Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Soul (07/13/06)
TITLE: A Mother's Light
By Tracy Patrowicz
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He was sleeping. He looked so peaceful, so rested, so at ease for a change with the world. She had forgotten what he looked like without that wrinkle of frustration over his brow.
She was curled into her sheet, one chubby little foot dangling just over the mattress. Chocolate brown hair spilling over her pillowcase gave the illusion that she was merely floating over the bed. The presence of a slight chill caused her to reach for more blankets without waking. The nursery hasn’t changed, except the baby has grown.
I can hear him now. Still talking in his sleep after all this time. The room smells of sweat socks and deodorant. A teenage boy lives here. Hush son, it’s all right. You’re not alone, never alone. A mother doesn’t leave her children, not when they need her most. For a moment I forget he can’t hear me. For a moment I think he can feel me. I look at the walls, the desk, the shelves, where am I? Not one photo. Maybe I don’t belong here anymore. Maybe he’s mad at me now. Maybe he’s angry with you Lord. Oh please, Lord, please forgive him! He only feels his heart breaking, not understanding how blessed I am with you.
I hear the clock downstairs, and I can see the shadows fading away. I need to let them know I came. I want to let them know that I am safe with you, Lord, and that you have brought me home. Not this home, this house that keeps my sweet family, but your beautiful kingdom! Oh thank you Lord, for this cherished moment. You have filled my spirit this night! Oh bless you Lord for hearing their prayers and for answering them.
Now I am fading. A light like no other light shines for us Lord. Let it be bright and warm and linger over them Lord. Let them rise on this morn to a light so magical that then they will know I have come.
He is waking now. It’s been so long since he had slept so well! He tells her good morning and wipes the dust off the picture frame, but his heart does not ache today like so many mornings before. Today will be a good day.
There she is, an angel in pink cotton pajamas as she rushes through the bedroom door for her morning hugs and kisses. She tells the lady in the picture frame “Hello Mommy!” Then she sets to giggling as he tickles her. “Daddy, did you see the sun? It’s so bright today!” She smiles to reveal her one missing tooth. He opens the curtains, and yes, it is so very bright today!
At breakfast, he doesn’t say much. He barely speaks at all anymore. She kisses him good morning, and brings something that resembles a smile to his face. She’s the only one who can do that.
“How did you sleep son?” He packs their lunches and waits for any form of an answer.
“I don’t know. I feel strange today, like I’ve been somewhere and saw something, but I can’t remember.” He picks at his toast, and reaches across the counter to turn on the small television.
“You must have had an adventurous dream. Will you be coming with us today after school?” He already knows the answer.
“ No. I know it’s her birthday, but I just can’t Dad.”
“Ok.” he sighs. The weatherman says they are calling for rain today, but where? There’s not a cloud in the sky! “C’mon everyone, it’s time to get into the car or we’ll be late.”
He tunes the radio to more news. Again, talk of terrible rains for today and maybe the rest of the week! Is anyone else looking at the same sky he is? Down the driveway they go. A look left, a look right, then out the driveway onto the street.
He looks at his children. He looks to the heavens. He smiles. “Happy Birthday Sweetheart, we miss you too. Give our love to Jesus.”
“Dad? Can I come with you to the cemetery today?” His voice is high pitched and shaky.
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