Sunday, July 31, 2016

Loss is so, so many things. Today, loss is this: I am watching Finding Dory at a theater with my littlest girl on her birthday. On screen, the blue fish finds a single seashell on the ocean floor, and then another and another, and she begins to follow. Suddenly, the picture widens and zooms out to reveal, not just one shell path but dozens, radiating out from the center, each painstakingly laid, we learn, by her grieving and determined parents-- each one meant to lead Dory home. And all I’m thinking is, I wish I could find my mom at the end of a trail of shells, or crumbs, or whatever. I can’t. Instead, I will find her at the end of a trail of days, carefully laid out by an Architect of lives. And that’s not a path I can run down. All I can do is walk it and weep and walk it some more.

It is just a moment, truly, that my face crumples in pain. I know it is because it’s all I allow myself when my kids are near. But that single moment is caught by little eyes, even in the dim light of the theater. Those eyes have grown accustomed to turning to me whenever a moment turns sad because, more often than not, they’ll see a mama with tears tracking down her face.
Love and hope is so, so many things. Today, love and hope is this: A little hand finds my arm in the dark. “I know what you’re thinking of,” is all she whispers. And then she is curled over the arm of her seat, resting her head against me to offer me what she can. If the trail I walk is made up moments like this, I will be OK.