A Soul Revised
Woo Hoo! I’m thrilled to share my recent news. The Florida Writers Association’s Volume Seven is out and I’m in it! Yep, one of fifty people who were the lucky chosen few. This year’s volume seven is entitled Revisions, Stories of Starting Over. You can read the story that was entered and accepted below.
A Soul Revised
I’d managed to obtain most of my life’s dreams by the age of thirty-two. I’d become a respected adult with two children and a husband, a great job, a house, two cars, and lots of toys, feeling in charge, feeling invincible. I had no idea that this was the year I would become an orphan. Death left no hidden clues, gave no notice, just silently slid into my mother’s heart and stopped it in the dark of night.
My world imploded and the pieces scattered out to the universe, each holding a fragment of memory, an image of my mother, and the light of my life. I was thrust into an alternate reality. It was now gone, the light that once warmed my heart. My world no longer held the same meaning. It crumbled. I crumbled. I wanted this sphere to stop; just stop and let me catch up to the spinning in my head. But it did not. I was forced to walk in the shadows of this thing I called life. I became robotic, smiling at the appropriate times, cooking, cleaning, driving kids to school, picking them up, doing groceries, and everything else that resembled normality.
No one knew; no one saw the apocalypse that exploded within my soul leaving it in the dominion of perdition. My mother was gone. Time wasn’t healing me like everyone said it would. I died and my corpse was rotting from the inside out, yet I’d been cursed to walk among the living. My mother was gone. And no one knew, no one saw. My pain was mine alone.
Days turned into weeks, into months, and closed in on a year. Still I existed in the ashen grayness of my smoldering realm. My subconscious would speak now and again. It would tell me that this isn’t the life my mother would have wanted for me. It would say that I needed to let go and move on. It would say a lot things. I would yell back, “This isn’t a choice! Do you think I want to exist like this? In this devastation? In this darkened despair?” But there was light outside the walls I had built. I could see its faint glow rise in the distance through the vibrations of my children’s laughter…and I wanted to touch it.
I pulled up a rock from the cracked pavement in my soul and stared around at the remnants of the earthquake that happened so long ago and made a choice. I would rebuild. I would not be able to rebuild what I had, my mother was gone and that would not change. But with some revisions I felt I could come close. And so I began to practice. I started small at first, a smile that I let reach my eyes or a genuine wish for someone’s good day, and I worked my way up to a laugh. It startled me at first; I didn’t even believe it came from me. And so I did it again. It made me feel warm. And so I did it again.
With my head down I did something I hadn’t done in quite a while. I prayed. I prayed to God to give me strength. I prayed to my mother to stand by me and guide me. And then I went to work clearing a pathway through the shards of my life, and when I finally stopped and looked up there it was. I’d made it to the boundary I’d so carefully built. These walls were sturdy, my workmanship that to be proud of. They wouldn’t come down easily. I looked back and knew I had to try.
It took another several months before I was able to break a hole through that wall. How I knew I’d broken through was the morning my daughter kissed me…and I felt it. I felt her tiny arms around my neck, her soft lips upon my cheek, and her giggle in my heart. I’d made it.
The revisions I’d made set a strong foundation for the new life I would lead. Instead of anger I chose understanding; instead of emptiness I chose to be Spirit filled; instead of sadness I chose to be happy.
The death of my mother turned out to be a precursor to other heartache that was right around the corner. It came in the form of a divorce. But the revisions I’d made to my life gave me the strength to stand strong. My heart broke once again, but this time I didn’t crumble. I allowed myself an appropriate amount of time to grieve, but I did it in the light. My new found philosophy – told to me by a dear friend, told to her by her dear mother – is: I will not let anything or anyone steal my joy.
I pray to meet my low points with courage and strength of heart. I pray that I never again step out of the light. But mostly, I pray.
Thank you for stopping by. It’s been a pleasure sharing my short story – and a piece of me – with you.