This picture to me portrays our weather the best…
Beautiful, hot, and humid…
At least that’s what I am feeling today, and I will be on a pool deck all afternoon…
This picture to me portrays our weather the best…
Beautiful, hot, and humid…
At least that’s what I am feeling today, and I will be on a pool deck all afternoon…
Immediately as the cold tip of the sharp needle punctured my skin my blood began to boil. Electricity flowed through my veins awakening something dormant inside me. My eyes glued shut,but I could still sense the brightness engulfing my body; my skin was oozing warmth like a bright light hovered over me trying to burn my flesh away. I could hear the small hushed remarks from the figures around me, but I could also hear the rusty swings stirring at the park across the street. I could smell the cologne of the doctor standing nearest to me, but also the secretary’s perfume from the lobby downstairs. “What is happening to me?”
I gently pry my eyes open, even though it feels like they are being sliced apart to produced my sight. However, once the pain is gone I look straight through the light and directly into the bulb. I can see the electrical current running from one wire to the other. I focused on it and I could hear the low hum surging through the quiet.
I search for something identifiable, my mind twisting and turning. My subconscious trying to discern between the chaos and reality.
I try to stand but my limbs are secured to the icy table. The confinements hold me captive upon the firm fiery table.
I need to be free; I need to move freely. Again my blood stirs, but this time it goes above and beyond, and it melts away the straps holding my wrists and feet. I expand my arms to raise my rib cage so much it tears the bind across my chest. My air-way is larger and the pain is less. All this movement though causes my mind to spin and blur. However, the pulsing in my arms and thighs jets adrenaline to my brain, clearing all the chaos and noise. Now I can hear my breathing and panicked heart.
I feel small yet large at the same time…The figures around me seem so large as their hands search for my freed body. They want to tie me down again… “I won’t let you!”
I swing one arm left at the doctors and their bodies fly across the room; their bodies smash into the wall and crumble to the floor. They lay lifeless. I feel the bodies to my right move away from my side, but just in case I swing in their general direction.
My fist comes in contact with a face, and a yelp escapes their lungs before dropping unconsciously to the ground.
I brace my body as I stand before what’s left of the staff. My body is surging with energy, giving my distorted heart one goal…escape. The figures flee from my presence, and I clamor through the white hallways in search of the heavenly sign…EXIT. This door leads to freedom and peace…
I run towards this door without hesitation. However, before reaching the knob of life a sharp pain stabs into my right shoulder. Reaching around with one hand in search of the damage…a dart. “No…”
Stumbling a few steps forward, I tumble to the ground. The stone tiled floor slams into my rib cage, forehead, and knees sending pain throughout my entire system. I only have strength in my hands and I dig my nails and palms into the floor and try to pull my body towards the door. Sweat pours off of my face and onto the floor, making the ground slick and easier to slide across. I come to the threshold of freedom. I push my body up…My eyes at the same height as the knob…
But another sharp pain hits my lower back. It feels like a knife being twisted and turned in my spine. My blood thickens and I slowly fall to the floor. My muscles are stone, and my head is a whirlwind of chaos.
In those last moments, all I remember are my tears cascading down my face, and the soft noise as each tear hits the floor…drop…drop..drop…
Today is a beautiful day. To me it is the most beautiful kind of day….
The sun is shining,
While the wind is whispering.
The air is nippy but yet still warm,
With the clouds rolling.
The trees are dancing,
As their leaves are clasping or flying.
It is peaceful.
It is calm.
I feel His hope drifting through the world.
Diving, spilling, soothing into hearts.
Relax and enjoy this windy Sunday.
“You can’t put all your faith into this girl!”
A voice harshly says with a slight squeak bringing me up out of my dreamless state. The voice is the same from my other dream. The voice that told the blue haze to wait. That was a strange dream I had; I think I prefer the beach scenes, but without David. My new dreams seem like I am watching a television show, and I am the new staring character.
“You don’t trust anyone. It seems like you want our home to be just that, our home.”
That was the blue haze voice. Don’t they know that I am here, and I could be possibly listening to their conversation. Either they are just stupid to be talking near me, or they want me to hear. I don’t mind, this way I can discover more about my surroundings. Keep talking voices…the voices continued…
The older voice, “I just want you to be guarded around her; she is a wild card. You saw the marks on her neck didn’t you?”
