This story could be about suffering or pain. To me it’s about rest. I pray we all learn to truly–body, heart and soul– rest.
I will make them lie down…
My father sits with his head down next to the hospital bed. His hand rests lightly on my forearm. It is just us, so when he speaks of his mother—her restfulness in life—he allows his eyes to run over.
I can feel where the synthetic tubes enter and leave me, can feel the cold fluids pass into me, the constant thrum of pain behind my skin, in tandem with my heart.
I can also feel his thumb. Moving slowly, moving in circles on my arm.
He will comfort me. This man without a mother.
“I’m sorry,” he says, “for the pain.”
I cannot speak, so together, we weep.
Come lie down in meadows green. Come lie
as only lovers
and those dying do.
She dies when I lie, fever beating behind my eyes, face and neck and eyelids swollen to shine red. She feels the expand—this earth’s air—filling her lungs for the last time.
I am glad for her going.
I will lie here and let all my bones–all my strength and sorrow– melt into you.
I have a choice, now. I can fight to speak, fight to swallow without shuddering. I can let thoughts of golden streets distract me–so I am never really here, never really hurting.
Or I can slip out of my tattered facade, leave it in a heap on the floor and own
my heavy robe of weakness.
Feel my body and mind unravel into His chest. Feel the fraility of my simple, changing frame. He is always true,
today, in weakness, I am too.
I find my rest.