As the years of birth-motherhood press on, I continue to have images flash in my mind
Sometimes words can’t express what the heart cries out
So my mind creates
They said the first year would be the hardest. The waves would eventually subside.
But here I stand; freezing, soaking, digging deep into my self for any residual heat. It’s been 19 years. For many of those years, I thought I stood alone in these waters. I turned my back to the waves in a vain effort to redirect their onslaught. Never looking up or down or around me. Just surviving.
And a voice.
Standing next to me. Grasping for my hand. She is cold too, but familiar.
And we stand the onslaught together. At times, the waves subside for one, while they rise for the other. We hold on to one another all the tighter. Sometimes, the waves are so engulfing that we think we might drown. In fact, we pray to drown. Sometimes, the waves recede just long enough to convince us that the storm is over.
We’ve been here long enough to know that the waves never stop their punishment. Only brief reprieve. Just enough to catch a deep breath.
And in a moment. One moment, after many years of this beating. I look to my left and to my right. And I see us standing, backs turned, pummeled by these angry waters as far as the eye can see.
Lies. We are the proof of their lies.
The first year is not the hardest. It was only more difficult in the sense that the storm became our new normal. It was the year to acclimate ourselves to this unresolved grief.
And I see her. She’s approaching. And we all scream in unison, “No! Don’t come any further!”
But she was told the first year would be the hardest. And we will do what we have always done. We will reach for her hand. We will hold her up against the waves.
We are immense cosmic bodies shifting ’round and ’round one another in the dark abyss.
You have your world. I have mine. Separate realities occupying the same space.
Your family and friends circle ’round my family and friends; never to collide or acknowledge the path of the other. A choreographed dance of galactic balance. At differing intervals, comet dust leaves a familiar but strange relic of what could have been, but never was. The beginning of something magnificent that burned out too soon and too fast.
The light of our stars wax and wane. Each facing seasonal changes together, but alone.
You have your world. I have mine. Neither can exist apart from the other. Neither can exist within the other.
“Will you walk into my parlor?” said the Spider to the Fly.
“Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy,
The way into my parlor is through a clever ad
Just give me your e-mail address, I’ll be extra glad”
“Oh, no, no” said the little fly “to ask me is in vain,
For who gives out their address will never be the same”
“I’m sure you must be weary dear, unwed, poor, and young
Father left? parents mad? tell me bout it, Hon”
“Oh, no, no” said the little fly, “for I’ve heard it said
That those who speak with you now, in years they will feel dead”
Said the cunning spider to the fly, “dear friend what can I do?
Do you need rent? do you need food? an education too?
I have within my folder, some families, one or two
They’re smart, they’re beautiful, and they’re much wealthier than you”
“Sweet creature”, said the spider “you’re responsible and mature
To give your child much better, and the loss you can endure
I’ll crown you strong and selfless, I’ll shout your praise on high
For miles around they’ll know your name, the bravest of the flies”
Alas! Alas! how very soon this silly little fly
Hearing the wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by
She had her babe and held her close one last sorrowful time
The cunning spider got her signature before she changed her mind
The years went on and the wealthy family along with her sweet babe
Packed up their bags, changed their number, and silently moved away
The fly called on the Spider to only hear a voice
Say silly fly, don’t you know, this was all your choice
And now dear young mothers, who may this story read
To idle, silly flattering words, I pray you don’t give heed
Unto an evil counselor, close heart and ear and eye
And take a lesson from this tale, of the Spider and the Fly
She is pale and plump. Breasts engorged with life’s provisions.
It is dark. She is cold and bare. Her cries of distress will only make her all the more vulnerable.
They have caught her scent.
They can smell her. They can smell her fear, her isolation, her susceptibility. But even more so, they can smell their own lust. Their lust for her precious babe nearly formed to perfection.
Her pleas for grace and mercy go unheard. The nature of a predator cannot submit to the appeals of its prey.
They rip and tear. They gnash their teeth. She is bloodied and left a pitiable, impotent mound of flesh.
The babe is gone.
Of Signs and Dreams
It was near the end. I had put up a good fight to keep you, but still lacked a home for us.
I prayed every day. I prayed for open doors or little signs.
It was the most vivid dream I had ever had. I knew that it was from God. He was finally giving me the sign that I had been seeking for weeks on end.
I awoke inside of my dream to realize that I was drowning. Dark waters all around me. I was dressed in this most beautiful ethereal gown that flowed freely yet dragged me further down into the abyss.
As I spanned over the sudden wonder of my presence; there was you. With one arm, I was holding you tightly against my chest. Panic struck me. I knew that you would drown.
In an instant, a light. Rays shot through the water reaching my face and drawing my eyes up to the horizon. Only hands. I saw only 2 hands reach into the waters.
I looked down at the abyss. I looked at you. I looked at those hands of hope.
I pushed you gently upward. I watched your small frame be pulled from the waters and I descended peacefully into the nothing below me.
This dream was my only peace for many years. Through rages and breakdowns; I knew that this dream was from God. You were where you were meant to be. I had to carry the burden of this immeasurable pain.
So, one can only imagine the emotional fallout when many years later I came across a dream dictionary.
“Drowning: The dream shows how you are being overwhelmed by your emotions. You may fear sinking financially or be drowning in your difficulties. Do you feel that, in waking life, you are being ‘sucked into’ something you would rather not be a part of? Pause for a while and make sure you have your ‘feet firmly on solid ground’ before you make any major decision.”
A normal subconscious response to stimuli.
Not a sign.
A lifetime lost.