A small scuffle noise interrupted the stillness, it was the sound as if someone awkwardly changed positions.
“You did.” The old voice again, “She did not have those when I found her. I was not the monster to give them to her.”
It seemed like he was convincing himself more than the blue haze. I wonder…
“I know you did not give them to her. They appeared as Amy was healing her. They grew darker by the second. Whomever gave those to her is powerful…”
David…David is powerful? But he is locked away in my subconscious…why is my mind swirling…
I must have made a noise; because the voices stopped and their bodies moved as if to end the conversation. Bothersome…I wanted to know more. But I don’t know if my mind can take it; it is swirling in circles not ready to stop anytime soon. Sleep and actual dreams are calling to me.
Like as if the dreams could talk, “Leave the show behind. Come and see your imagination come to life.”
That scared me more than to just stay in this alternate reality…but I slept.
Sun beams burning softly into my skin…the beach…
This time my eyes flutter open and again my body is expanded over Danny’s blanket. The dark brown material has soaked up so much sun, that I must have been here for hours. My hand crawls towards the sand, and the small rocks waterfall through my expanded fingers toppling onto themselves again. The wind blows the waterfall sand into new places, giving the tiny grains a new adventure. That’s what I want. A new beginning. I want all these voices to be gone. I want my mind to live in reality. I want the small flower, at the moment stilled, to disappear. I want anything and everything to be my choice.
Bracing my body, I prop up onto my elbows and glance out at my surroundings. Yes, I am on that beach, and yes, I am alone. Strange…being alone is almost my most calming sense. The wind stirs into my hair; the long curls swirl blocking my eye line; I smell honey and peach vapors. The wind abruptly stops and my hair falls off my face.
“No…” David stands before me.
“No, you are not real. You only exist in my head. You’re not real!” I scream at him, confused, scared, and agitated all at once. This beach is no longer my beautiful escape, it is my deadly nightmare.
David does not say anything, but he drunkenly wanders towards me. Tripping himself and stumbling every few steps. His eyes say nothing, but his hands say everything. His hands are the only things that look alive; they are stiff and angered. His fingers like talons coming to capture my neck as its prey.
My body is limp, even the flower is still. But David’s form just continues towards me, never faltering his stare. I feel glued to the blanket. My hands and feet immovable. There is no noise except David’s crunching steps beneath his feet; I can hear my whimpers break the silence. Only my voice works…
“HELP ME!!” I scream into the void. Nothing happens, and David continues his approach. “HELP ME!!”
A shadow leaps over me, and my mind surges back into reality.
“Calm yourself,” the sweet voice from before.
I can’t do as she asks, and she needs to stop saying this to me; it just annoys me more. My body is a flamed and a ringing noise splits into my skull. “Why won’t it stop? Why can’t I just die? Make it stop!!”
“SHUT UP!” I scream out not knowing the voice or who it belongs to. “SHUT UP!” My body keeps flinging about, wanting to be ripped apart and put out of misery. “END ME, PLEASE…MAKE the pain stop…” and with that a small soothing electrical current soars through my blood, easing it back into a calm state. The amount of care I feel in my body allows me to open my eyes and I see the face hovering beside me.
A pair of soft baby blue eyes look back at me, “Is that better?”
The eyes belong to a girl; a small girl, but probably my age. Her voice is sweet like honey and her breath smells of peaches. Her skin radiates like the sun warming my own skin without even touching me. She has a small flower drawn into the side of her face; almost entrapping her eye to stay where it is. Her smile is kind, and inviting. I feel calm and at ease next to her. My flower begins to pulse, and hers changes color.
“Are you calm?” she asks in the most beautiful voice I have ever heard.
“Yes.” I answer without hesitation. My eyes trust her…strange…
“Would you like to sit up?” she maneuvers the pillows beneath me, without waiting for a response, to make it possible for me.
I don’t know if I will be able to support myself to do as she wants. I brace my arms to hold my body, and I can. My body feels light, the lightest it has ever felt. I can easily lift my body and brace my back against the pillow. My head swirls ever so slightly before resting into simplicity.
