feeling the burn

candle burning


two years old  and not knowing what curiosity did to that poor cat, i steadied myself against legs of ironing board and pulled hard on the cord of a sizzling iron, no doubt expecting to climb rope up to that funny table where my mama would sway her hips and hum, doing the pressing.


it ended badly, as these things tend to do.  a mother myself now, i can only imagine how my scream must have pierced her deep, those chubby fingers marred by scorched skin.


i didn’t try that again.


today, coffee steams hot as i sit in a cafe, typing of a pain that i don’t even remember, a hurt that once wrecked me now relegated to a small space in one of my mama’s long tirades on how my siblings and i ran her bowl-legged in our foolhardy pursuits.


i don’t need her to tell that story again to remember it, though.  i simply have to look down, to the hand tapping the left side of laptop, the one that my husband once held, sliding sparkle of ring and asking forever, please ma’am.


forever.  forever is how long i’ll wear this scar, the one that started child-size but, to my mother’s astonishment, grew as i grew, so that now it stretches from knuckle beyond wrist, a cobblestone path of raised brown, reminding me that life can burn.


today, nearly one thousand miles away from my soul-friend, i bleed words for her – and for Drason – as they wake, no doubt, to the sufferings of their own invisible scar.  to a cord of grief that tethers them together even as they writhe in isolation.  one year since the searing part of the pain, and yet still – the burn.


one year  since the methodical plodding through those early days, when everything seemed so surreal – and survival seemed like a day’s full plate.


now, having survived it, there is the endless pursuit of the new normal – the carrying on — and the pain has become a mysterious thing, disappearing for full minutes before exploding back into consciousness at the tiniest trigger.


it is a phantom pain, like amputees suffer … the distracted glance in the rearview, half-expecting to see his curls grazing top of carseat.  the items in the grocery store that were his favorites, taunting from their shelves.  the catch in the throat, trying to answer the simplest of questions:  “how many children do you have?”


one year, sweet Baney, and i weep for you fresh.


we all do – and none more than your brave mama and papa, those two who gave this world the gift of you.  we stretch out our arms, across the miles, building beneath them a safety net as they walk this tightrope of grieving unto death and living still.


we know full well  that we do so not in our own strength, but through the pulse of Spirit, for there is only One who can bind wounds this deep.


i trace the path of my scar, but the burn i feel is in my heart, for the pain i felt then is a pinprick compared to the pain that met my friends as their eyes blinked awake to this day.


one year, Baney, and many more to come, wearing the scar in the place where your bright light once burned, and loving you, still.




and still.


friends of Banebow, would you leave a note loving on them today, as they exhale the exhaustion of walking yet another hard milestone?  your prayers are woven together strong through Spirit – they are part of that safety net, make no mistake about that.