#HopeLives #JustBelieve #LoveChangesPeople
#HopeLives #JustBelieve #LoveChangesPeople
Recalling the adventurous hike my daughter and I did this past summer to High Rock Lookout just outside of Mt Rainier National Park, memories that no one can take away.
The young girl that I long ago wed
Promising to love and cherish
Until death do us part
There was truth in those words I said
The young girl I held safe in my arms
When she cried from hurt
While our love grew
I attempted to shield her from harm
The young girl who held nothing back
We feasted on love and lust
Unaware fate conspired
To cleave two souls and fade to black
The young girl who endured the pain
Of the cancerous disease that arose
A future uncertain
And rarely did she ever complain
The young girl in a faithful anguish
Moments of joy midst affliction
As her star began to fade
A beautiful life now left to languish
The young girl I gently held her hand
Watching as life slowly slipped away
Until her last breath
And it was all I could do to stand
The young girl I gently closed her eyes
No more sight and nothing to see
Worlds she now explores
With eyes that went blank when she died
The young girl from who I slowly turned away
My heart beat loud as I silently wept
The long walk leaving behind
Every dream gone and I could not stay
The young girl is now just a lifeless shell
All the memories a distant reverie
My heart now shattered
Knowing that I have entered hell
The young girl lies tranquil in a wooden box
All prettied up in peaceful repose
Her struggle now done
A life put away in a human breadbox
The young girl lay for everyone to see
A lifeless corpse is all that is left
My strength now gone
Sitting front and center is killing me
The young girl lies while they all file past
Alone I stare into the dark void
My hopes now taken
The answer was no to each prayer I asked
The young girl towards her I slowly reach out
Placing a single red rose upon her chest
Those red lips I kissed
They are cold and stiff she is gone no doubt
The young girl to ashes and dust she returns
The small container I must carry away
Life’s arc from birth to death
In the light of time she will forever burn
The young girl I take over land and sea afar
To a place where the waters are alive
Calling forth another life
A dance beckons journeying to the stars
The young girl now flies free in the slipstream
Her ashes spread to eternities embrace
Promises kept of a dying wish
Into the undiscovered now just a dream
The young girl who left me a wandering nomad
I carry hope of once and a future again
I chose the reality of love
And the young girl who drove me mad
Death and grief; you accept it, you learn to live with it and you go on, but you never get over it. I know this all too well from my own experiences over the last twenty-five years. This poem came to me late one night before drifting off and I wrote it down the next day with very little editing. I still remember so much as if it happened yesterday and it is the smallest of things that my memories fixate on and my mind sees with a surreal clarity.
Thanks for reading and just believe that hope lives. ~M
The quiet all around was loud inside my head. I felt a sense of expectancy in the air.
The breeze off the lake contained a chill but was bearable after the heat of the day. The small waves pushed by the breeze lapped against the gravel-laden shoreline. The boardwalk was empty this early evening. The boards running vertically beneath our feet showed the signs of the many footsteps of those who had walked along this path and were well worn.
The diffused evening light cast an ethereal glow settled over the landscape as the sun touched the horizon. The ground to both sides of the wooden boardwalk was stark white bleached white from the powerful desert sun. The winds that blew over that had stripped the earth bare leaving it barren and void of life except for a few sparse trees that struggled for survival in the dry parched dirt.
We walked silently, me with my hands pushed deep into my pockets and her pushing her bike forward hands firmly on the grips and face a mask devoid of emotion. The sleeves of my white shirt rolled up to my elbows and I could feel the flapping of the shirttails in the wind as we walked. Her white summer dress hung loosely on her young body a stark contrast to her brown olive skin. The lack of color in our clothes matched the landscape as if we were a part of it.
Looking inland away from the lake, I could see the far distance parking lot where the last stragglers of the day were returning to their vehicles. Headed where I had no idea, I only knew that they had somewhere to go. The loneliness settled over me like a shroud as my steps faltered and the sun sank its lower half now hidden below the horizon.
Catching my stumble out of the corner of her eye, she knew better than to ask how I was. Instead, she simply stated,
“I am tired.”
“I know sweetie.”
I replied as I quickly regained my balance and told myself she had not seen my misstep, nor knew the reason why. However, deep down I knew that she knew. She always seemed to know. Her understanding empathy, the ability that came so naturally to her and guided her actions was far beyond her young years. As we continued to walk, she said.
“I just want to sleep, all the time.”
“It’s okay. I get it. If that’s what you need then that’s okay.”
The silence then settled around us again as we moved forward. We strode onward as if drawn by some invisible force that neither of us could deny. I knew she was tired and worn out, even without her earlier comment still echoing in my head. My heart ached knowing I was powerless to stop the pain. I still found it hard to admit, even to myself, the conclusion I knew was inevitable and unavoidable.
Life is hard and for her to learn this at such a young age seemed so unfair. My anger over the injustice I perceived burned however; the sadness and longing overshadowed it like the darkness. I looked across the lake at the exact moment the last of the huge golden orb of the sun sank beyond the horizon into the undiscovered. Melodies of grace erupted in my head in songs of redemption and a belief in a light that will one day overcome the darkness. As quickly as the feelings rose, they disappeared as the despair again wrapped its arms around me choking off my breath.
I felt so helpless and alone. My life slipping from my grasp and everything I held dear. We continued to walk in silence, comfortable together in our solitude. Over the past few days, I had watched, as she grew weaker and I hated the fact that my little girl’s strength was quickly fading and I knew the end was near.
The words came from where I do not know and spilled out of my mouth in a cry of anguish.
“I miss her.”
“I do too daddy.”
“God, I miss your momma.”
We stopped walking and the bike lay on its side where she had let if fall. Picking her up I held her close feeling her wet check against mine our tears mingled together as they ran down our faces. Her arms tightly squeezed my neck in defiance of tomorrow and yesterday, for this moment was all we had.
©Mark W. Schutter 2018
Often this moment is all we really have, don’t miss it. ~M
#JustBelieve #HopeLives #LoveChangesPeople
#JustBelieve #HopeLives #LoveChangesPeople
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