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 Category:  General Fiction
  Posted: May 23, 2014      Views: 40

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 ABOUT
BEGIN AGAIN 

Begin Again is a resilient "senior citizen". Reinventing and restructuring her life has become almost common place for her.

I love music, books, and sitting by the water. Each of these activities brings a sense of life to me.
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a JOURNEY THROUGH MY MIND
"Come Walk with Me" by Begin Again



 

     “Come walk with me, my friend. Close your eyes and let me lead you through the maze of memories etched so visibly in my mind. Let your heart travel where no person should ever have to dwell. Share my tears and know my pain, if only for a moment.”

 

     “Our journey begins amidst wide open spaces of rolling green grass, tailored boxwood hedges, chirping birds, blue skies and warm sunshine. Few visit this peaceful space, except those compelled as I am.”

 

     “Take a few nice, easy steps. There’s no cobwebs in this well-traveled corridor of my mind. Set aside thoughts of the time-worn face that led you to this memory. Instead, see a younger version of me on a blanket. A gentle breeze plays frivolously with strands of my golden hair and sunrays dance across  my cheek. Let your eyes rest upon the tiny infant, snuggled beneath a blue blanket, blissfully asleep and oblivious to the magnitude of this moment. Breathe and let every fiber of your being inhale the sweet, innocent love of this child. Feel the warmth, remember a deep love you shared. Contentment envelopes you as we drift down the hallway toward darker times.”

 

     “The setting is the same, but do you feel the chill that embraces us now? My blue-gray eyes are intense and locked on a square granite stone. Does a shiver run down your spine as you watch my quivering fingers outline each letter etched there? Do your tears mirror the ones glistening in my eyes as I whisper, ‘Hello, Michael. Mommy misses you.’ ? Can you feel your chest tighten as you witness my raw pain?”
 

     “Maybe you, too, have lost someone who meant more than life itself to you. Are you overwhelmed by anguish? Does your heart ache with unspeakable pain? Does the cold, harsh truth of reality feel suffocating? As my shoulders slump beneath ravaging sobs, can you feel the emptiness that torments me?”

 

     “Come quickly. Let me lead you to a quiet place where we can breathe easier and I can tell you a little story about Michael. Calm yourself and think of better times, ones filled with love and happiness.”

 

     “Michael was a special child from the moment his father and I laid eyes on him. Bored with infancy, he wanted to explore the world as quickly as his tiny body would allow. He crawled at four months, walked at nine, and broadened his horizons in leaps and bounds. His inquisitive mind knew no fear as he rushed into this new world without hesitation. Born with the face of angel, he combined the spirit of the devil with the charm of a child, winning the hearts of everyone.”

 

     “Down this corridor are happy memories. Can you feel the lightheartedness and gaiety that lingers behind each door? Look, there he is with his big ole cowboy hat, using his finger to shoot our neighbor coming home from work. Oh, and there I am almost rolling on the floor in laughter as he dances around the kitchen in his sister’s pink tutu. Sorry for letting that little gasp escape. Does it to me every time I visit this memory. It’s Michael, only hours before he died, trying to buy Mickey Mouse ice cream bars at the stand next to our cabin. He’s telling the owner to charge it to his dad. Smart four-year-old, huh? Just imagine if he’d been a teenager, who knows what he’d been charging. A car, maybe? I could dwell here forever, but I promised not to keep you long, so lets move on.”

 

     “Now is where the going gets tougher. These memories are ones I pray no parent ever has to file in their card catalog of life, but it’s one our journey must pass through. This corridor is dark, filled with despair and hopelessness. Hold on to my hand and we will find strength together.”

 

     “That’s me packing the car. We’ve spent the week at the lake and it’s been a very lovely time. My husband is trying to explain to Michael why we are going home. Look at that little obstinate child, will you? Hands on hips, giving his father such a serious look, after all, he is only four years old by a few days. Listen to him….his little voice trying to explain to his dad just how wrong he is about going home. Later, his dad will remember this conversation with unbelievable sorrow but for the moment it seems humorous. Would you have taken the little guy seriously when he told you that he was going to go see Peter Pan, Mickey Mouse and Jesus? Honestly, would you have put any stock into his remarks? Of course not! Neither did we.”

 

     “Watch your step! There’s plenty of pitfalls along this corridor. I stumble once or twice every time I come here. Since this is your first time, I’m not sure how you will react, but I am forewarning you, it’s a tough place to go."

 

     “We’ll just stand on the outskirts of this one if you don’t mind. Regardless of how much time has passed, my heart remains vulnerable. I can feel the fear choking off my air already. Hear the sounds of the helicopters swooping down on the cornfields, parting the cornstalks with their blades. Over there you can see the State Troopers checking all the cars as they exit the campground. Look at the faces on those volunteers, hoping for the best but fearing the worst. There’s the human-chain, thirty desperate men walking side by side through knee-high water, praying they aren’t the one that finds Michael’s body, at the same time hoping someone does. Can you feel the adrenaline pumping in everyone? Is your heart racing, too? Do you want to scream or cry? Do you want to run wildly into the water or do you want to turn away from the agony written on everyone’s face?”

