Tuesday, July 26, 2016

#SOL16: Love Sounds for My Son

Collage made from Citra Solve papers (M.A. Reilly, July 2016)
I'm pulled from bed this morning with the need to write.  I have been dreaming awake. This post that will take form here began as lines in a dream--words forming first as sound and then whole lines as I was partially awake and now they have become this print. There's a tremendous sadness I feel when I think of my son and the loss of his dad. Dev was one month past his 17th birthday when Rob died. Barely 17. And I think this morning that there will be no father's steady hand to guide him.

This morning fear pulled me from bed.

And make no mistake it is not the fear that Donald Trump spoke about last week. That fear is frankly too pretty--too full of apocalyptic con and slight of hand. The fear Trump railed about is more comic-like, less substance.

The fear that pulled me from bed was fear lodged in my throat. It was fear of what is not now. It was fear in what I imagined might be, in the many instances my son will hurt without his dad there too soothe. And yes, I know I will soothe when I am allowed when I am even knowledgeable, just as I know there already have been days when my touch, my concern, my care was not found nor invited. Some pain is private. There are days when my son's loss finds purchase and steals his breath and I must bear witness. He will fix himself if fixing is needed, but mostly he will endure and add that experience to the emotional chest he has been building since birth.

This is what I can feel. This is what I can endure. This is the taste of sorrow. This is the slash of loss. This beneath it all is love.

And here in the daylight, I wonder if he will be a stronger man as a result of this loss. Will the empathy that comes with losing love, losing a father fuel his drive, his care, his dedication to others? Will his knowledge of other shine, be a beacon of hope?  What trajectories will his life compose?

Mothers know much and nothing.

What I do believe is that love is by invitation. It cannot be forced. Love is more powerful, more constant than fear.

My love for my son is a constant note that sounds below and above the daily actions I take. It sounds even when fear lights like a fuse. Love allows me to know how temporary fear is: a bright light that blazes and then dies as it should, as it must for we are here, living.

Love sounds even when I am blinded
                  by fear and

                              I follow those notes
                         a handful
                                 of musical breadcrumbs
                                  tossed from the hands I have known and not,
                                  tossed from my own hands years earlier.

I follow that line of music
                         leaving behind a dense, imposing forest
and find myself here
              in morning light,
              the burn of fear left behind--the shroud of a dream alongside it.

Here in a clearing called morning
love has called me from sleep, from fear
and I have answered
with a handful of words.

I wrote this I realized while sitting in Rob's chair and the feel of the music in the writing sounds a lot like Rob's voice. 


  1. I am humbled by your words.
    Your son has you to share the past and future.
    Bonnie K

    1. That he does Bonnie. And thought I know it will not be enough, I have faith he is enough. That is what love is largely about. Not what we give, but what we witness.

  2. Much to love to both you and your son.

  3. 'This is what I can feel. This is what I can endure. This is the taste of sorrow. This is the slash of loss. This beneath it all is love.' Once again, I am gob-smacked, shaken, inspired by your wisdom. 'The greates of these is love.' You remind us all.
    Many thanks.

    1. Maureen, thank you for saying so. I think the chair I sat in had a lot to do with the flow of words...

    2. This makes sense to me. I am looking forward to having Richie's chair back, once I move into my new house. My things have been in storage since Nov. 2014. The chair you describe, Rob's chair, is a compelling, memorable image. These tangible parts of the lives we shared are treasures now.
      But nobody's words flow quite like yours. Thank you again for your courage and candor.

  4. Here in the clearing called morning, your words drift in the stillness of the room and call up a deep-seated emotion. While the intensity of your words are seared in your soul, your clarity will carry your through yet another day with your son. Peace, Mary Ann.

    1. I had not thought about clarity and how it might well heal. Thank you Carol.

  5. Your writing goes right to the heart. Powerful and loving words.

    1. Thank you so much Loralee. Appreciate you taking time to read and comment.