The Mighty Viking

Conquering those things we must, one story at a time

Archive for January, 2019

My heart hurts

For two weeks now, my heart has sat idle, numb, stunned, boggling without comprehension at the swirling maelstrom of tears that flowed out of the hole your life’s departure left in me.  How can it be that you’ve gone?

You always were such a happy, mischievous wanderer.  

But how is it now, that you can find a place to wander, where I cannot search and find you?

Your whole life was spent finding places I’d never been, physically and metaphorically.  Your laughter at each new trick, each new hiding spot, every road you’d disappear down, waiting to be found, still rings in my ears.  Even when your body failed you, you found a way to stretch my horizons in search of you, to fix what you could not, to understand the language you didn’t know yourself, to bring you in again in a safe place.

How can it be that you’ve wandered too far for me to find you?

My heart has been stopped now, for nearly two weeks.  But today, it hurts.  

It has healed some from the shock, and re-awakened with an awful hurt.  And the tears that flow through the wound drip down my face, down this cliff with the rain, and into the Sea below.

And so, as I have in the past, I look beyond where they flow into the Sea for an answer.

It was in the Sea, and under the Sea, that I learned to search for the unfathomable.  Here on the shore, where the sand turns to foam and the foam to green waves and spray, and where beyond lies dark, brooding storm-swells, I am awakened from my languish by the sting of the wind-driven rain, and by that peculiar combined scent of life and death that a sailor knows best.

I know this Sea.  

I know that beneath it, wind and rain don’t matter much.  And so maybe I’ll stand here all day, letting the wind and rain wash my wounds, watching them return quietly to their own Father, looking and listening for signs of your passing.

I know you.  

I know that when I find you, you’ll dash off with your arms swept back, with a squeal of laughter trying to make one last escape.  We’ll laugh together as I snatch you up and we tumble in a heap, at yet another great game.  And you will be safe again in my arms, my son.

But I don’t know the Sea into which you’ve gone.  Not yet.  It is not for we with bodies to know it yet.  

And so today, and until that time comes for me to slip away from this body and enter that Sea, my heart hurts.  

Until I know you’re safe, it will hurt.

Sean’s Mom

“Hi, I’m Sean’s mom” 

The words carried the kind of lilt that only a mother can give them. A precisely indeterminate kind of lilt that sweetly invokes your middle name and implies unspecified doom if you don’t pay careful attention to whatever comes next.

The doctor smiled back, knowing already two things before he had closed the exam room door: first, that Sean, whoever he was, was someone special and second, that the wee lad had a special mom.

“Hi, I’m Sean’s mom”

Again and again, through a maze of specialists, technicians, and departments, she spoke in that space where his voice should have been. There were no text books for Sean, and he had no words of his own to tell them.  And so, she became his voice.

“Hi, I’m Sean’s Mom”

The words pushed back against a wave of busy educators, who mistook Sean for a child without a Voice.  And so they listened again, and looked again, and what they discovered in Sean changed them – that beautiful Being that had almost been overlooked, simply because he couldn’t speak for himself.

“Hi, I’m Sean’s Mom”

Sean met the grocer, the baker, the teachers at school.  They met at the local pizza joint, bowling alley, the Church and the pool.  And each when they heard it saw Sean afresh, this time as a person.  They learned to converse with him with other senses than their lips and ears.

“Hi, I’m Sean’s Mom”

it was a plea, a demand, a push – gentle but firm – that drew people in to experience for a moment a pure state. They remembered how to skip over the choreographed lies of social interaction and just be together with someone.  People experienced Sean only because of her.

“Hi, I’m Sean’s Mom”

Doctors said they didn’t know anymore what to do for the seizures that took from him strength and years, and paid him in pain.  She spoke at once as Sean, and as a dedicated mother.  She told of his symptoms, and interpreted his movements, made him real to the doctors nurses.  And once they had truly met Sean this way,  each one learned a little more how to feel, to see more in their patients than flesh, bones, computer blips and beeps.  Each one of them uncovered themselves a little bit, and re-learned what it is to be human.

“Hi, I’m Sean’s Mom”

In the hush of the night a prayer escaped her heart, as it had ten thousand times before, for the relief that Sean could not.  And in her grief and dismay at his failing body, Heaven wept.

“Hi, I’m Sean”

A young man walked innocently into the brilliance of a new Spring Morning.  

And the Good Lord smiled back, and said, “Yes, I know.  You’re Dianna’s Boy.  We’ve heard all about you.”

“…We’ve been waiting for you.”

And a peal of Sean’s laughter radiated with that Morning light like through a prism, and set the heavens ablaze with color