You know those old grumpy ladies who give you mean looks and appear as if they could eat children for breakfast? That could be me in another twenty to thirty years. The young mothers pity you, children fear you. Your face would be starring in all negative roles of old wives tales in the minds of children. You’ll be essentially the witch down the lane.
And on the outset, let me tell you this- I didn’t plan on it. I’m no spinster. I’m not barren. I’m just a mother who lost her only child. My son, my blood, my world. When you longed for a child oh so long and finally you have one, the happiness is beyond compare. If you saw me five years before, I was rather exuberant. A new mother, good wife and moreover a happy woman.
Tragedy has poor timing. Just like all the other times. I’m not asking why me or what I did wrong. But I lost my son to the fate that came in the form of cancer. Leukemia. Such a beautiful name for something so disastrous. The worst part is that I had to see my little boy going through all that – the chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, those vile medications, loss of appetite, hair fall and the light in his eyes slowly faded. And I had to watch all that.
Now I know why them women who lost their children tell you that to see your child taken to grave is the worst thing a mother can ever witness. It breaks you unlike anything. When a woman becomes a mother, priorities shift to the child than her role as a wife. Now with the ailment in scene, my marriage was in shambles. I locked myself away. And I lost the one person who vowed to stay with me throughout. No. I don’t blame him. I was too much to handle and he didn’t deserve to be locked out of my heart.
Even now when I see little children play around, I sense him, my boy. The womb that carried him for nine months pulsate every time I think of him. Its like a phantom limb but not exactly. I still feel him inside me, like a phantom foetus. I don’t even think the term is quite right, but that sums up how I feel. So I steel my face to stop tears falling down. My heart skips a beat when a child calls out to its mother. I’m shattered on the inside and stuck on this loop. Its like a broken record playing the same track again.
I was just watching The Silence of Lambs again this Sunday. One question from Dr. Hannibal Lecter to Senator Ruth Martin just made me think.
“Tell me, mum, when your little girl is on the slab, where will it tickle you?”
I think it will be deep in the lower abdomen. Just where they floated in your womb. And it will stab you through, not tickle, that phantom foetus….
Pascal Campion. His illustrations are amazing. Check them out!
My choices made my bed.
Now I must lie on it.
My words made my coffin.
But I guess it can wait.
My decisions paved my path.
I am marching right on.
My mistakes erected the obstacles.
I am leaping over them.
My actions set me on fire.
But I am rising from my ashes.
My priorities lengthen the way.
I am, but in no hurry.
My day shall come.
And I shall burn bright.
Put the dazzling sun to shame.
To all my delight.
I want no fame, no glory.
I want to write my own story.
Here I am, waging war inside.
My demons fighting alongside.
I tamed my darkness.
Now it accepts my commands.
I shall fight.
Until my last breath.
Until I lose all my might.
I shall have faith.
So here I march.
Here I strive.
And I shall have my plight.
All for a better night.
Then shall I rest
Until He knocks to take me West.
”We are done”, she said.
“I’m still in love with you”, left unsaid,
She walked down the aisle,
Courageously took her trial.
With a broken, tired and bleeding heart,
She said “I do”, playing her part.
She did her sacrifice,
For her family, she paid a heavy price.
She lost her faith in true love,
She lost belief in Him above,
Putting on the bizzare mask,
The couple did their bestowed task.
Their broken hearts fitted o so perfect,
And with due time, they did connect.
The pain numbed and scars healed,
They then had their fairytale sealed.
My peaceful shopping reverie was broken when I heard an announcement through the loudspeakers. A child was lost in the crowd and that her mother was waiting next to the candy shop on the second floor, followed by a frantic mother’s voice calling out to her child.
With that came those old memories. Our first shopping to get Christmas gifts for our families, as a way to sneak into the family picture. At the mall, you lost me in the crowd. You rushed to the nearest security post and grabbed the microphone, screaming my name. I was looking so intently at an X’mas tree decoration that I was jolted into reality when I heard your frantic voice screaming my name.
