An entire life spent trying to be what everyone expected.
Kneel, stand, the sign of the cross, Hail Mary & Our Father. Confess your sins to the envious pedophile. No worries, the confessional has a screen.
Not to mention peddling God door to door. A salesman without answers. No Christmas, no Easter, no makeup, no free will.
Let’s not forget the Hallelujahs and praise the Lord. Submit to your cheating husband. Do as you’re told.
Trying my damnedest to squeeze into a mold shaped by my fellow sinners. But I never fit.
This is what it is to find yourself. To choose to ignore all others, and follow God alone.
You will no longer find me tiptoeing down the path of eggshells laid out by those before me. You will find my path of eggshells thoroughly crushed beneath my feet, veering towards whatever end God has in store.
And sometimes, When God gets sick of telling me “this way dummy,” I’m sure there will be some, very prominent, me-shaped drag marks… as He takes me (likely kicking and screaming) down my rightful path, to the place He had prepared for me all along.
The crisp breeze blew as time erased another sunset from the sky. The light of the first star pricked a hole in the darkness and the moon set up, dismissing the pale blue of the day. I found myself staring up, feeling insignificant, as memories of you began to wash in like broken seashells on a vast shoreline. I find myself trying to piece them together, hoping for a clear glimpse of your face, a memory of my hand in yours, or simply the sound of your voice. It gets more difficult every year. The ocean of my mind pulling back fragments while uncovering others. But I never manage enough pieces for a clear picture. Never enough for me to see you smile again, or hear the sound of your voice. Never enough to remember how it felt when you’d gathered me up in your arms as a child or tucked me in at night. I know you had done those things, but it’s hard to tell now. Is it my own memory, or just a story I once heard?
The smell of fresh rolls wafted through the dining area. I sat at the bar waiting for my order. A man sat three stools down. I caught intermittent mumbles about death, the end of the world, and some Bible verses. I wonder if he knows something I don’t? If he hears the echo of voices from a place I’ll never know. If he sees the faces of loved ones passed? A full conversation with no one. At least no one I could see.
I take my place as part of a final generation that grew up when Saturday morning cartoons were still a thing, and Sundays were still held sacred. Before internet and cell phones trapped us in zombie mode. Saying so makes me feel ancient. It’s a strange thing when change comes so quickly. A quarter of a century from a time when summers were full of boredom and adventure as the cicadas composed the perfect score until dark. When the crisp fall air ushered in the new school year that smelled of fresh linens and rain. And Winter was short, but brutal, for those use to dry heat. And Spring couldn’t come fast enough. We chased lightning bugs, climbed trees, rode bikes, and laid in the green grass. No video game could take us on an adventure the way our own back yard could. It is a strange thing that all of this, while still here, will never be seen the same to those who come after us. Barefoot and happy, a nostalgia we will bear for all of our days.
I use to think when people died young it was because there was so much sadness in their hearts they just could’t keep it from breaking. I would have kept on believing this had I not lost my daddy so young, or experienced the agony of losing two unborn children, only to find I still managed to wake up the next morning. So now, I believe we all just walk around with these broken hearts, seeking out someone to mend them. The world churns its season, and we cling to all the things that once seemed small. The way he shook his leg in anxiousness or the crinkle in their nose when they were deep in thought. In those moments, we remember how truly fleeting life is. We are mayflies in a world that will continue long after us.