ONE MOMENT IN TIME
You know that moment when time seems to have stopped. When you are struck by self-realization and everything is perfect. That was the moment I knew I would never let you go. That was the moment my heart opened up and I allowed you into my life totally. Your words painted the perfect picture of what was and is. I listened with awe, a moment in time I will never forget.
Although, you are gone now, to a place I cannot reach you, your voice still resonates in my heart. I remember. I promise you – I do remember. Now, I listen for your voice on the wind. I trace the raindrops on the windowpane – remembering. I turn my face up towards the sun allowing it to touch my soul, just as your love once did. But no matter what, your love for me and my love for you will never wane. It is now and forever. I place one white rose on your final place of rest and walk away. You have left me in body but never in spirit. Your first words reverberate in my mind, words that created our story. I allow them to flow unrestrained.
‘I knew the first time I saw you. I knew we were meant to be. When I rested my arm on your chair I felt you tremble. When I smiled at you I saw the indecision in your eyes change to acceptance. I saw how they lit up and a smile touched your lips. I knew you were the one.’
‘But you have just met me. How is that possible. You know nothing about me.’
Slowly his hands moved up her arms, caressing her shoulders, feather-light, almost imperceptible. Her eyes locked onto his knowing that this moment in time must not be spoiled by trite words. His hands cupped her face, his lips one breath away – not touching. A moment in time.
‘I know everything about you. The simple things that make someone feel important, feel as if they matter. You have that gift. I know you are thoughtful. When you passed a clean plate to me in the restaurant. I knew you were kind. When you helped the elderly lady sitting nearby as she struggled with her chair. When you looked the waitress in the eye and thanked her with meaning. I knew you were compassionate. I heard how you defended someone you didn’t know in the face of criticism from another guest at our table. You did it with kindness without making them feel uncomfortable.’
I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU
And now in what seemed like another lifetime she felt his breath upon her lips, a gentle caress of love, an emotion so strong he heart wrenched with pain. I cannot live without you, she whispered. You are all I knew, all I ever wanted. You were my life. Why did you leave me?
‘I will never leave you.’ A soft breeze touched her face and she stumbled. Someone’s hand steadied her and she smiled with gratitude.
‘I will never leave you. I will always be loyal and faithful. These words I speak now are from my heart, my gift to you. My love for you is a forever love.’
‘We have just met. How can you say that?’
‘I felt your hand tremble when you accidentally touched mine. I saw how you looked at me when our eyes met. I saw the recognition, the knowing smile. You knew just as I did. That’s what made it so perfect. That one moment in time. Let us make a pact’. Choose one word that will always bring us back to this moment, remind us of the love we have for each other. Remind us of the strength of that love’.
In unison they uttered the word – “now”.
‘Will you marry me? Will you spend the rest of your life with me?’
‘I will. Now and forever’.
She let her thoughts travel back to how it had been – many moments of perfection in time.
TWO YEARS LATER
The smile on his face as he held the two babies in his arms was beatific. His eyes lifted from their perfect faces and met hers in acknowledgement, their love flowing and connecting. A moment she would never forget.
‘We’ve been doubly blessed,’ he had said. ‘I will never forget this moment. Two daughters in your image to bring even more joy into my life. Thank you.’
‘In your image also and a reflection of the love I feel for you. Yes, we have been doubly blessed and they will grow up within the circle of our love, strong and confident and wise’.
Their daughters learned how to smile, to walk, to talk, to hug their parents fiercely, to look at their parent with so much love, a reflection of the love they received. They learned how to demand, to be petulant, to cry when they fell down, to be comforted. They learned how to absorb the best life has to offer, to be prepared when it didn’t always work out the way they wanted, to support each other and others in times of need. They learned how to run with the wind, how to climb mountains. They learned how to ride on the crest of the waves, how to dive into the deep blue seas and discover precious pearls.
They made mistakes but learned from them. They fought with each other and they learned to forgive each other. They learned how to become strong, strong enough to know that the road they had taken was not the right one. Strong enough to turn back and start again. The sign of a true warrior. They learned how to be the best possible people they could be. And always they carried hope in their hearts because they had learned it at the feet of their parents. Love, hope, forgiveness, compassion, caring, and never being afraid to admit when they needed help. The legacy of a true love that will pass down through the generations.
