Once upon a time, 30 years gone. I scrunched up my eyes and thought of nothing else, and prayed to a Woman from the depths of my heart. No intermediary needed, no scolding voice harshly reminding me to pray. No threats of eternal damnation. No picture painted of a furious God. Just me and the Woman.
From the old open windows where the sun streamed in gold and breezes poured their breath through, a deep joy silvered in and took my child-heart captive, and rendered all other pleasures nothing.
14 years gone, sobbing and clawing against the door of frustration. I sought the Woman again. Hitting myself over another woman – the one who birthed me, yet strung me on a leash and whirled me wild. Convinced I was in the wrong. Buying into the NPD-inspired myth that the child is always to blame. Anger. Confusion. Helplessness.
Comfort her, Mother, I screamed silently. Comfort not me for I hurt her. Comfort her and only her. I scrunched up my eyes and thought of nothing else, and prayed to the Woman from the depths of my heart.
In exhausted sleep amongst purple shadows, I saw a scene where all was blue. Blue of heaven, blue never before seen. I saw smiles, and gentle answers. No harshness. No accusations. Peace.
8 years gone, a million questions, a deep, black fear. Eyes dry, throat in a choke-hold. A sick child.
Heal this blessing from my womb, Mother. Our Lady of Mount Carmel, heal my child. I scrunched up my eyes and thought of nothing else, and prayed to the Woman from the depths of my heart.
Fresh dewy eyes, cheeks pink and velvety soft. Made whole and healthy before the good bye.
6 years gone, a friend’s pain pierced my mist of grief. Hidden tears poured out from miles away. A wedding band twirled in hours of wait, a husband missing from the side. On one side, an empty seat in the Christmas pew; on the other, a cantankerous, ungrateful mother carping about everything under the Yuletide moon, oblivious to an aching heart pining for a husband gone.
Place her pain upon my shoulders, Mother. Flood my heart with her grief. I scrunched up my eyes and thought of nothing else, and prayed to the Woman from the depths of my heart.
Miles away, kneeling in my pew, shivering in the cold, rainstorm air. A sudden searing warmth upon my shoulders and back. Like an unseen cloak, to shield against wet mist from the open church doors. Mass over, on the way home. I reached for my phone. Her words a wonder: He’s here. Beside me. My hand in his grasp, tears in his eyes.
Roses fade and rain mists gather
A straying heart, wandering mind
Empty pursuits, blessings forgotten
But in stillness she awaits Her child’s prayer.
Never fading nor misting
Never straying nor wandering
But ever in eternal readiness for Her child’s seeking.