My surroundings are new; completely different than the house of screams. There is still a hint of cedar in the air, and the smoke from before must have come from the fire on the opposite side of the room. There are cupboards, shelves with books, a small table with two chairs, the bed I am upon, and the chair with the small girl beside me. “Where am I?”
The blue eyes shift from my gaze, ever so slightly, before returning. Her eyes are vibrant, but now have a sense of fear. “You are…”
“Don’t answer. You were about to lie to me, so I won’t believe you even if you answer.” Eyes don’t lie.
Her face contorts into a sad and angry expression. She is hurt by my outburst, but she is still fighting with herself, trying to discern if she can trust me. The problem with me is when my trust is broken, it can take a long while until I trust the person again. Which is why I stopped her from saying anything, because I feel like I want to trust her in the future.
I can hear voices above me, and voices echoing around me, but there is no other life seen. “What’s your name?” If she lies to me about this, I will know if I can trust that where I am is safe.
Again the blue eyes drift from my face. She looks to the opposite side of the room, and I see the doorway hidden from view. Her face is at war with herself. She does not answer me, but as she turns her head back to me she does not make eye contact. She only says, “Would you like some water? You look thirsty.” She moves away to a small sink to get me water.
“Can I move? Can I get up” I ask myself in my head…can I run? I don’t know any of these answers, but I do know I can’t trust where I am. I look off to where the girl with blue eyes is and she is still filing the cup. My body is tingling and I feel a new current soar through my veins…determination. I don’t know how but I swipe the covers back, and lunge for the doorway.
“No… come back,” the blue eyed girl’s sweet voice calls to me, with a hint of desperation in her voice, mixed with fear.
I can’t. I need answers, but more than that, I need to be free. Through the doorway leads to stairs. It seems to spiral upwards, and seems like forever, but the pulsing flower surges with heat and urges me on. Each step I take I feel better and better; stronger and stronger; like I have been newly made. Last couple steps…and there is a big red door. Exactly the same as the home I was in before. The same as that hallway of screams had that would lead to reality. The same that made me who I am…
I take the knob and shove it open…
Light. Air. And chirping. Sight, smell, and sounds I have not heard except in dreams. Surrounding me are trees of many kinds. The air is sweet and fresh. The chirping noises are from birds perched on branches or birds soaring through the blue sky…the sky. It seems bigger now than it was in my dreams. It seems to extend upwards forever, and continue on even though I can’t see it. A breeze picks up around me sending a beautiful chill down my back. I know it is real because of the new sensation I am feeling. I almost forget why I am here…then…
“Jane. I need you to come back inside.”
The voice comes from behind me, I can’t see the face, but I know the voice. It belongs to the blue haze. I don’t move. I want to stay in this world forever; I want this place to be my new adventure like the sand. I want to see this habitation more, and if I go back inside I might never see it again.
The voice is pleading so softly that I know something must be wrong…I turn towards the voice and I see him. He is nothing what I expected. His body looks tortured, his arms are sagging with weakness, his hair is so long it almost covers his eyes…his eyes are vibrant orange. But not just orange, they are almost like a fire ablaze captured in a small space. Only his eyes seem to be strong. He is closer to me than I thought. I can hear his breathing, and I can see the years on pain in his limbs.
“Jane…please…” his eyes show fear, care, confusion. He turns and stretches his arm out towards the door. This side of the door is brown. It has been constructed into the trunk of the large tree. “You have to go first.”
How do I trust him, how can I trust any of them? I trust his eyes; they seem to telling the truth. My body does not move; not only because it is afraid, but also I have lost all energy. I step towards him, but my feet falter and I collapse to the ground. My knees dig into the mulch below me stabbing into my flesh. My body feels heavy and I know I will not be going back willingly, but unconsciously. But before that I need to know…
I look up, and the blue haze’s body is towering over me. But as my face turned up, his eyes are right above mine. He has kneeled beside me, next to the place I collapsed. I can feel his breath on my cheek. I can see right into his eyes and deeper into his soul. This is my chance…” What’s your name?”
His eyes don’t turn away; he continues to stare back into mine. His eyes stay strong, “Liam.” Without hesitation, and without flickering in his eyes; this my first truth. His eyes didn’t lie. My body collapsed into his embrace. His body stiffens suddenly, but I feel at ease. My mind is drifting, but I feel safe for the first time. “Liam…” I try to say, but then I am gone.
