whispers of flame

grandma is fragile, butterfly-spun-threads clinging to branch, back hunched in nursing-home chair, face sunken deep but eyes ever young. eyes that remember, and i look at her looking at dad, remembering him as a baby, and i see dad, silver in hair, remembering her as a mother and i look down at my son bubbling and burping, ever growing and stretching and pooping and breathing and i think, life is this: loving.

and i remember, driving home as a child, whirring of tire on pavement lullabying to sleep, and pretending still to be asleep when we pulled to a stop, and dad, lifting me strong in his able arms, carrying me to bed where i lifted eyelids, just, and asked him to stay awhile, and so he did, while outside thunder ate up the skies, and he sang to me The Lord is My Shepherd in his lovely tenor while mum lit candles here and there, whispers of flame against the terror of night.

now we’re home, i put baby to bed, tuck Linda’s hand-knit afghan around cheeks and touch head, praying God, let him know he’s loved, for it’s parents that make this world someplace special. it’s in their care that Christ lives incarnate. and it’s for this that i am grateful. and it’s for this that i am now.

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4 Comments

  1. Teneale said,

    April 12, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    I used to do that as a kid too! I LOVED pretending to be asleep so Dad would carry me in the house. That is so funny. OH to be a kid again…although I’m definitely enjoying the adventure of having a kid of my own! What joy!

  2. Linda said,

    April 13, 2010 at 2:13 am

    What a gifted writer you are Em. What a sweet spirit and precious heart. Isn’t it wonderful that it is the sweet little things that we remember – that become treasured memories and work together to draw us close.
    It is so sweet to think of that tiny boy wrapped in those stitches. Thank you Em.

  3. April 14, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    This made me cry. For various reasons.

  4. a. said,

    April 15, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    oh, I love this memory Em!!! I used to pretend I was asleep too 😉 (but for some different reasons) How precious Aiden has a great gramma!!


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