The Love of a Child
Instead, she tells of the love of her father when asked about the scar.
Standing at the edge of time
the past and future flowing
the river swelled
the moment your small hand
reached into mine
I clasped it firmly
lest yesterday pull me under
Looking back, we can laugh a little at the grave humor. We were on the way to my uncle's funeral. I went with my Dad to help with Mom who had Alzheimer's. My husband would follow later, as would my brother and his family.
Mom, Dad, and I arrived at the visitation before the funeral, already stressed from the many times Mom tried to exit the moving car claiming we had kidnapped her. My cell phone rang and I saw my husband's number. He told me that my brother and his family were in a car accident. He did not think it was too serious, given my sister-in-law sounded fairly calm. We learned later that's what shock sounds like as well.
I asked him to find out where they were only to find out he did not recognize the number from which she had called. A few calls later, he found out that they were on they way to a hospital in Columbus, GA.
Mom, Dad and I left the visitation in Alabama and headed back to Georgia. We arrived at the hospital to find that my brother and his daughter had been seriously injured in the accident. His life was in danger; my niece was having her face sewn back together. At that moment, I became more of an aunt to my niece, sister to my sister-in-law, and mature sister to my brother rather than lil' sis.
I learned that my brother had seen the car losing control and coming toward them. He positioned his own car -- carrying his family -- the best to could keep them safe. That meant that he took the brunt of the accident when the car struck them.
That first night at the hospital, I moved from room to room checking on each member of my family. I realized, in those moments, how much of my life was spent at work and how little I let them know how dear each of them is to me.
My brother survived, although he still has quite a limp from the knee crushed in accident. His daughter did not sink into pity. Instead, she tells of the love of her father when asked about the scar (now barely visible).
I wrote the poem for my niece and nephew when they were much younger, but after everyone recovered enough to go home, I decided to give it my niece to let her know how much I love her, how much I admire her strength.
We all became a stronger family that day. It is a moment for me, but it is also our moment.