Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: River (08/31/06)
TITLE: River of Tears
By Shari Armstrong
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I water my couch with my tears.” Psalms 6:6
“Lord, why does it have to hurt?” I startled myself with the sound of my own voice. I was hoarse from crying, and my nose stuffed. I punched at the damp pillow, trying to get comfortable. But, no matter what I did, sleep wouldn’t come.
I stared at the ceiling, seeing a streetlight shining on the wall out of the corner of my eye. A river of tears still streamed down my cheeks, only making my pillow damper. “I don’t want to cry anymore. But why can’t I stop?” I took a shuddering breath, slowing the stream a tiny bit.
”Why?” I asked for the umpteenth time. I made futile attempt at wiping the tears away. “Why am I even crying? I ran out of tears ages ago, there shouldn’t be any left.” I didn’t want to feel like this. I told myself I wasn’t going to do this.
Memories flooded my mind, causing the river of tears to overflow once again. Memories of child-hood hurts, of wondering what I did wrong. Memories of finally realizing I didn’t do anything wrong, finally accepting what couldn’t be changed.
But, did I give up too soon? Should I have tried to reach out more? Would it have done any good? The parade of what-if’s stomped through, causing more ripples of pain and regret. I got out of bed, tired of tossing and turning, and not wanting to wake my dear husband.
I tiptoed into our daughter’s room. I knelt beside her, brushing damp bangs out of her eyes, kissed her forehead. I whispered, “Don’t ever forget that Mama loves you. Daddy loves you, too.” I gave her another kiss.
A sleepy voice whispered back, “I love you, too.” I smiled slightly, knowing she wouldn’t even remember our conversation in the morning. But I also knew, that deep inside, she heard what I said and would remember when she needed to remember.
A few more tears fell, but now they weren’t quite as painful. The healing was beginning, but it was going to be a long journey. The stream slowed to a trickle. I went back to bed, still not able to sleep, but the tears had washed away some of the pain.
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