Monday, March 7, 2011

tears from memories past

Breezes gentle paste wisps of my hair against my damp face. I face the open window and weep in the wind. I am eight.

Why do young children suffer so?
Daddy clears his throat. I turn slight to face him. Is he going to speak? Just the slightest sound of his voice will tear my heart in two. I watch his Adam's apple bob up, and then down on his neck. He clears his throat again.

"Daddy?" My brother, unrestrained in the back seat stands, feet on the floorboard, leaning close to our father's ear.

"Sit down, son," Daddy whispers tender and pats the side of my little brother's head. My brother sits.


Why must a child's heart pound with pain profound?

Without turning to look, I reach for my daddy's hand, and it envelopes mine complete. He holds my tiny fingers with gentle fervor. I feel safe. I can't think about it now. It's not real. But I know in my heart it is. I hate divorce!

No longer able to contain my tears, my shoulders tremble and I cry. My daddy's grip tightens on my hand, and he steers the blue sedan to the side of the road and stops. My stomach churns.

"Daddy, I don't feel good. My tummy hurts."

Raw emotion cuts deep, even in the heart of a child.

"Do you feel like you're going to be sick?" He brushes the back of his hand light over my forehead. And I nod.

He helps me out of the car, into the muggy June night. Crickets and locust surround us with night songs. "Do you feel better, now?" I shake my head. He scoops me secure into his arms and I lay my head on his shoulder. His familiar cologne wafts heavy in the humid air.

"Better?" And I nod barely.

My daddy. Rescuer in midnight hours, chasing away monsters and soothing fears beyond nightmares. Singer of Jesus Loves Me in the middle of thunderstorms raging. "Daddy?" He sets me on the ground and kneels beside me.


"I'm leaving tomorrow with Mommy and my baby brother..." My eyes fill with the sting of fresh tears. My little brother opens the back seat car door, and wipes his own damp face. He runs toward us wobbly on four year old legs. The two of us, wrapped in our daddy's embrace. It's real.

Fairy tale stories of happily-ever-after only exist in the land of pretend.

"Will we ever see you again, Daddy?" I barely have voice to ask, but he hears me.

"Oh yes, you'll see me again. I love you. I love you both so much." He holds us for what seems hours, but not nearly long enough. Finally, he lifts my brother, takes my hand and walks us back to the car.

"I don't want to go home now, Daddy. Not yet."

"Your mom will be worried if I don't get you back soon." He pulls a handkerchief out of his pocket and wipes his tearful face. He starts the car and drives us home.

Today I linger in prayer for children wounded.

1 comment:

Jan Parrish said...

Praying for those little children now and for the men and women they will grow up to be.

Very poignant, Shar. Sniff, sniff.