Friday, May 9, 2014

Happy Mother’s Day

I can hear her song. Each night, having slid myself between sheets of colorfully printed dinosaurs, she pulled the thin blue bedspread up to my chin. I would wiggle out my arms, and she would begin her lullaby. She had always sat herself next to my pillow, and as her thin hand found my brow, my eyes would close to her song. I would pretend to sleep.

I’ve never known anything like that voice. It didn’t matter that the song was always the same; in fact, I think I preferred it. Did she know I wasn’t sleeping? Could she tell my eye lids closed intentionally so that the last thing my ears would hear was her song and not another “sweet dreams”, not another exchange of words.

Her goodnight kiss lingered over me the way her song continued to linger around the walls and carpet of my room, the jelly jar of flickering fireflies, the toy trucks and ninja turtle posters. Somehow, at night, my mother managed to leave my room without leaving my world. 

And as the hallway light thinned through the shutting door, the darkness settled quietly around me. I opened my eyes into this silence and there I would lie until sleep closed them again. I always loved that time at night. I loved it, I think, because as a boy I simply loved feeling loved, and what more is there for a mother to provide than this?

+ Br. Joseph Michael Fino, CFR
Paterson, NJ
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