(this may take a few days)
you asked an honest question~~ my pained reply...
this is why i cannot breathe the air of my childhood...right now. it is filled with sobs i never let escape. to draw them back into my lungs now is to suffocate.
the light of november is forever slanted in a western twilight that hurts my waking eyes, shining in all the wrong crevices of memory, peeking through the curtain in the funeral home at the opposite time of day, confusing my sense of balance.
daddy died at sunset.
we were driving through richmond, homeward bound, when the call came...only half-way there. the rest of the journey was simply~ dark. my only solid memory of that night was sitting at momma's feet while she rubbed my arm. the conversations flowed over my head, words swirling to high for my sorrowful mind to reach. my only thought was how incredibly soft momma's hand felt.
i woke the next morning from a deep, bottomless (unexpected) sleep into a strange new world. suddenly i could no longer stand the thought of abiding in pure dark, something i once thought magical. i clung to the light that day in all its forms...the flashlight searching over the car's engine for clues to the problem, the sun's reflection dancing absurdly across the river ripples, the ambulance's red flashes as it pulled into traffic, the thin, waxing moon at dusk...even the many monitors that surrounded momma that evening in the emergency room.
she would have lights about her all night. i felt comfort in that.
late to our lodging after the nurses' reassurances, my pure exhaustion granted me reprieve from the morning's vibrant new fear. later...in the deep dark of night after moonset, someone turned off the last light...
i bolted upright, gasping for air.
it seemed a nightlight would be required. my return to sleep was a wary affair fraught with moments of clawing my way back to consciousness...each time was a renewal of the slide show of the previous 36 hours of my life in various speeds of discontent which would not be stopped.
a 4:30 am waking was different...it was filled with hugs & kisses & my excited childrens' voices~ "momma, momma, come see!" they wrapped me in my coat & bundled my scarf around my neck as they told me of the wonder grandpa had sent to us straight from heaven.
looking up into the cold, clear sky stars were falling like rain...so many that i had exhausted every wish i ever had in a minute or two.
some of them have come true.