 

     “Night is settling in and it will be dark here soon. Maybe we should walk a little faster and get past this horrific time. I am not sure that one ever gets past it though.  Pieces seem to linger in places I least expect it.  It’s like watching a movie and you know something scary is about to happen, but you can’t turn away. The climax is coming. Is your stomach starting to knot? Can you feel the chill? Here it comes. Are you ready? Can you watch strong men crumble into pieces? See the man carrying the little boy’s lifeless body. He’ll never erase this moment from his mind. Here it comes, my blood curdling scream. Does it vibrate through you like a tidal wave? Does it suck life’s pulse from your veins? The sobbing, the screaming, the moaning, the agony and despair, the fiery pain burning deep within us, do you wonder if this is hell?”

 

     “In a flash, every dream, every thought, every feeling changed forever. Life will never be the same. You can survive, but you can’t ever go back to who you were.”

 

     “Watch your step. Many pitfalls mar the road and it’s not an easy path to follow. Everyone must grieve in their own way and on their own time. As we walk through this memory, try not to judge; instead, just think about how you would deal with the death of your child. Would you become withdrawn and secluded? Or would you turn to your faith and find answers in prayers? Or would you let your pain fester into anger and hatred? Would denial be your savior?”

 

     “As we walk along this corridor, you can see the large majority of friends are deeply saddened by our loss, but they are moving along, some faster than others, but their lives move forward. My husband, a devout Catholic, is struggling as he searches for answers within his faith, but finds no way to ease the emptiness he feels. He is becoming a robot of sorts; to work, back home, to work, back home, and nothing else. Does his desperation strike a chord with you? What road would you have chosen?”

 

     “Aah..there I am, trying to survive, but not sure that I want to, except I know I have other children depending on me. I can’t find peace within the walls of a church even though I believe in God with all my heart. My once happy home is a house filled with memories to painful to recall. Instead, I long to touch my son. Hoping for a miracle, I spend hours at his grave; sometimes talking softly to my son and other times screaming in anger. Forgive my tears, but this memory rips at my heart and never ceases to ease the pain. Please don’t be offended as I berate God for having taken my baby. Can you understand my confusion and disbelief? I believe in a loving, gracious and good God, so how could this have happened? My little boy’s lifeless body lies beneath the cold earth where we stand, my heart shatters, and I have no answers to why. How would you deal with the situation? Would you be stronger than I? Could you accept what life has dealt and move on? Or would you feel too lost?”

 

     “Moving forward, your eyes see a sunshiny day, but my anger won’t allow me to see the beauty of life. My grief blinds me as I search desperately for answers. Watch as I shake my fist at the clear blue sky, unstoppable tears searing my skin, and anger bubbling like lava. I’m pleading for a sign, one simple answer about my child. Can you understand my desperation? Is the sorrow too overwhelming to watch? Or do you wonder why I torture myself this way?”

 

     “Just a few short breaths in time and everything goes from black to white. Watch closely. Do you see them? Two tiny, blue butterflies. Can you feel the peace settling around us? Can you see the hatred drain from my eyes as they mesmerize me? Do you recognize my shame for chastising God? Or are you still burdened by the sorrow?”

 

     “It’s been a long and difficult journey. I thank you for walking with me and for trying to see the depth of pain. There’s just one last memory, I feel compelled to share with you. It takes place about six months after Michael’s death. Come travel just a little further with me.”

 

     “There I am...sitting in a doctor’s office, facing my dilemma, at least in everyone else’s eyes including a disapproving doctor. Medical problems added to months of stress, prescribed narcotics, and grief are a major negative mark against me having another child. Listen as the doctor stresses the reasons why I shouldn’t have this child? Can you tell he’s wasting his breath? Can you feel the love rushing back into my body? Do you understand how important this gift of life is to my survival? To them, it’s a game of Russian Roulette - do I or the baby live or die? To me, I’ve been given a gift from God, a chance to watch life spring forth will all it’s glory.”

 

     “We began this journey at the gravesite and thus it is fitting to end here, too. Time has moved us forward and life’s story is still unfolding. Before we part, take one last look at mother and son as we stand arm in arm, each knowing the story that led us here, each feeling blessed to have each other, and appreciating the love we are given.”

 

     “As you walk away, I pray that you might have a deeper compassion for those who silently wander the halls of grief, regardless of how much time has passed. Those moments are deeply embedded on the walls of hearts and minds and will forever affect each waking moment of their lives. Some will become stronger. Others will succumb. None will know what path they will take unless they too have walked in these shoes. Thank you for spending this time with me. Until we meet again, live life to the fullest, because we never know when it will end."


 

Author Notes
Thank you Anne for the use of your lovely picture.

As I approach the anniversary of my son's birthday and his death, I would like to note that the story line follows the memories that live within the confines of my mind and I ask that you walk this journey with me. Since you've not had the opportunity to travel along these corridors I have not listed it as non-fiction.
Pays one point and 2 member cents. Artwork by Anne at FanArtReview.com

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