I sit in the shaded dark of a room curtained against the late-afternoon sun, my youngest now asleep, reading the words written by another mother. A mother across the country, a mother who had a dream, a dream so similar to one of my own. A mother who now sits on the divide between the realms of earth-based medicine and hospitals, dreams and reality, the living and the dead. A mother who, in the face of the inevitable death-to-come of her beautiful blue-eyed baby boy, is still pushing on to live the New Old Good Way and share that world with her son, however long he may be on this earth before his body is laid in its embrace to sleep ever-more with the roots and the bones resting there... To live each moment reverent of every new thing he does, he learns, he says and striving to still live the dream they had dreamed for their family.
I sit and I cry. I weep sweet tears of grief and longing, of honoring and remembering, of pain and healing.
Tears spill forth, wetting freckled cheek, sliding into my hair, wiped on the backs of these tattooed hands that have brought my own babies into the world, and buried some too. These hands that have poured ashes into the sea. These hands that long to hold reins between their fingers once more, to pluck flowers from the hedgerow, to show my children the ways of the earth.
My heart breaks, as I sit and Witness. As I remember my own losses, as I mourn lost life and pine for a life lived closer to nature, off the land, in a New Old Good Way with my own family, my own children. As I wish I could hold that mother in my arms and sing to her and her wildling boy, and see his smile and hold her in my heart with the pain of death in my own, from many years past now. Death from a different cause, but the loss of a child is its own tragic magic incomparable to any other. I think back to that wolf pup child of mine, born too soon, taken from me, made to be kept in a box with wires and straps and tubes. I think back to that call, "I'm sorry, there's nothing we could do." I think back to that decision, made so many years ago, that never again would blood of my blood, flesh of my flesh die so. They would come into the world with my own hands, they would live or die in my arms...
I lean forward and kiss the tender palm of my sleeping girl-child, curling black hair matted with sweat from the heat of her tiny furnace. Tears keep falling, as I think of my older son, practicing his letters in the other room, hyper-active and acting out more and more. The tears are bitter on my tongue now, as I wish I could do better by them both, give them the life I dream of, and also anger at myself for not sitting more in the moment, of not having the reverence I know I should have for the little things. For every discovery, every new word, every question and achievement...
Because what happens when they're gone? Childhood, like life, is so fleeting. Like the breath-soft pink petals on the Hawthorne trees in Spring.
Thank you for the reminder, Mother-Sister. Thank you for your vulnerability, your journey bared for us to witness. Thank you for spurring me back to striving towards living a New Old Good Way-- to remembering my vow to motherhood, to remembering my dreams. I offer my tears for you, witnessing you, and witnessing myself.
Holding you from a world away, Sweet Ones. Singing songs of Fall to Come.
Follow the journey of Epona and her little one Rainan as they navigate the journey of a child diagnosed with SMA
They also have a GoFundMe you can donate to to help with medical expenses, and you can follow them on Instagram @the_heathen_family
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