Pain and loathing spread across their faces. The sweat, mud, and tears mix together hiding their expressions. Their muscles are worn and tired. Their arms too sore to reach up and wipe away the sweat from their brow. Their fingers pulsing to the sound of their running steps. Their bodies ridged with suffering, but maintaining to carry their body weights through the field.
But they never surrender, and they never will give up. They push through their misery with great gusto because they love the game. The game drives them, pushes them, finds their inner beast. Rain, sun, or snow we continue this game.
Normally, I play alongside them. The adrenaline scorches my blood and sends currents of electricity through to my muscles. The chase is the best part of the game. Everything seems to blur into each other, and you fly through the chaos to success. Everything moving a mile a minute. Never slowing, always a steady fast pace, but only your breathing quickens.
I stand here immovable, watching them play. My eyes can’t leave the field. My body yearns to join them, and every muscle is tightening ready to burst into action if need be. But now as the coach, I must let them discover the love of this game. My body is stone cold and stiff. No sweat drips down into my eye line. No tears pour from my eyes in fury and excitement. No mud mixes onto my flesh turning me muddy. I am perfectly clean, and I feel incomplete.
But watching this game from the edge of field, causes it to slow. I can see the stopping and falling. I see their bodies actually move at a normal pace. Every athlete is wincing in pain, but I witness that smile creeping through the layers of mud across their faces. I see the high power leaps into the air towards success. I see the collisions in slow motion, and then the bodies slowly cascade dowards collapsing into the mud. I see the small gestures to their teammates as they have done well, or are losing.
No one really ever losses at this game. You only lose if you give up. You only lose if you quit. You only lose if you don’t try. You only lose if you believe you did not give it your all. If you do everything you physically and mentally could then you have won. That is why I play this game. You must work as a team to score. You must put in the work to succeed. You alone must decide if you want to play the game or not. This game is challenging but still through all the pain, hurt, tears, sweat, mud, and effort you might catch a glimpse of a smile or smirk if your mind slows down their movements.
Even though my body is aching for more than to just stand here on the sidelines, I need to give them the chance to love the game. I also get the chance to slow down my mind and see the dissimilarities between the athletes who want it and who don’t. Also, I have another source of knowledge to help them understand our true sport. This game is our outlet to team bonding and self-finding, but our true passion happens elsewhere.
But without this game, we would not know what it feels like to have sweat, tears, mud, dripping into our eyes. The water masks our expressions and exhaustion. I only truly see it in their faces during this game. When we swim there is no slowing…this only happens in the game.
Again my weekend is non stop. First I coach from 9-11am, but the first hour is Ultimate Frisbee!! I will attempt to control my competitiveness…easier said than done!
Next I am painting a new part of he office. This building is changing completely, just by painting some walls.
Then I am going out swing dancing! I don’t know how long I will be there but I would like to dance the night away.
Then Sunday is church and finish painting.
Yes it seems like I am not having a break, but I am spending my time doing things I love. So in a way I am having a relaxing weekend.
I hope yours is relaxing, happy, or frantic…whichever you prefer. Mine will be all three at once.
“…” (If I write the title you will know what this is…what do you think it is?)
I find the strangest things beautiful. I do find the traditional things beautiful as well, but I find the unusual things just as beautiful. Maybe its because I see myself as something different than anything else, and I too find my unique qualities beautiful.However, there are people out there that see imperfections as just that, imperfections. They don’t get that not one person is perfect, unless you see your quirks as beautiful additions to yourself. (I like to call them that, because when say it, you say it with a smile.)
Anyways, back to unusual beautiful things. Technology has helped me bring out the beauty within different objects. I know the world has become technology junkies, and I am right there with them. I don’t know if I would be able to survive a day without my iPhone or iPad…that’s kind of sad.
But technology has given me the options to create art while saving money at the same time. Normally I would get an idea for a piece of artwork, and I would stop everything and jot down my idea. I would probably spend the rest of my day in that chair drawing away for hours. Don’t get me wrong I still love to do that, but with work and school…I don’t have that luxury as much as before. Also I have been spoiled by an expensive set of markers that was given as a present. I can’t keep using them for just mock ideas…because I don’t know if I will be able to afford to replace them.
