Thursday, May 19, 2011


We were born on the same day, too small to know the harshness and warmth of the world we would struggle through. We'd grown up together, spending more time together in the back yard than I could possibly recount. She was my everything. My playmate as a child, confidant as a young teen, accomplice when I rebelled against my parents, protector and guardian when I needed her to be.

Not that I realized it during all those years.

It wasn't until I moved away, married and had children that I understood how important she had been to me. My childhood stories were flooded with her presence. She had, in many ways, shaped the person I became. I wanted to see her again even though half a world separated us. It wasn't likely it would happen. I didn't even know if she was still there.

Then my father died and I had to go home.

Flying over the deep oceans, I thought about what would happen when I drove up to the house. I wondered if she would be there waiting for me. I wondered if she would console me. I felt crazy thinking these thoughts. Perhaps she was a diversion for the scarier issue, my father's demise. A lump formed in my throat as memories involving the two of us and she rushed through my mind..

I held my mother close for the brief moment of stillness she could offer.

As she flitted about straightening frames, fluffing pillows, and generally fussing, I found my way to the backyard. There she stood dressed in deep yellow. Her skin was rough and dark from years spent outside in the sun and the snow. She stood tall and strong, still confident in her declining years. She had aged well. I ran to her, wrapping my arms around her thick trunk and then falling on my knees at her roots crying heavy and hot tears.

Tears for the loss of my father, my own expected immortality,  and for my childhood.

*** Daily Writing Practice ***

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