I take my place as part of a final generation that grew up when Saturday morning cartoons were still a thing, and Sundays were still held sacred. Before internet and cell phones trapped us in zombie mode. Saying so makes me feel ancient. It’s a strange thing when change comes so quickly. A quarter of a century from a time when summers were full of boredom and adventure as the cicadas composed the perfect score until dark. When the crisp fall air ushered in the new school year that smelled of fresh linens and rain. And Winter was short, but brutal, for those use to dry heat. And Spring couldn’t come fast enough. We chased lightning bugs, climbed trees, rode bikes, and laid in the green grass. No video game could take us on an adventure the way our own back yard could. It is a strange thing that all of this, while still here, will never be seen the same to those who come after us. Barefoot and happy, a nostalgia we will bear for all of our days.
I use to think when people died young it was because there was so much sadness in their hearts they just could’t keep it from breaking. I would have kept on believing this had I not lost my daddy so young, or experienced the agony of losing two unborn children, only to find I still managed to wake up the next morning. So now, I believe we all just walk around with these broken hearts, seeking out someone to mend them. The world churns its season, and we cling to all the things that once seemed small. The way he shook his leg in anxiousness or the crinkle in their nose when they were deep in thought. In those moments, we remember how truly fleeting life is. We are mayflies in a world that will continue long after us.
The words rolled off her tongue so eloquently. I, even believed her bullshit. She wore that infectious smile and feigned excitement when she met someone new. Inviting you to rub elbows with the “elites,” like that is where you belonged. Fooled so many, including myself, with her slippery manipulations. If she said you were enough, you felt you were, but disagree even once and she’d knock you down just as quickly as she built you. No worries, you’re safe, as long as you stay beneath her. Where you belong. As long as she is always right, as long as you are still useful to her.
I sat in my car that gray stricken day and watched drops of water speckle the windshield then collect into tiny puddles. They slid down the glass, like shooting stars, gathering their friends along the way. My mind unable to shake our earlier conversation. “I want a divorce; I don’t love you the way I should anymore”. Silence than shock. Or was it? While you feigned disbelief the excitement played in your eyes. All the freedom that would come with the end. But you wouldn’t let me off that easy. I mean how could I do this to YOU, right? You fed on my emotions, my guilt, and let the entire fault lie on me. Every church service, every meal, every hand pressed outfit starched and laid out. That’s what I was there for and suddenly, I wasn’t. You knew what would make me hurt and you knew how to lay the guilt on thick so it smothered me. The way you would when you couldn’t keep your hands off me. Those hands. The ones you had tainted with other women. The same ones you used to wipe my tears away. The same ones that held our newborn children and the same ones that held my hands. Once upon a time.
I come to petition you in this, what seems our darkest hours for some years now. Though I know others struggle equally or more than even I and that greater troubles are still on our horizon. I feel thin and shallow like not enough breath to fill ones lungs, and I wait. A longing ache deep in the recesses of my heart. I wait for the hollow in my soul to be filled with you. All I can do is plea. Please help me. I am tossed by the ocean waves, but I put down my roots. Hear me Lord, listen to my cry and act gently upon it. I know this life was meant for trial and tribulation and that it was not promised to us that our lives would be effortless, only that you would see us through until whatever end. I humble myself when I ask that you ease the burdens on our family. Not just in my home but in the home of my mother, my children and all our descendants. That you break any curse that hinders us and bind any evil that surrounds us. I search in darkness for your light and the life that you give but I fear I am suffocating slowly. Do not let my words fall on deaf ears. Hear me and bring rest to this weary soul.