August 12, 2021 · 11:16 am
One death at a time
For I can’t bare more
And they say you are at peace
And this may be so
But watching the breath leave your body was gut wrenching
You are surrounded by rainbows
And there are more songs I cannot listen to
Lingering too long on your exit is a death sentence for presence
Fuel for suffering
All the days of your life cherished
All the days in your absence regretted
Let us grieve not in solidarity
But space in between
Just one death at a time
December 6, 2014 · 9:52 am
I left my heart here
to drown in the sorrowful ache
that a steady rain of your absence
Like a bloated sponge
unable to hold one more drop
yet it does
The heart is a willful thing
it lets go but doesn’t forget
the sound of the rain pelting
and the sheer joy of the moment it ceases
and the release of some part of that ache
Every time you come back
and we embrace.
February 14, 2014 · 5:16 pm
I remember the loneliest of Valentine’s Days. I was in high school and just been dumped by a boy I adored greatly. This was one of two boyfriends my mom ever liked, so she was a bit heartbroken too.
I must have trudged through that day with a scowl on my face, watching all the couples holding hands in the halls. I’m sure I made some cynical remarks to my poet friends (what other friends were there, really?) about the absurdity of Valentine’s Day. I probably talked about how all it did was make us single, busted hearted people feel more alone and gave everyone expectations not even the prettiest of couples could live up to. At least that’s what we imagined as we saw the two most popular kids, both gorgeous, both from well-off families, both athletic, and well liked by all the staff skipping down the hall like in a slow-mo coming-of-age rom-com montage.
Cue pantomime gagging.
So the school day ended and it became early evening. No date night for me. No phone call (from a dial-tone phone with a swirly cord). No flowers delivered. No love note. No pinch on the bum. No soft kiss on the lips.
My mom suggested I take a bath.
“Baths always make me feel better,” she said half-reassuringly and half cocky. She was the bath expert. At sixty-five years old I think she’s maybe taken two showers in her life. We even switched motels once on a family road trip because they didn’t have bath tubs. Or it could have been because the beds looked like they’d been slept in by a hobo. Anyway, the woman loves baths.
Since my mom had a walk-around-the-upstairs-naked-while-getting-ready mantra, it was no big deal for her to see me soaking in the tub in all my slight baby-fat nakedness. She made sure there were bubbles. She brought three floral-scented candles, placed them at the edge of the tub, and lit them. She brought my boom-box into the bathroom and together we picked out my Harry Connick Jr. CD. She gave me a knowing look and left me by myself to wallow in my lovelorn misery.
Oh, if only Harry Connick were here to serenade me in person. If only Keanu Reeves would knock on my door and ask to use the restroom. If that heartbreaker of a boyfriend would have stayed a little longer. But alas, none were meant to be.
As the suds saturated my soft, fair skin and my heart cried a little, I realized I was OK. I was still breathing. I was with the only person who truly knew me at the time– myself. I wasn’t in a horrible relationship. I wasn’t making compromises. I was encased in warm water, safe, listening to gorgeous melodies. And although my mom and I had it out a time or a thousand during my teenage years, that night she came to my rescue. She showed me a kind of love that is not as passing as the late winter wind.
I can only hope to be that safe harbor in my son’s life one day when his heart gets broken.
January 31, 2014 · 2:11 pm
Sometimes I wake up with a heaviness in my heart. It could be the previous night’s dream. It could be some energy in the world that is off-kilter. It could be an argument I had or dwelling on mistakes I made. It could be that my kid is growing up too fast. It could be all these things. Disturbances. Change. I don’t do change well.
Yesterday I found a penny at the bottom of the washing machine. Loose change from one of our pockets. Now washed and shiny. I threw it in the garbage. I don’t make a habit of tossing anything that can be used again. I think I was just in robot mode.
My mom-in-law is moving to another state today. End of an era. Bittersweet. I will most certainly write a post about it.
Our favorite crossing guard had to retire for health reasons. The morning bike ride is not the same.
My favorite kickboxing partner is joining the Navy. Who will I make goofy faces at while we do the warm-ups?
I can cry about this heaviness, these changes, and maybe I have. Maybe the other day I had a full-out bawl session on a fishing pier while listening to The Cure on my iPod and watching the pelicans glide in the sky. Maybe I cried so hard and so much my tears didn’t taste like salt anymore.
The heaviness subsided as it usually does with a good cry. But there is always space for it there to come back. My heart has so much room yet it’s bursting at the proverbial pericardium. And maybe that’s what I was crying about most. “This is not a curse,” I can hear some of you say. And perhaps it isn’t. Perhaps it’s a gift. And with the loving comes the hurting. And with the change comes the progress.
My mom-in-law will get even more of the specialized attention she demands after she moves. The crossing guard can begin to repair her lungs now that she’s not breathing in automobile exhaust. My favorite kickboxing partner will move on to a new stage and adventure in her life and see and do things I can barely imagine.
And as for all these other occurrences and disturbances in life well, that is just what it is. Life.
Next time I find a penny I will put it with the other loose change. I’ll save it until it needs to be exchanged. And I’ll let it slip through my fingers leaving its seasoned metallic scent behind.