Inside My Heart

We were on a plane last week.  It was night and the cabin was dimmed, dark.  I was sitting across the aisle from my family, an arm's length away.  I was sitting next to a family of three.  Two parents and a small baby, and I glanced over at the mama and smiled.  Her baby was tucked in her arms nursing quietly as we floated in the clouds.  My children were coloring across the way, their faces glowing in the overhead light.  I took a deep breath and slipped my ear buds in.  I closed my eyes and let Andrea Bocelli's version of Ave Maria flood me.  Wasn't it just yesterday that I held my babies in my arms on a plane?  Nursed them during the ascent and descent and held them close and tight as their tiny pink fingers tugged at aching little ears?   And now I sit with my legs stretched out.  My arms are not cramping.  My breathing is unbound and even.  I look over at my husband's hands.  We are getting older.  I reach across the aisle and touch his arm.  Sometimes I need to make sure we are real.  

I open When Women Were Birds, finish with opera and switch to Ophelia.  The family next to me is asleep.  Sully is asleep, his head tucked in Eric's lap.  Theo has put his markers away and is staring out the window, the ground some thirty thousand feet below.  Just days before this, I held Magic, the newest pet cat at our house, in my arms as her soul slipped out and up and her life went to sleep forever.  That same night Sully randomly asked me if he could feel my heart.  Eric said that I seemed different about Magic's death.  My mind reeled back to my dad's last days.  Daily, I read the guide to death given to me by his hospice nurse.  I studied the stages of dying because that way it was almost as if I could feel his death, which was the only way it seemed real to me.  I am very different about death.  Death has made me older and it has softened me in the hardest way.  In a quiet state such as this it is easy to see between the lines.  We live right in the middle and this time of year the veil between worlds in paper-thin.  Love, I know, is always alive.

The wheels touch the runway and Theo leans forward and catches my eyes across the aisle.  "That was a great landing, Mom."  I nod.  We are in the clouds.  We are on the ground.  We are together, growing older.

Love, I know, is always alive.


  1. oh my goodness. I just wanted to write something so you know I loved this... but oh the tears. you've got a gift for putting your loving heart into words.

  2. What a gift you have for writing...this was absolutely beautiful.