When I was a child, my mother would kiss me on the forehead, after watching me struggle to make bunny ears with my shoes laces. She’d complete this impossible task within seconds, tie the laces tightly and say “I love you, always and forever.”
When I was a young boy, my father and I would play basketball. We’d play a game to twenty-one points, and he’d always beat me. He’d ruffle my hair after the game, smiling he’d say “one day, you’ll beat me. Nothing lasts forever.”
That day she stood across from me; the mouthy fox had run out of words. She lunged forward,
Arms wide open
Heart wide open
Eyes wide shut
She’s not naked, but completely exposed. I can see her weakness. She hugs me with the strength to catch a falling tree. A humanitarian by nature, what she refuses to let fall is me. She pleads; her words fall on deaf ears. Ears impaired by the sounds of the tears in her voice.
She pulls back, dusting herself off; recomposing herself. The humanitarian leans forward, hugging me. This time calmly, there’s no quiver in our embrace. She whispers “thank you” smiling half-heartedly she gathers her things.
The ending of a chapter can be the most anxiety-driven moments of a story. You mentally sit on the edge of your seat, waiting to see what unfolds next. This time it was different, this time I knew how it would end. I think deep down, I always knew.
She’s ready, literally and figuratively. There are so many things I never got the chance to tell her. Like the way she made me feel, or how much I hated her ugly jacket. None of that mattered now. Not every story gets a sequel.
Mother passed away in her sleep one night. They say she went peacefully, and I choose to believe the same. Even now, I can still feel her love, she is always with me, and this is the forever I’m living in.
We promised to be there for each other, forever, the humanitarian and I. That’s all a relationship is, being there for someone. She’s upset with my lack of words, lack of action, lack of everything. The truth is I’m stuck, wedged between the forever my mother promised me, and the forever my father was so sure about. Father left before I developed real skill at basketball. I never did play him again, according to my records, he still has more wins than I do; I never will beat him – this is the forever I’m living in.
The truth is I’m stuck, frozen in a cold sweat of uncertainty. As she grows restless waiting for me to thaw, she starts to walk away.
Out of my story
Out of my life
I’ve lost control of my body; my hand struggles to reach out in front of me. Shaking, trembling, and forcefully trying to signal the rest of my body to move, to speak, to do something – anything. Suddenly, I regain composure, it happens so quickly, my body relaxes and my hand swings to-and-fro, before resting at my side.
I remember this moment so well; on the driveway the day father left, my hands did the same thing.
I cried for hours
In the hospital these very hands tried to reach out to mom, with the strength to catch a falling tree.
I cried for days
My hands never win, and they weren’t about to start now
Mother, Father, I finally understand.
My entire life I’ve struggled to find the precise definition of forever. The humanitarian is almost out of my point of view. A slight grin begins to form on my face.
I now see that forever has no start or end date.
Forever is as long as the limitless galaxy, and the stars above
Forever is as short as our first kiss
Forever, is only as long as it needs to be
Forever is finally okay with me