Sunday, January 18, 2015

Time Transformation


"When will I be at the belt line?" Beren sometimes asks me. He stands at my side and looks up, the crown of his head reaching the top of my thigh.

Belt line. It must have been a phrase he learned from Jared, or maybe my parents.

"Soon, perhaps at the end of next summer," I tell him.

***

Today, he asked, "When will I be as big as you, Momma?"

"Mmm. When you're a teenager. Maybe ten, or probably more years from now," I said.

His face foreshadowed tears, and then they came. "But, I want to be me. I always want to be me!" he wept.

"You'll always be you, no matter how what size you are. You'll always be my Beren, and I'll always be your Momma. I'll always love you," I said. I was surprised.

"I always want to be me!" he said climbing into my arms and clinging to my neck.

"Oh, you're always you," I said again and again, trying to soothing him.

His bone-rending sweetness filled my heart as I gently rocked him. I wondered what I could have said.

***

Only now I realize I said he'd one day be a 'teenager'. Perhaps he supposed he'd no longer be 'Beren'. 

***

Jared and I filled up the drive to a friend's memorial service chatting. 

We arrived and I couldn't help the tears. "I'm such a wimp," I said. It's not so much that I meant that I was a wimp, but that I regretted how close my nerves run to the surface. "You're not a wimp," Jared said.

We spent two hours in the beautiful Quaker service, listening to stories and remembrances about our friend. It was desperately sad and incredibly inspiring. The room was filled.

Leaving the Friends Meeting House, the sunset was as fiery and sparkling as our friend's life. 

I felt I wasn't the same person as I was two hours before. Maybe sometimes we become someone else, even if for just a short while.

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