But back to technology…it gives me the option to capture the image I want to paint, and then be saved into a album for the future. Yes, I had to pay for the phone and data, but that is way less than those markers. Also I love the special effects you can use on the pictures. (Sometimes I will spend hours changing photos, instead of drawing them…which wasn’t the plan…) But when you can change the lighting and color of the photo by just a touch your once mild idea can become extravagant.
Also you can create images that some people might see something other than you did. Like a photo I am showing today…I see a burn over the eye, but I still find the face beautiful. I think it’s the emotion in the eye…(Yes, it is my eye, but when you alternate it enough you see many other people.) But some might look at it and say, “They are off to battle.” or “They wear their feelings on their face.” or “They had trouble with the blush…” I don’t know what people see, but I see beauty in everything. No matter what it is, I like to find a hidden beauty…
“Beautiful…” taken 2/19/2016
“Imperfections” taken 2/19/2016
“What do you see?” taken 2/19/2016
“…chaos…” taken 2/19/2016
I will definitely be posting more pictures on my blog. Even if I don’t write much that day, maybe just a poem… but art is in my life constantly. These photos are my ideas and or could be artwork; I am excited to paint them in the future.
Have an amazing weekend! Find a hidden beauty…
Warmth…I feel warmth…I must be back on that beach. If I were to open my eyes, something would go wrong or David will reappear. So, instead I will lay here and soak up the sun in the contained subconscious of my brain.
“Does this feel better?” a voice enters my concentration.
“Mhmm…” is all I muster soaking in the warmth as much as possible. My body feels as if it is soaking up the heat and hiding it under my skin. My insides are bubbling with a frantic surge of energy. I feel alive and refreshed.
“Can I move down to your neck?” again the sweet voices say, as a damp cloth moves to my neck. It burns.
“Yes…” wait, what? Someone is on the beach with me. If I open my eyes, the person will probably try to kill me, but if I don’t I might die not knowing who did finally finished me.
“What’s wrong? Does this not feel good? You have a strange face, like you are in pain.” The voice says.
But there is a hint of care in their voice. But ears are deceiving and can lie to you. Only eyes tell the truth…My body shakes with anticipation and fright.
My insides are on fire, but my limbs do not move. I feel like a contained chaos. Like if something were to puncture my stomach I would implode within myself and disappear.
“Calm Down! You need to calm yourself…”
My blood is boiling and twisting in my veins. My heart beat surpasses it limit. My wrist is aflame and the small flower feels like it is ripping itself off of my flesh. I grasp the material beneath me, wanting pour all the heat I have been collecting into its particles.
“I need help in here!” the voice changes to a frantic and worried tone.
I hear footsteps chasing towards me. But they sound far from me. I need to escape. I need to be cooled. I need…water…The ocean. It must be close, considering this is the beach that wants to keep me. I need to move off the blanket and across the sand. “Move body, move!” I command my insides to go…but my will of mind is not sufficient.
Move…Move…move…my arms feel lighter, and wrist is burning. My flesh feels like it is melting off my bones. The flower is now a steady pulse. It is calling to me. It controls me… My arms move. My right arm searches for my left wrist. I moves too quickly and I jab my side. Pain. Too much pain. The flower pulse quickens…
Voices surround me. Arms and hands brush against my body. A pair of cold strong hands clasp my right arm holding me back.
Eyes still closed… but, “No!” I scream into the void of my brain. But I can also hear myself. My body must now be responding. I pull against his strength. Trying to reach my other arm that seems paralyzed by the heat.
“Hold her down. Don’t let her move!” a new voice speaks right over my head. I can feel their breath against my cheek.
My head is clouding and I cannot distinct the gender of this voice; but it is calm even in this chaos. “But I need…it burns…” I speak to whomever will listen. I can’t stand the darkness anymore. I need to see what is happening to me. Even if I die from imploding…I need to see the truth.
“Hold her steady. I want to try something.” The voice of the strong hands says as their coldness leaves my arm. And this presence leaves my side, but I can feel it lingering.
Open eyes…in Three…Two…I am free; my arm is free. I can reach. Frantically searching for my left towards the pulse. It quickens as my mind and body desires it. Searching. I touch my shirt that is plastered from sweat against my stomach, my side which feels like a waterfall…my arm feels heavier, like cement. I feel my stiff shoulder…my dry elbow…a… cold hand…Those hands.
