Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The last day you were alive

Fourteen years ago, this was the last full day you lived. It was a seasonably warm Saturday outside the hospital, and inside the institution, the windows didn't feel as cool as they had earlier. I kept hoping you would not leave us, although it was evident that there was no more life for you here on earth. Time was running out. I prayed more earnestly for a miracle---if God could part the Red Sea, surely he could breathe more years into my little boy.

You were still in the white bed, except for the seizures that were more frequent. I hoped they were signs of energy. You had been still for ten days. Movement on your part must be a positive. I knew you could open your eyes and cry, "Hey! I had a long nap."

The day before you died, I hoped for this, and more.

Before you died I was like the other mothers with little boys. I could say, "They grow up so quickly."

I didn't shed tears when Eric Clapton sang, Tears in Heaven and when Elton John sang, Daniel.

Before you died, I didn't think about whether or not you would know my name in Heaven. Eric's contemplation did not have significance for me. Elton's words, "Your eyes have died, you see more than I," were only words. They had nothing to do with your fading blue eyes that once flickered with mischief and riddles.

Once, I held your hand in one of my own and innocence in the other. But the day you died, innocence, well, I had to let it go. I still hold onto you, though, sweet son. And I do believe you will know my name in Heaven.

Fourteen years ago today was your last full day on earth. I used to believe that fourteen years was much too long for a mother to still miss her child.

But that was all before you died.


  1. Alice,
    I have been thinking about you and Daniel a lot these days. When I turned the calendar to February today, I knew this would be a difficult day today and tomorrow for you. Take care and God bless. This is a beautiful poem.

  2. Hello Alice, thank you so much for sharing your writing with us. It validates the timelessness of grief. Thanks again.
    Create a gorgeous week for yourself,
    Monique Antoinette

  3. Thanks, Carly, and thank you, Monique.

    ~ Alice