The storm

My mother, not yet my mother

loving

my father, not yet my father

At a time when this

tumultuous storm

must’ve felt more like

the entrancing electricity of the lightening

than the distracting clap of the thunder

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Blessed Partnership

Betty spoke into the mirror. “It’s been months since he’s moved. Months. Mark has been playing that game for over nine hours. I’ve decided to take things into my own hands.”

Betty strode down the basement stairs and un-plugged the television set, fully expecting a wild slew of explicit language to burst from Mark’s mouth. He remained calm and looked into her eyes. “I’m going to kill you, you know.” Though she had never before heard such a thing from Mark, she easily remained composed.

“I had always assumed as much,” she responded. “I imagine you’ll do so after the mortgage has been fully paid, though. It’d be a pity to rot out the rest of your life in a place without wifi.”

Betty snipped the end of the television cable with her nicest stainless-steel garden shears and ascended from the basement holding the three-pronged plug. She filled the dishwasher, but did not start the washing cycle. She wanted to enjoy the thick, angry silence hanging in the air of their home. Betty placed her wedding band in an empty soap dish, along with the cherished television plug. She drank a bitter cup of black coffee while leaning against their imported granite island, the polished silver drawer knob painfully digging into the hip of her designer jeans.

On My Daughter’s Birthday

She would’ve been five at 9:01 this morning.

It’s sort of funny how we feel disenfranchised upon loss, as though we have been stolen from. Whenever I look back on my life, it comes in chunks or waves. It comes as so many of Sylvia Plath’s figs. It seems I have lived a multitude of lives without earning the right to any of them. Each has been a spectacular and surprising gift. Upon my daughter’s death, I became even more assured and aware of this gift.

I have been the rebellious child, the naive young wife, the poverty-stricken single mother, the lost divorcé, the woman burying her daughter, and now the comparatively wealthy and undeserving middle-class American mail-carrying Christian. So many people in my life have only gotten one or two of those things, and here I stand surrounded by experiences that have been lovingly placed to guide me home. There has been so much tragedy in the name of touching my life. I can’t help but wonder how many other lives are being touched today in this moment of suffering for myself and my beautiful family.

Today, I remember the 8 months, 5 days and 15 minutes that were my life as a mother, and I give praise and gratitude to our heavenly father, who knows just what it means to watch a child die and has bonded us in a union unique to only parents of lost children. Amen.