“Stop Jane. Stop.” The voice said.
The pulsing subsided, but I needed to know. “I need…”
Why do I listen? Why do I listen…eyes flutter open? I am in a room, not on a beach…It is dark and damp. There is no light except for the hands clasping my limbs holding me down. Their hands are glowing…no…I am glowing…what?
Searching for the face connected with this voice. I need to know…The cold hand stays on my wrist, I travel my fingers up the arm and up to a face. The glow from my hand shines into a face of blue…blue…There is no face, just a blue mist. “Who are you,” as I jerk my hand away and cower in the opposite direction of this form.
“No who are you!?!”
“No. How do we know they are not following her.” A new husky voice, belonging to an older presence enters the mix. “She might be one of them and not know. They might be using her.”
“But…” the voice of blue says…
“Wait until tomorrow.” And that was the end of it.
The cold hand stays on my body. The flower has slowed and is soothed. I feel my body subside and collapse back onto the blanket beneath me. “Who…what…” I don’t know what to think. I can’t believe what I hear. And now I don’t believe what I see. All the other hands have left my limbs, but I cannot move. The cold hand still hugs my wrist, but gentler.
“Jane. Sleep now. I tell you everything tomorrow. I promise.” A hint of sadness flows through this voice, and the hand softens and is lightly hovering my skin; but I can still feel the hand on me. The hand seems to be pouring its cold into me, subsiding my heat. My mind is blurring and everything is spinning. Only his essence is lingering; the soft blue haze stirring beside me. “Who are you?”
“Sleep Jane. Sleep.” These words spoken had a deeper, sweeter tone.
“But who…are…you…?” my head leaving this reality. My eyes shutting out even the blue haze’s existence. “Please…” as my eyes were closing.
“Mama look at my creation!” holding it on a tray so it does not break.
A tired but still beautiful woman wanders around the corner and stoops dead in her tracks. Her eyes trained on me. “What did you do?”
“I made it for you. I couldn’t find correct supplies so I just used anything I could find.” Like the toaster, electric wires from my lamp, my eyes glasses, lots of duct tape and paperclips, a bicycle wheel, and other things.
No words or even a noise comes out of my mom. She just stands there stilled and speechless. Her left hand travels to her mouth to keep whatever she was about to say inside.
“Do you like it mama? I made it especially for you.” I am guessing my smile would say it all, I could feel it spread from one ear to the next.
“……..” something came out of my mother’s covered mouth but I couldn’t quite catch it.
“GO TO YOUR ROOM!” She screamed at me.
She screamed at me…I ran. I didn’t stop until I reached my room. It was filled with the remainder parts and scrapes. All my failed attempts and miscalculations. There were scorch marks on the carpet where it had exploded when I turned it on.
“I don’t understand Mama.” I whisper to myself, because there was no one left to hear me. “I just wanted to help her remember.” I curl up onto my bed, hiding myself in the corner, squeezing a pillow as if it would explode. I slept with tears pouring from my eyes, and my heart slowly breaking into smaller pieces.
Headache is the first thing I notice. It is burning my brain and squeezing every last drop of energy out of me. “Mama…” is my second thought.
It must be nighttime or early morning, because darkness is waiting outside. I float out of my blankets and sit on the edge of my bed listening to the sounds around me. “Can I go get some water? Or do I stay here?” The kitchen is on the opposite side of the house. I would have to walk past my mama’s room, and our floors reveal everything and everyone. “I’ll take my chances,” standing up tall and determined.
As I open my door it squeaks just a moment. But I know I can open it all the way because I fixed that last year with dish soap. The floor boards outside my room are now covered with a small layer of rocks, which I did because it stops them from squeaking.
As I walk down the hallway I see all the small inventions I have made to make our lives easier. All of the objects are just of old appliances wired together to help my mom with chores. An electric broom and mop, a window washer, a clothes folder, a tiny robot to do the yard work… mental note…” make robot slightly bigger to push lawn mower.”
My mama’s door is next. I was shut, but not slammed. When Mama slams it new cracks show over the doorframe. I recently made the tiny robot paint the door. It is now a beautiful yellow with small flowers covering it. I wanted Mama to feel happy to enter this room.
