The smell of her hands reminds me of Africa. Of mangoes mashed, of me, feeding them to her, so small then, so very small and her brother too, and now, she’s feeding me, and why can’t I open my mouth when she wants me to?
The sky is pretty, like my pink silk scarf, and the windows are dirty, maybe I’ll clean them tomorrow but tomorrow is Sunday—funny, because today was Sunday too—and there’s church and I will need to take my blue purse with my hymnbook and where are my glasses? I’m trying to ask but there are no words, just drool, and when I do talk I have a British accent but now I have nothing and I wish, I wish she knew how much I loved her.
“Bigger,” I manage, and she knows—this baby of mine, now a woman of 20? Thirty?—she knows I’m trying to say “I love you bigger.” “I love you biggest,” she says, and I wish I could kiss her but I’ve got soup on my chin and I can’t lift my hands to wipe it, no matter, Emily’s cleaning me with a cloth and it’s not supposed to be this way. She’s lifting me now, and I don’t know where she finds the strength for I’ve put on weight with the steroids and I can’t say no to chocolate anymore and I wish I could be the woman Ernest married, the woman so slim, the one he took to Africa against her wishes and I’d do anything for him now if I could just get better.
Maybe this tumor is punishment for complaining about the shack and the dirt floors and the chameleons and the baby being born premature in sub-Saharan sun while Ernest was away. My diaper is poking out of my pants, I can feel it, and there’s someone at the door and Emily is helping me across the floor towards my lazy blue chair and I’m so tired, so very tired but there’s music playing from somewhere and suddenly I’m sitting in darkness and Emily is answering the door.
Muffled voices and my eyelids are drooping but I know this song. “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound…” I’m little again, I’m in my pink leotard and I’m dancing and the angels are listening, they’re smiling and clapping and nothing can stop me from moving. There is no tumor, only music, and the ones with wings are twirling me around and around and something squeaks from my mouth and I know I’m making noise from my grown-up body and I know my feet are tapping and someone’s at the door but I don’t care because all I can see is heaven.
“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because, in the last analysis, all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.” (Frederick Buechner)
1. link up a post (old or new) that you feel is ‘broken’ or ‘imperfect’ or somehow redemptive
2. put the ‘imperfect prose’ button at the bottom of your post, so others can find their way back here (see button code in right-hand column of my blog)
3. read other’s offerings, and encourage them!
|1. gautami tripathy |
3. Jen Ferguson
4. Old Ollie
6. Emily Controlled Chaos Photography
7. brian miller
9. Laura, NH, USA
10. Rambling Heather
13. David N.
14. Elizabeth@just following Jesus…
16. Cindy @ 12Tribes
19. Head underwater @ Lisa notes…
22. Cara @ WhimsySmitten
23. mountain mama
24. Ruth V
28. Allison @ Alli n Son
30. Smooth Stones
31. and it’s all His anyway
32. Capturing This Lifesong
34. Southern Gal
35. House of Belonging
36. amy @ to love
37. Craig @ Deep into Love
38. Cheryl @ finding the beauty
39. Hope Whispers
41. Anna @ path of treasure
43. While the Dervish Dances
45. Christy Janssens
46. Kelly Sauer – Breathe Deep, Empty
47. Vicki Munn
*prints of paintings, done for aiden’s nursery when he was born, available here*