Fingertips

Late in the morning, on Thanksgiving, I went back to bed and took a nap. This is turning out to be a long and painful holiday. My escape and solace is in walking outdoors and sleeping a bit. My son crawled in next to me and played on his iPad while I drifted and my mind relaxed. It was then that I felt the small fingertips gently rub my shoulder. The sensation announced itself: I am real. I am noticeably small. I am not the boy next to you, hands deep into Dragon City. And above all, I reach out to you in love and comfort, while you come in and out of sleep. I am Susanna, your child, forever.

If you are reading this, please interpret this in the way which makes sense to you. Our loved ones are here. They watch over us and take care of us. I have no doubt that someday we all will be together again, giggling over the illusion that we were ever apart. This is not the issue. This is not why I struggle.

I ask a lot of “whys”. There are platitudes about the futility of asking why. Platitudes are my enemy right now. In eternal time, there is no time limit to asking why or feeling sad, angry or any particular way. I know there are no people who can answer. I ask the moon. Yesterday I walked to the beach and asked the sea. I ask the colors at sunset. Sometimes they answer in Spanish. As my significant other might say, “Por qué? Porque sí.” They answer in beauty, as if to say, “I have no words for you but my beauty grounds you and keeps you here.”

The bed where I was sleeping, and felt fingers reach through the veil to comfort me, is a part of our home. The home where Susanna lived for all of her short life. She had her own room, but seldom slept there. I never refused her a place to sleep next to me, and am so grateful for that. All the more moments I had with her, here in body. This home needs to be cleaned and cared for. And it has a mortgage which needs to be paid, hence my day job. I wish this had changed but it has not.

Susanna’s brother is full of love and grace, like she is. He also needs help with his homework. And new sneakers and someone to take him to basketball. I am needed here, in so many ways. True, everyone has a purpose. And true, everybody hurts. Just like the beautiful R.E.M. song from the nineties. The one with the video taking place in a traffic jam, from whence everyone decides to get out and walk. We all have a path. I will put on my walking shoes and see you somewhere on the way.

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