I put my ear gently to the door to listen for any noise of crying…nothing…she must be sleeping. I hate hearing my mother cry herself to sleep. That’s why I made what I did. I wanted her to be happy again.
Now just past te living room and onto the kitchen. I round the corner and….
“Mama…” I whisper so softly that she must not have heard me.
There was my beautiful mama. Perched on the couch, hunched over watching something. I wandered around slowly not to disturb her of frighten her…to see what she was seeing…that’s…
“Mama…” I say louder so she can hear me this time.
Her body snaps up, and instantly her hand moves to brush away her tears. “Yes, baby?”
“Why are you crying? Do you hate it?” tears welling up inside me. Trying to break past the barricade in my eyes.
She opens her arms to me, asking me to climb into her embrace.
I do. I fit my body in the space for me. I nuzzled down into her arm and squeeze it ever so slightly to know she is still there.
“No, honey. I love it. I am sorry for yelling at you before. Before today, it just seemed like you were trying to push me to move on and forget. I didn’t really see what you gave me this time. I just saw another invention to help me forget, so I released all my anger and frustration onto you. After you ran I broke down and cried myself into a sadden sleep right there outside on the cobblestone path. I woke to darkness engulfing me and the small device still spinning and singing that happy tune.” She began petting me and humming the tune which I gave her.
“Mama, can I play it again?” sitting up into her lap, staring into her eyes. “Can I watch it with you?”
My beautiful mama stared back into my eyes, “Yes, baby. I want to remember with you.”
For a second I scramble around the room for an extension cord. I pull the thing in and center it onto the small coffee table. I move back to my mama, climb back into her embrace, then I lean back to the table and flip the switch.
I light bulb comes to life. I painted it yellow to make everything shimmer. The toaster pops and the bicycle wheel stands into existence. The music starts to play and the wheel turns moving the pictures around. Just like a Ferris wheel my invention turn exposing our past. The first picture holds our family: Mama, Dad, Sister, Brother…Me. We are all sitting and laughing. The next, brother’s 18th birthday; following, Mama and Daddy’s wedding; then our water fight… Mama was taking the picture; after that one, I made a collage of our baby photos: Katie, Josiah, and Me; next our first camping trip…
I hung as many photos as I could on that bicycle wheel, but I ran out of duct tape and paperclips. I programmed it so that it would continue to spin until the song ended. The song I chose was mama’s favorite song. It was her wedding song, and in the past, our go to song to serenade her into sweet embarrassment.
I never wanted mama to forget them. I just wanted to be enough for her to keep living. I wanted to fill the gaps of her life that she hadn’t had enough energy for. I wanted to make her life simpler so she would smile again. I wanted her to see me and not look at me like I was the only one to survive the accident. I wanted my mama back…
“Mama, is this okay? Is this invention allowed…” I say into her arm.
“Yes, baby. This invention is the best one ever!” she sighs into my hair and pulls me closer. “Honey, you need to know…” as she pulls me back and stares into my eyes. Her tears are falling and spilling off of her face. “Part if the reason I never appreciated your other inventions was because they reminded me of your father. He would always discuss wacky or ridiculous ideas and always say he would someday create them. When I look at you I see all of them. Your father’s talent. Your sister’s beauty. Your brother’s wit. And your creative imagination. I am proud of you.”
I scramble out of her embrace and dash to my room.
I come back holding a tattered notebook. I produce it from my embrace. This is the secret I never wanted to reveal. “This was Daddy’s. I took it when he…when he…I took it…” head lowering, not wanting to see her reaction.
I look up and tears are spilling down her face. But a smile is creeping across it too. Her eyes come alive and her arms embrace the book into a hug. Her beautiful body shakes from the tears, but this time they are happy ones. She looks up at me and…
“Thank you, my baby girl. You have given me the best part of him back. I never knew he was remembering every one of these inventions. Some were jokes, some were love, so were fights, some were arguments, some were special, some were secret…I have all my memories done in this journal, and in this Ferris wheel of memories.
She pulls me again into an embrace. She leaves the journal and wheel on that small coffee table. We cry together and stay there until light comes through. My mama is back. She came back to me.
