My mommy made a promise when I was young. She told me that she’d do everything to protect me, that she’d do everything to keep me safe. She swore with all her heart and strength that she’d fight for me with all her life.
She did fight with her best.
She fought with her all.
She gave it all she’s got.
She did manage to push back all my tears just before they would fall; sometimes they even climb back to hiding behind when she smiles. Even sobs turn to laughter at her presence.
Heck, I never felt down. She kept keeping me up.
She fought the winning fight. Beaten away sadness, and boxed out regret, she made shame feel sorry. I never even knew doubt, of course because I was sure she was there for me.
I never knew any counter weapon that could ever out power her smile, or her hugs or her forehead kisses –nothing could ever beat her forehead kisses.
She won ‘til the very end.
Then she lost.
I guess it’s kind of too ironic now. I hated it with all my heart before.
I hated the fact that when my protector disappeared, I was left bare for every new stranger, sadness… regret… shame… doubt…
All the tears that she kept pushing back, they finally escaped.
I didn’t even have any idea before that there’s this pool of raining kept up at the surface of my wrists just waiting to be freed—
I hated her.
I hated her for always winning.
I hated her for always trying so hard.
I hated her for fighting—
Ironic is it not? Now here I am making that same promise to you.
Seeing you cry so much, so devilishly much, I couldn’t really help it. I couldn’t help but remember all the times I cried without my mommy smiling to hush me; I couldn’t help but recall all the tears that fell from my eyes then, how I waited, crying, how I prayed crying, how I foolishly tried to fake all my smiles for the first few months, still crying… Just vainly waiting for her to stop my tears from falling.
I couldn’t help but stop it.
It was all that I could do. It was the best that I can do.
“Cross my heart and hope to die.”
I swear that I’d do everything to protect you. I’ll do everything to keep you safe. I swear with all my heart and soul that I’d fight for you with all my life.
And, my son, I’ll never leave you alone.
I’ll never let another tear pass through your eyelids again, neither will I let another sob from your throat, no, now you’re with me, I won’t let this leukemia I passed along hurt you anymore.
This is the only thing she taught me to do.
Kiss your forehead.
At least I fought— How I hugged you managed to muffle the deafening beep of your oscillator…
I fought with everything I had.
I fought with all my heart and my strength like my mommy did.
I kept all the tears back inside your eyelids just when they are about to fall. Not even a single drop of blood escaped your wrists too. I think I was able to push back all the shame and regret and doubts in your heart? I hope I did.
I won against fear, at least. I managed to see you smile one last time but—
—I fought ‘til the very end—
Then I lost.
2018 February---- Desi, reading your most recent pieces reminded me of this work of mine... I hope you enjoy(?) it