When I rushed to your side, I saw that you were flushed, huddled on the ground and there was a throng of people around you. You were having a panic attack. I remember those jaded eyes darkened and brimming with tears when I took your face in my hands and whispered soothing words. I hugged you and we stayed huddled for the next ten minutes, rocking back and forth with me rubbing your back.
Your biggest fear was losing people. That shopping ended there, with us leaving right away and purchasing rest of the gifts online.
Somewhere along the journey, your fears became mine. And then one day, I lost you. I didn’t realize I was crying until an old lady near me extended a handkerchief and an understanding smile. I was not embarrassed. I was mortified at the power you still had on me.
I don’t know what to do. You are so far away. I’ll come to visit you today. With your favorite bouquet of blue roses. Marie always gives me a discount on them.
I will come and we need to talk. Though its mainly me talking, I’m sure you are listening somewhere, anywhere. I hope it will hurt less next time when I think of you.
I hope you’re happy wherever you are. Because, I clearly am not.
One morning all sun and shine,
A Lady came in primped and fine,
She strolled in with fiery red hair,
And emerald eyes filled with despair.
Battered, bruised black and blue,
Her eyes with fear fluttered askew,
She took her seat, proper and graceful,
With her air of elegance, uniquely beautiful.
Casual enquiries on weather and life,
Then gave way to her visible strife,
“Tell me child, what had been done?”,
“Useless, for I know it can’t be undone”.
Her voice ringed with detest,
As her finger was ringed with mistrust,
She stood up, but then relented,
And then she shared what had her tormented.
She was abused, trashed and beaten,
Upon confessing which, her cheek seemed to heaten,
The vows were forgotten,
The love now turned rotten,
He gave her gashes and regret,
Whom he promised comfort and swore to protect.
She wiped her teary eyes,
And calmed her cries,
Her back steeled and straightened,
Though she couldn’t help but feel frightened.
She recounted their tale,
The one of love that now turned frail,
Of who said their vows three years back,
And rode to sunset, with a grin like a maniac.
Here she sat wiping her tears,
For he had become her greatest fear,
Accused of adultery, beaten to death,
She sat like a tombstone and took a deep breath.
She had found his indiscretions,
And cried to sleep during his expeditions,
For she was his little perfect trophy wife,
And she learned to smile through her strife.
“Why now and how, have you found courage,
To speak of this failed marriage?”
“There’s a little life inside my womb.
My little one, starting to bloom.
I can’t bring my child up in this malice,
I need to be brave and find the balance.”
She looked determined, ready to fight,
Ready to be her own knight,
For a woman, she is her own saviour,
Because no one else can ever save her.
She found her ray of hope,
And she cannot be brought to a stop,
For a mother, all is right,
What she does for her child’s future bright.
She finished her story, rubbed her belly,
Stood up tall, strong and ready.
I saw no fear nor despair,
For I saw her emerald eyes on fire.
She walked out, courtesy a grateful nod,
I closed my eyes, muttered a prayer to God,
What doesn’t we do for our little ones?
I smiled at the photo of my twin sons.
The last cold wind swept along the woods,
The Spring was soon coming good,
The patches of snow and ice melted slow,
The water under frozen river started to flow.
Father Frost and Mother Snow stood along the shore,
Watching Daughter Storm amidst the trees roar.
They were waiting for a little Snowflake,
The little member for their family to intake.
Crafted with the Creator’s hands,
Breathed to form in heavenly lands.
The Little Snowflake descended down,
Down to his family, to their small town.
The Little Snowflake was but at a disadvantage,
For the Spring had the land under his manage.
The Little Snowflake knew not what to do,
For he stumbled too fast to have a clue.
The land was clear and the sun broke through,
But the poor Little Snowflake had none to turn to.
The Sun shone bright and merciless,
The Little Snowflake was thence reduced lifeless.
Father Frost and Mother Snow was saddened by their loss,
There their little son, lay, a drop on the green moss.
