Once upon a time there was a fairytale based in truth, from lessons learned, shared with the world in sugarcoated bliss.
Once upon a time the reality of life was too harsh for minds and hearts to hear, so a story was woven like a web, around to painful an event.
Once upon a time the story spread like a childhood game of telephone, each person that repeated it making it shine a little brighter than before.
Once upon a time the lesson meant to be learned in this tale of woe was long forgotten until only those who’d lived it remembered the tale as it was.
Once upon a time the only hearts filled with pain were those that had lived the tragedies glossed over in the fairytales read to the children at night.
For reality is lived by us all, knowingly or not, and some burdens are to difficult to bear without a little sparkle woven in, and if the shimmer came from tears shed late into the night…
Who should know when mornings light fell, upon all who are seemingly happy as can be? With bright smiles and at times dark hearts, we all live in our fairytales to numb the bitter bite of pain.
I remember the screams most now. My mothers screams….house and lawn full of people waiting. Her calling his phone over and over with no answer. Then the flashing lights.
The lights pulled up and a man stepped out. My father was inside. He asked for the parents of, she replied “I’m his mother.” Then without warning lights snatched the world out from under us. “I’m sorry to inform you…was killed in a car accident…”
I remember the words fading in and out as my mother collapsed and my father burst out of the house yelling, “what did you just say?!” Lights backed away from this wrath. Still my mothers screams…
Then people being ushered into the house. My mother in a room somewhere sobbing. My father at the table surrounded by people. My sister and I left if a house full of people talking about death. I offered refills on drinks. What else was I to do?
I didn’t understand. It’s almost 15 years later and I woke to the sound of my mothers screams. A night full of nightmares that weren’t just a dream. The words chanting in my head, “it’s him, it’s him, he’s dead…”
Face set in stone
So composed you’d never know.
But look at their eyes and you’ll see a different story unfold
One of grief silenced by others needs.
One of pain bleeding into agony.
A silent scream leashed tight.
Until numbness sets in and they began to change. Not so you’d see or even notice until it was to late.
But slowly, over time, they evolved. They remained to those around them strong, steady and sure. But deep, down inside, they were unraveling.
Unraveling for all the feelings left buried and never expressed. For all the lost words and lost care.
So they picked up a pen and started to write. They bled into the paper what could never be right. Each character written from a cut deep inside, a wound that had went unattended for to long a time.
Until the paper turned red and their face crumpled in tears. Wet trails down their cheeks to the paper below as a silent sob escaped. Their fingers turned white from being clenched into fists.
Tomorrow would be a new day and the tears would be gone. But tonight the moon called and the words bled out with the tears held to long.
Their tears filled the earth beneath their knees. Tears shed for so many reasons they’d all but lost track.
Tears of loss, of unrequited love, of pain and suffering, of fear, the anxiety and inability to breathe that came with them all.
They were all but numb from it. They’d cried so many tears in their life, there couldn’t possibly be any left…Not even when tears were needed. When they ached so much it was a physical pain and the tears wouldn’t come.
It was almost as if they had become accustomed to it, until they broke again. The smallest thing would shatter them then. When they longed to feel the numbness again to block out the pain.
But still they watered the earth with their tears. This did not go unnoticed. In response they were given rainbows after the dark storms. Flowers blooming in spring after the most barren of winters. Dewdrops resting on petals that had survived if a little worse for wear.
The earth had a balance to it. There is always darkness and pain. But even the tears and suffering can give birth to new life when least expected. If one remembers to face the darkness for what it is and what it isn’t….
My feet sinking into the sand.
The water lapping at my toes
The fierce waves crashing against the rocks.
The sound of children’s laughter floats all around me.
The spray of the ocean on my face.
The taste of salt on my lips.
The cool breeze whips through my hair.
The magnificent sun is starting to hide and it seems that the sky is alight with every color imaginable.
Everyone is leaving, but I stay to watch.
And as I stand there alone.
I think back to a time long forgotten.
To a time when I was a carefree child and the worries of the world had not yet hit me.
As I remembered a smiled played about my lips.
And as I watched summers end,
I realized something.
That although my carefree childhood days are over…
Life itself has only just begun.