Today is thee day. Internal Conflict Blog fest-a-thon. This usually isn't my thang, posting pieces of my soul for all to ogle (ironic, I know since I want to become a published author), but how can I say no to my fellow rocker (The Alliterative Allomorph)? I can't. She has a kind of power over me. It's called friendship:)
I must warn you, my entry isn't fluff. It's real. Soooo, if you're not in the mood for grim, I won't mind if you take a swim elsewhere today. I've got to admit, a lot's been on my mind and it usually manifests into something like what I've written below.
Thank you all for your kind comments re: yesterday's post. Tomorrow I've got a few things to say about that. I love you all.
To check out all of the other super fab participants, see the master list HERE. (But don't leave me yet. A girl has needs)...
Coffins should never be that small.
It's too small. A shoebox with velvet lining. Tie a ribbon around it and give it back to me. I don't need Christmas. Or birthdays. I don't want Valentines or Sweetest Day. Take them all back and stuff them into your pocket, deep into the corner where the fabric pinches. I only want one day. Just one. The day I can wrap you in your favorite blanket and smell the dried shampoo resting on your lopsided tendrils.
I didn't put you in a dress, today. You hate dresses, I know. I put you in that blanket. So I can always be with you, deep down under the ground and way up high in the clouds. I hope it's soft enough. I hope it's warm enough. And I hope, sweet baby, it reminds you, of me.
Your daddy pulls me from my knees, where I've been buried with my head in my hands ever since they put you in the tiny box. Four hours, my knees are red and achy. Your daddy ripped the blanket from my grasp, and said “Be strong. She needs you there.” I wanted to lay with the blanket forever, because you always said it smelled like me, but no, sweet baby, it smells just like you.
At home, the floor in your room is cold. It feels like you were never real, like a dream. Your clothes still hang, your stuffed animals still wait, and the chair I'd rocked you in so many times before still lingers in the corner hoping for our return. This morning, before I put on the ugly black frock your daddy bought me, I had to tell the chair it would never be, again.
I hover over you, in your box, and study every peak and valley on your face, my angel. I'd trade you, if I could. Your daddy says “But I need you, I love you.” It's not enough. I need you, my love. You. I gave you my body, for nine months. I felt every hiccup, kick and elbow prod. I waited for you to push your way out. For three days.
And then, on Wednesday, July 14th, at 10:16 a.m, there you were. You didn't cry. You didn't whine. You found my eyes and latched on like a magnet and I've been stuck on you ever since. Leaving me, now, is the same way you found me, then. Out of my control, and I hate it. I hate that I took a single second for granted, forgot how amazing it felt to have you. Out of my control, and now I hate me.
I stroke the apple of your cheek. Your skin against mine, the feeling I will never feel again, I close my eyes and pray.
Dear God. Or whoever is listening. I know I don't deserve it, I know I haven't earned it, but I promise, I'll never ask you for anything, ever again. Except this. Take me instead. You made a mistake, a huge mistake. You can have me, my soul, or throw it away, I don't care. But please, let her live.
With every empty thud in my chest, I want to rip my ribcage wide open and let the blood fall, let my heart drop. I want to pull the scissors from the funeral's desk drawer and cut out my lungs, cut out every breath, and give them all to you. I don't want them without you. Because without you, I'm nothing. I'm less than nothing. I'm. Just. Gone.
Your daddy takes my hand and leads me away. To the front row where we're supposed to sit, because that's what they said when we first brought you in. But you can't see me from the front row and I have to be where you can see me. So you know I'm there. I thrust my hands up over my head and kick and scream for you. Everyone's looking and saying things like “Calm down. Take a minute. Breathe.” But they haven't lost you the same way I have.
Your daddy tries to hold me back, but fails. I run to your coffin and lift you into my arms. Tears smothering my face, I hold you tighter than I ever have before.
“Rock-a-bye-baby, in the tree tops,” I sing, swaying you side to side.
When I lift my head to the crowd, the room is empty and dark. The warmth of a single spotlight shines down onto us and you open your eyes, my baby, and take a breath. My breath. My eyes grow fuzzy and my heart slows to a steady murmur. But you're alive. I release you from my embrace and watch you find your footing, stumbling across the empty pews. You're glowing, positively glowing.
“I wuv you, Mommy,” you say, smiling.
I fall to my knees, clutching the blanket that covered you, and gasp for air. You walk into the darkness and disappear, forever. The dark turns light and I cough so hard, I nearly vomit. Your daddy comes into view, sad eyes gleaming, and helps me to my feet.
“She'll always be with us,” he says. “In here.” He points to my heart and folds me under the weight of his arms. And for the first time since you left, I can finally breathe.
P.S. What would you trade, if you could?