I, for some time, have been meaning to express my gratitude to you. Forgive me for misplacing these words until now, if it had been sooner, I would not have understood how.
Allow the memory to flood your mind, of wood floors warmed by dull heat, pausing on occassion to allow the cold a chance to wrestle it way back in. Forest colored furnishings stratigically placed in a room sitting so still they say you could hear the drop of a pin. Outside, the lights went out so you compromised with the dark by turning on a single lamp. And in that hour as I pressed my small frame against your warmth like an envelope to a fresh licked stamp, time ran away while you held me perfectly still. As my stomach was filled my heart learned what it meant to be cared for. Your unconditional arms and breasts extended to me as I nestled against your chest. Eyes in fixed fascination on me(!) while I was too blind from my lack of understanding to see. I blame it on childish naivety, I blame it on my deep confidence in feeling that the moment would maintain its longevity.
I’m not sure if you can quite recall, but you stood firm to an infectious philosophy that wherever you went, it was obvious that I should follow. Running to catch the bus, explorin grocery store aisles, white washing a fence for a school that did nothing for you, attending meetings revolved around peace were all penciled into the day’s schedule. Consistently, at your heels I never knew quite what I was getting swept into. But I learned to love it all simply because I had no doubt that I loved you. At a young age I lerned to trust there was some good in everything and everyone after I saw you wipe away hatred like dust.
I know this is starting to grow long, but I have another thing to share. Unfortunately, I came across days or nights when you weren’t able to be there. Whether it was work or whatever else came your way, I caught myself checking out the window for your arrival throughout the day. Soft whimpers escaped my pouting face as night elapsed and everything grew a little bit darker. A little bit more lonesome. I silently begged God to bring you home safely. And you came. You always were so good at returning to me. Your cheeks flushed from cold and wind, suddenly smiled with the kind of grin that added sparkle to your eyes when you caught sight of my flailing arms and heard my verbal alarms alerting everyone of your arrival. I learned I was worth coming back for because you never left or abandoned me. I grew to have faith and worry less and for that I must say,
But something changed eventually. You remained at home more than usual and the potential strength clustered under your skin slowly shredded our hopes as it grew dim. With this new epoch came deep desperation on my part. Watching you suffer and witnessing the break down of your body was too much to handle for my young heart. Internal defences to pain told me to feel angry. So I yelled at you for invading my personal space with signs of that creeping death. Yet, more than anything you were desperate for me to understand and not understand in the same breath. Trying to protect my faith in your recovery I am convinced now it required you to lie to me. Maybe even yourself. Or is that what they call hope?
But I can’t feel angry because you were right even though you never said it, I don’t think I could have handled the truth.
That’s why I was surprised when you left. You had always come back before but this time you were gone for sure. Even though you taught me so much, nothing you could have done would have prepared a cushion to prevent damage occurring within that colossal fall. I admit my life never stayed the same after a phone call.