Twenty years have passed, and I am thirty-two years old today. Our house seems so empty. I am there to pack up anything I want and take it with me to my home. The house seems so bare without her here.
Mama is gone, she is with Daddy and Katie and Josiah. I love this place, but I couldn’t be here without them too. Wandering through the house I see all the inventions I made and how they sparkle even with the layers of dust on them. The rocks outside my room and scattered across the floor. Mama’ door is a darker shade of yellow, but the flowers seem just as bright. The tiny robot is at the kitchen sink; frozen in time, probably because the batteries wore off.
The living room…The couch still sits there. Just a small layer of dust covers it. The coffee table still stands firm. I will take this with me. But what I was searching for was…that…there off in a glass case sits the little Ferris wheel. However, this time there are more pictures. Half of the wheel is the past and the other half is me and Mama. Those eighteen years were the best days of my life with her. Next to that glass case is the journal of my parent’s love. I looks the same as the day I gave it to her. Tattered and worn, but loved. And the title still shows on the leather cover.
When I discovered this journal in my Dad’s workplace after the accident I assumed it was for me. He always discussed leaving a journal for his girl, so that she could create or just remember the memories. Thinking back, I realize it was for her. But the lettering was still clear and crisp on that leather cover, as the day I found it in his desk. It read, “Ellie” which is me, but also Mama.
This Valentine’s Day I decided to buy all of my siblings and mother flowers. I didn’t just want to get the girls flowers , but also my brothers. They deserve some love too. I actually walked from church all the way to the store to purchase flowers for everyone sneakily.
After about a 30 min walk I reached the store and began to ponder what I wanted to give them. I knew tulips for my mother. Tulips have a calming humor about them. They seem to be content with themselves and their petals embrace themselves for a warming hug. Which is what you receive always when you hug my mother. She loves tulips! So this year I bought her a potted plant, so that afterwards she could plant them and have them every year after. (However, I will most likely be planting them though. The yard work is now my domain. Mwahahaha!)
Next was my younger brother. He is an orchid type of person. I chose a white and purple striped one. It gives off a hyper active vibe, but also a classic grace. My brother is one who is always moving and never likes to be still to long, but he sometimes will pause and take in the beauty and stillness around him. I do see him like this orchid, because he appreciates beautiful things.
After younger bro was older bro. It was more difficult to pick out a flower to represent him, because I don’t know what he would like. However, I saw an orchid that was different and one of a kind (to me at least) and I see my brother like that. Proud of who he is and doesn’t really care what others think. He will be what he wants, when he wants to be. So I choose this soft yellow one with splotches of purple within each center. It was beautiful in its own way.
Next was oldest sister. I knew what I wanted to get her, but I had to find it. Finally found it, it was lilies. But these lilies had a pink hue to them. They almost seemed to be smiling back at your own smile. My sister has a pink hue in he cheeks when she smiles while laughing. Pink lilies are beautiful and sweet, and they bring a lighter side to life. Showing beauty in all things, even if they are simple.
Next is other older sister. I also had trouble deciding what flower she was. She loves roses, but also daisies. She loves interesting plants, but then also the traditional ones. She likes a little bit of everything all at once, but in a contained way. So I decided on a bouquet of flowers of different types, but since it is a bouquet it is complete. She is like a motionless chaos. She is the opposite of my younger brother. She likes to be still, but she can do many things at once. The bouquet had purple daisies, Gerber daisies, a red rose, a snap dragon, and lilies. A little bit of everything, creating a beautiful arrangement, just like my sister.
I did not purchase myself flowers, because I enjoy giving them. That was part of my present to myself. Seeing their smiles grow on their faces, because I love them unconditionally and wholeheartedly. However, I decided to today that I would continue to work in the yard. So in a way my mother gave me flowers as well. Because when I went to Home Depot to get rocks I got flowers to plant in the side yard I have been working in. The gift that my mom gave me was exactly what I wanted. A way to bring color and beauty into the place I have been working.
And in a way these flowers will grow over time and become more and more beautiful. Just like my family. Planting these flowers on Valentine’s Day was a beautiful gift all in itself. Thank you mom for this great gift. When I see these flowers I will think of you and my siblings. And how I am the luckiest girl in the world.
Happy Valentine’s Day!