Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Mother (as in maternal parent) (04/24/08)
TITLE: One Word of Blessedness
By Sally Hanan
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His body still lay upstairs; she had lain there by his side for hours, willing him to live again, to come back to her, to his baby. He had not.
Near his body was the crib he had carved, each whittle one move closer to perfection for his baby. He’d always talked about making one, even though the cribs made in China were half the price. She had watched his fingers palpate certain spots of wood to ensure the flow. They seemed to know instinctively what was right, what was not...when he was breathing. He had said that he wanted the wood as smooth as her favorite ice-cream.
Lisa kicked her feet higher, daring the ropes to just let her go. What was it about a maker who had made a baby but taken the father?
It had only been a few hours and she already ached for him. She knew he was the one the first time she saw him standing beside the lawnmowers at the gardening store—knew by the gentleness in his eyes, the softness of his tone, the way he listened to her when she talked, even when she had nothing to say. Were he alive, at that moment, his full focus would be on her face. His arms would surround her and the baby and he would smile that smile of his that let her know she was loved. She wanted to be there now—in his arms—protected; moored to his love. She wanted to watch him treasure her words and feed them back to her in beauty.
He had always said that she would be a wonderful mother. Right at that moment, she didn’t want to be a mother. She wanted to be a wife. The swing slowed to a stop. She and her maternity wear crinkled to the grass below, tears and hair entwined with the wretchedness in her chest.
And then fingers gently pushed under hers, lifted her hand, her arm, her body to a standing position. She stared helplessly at the person in front of her—into the face of a woman who had driven five hours just to be there with her, to hold her and carry her through the throes of loss.
She leaned in to the warm body, tears already weeping onto the welcoming shoulder, mouth open slightly to whisper just one word of blessedness.
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