Friday, April 2, 2010


I don't remember going to sleep. I don't remember sleeping at all, but I must have because I woke up. I woke up and willed my eyes not to open. "Please let it be a bad dream," I prayed. "Please let it be a bad dream." I finally opened my eyes, burning and swollen, and saw the circle of women around me. "She's waking up," one said in a whisper to the others. The light from the window blinded me, and I immediately felt enraged at the sun for rising over a world without my son in it. "He's really gone," I whispered to myself. "HE'S REALLY GONE!" I cried to the heavens. The sobs suddenly poured out of me uncontrollably, and my body felt hot with rage and sorrow. I jumped up and tried to cross the room to cover the window--to darken the room to match my mood--but body caved into a heap, the weight of my grief too heavy for my legs to bear. I wailed and let out primal sounding moans. I could physically feel my heart breaking, and I clutched at my chest and was surprised not to see any blood. The women gathered closer around me and made hushing noises while they stoked my hair, just like he did only days ago.

When he told me what was to come, I didn't want to believe. "No," I said, "you're so young. I've lived my life. Let them take me." His sad eyes answered me before his words did. "It has to be me, Mama." I imagined them doing terrible things to him (not, as it would turn out, as terrible as would actually occur) and cringed. I remembered patching up his bony skinned knees and kissing his bruises. Could that have really been so many years ago? "Mama will fix it," I used to cluck in his ear when he was hurt. But I couldn't fix it this time. How could it be that I depended on the little boy who used to depend on me? "No," I told him again. "I need you." He nodded. "Yes, Mama. So does the rest of the world." "No!" I was more adamant this time. "I can't live without you." He wrapped his arms around my sobbing body and stroked my hair. "That's exactly why I have to go."

He promised me that this would not be the end. I believed him. He promised me that God had a plan. I believed him. But he's gone. He's gone and he took a part of me with him. "Just wait. You'll see," he told me. See what? See them beat and murder my precious son? See them hang him from a cross and mock him? See him take his last painful breath? WHAT, Son? What do you want me to see? My God, did You really mean for it to end like this?

1 comment:

Yer Mother said...

This reminded me of a song the UT Women's Chorale sang when I was in college (and Beth, Molly, and I danced to once)

"Mary Speaks"
O you who bear the pain of the whole earth, I bore you.
O you whose tears gave human tears their worth, I laughed with you.
You, who when your hem is touched, give power, I nourished you.
Who turn the day to night in this dark hour, light comes from you.
O you who hold the world in your embrace, I carried you.
Whose arms encircled the world with your grace, I once held you.
O you who laughed and ate and walked the shore, I played with you.
And I, who with all others, you died for, now I hold you.
May I be faithful to this final test, in this last hour I hold my child, my son;
His body close enfolded to my breast:
The holder held, the bearer borne.
Mourning to joy, darkness to morn.
Open, my arms; your work is done.

(Madeleine L'Engle)