I think some people are born broken. There’s something about the way the pieces of their soul clatter and shift discordantly inside them from the day they arrive on this earth. Yes, I know there are glorious stories about broken people who were able to rise above the blackness to fit the pieces together, who learn how to breathe through the fractures. A beautiful, haphazard and painful creation (I think many of them go on to be artists, writers and storytellers.) But mostly, the pieces just tumble and clash — until they don’t anymore.
If I could, I would take a needle and thread, red with the blood of my heart-memory, and weave your loose pieces back together, stitching you to this earth. Even if it meant I had to unravel myself to bring you back. I would, my beloved, I would. How terribly unfair is it that this universe does not allow us to barter — take me instead of her! — but the heavy gray curtain that separates here from there remains unmoved. The doorway to wherever you are is beyond my reach. And all I am left with is this needle, and this red thread.
So I hold this needle,
and I hold this red thread,
and I lay them down at the feet of all the broken pieces.
Photo Source: Jared Sandoval
I am sitting beside you with my needle and thread as well. I will never understand why some do find healing in the midst of the brokenness and others simply cannot. It will forever remain a mystery and a paradox. All I can do now is imagine as Douglas is forever twenty-four, one month shy of twenty-five. I gauge his life by gazing at the lives of his friends and wondering where he might be today?
I so understand wishing it were “us” instead of “them.” It is never something that we “get over” because we won’t and don’t want to. Somehow we learn how to carry them with us forever in our stitched up, bleeding and aching hearts. It often feels like open heart surgery with the past, present and future laying in pieces on the operating table.
Our hands and hearts become the skilled surgeons. No one else can do this for us,
yet they can simply witness, companion and ask us as often as they can think about it for us to tell them about our children. Those are the red threads that carry the strongest binding for me these eleven plus years.
Hand in hand, Heart to heart, forever mother of Eve from Douglas and me.