and drew a deep breath
as I looked up and realized
it was him.

The man by my bedside
a distant figure in a frame.
A man of times gone by.
The man in my dreams,
a sturdy figure that watched
me as I slept peacefully.
The figure I’d see out of the corner of my eye
when the end of the day drew near.

He’d always been there
from my youth until now.
He had fulfilled my loving mother’s only wish.

“Can I ask of one thing?” I quietly inquired
my voice barely able to escape.
“May I leave a letter to my mother?”

The specter nodded slowly,
his eyes closed tight and peaceful
as I set down to pen
a simple farewell.

With my tongue pressed against my lips,
I sealed the envelope closed
and left it on my desk
addressed neatly as I could.

As I stood and accepted my fate,
my friend reached out his hand.
Warm and guiding he took mine in his,
and together we faded away.
Into a void of nothing but mist
we floated along, arm in arm.
Then, without notice,
he stopped me and asked
“What was it you wrote? What did you have to say?”

And to him I smiled,
a tear gently dropping, and said,
“I let her know,
you fulfilled her wish.
That together we’d forever be,
daughter and father.”

And with a squeeze of my hand and
a smile that stretched ear to ear,
we left the plane of earth for
a world beyond,
a world without fear.

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Let Me Tell You About The Time With The Fish

Not too long ago, my son and I visited a far away country. The country of Georgia.

While there we saw castles and palaces and churches and statues. All reminiscent of culture and people who can’t, and won’t, be held down.

We also spent time in the company of family. People who had waited many years to finally hold us in their arms and greet us with warmth and love.

During our stay, we were given the chance to experience a large family dinner with many different exotic dishes including baked fish.

We helped set the table while the family cooed over the youngest and newest member of the family. My son, his hands carefully carrying a plate of small fish coated lightly and smelling delicious, made his way to the table while I worked diligently to make room for the food still to come.

“Look, mama,” he exclaimed, eying the rather fishy looking plate in his hands. “Fish! And they still have their eyes.”

Engrossed in the odd looking food, I watched with intent as my son gracefully picked up one of the small creatures and promptly stuck its head in his mouth and bit down.

For a moment I was so stunned and unsure of what I was seeing that everything seemed to freeze in time. Had I really just watched my son, who hates mayonnaise and pickles on his hamburgers, bite the head off a small fish? Bones and all?

He chewed slowly as the realization grew on him that the fish in front of him was actually a real fish with bones and eyeballs. His face turned sour and his chewing slowed to a stand still.

I could read the realization in his face as he squenched up his nose and pointed to his mouth.

I stifled a laugh.

“Would you like to spit it out now?” I asked.

He nodded quickly and I pulled a plate towards him as he evacuated all that was in his mouth. He quietly spit out bones and scales while I poured him a glass of punch and quietly laughed to myself.

“What did you think, Jake?” I inquired.

Shaking his head, he took a long sip of punch as his grandfather entered the room with a look of amusement on his face. He, too, had witnessed my son unassumingly and without concern bite off the head of a fish. We both began to laugh as Jake pushed away the plate with the remains of the fish.

“I don’t know, mama,” he told me. “I just wanted to see what it would taste like.”

The rest of the family entered the room and we quickly retold the story. Everyone had a good laugh and we toasted my son as the bravest of us all.

For only he was brave enough to eat the head of the fish.

 

Deep Breath…

In. And out…

A simple task that we do all the time, everyday, without thinking. We breathe in and then out, letting the air make its way into our lungs and then out with a simple exhale.

In. And out…

It is something we don’t have to think about. We do it naturally.

But there is merit in taking a conscious breath. About reminding ourselves to stop, draw in the air and then, after letting it cycle through our lungs, breathing it back out.

It’s soothing. Calming.

For the time being I have to remind myself to breathe. To stop for a moment, take in a deep breath, and then again remind myself to let it out. My mind betrays me and I lose my confident easily so I stop myself for a moment to take a deep breath.

It works…sorta. It takes a few deep breaths to get me past this dip in confidence but I still make sure I take the time to work through it. To slowly draw everything in and then release it all back out.

In. And out…

Letter To My Son: Missing You Much

Jacob,

When you were little, you shared a bed with me. It was for a number of reasons. One being that you nursed and having you close made it easier for me during those middle of the night feedings. Another was that we had a small apartment and only one bed in the beginning. I saw no need for a second while you were so small.

But the biggest reason was because I loved having you near. I loved having your little body so close that I could reach out and touch your sweet head or stroke your soft cheeks. I loved having you near.

When you started to get older and bigger, you started to seek out more space in the bed and found your favorite sleeping position. Most often it meant your little baby toes would tuck underneath my thighs as you dreamed sweetly about playing on the playground or building with blocks.

I didn’t realize until we were separated by many many miles that I love feeling your beautiful little feet tucked against me. The way they wiggle under and find the sweet spot where they will rest for the night.

That simple little moment of touch, that point of contact, means so much to me. To know I’m raising a sweet and sensitive boy who loves hugs and shows affection to all those he cares for.

I miss your toes and the way you seek me out when we sleep close together. I’m looking forward to your return soon, my son.

No matter the distance between us, mama will love you always.

Forever,

You Mom

Trust

Sometimes it is hard to let go and allow what will happen to happen. It’s hard to believe that there are just some things you can’t do anything about.

Letting go is one of the hardest areas in parenting for me. It’s a control issue, that’s for sure. I think I know what’s best for myself and for my son. I mean, I’m his mother, who would honestly know any better than me?!

So letting go when it comes to him and allowing what is meant to happen just happen makes my stomach turn. I want to protect him from all the bad things. I want to control what happens to him so that he doesn’t feel pain or sadness.

Right now we are apart as he vacations away from me, having a huge life experience. But the fact that he’s so far and in conditions I’m uncertain of makes my mind loop constantly with fear, doubt and worry.

But what is worrying? I’ve heard it said that worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair, rocking back and forth but going nowhere. It’s a waste of energy and time. And here I sit worrying for my son.

Instead of worrying I need to trust. Trust that I am strong enough to handle anything that I am given. Trust that my support system will be there for me no matter what. Trust that the love I have for my son is big enough to conquer anything we go through.

Trust that even though he’s far from me for a few more days that he knows my love for him will always be there, no matter what.

Trust that everything will be ok in the end. And if it’s not ok, it’s not the end.