They prayed hard and they prayed long,
They righted all they did wrong.
The Daughter Storm rustled through the leaves,
Knowing nothing of the latest aggrieves.
She watched them silent in prayer,
She observed them later with much care.
The Ugly Gale from west came with an evil smile,
Told her what happened and what went vile.
The Daughter Storm was saddened by the life impaired,
More did she feel betrayed for what they kept unshared.
She ravaged through the woods in silent fury and despair,
Became a nightmare, a savage and reckless beyond compare.
Her fury extended wide and raged strong,
Lasting even for eons long.
She resented the Summer and the Sun,
Everything that beckoned her of the damage done.
The Lords heard their desperate plea,
For they gifted them a child and glee,
But the sorrow turned Daughter Storm so blind,
That she had no eyes for the blessings plenty to find.
Feeling vile, vindicated and needing peace,
She carved his name in her path of lease.
She finally found solace in his remembrance,
In the fear of being forgotten, her memories served remedy.
It was a beautiful day yesterday. I had to go outside. Everything was going just fine until I saw you there. You were there, with her.
I wanted to talk to you, face you, spat at you, anything…. But, I guess all those AA sessions didn’t tell me where to gain the courage to do that. I couldn’t. I just couldn’t.
I wanted to go home, take a swig of my whiskey, get wasted – like those days. I can’t do that either. You know how hard it is for me to break my promises. Maybe, that’s why I still held on to you even when you moved on. After all, we did promise “Forever“.
All that I’m good for, is my word. So, no way I’m going back to my old habits. I hid in the shade of the trees and peered out. You were so happy with her. Makes me wonder, was “we” ever there? Ugh! I hate reminiscing the past. Kids raced past me and I pulled my hood up and walked away. That’s the third thing I’m good at, second being hiding.
I couldn’t look at you or her. My ex-husband and my ex-best friend. I giggled so loud that the vendors looked pointedly at me. I laughed at that. Wow, I was laughing now.
Next stop, my favorite cafe. Coffee helps. Now that I can’t go back to my alcoholic ways, I have to depend on coffee. Not as good as a shot of vodka, but still better than plain water.
Someday, I will be able to face you both. Look at your face without hostility and accept things for what they are. But, that’s definitely not today.
I went there on purpose. I knew you’d be there, like I know you’d read this. I want to tell you something. You are no longer the trigger. I’m getting over you. It’s been a month and half since I last look my shot. I’m getting better. I’m getting better not for you. For myself. I’m building myself up. And I’ll see you after I’m complete.
Your sweet ex.
Turning about in my cold bed,
Sleepless nights the sobbing led,
Calling forth all I imagination I could muster,
I try to bring forth all details memory could fester.
Mother’s complexion, tall like father,
Eyes deep brown with all I could gather,
I tried to picture him in my mind,
My blood, whom I, in my heart enshrined.
Born two months too early,
With hair, my Granny says, somewhat curly,
He lived barely a day,
And passed before I could see him, even from faraway.
I blamed them all my Gods,
Gave me hopes they did loads.
For I lost my very own blood,
The sorrow with which my heart did flood,
I hated them all, hated them much,
Hated even the one that came next,
Was it hatred, or was it envy,
I realised it was neither but the heart that was heavy.
To none could I tell the tale,
For I didn’t want to be seen so frail.
When I tried, my eyes would well,
My heart, heavy with emotions, would swell,
For about ten years and one more,
Did I burden my heart with this lore.
But no more! No more, shall I hold you too tight,
Time has come for me to take flight,
Weighing me down, whatever may,
Shall be shattered to clear my way.
This is goodbye my dear brother,
Shall you find love and family in life another,
I free you from myself,
As I free me from myself.
Tonight my pillows won’t be wet,
No more tears, no more fret,
This time I bid thee farewell,
Let everything be according to Their will.
Image courtesy : Pinterest http://pin.it/Sw9tBA4