Friday, November 2, 2012

Finding my way

Until I lost my religion, I never thought about what I would do after I was dead. Underlying every closed door and unchosen path was the knowledge that I'd be back, that I'd have the chance to experience everything the world has to offer in the next life if I skipped it the first time around. That Jay and I had forever as our happily ever after.

But an afterlife disappeared along with my God, and suddenly time is flowing through my fingers too fast. Here I am with everything I ever wanted: a seemingly happy marriage, two perfect healthy children, a comfortable first-world life. Yet I'm haunted by lives not lived and all the world's mysteries never to be revealed. If these seventy-plus years are all we get, I've missed so much already.

And love?

Work fills our days, cleaning and nursing and changing diapers our nights. Wringing the last drops of energy out of our exhausted bodies just to spend a few minutes having a real conversation, sharing a sleepy kiss. Passion and connection put off until a tomorrow which never comes. I wonder if we'll even know each other anymore when we're finally alone together again.

When I think about dying with so much of the world unexplored, so little time spent on what really matters, I feel a thickness choking my throat, a steadily building terror. I want to run, just leave everything behind me and circle the globe, clutch life by the collar while there's still time. There must be a way out, a way to fit everything I've missed into the few decades I have left.

Then Sass runs over to me, her pigtails tilting as she tugs at my pant leg. "Mama?" she whispers, and I turn to see Little Man peering over Jay's shoulder, his soft downy head bobbing as he coos at me.

If this is all there is, it's enough.


 
Fastball - The Way
 
 
I wrote this for a Write on Edge prompt asking us for 350 words in any genre, as inspired by a song of our choice.

12 comments:

  1. This is fantastic. I feel exactly the same.

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  2. Great piece, Azara. I think we have all had these same thoughts, so I'm sure a lot of readers will connect. Loved the finish, because it just brought the story back to what's really important. Great song to inspire the story. Well done.

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    1. I've always loved the song, and it resonates much more deeply now than it did 10 years ago.

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  3. Death is awe inspiringly overwhelming if you think of it as final. In a way I suppose that's motivational. Like we all damn well better live in the moment and get our priorities sorted out because everything is so fleeting and precious. But that's overwhelming in and of itself. Which is perhaps why I cling to agnosticism so fiercely: the possibility of more is like Xanax.

    And I love that song. I really loved this post.

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    1. Overwhelming is the perfect word for it. Sometimes I wish I was a less reflective person and just lived my life, without always analyzing everything and carrying on about the meaning of it all.

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  4. This is a great post. You've so eloquently captured how it feels to live those hectic years of small children.

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    1. I'm hoping it won't always be so hectic. It scares the heck out of me when people say raising older kids is harder than toddlers. I hope that's not true or I might not survive!

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Lend me some sugar!