TWELVE YEARS LATER
‘Mum where’s my gym gear? Did you wash it?’
I remember standing by the kitchen window watching the robin outside pecking at the crumbs I had thrown out earlier. For a few minutes, minutes I could not afford, I was at peace not thinking or feeling anything in particular. Just being.
‘Mom, I can’t find my iPad. Did you take it?’
The twins, Meg and Maria, named after their grandmothers, had always chosen to call me by those different names – mum and mom. As if they thought I wouldn’t know which of them spoke to me. But I knew. I knew every inch of them as all mothers do. I knew when they were happy. I knew when they were sad. I knew when they needed a hug just for the sake of it. I knew.
‘Mum, I’ll be late for school. I need my gym gear’.
‘Mummmmmm. My project is on that iPad. I….’
‘Darling, I can’t find a clean shirt.’
I turned away from the window my glance falling on the cluttered table. Dirty plates, scattered crumbs, half-eaten crusts of toast, spilt tea. Remnants of my daily life that must be cleaned up. Repeated again tomorrow. Cleaned up again. Irked by daily chores and the need to rush everything, I was filled with frustration.
‘Does everyone want a piece of me? Do any of you think about me? Do any of you help me get ready for work, or am I not as important? When did I get lost from your lives?’
Strong arms enfolded her. Briefly she melted into the embrace. Then she remembered. She pushed him away.
‘You promised. You promised you would always be loyal and faithful. You broke that promise,’ she whispered. You broke my heart.’
‘I will spend the rest of my life regretting my actions. A mistake, a lapse of judgement. I will spend the rest of my life asking for your forgiveness. I cannot live without you or your love. I promise it will never happen again’.
‘Do you mean that or are they trite words to appease me?’
Thinking back on that moment in time she remembered the hurt in his eyes, felt the sense of loss that emanated from every pore in his body, the fear that he had lost her. She had never regretted her decision to forgive him. She had never regretted her decision to trust him again. A decision that created a whole new life for them and their family as a whole. She remembered how she had whispered one word – ‘Now’.
FIFTEEN YEARS LATER
Although it was winter the sun shone brightly through the stained-glass windows, casting part of the church into shadow, as it should do. Life’s shadows sought out by the light, tremulous at times, but always cleansing. Four young people stood on the altar. Meg and Maria hand in hand with the love of their lives waiting for another special moment in time, another special moment in their lives. That was one thing I learned in many years of marriage. There is more than one moment in time as long as we allow and acknowledge them. Many precious moments that create a whole.
A sunray shone on the pearls our daughters wore. Every pearl had a story to tell, a lesson to be learned, knotted together with sentiments of love and loss and forgiveness and an even greater love – never to be undone. A story of a moment in time and the ‘now we had gifted them with the greatest gift they would ever receive.
His hand clasped mine, palm to palm. I turned and gazed into his eyes. They were filled with tears.
‘We have lost our children, our daughters’, he whispered.
‘No! Never,’ I whispered back. They must create their own story, their own story of “now”. We too must continue our story, the story of our forever love’.
TWENTY-FIVE YEARS LATER
When we spoke about our silver wedding anniversary and planned to invite all our wedding guests I did not expect them to be standing by your grave. I did not expect your life to have ended so abruptly. You promised. You promised. Can my broken heart ever be healed? Will I ever feel whole again?
A hand clasps mine. An arm reaches around my waist.
‘Granny we miss him too, but you have us and we love you very much. Now and always’.
Blue eyes mirroring mine, green eyes mirroring yours, filled with compassion and love and reminding me that a part of you, a huge part of you will never die. You created the story we lived. You brought it to life when you related tales to your daughters, bringing history alive, always giving them ways to solve a problem, the first one being – “There is no problem. Think that and you’re well ahead”. I hear your voice and I turn expecting to see you. But you are not there. Soft words whisper in my mind.
‘You taught them how to forgive. You taught them how great love can be, that it changes and grows and always flourishes. You taught them about the “Now”.
My broken heart heals a little at those words. It will never heal completely but that’s okay. You may have physically left me but the imprint of your body, of your spirit, of your soul, overlays mine forever and Now. No love is greater than one that can forgive. No love is greater than one that allows growth and change. Life is not perfect, nor are we, but within its imperfections lie the perfection. No love is greater than “Now”.
I have written two novels available on Amazon