Liz Meyers

            Volume 42 ~ 2019

 

                  

 

 

 

Mom

Luscious, silky chestnut hair

Dazzling milk chocolate eyes

Caring, sweet, and hard working

A beautiful little girl rests in her arms

Dark brown hair adorns the baby’s head

Blazing blue eyes gaze around at the world before them

The baby begins crying

But the woman soothes her into a deep sleep with her velvet voice

A man stands beside them, combing through the woman's hair with his fingers

The scenery begins to change

The little girl is now a teenager

Her hair has changed from brown to blonde

Sitting on her bed she has tears streaming down her face

Her first heartbreak

The brown eyed woman sits beside her holding her tightly

Running her fingers through the girl's hair, the woman begins humming

She hums an old lullaby, soothing the girl with her voice

The girl’s father is gone

But worst of all

The mother’s husband is too







 

Maddie Mae

     Walking up to the baseball field, I slip my bag off my shoulder, opening it and grabbing a picture out of the first pocket in the front. A picture I colored less than three years ago. A picture of princesses. Immediately stuffing it back into my bag, I feel the tears brim, pleading to fall down my face. For once, I let them. Breaking down into an ugly sob, I fall to my knees, bury my face in my hands, and let it all out.

     I remember the night she passed away, my little Maddie Mae. I was here, at this very field. Well, not the field, but the South park at the edge of Oxford, and the campsites surrounding it all. Almost three years ago, sitting at a picnic table by the camper that Maddie’s grandparents were staying in. Coloring a picture of princesses. I remember my mom coming out of the camper, her cheeks stained with tears and her eyes puffy and red. Then something clicked in my head, as fast as a lightning strike. She was gone.

     That adorable blonde haired and blue eyed little girl was gone. My mom then told me to go over to the park and get my sisters and Maddie’s sisters. Gathering all of my courage I yelled for the girls to come over to the campsite, trying my best not to let my voice crack. But when they finally came I saw Maddie’s older sister’s face. That’s when I felt my heart shatter for the first time.

     My best friend was gone. Why? Cancer. Brain cancer. It's crazy how someone so pure and young could be taken away from the world by something so uncontrollable. By something that made her have to suffer so much, for so long. Having to watch someone slowly fade away and out of their normal life is like being burned with a branding iron right to the heart.

     I remember finding out that she had cancer and trying to find every way possible to spend a little more time with her. Our red wagon rides around the backyard, going into town to her house just to play with dolls, shooting off fireworks on the fourth of July, dying our hair crazy colors, or going swimming at the pool. But, worst of all, going to the hospital and seeing her almost lifeless on the bed. She was barely able to talk, barely able to move, but she still managed to give me that goofy smile of hers.

      Being snapped out of my memories and thoughts, I feel someone kneeling down beside me, placing a hand on my shoulder. Melting into their touch, I struggle to suck in a breath through my now silent sobs. Slowly I’m pulled into a bone crushing hug. Trying to relax I can’t make myself with anything I try. Another sob escapes my lips. fI eel another tear find its way down my face and onto her soft cotton shirt.

     “Why are you here all alone?” I barely hear her ask.

      Numbly, I respond “Mom, today she would have been turning eight.” She hesitates and can’t find the words so she pulls me back from the hug pressing a kiss to my forehead. Brushing her thumb on my cheeks, she wipes away the salty tears.

      “I miss her.” Those are the only words I can seem to form. Pausing, I sigh. “I miss her smile, I miss those blasting blue eyes. I just. I can’t handle it! Why did she have to leave? She never got to live!”

     Trying to from the words she starts with the simple answer I always get, “I know.”

     “No, you don’t know. I grew up with her. I tried to spend all of my time left with her doing things she wanted.  She was the best thing ever and she got ripped away from the world, her family, her friends. She didn’t deserve it!” I argue. Slowly, I begin again, “Do you remember when you told me about her having cancer? And how I had to keep it from Alex and Tori?! Do you know how hard it is to keep a secret like that? I was twelve, mom. Twelve!! It's so damn hard to keep a secret that your little sisters' best friend is slowly dying from brain cancer!!” Cracking at the end, breaking down into tears I feel my shoulders lift a little higher.

     Feeling relief wash over me, a small smile makes its way onto my lips but soon enough it disappears just as fast as it came. My mom slowly pulls me into another hug combing her fingers through the luscious blonde curls cascading down my back. Breathing in her vanilla perfume, I finally feel myself relax and the tears subside for the time being. Pulling back from the hug she grabs my hands and pulls us up to our feet.

     My mom looked at me, tears brimming her eyes, then she started, “I miss her too sweetie, but now she is no longer in pain. She is in a better place. I know you miss her but you saw how fast this whole town got together to help her. She brought so many people together. We all miss her. But that is something we have in common. We can talk to each other at anytime. And honey, I do know how you feel, she was like a fourth daughter to me. I loved her almost as much as you. Remember, I lost her too. I’m so sorry that I made you keep that secret from your sisters, but it would’ve been so hard on them.”

     Feeling my shoulders lift even higher a smile creeps onto my face and I wrap my arms around my mom. I can only muster a simple thank you. I don’t regret coming back to this park area. Now I can look at it as a good thing. I will always miss my little Maddie Mae, but I’m not suffering alone. Grabbing my mom's hand, we head to the truck. I love you, Miss Maddie Mae.







 

Home

A hot breeze blows through the evergreen trees lining the backyard

The sweet aroma of lilacs and roses wafts through the summer night

The chirping of crickets sounds through the fields  

But the loudest sound is the bullfrogs in the pond across the washed out gravel road

The smell of rain and the sound of thunder begin

The dogs go wild, barking their heads off, attempting to scare off the lightning and thunder

Suddenly silence creeps over the valley, then the sprinkling of drops of rain begin

Another summer storm has settled in

The slam of a door echoes as three little girls rush out of the old white house

Twirling in the rain on the front porch, they sing and dance letting, the rain soak their pajamas

But when the rain starts to lighten up, a caring mother and father come out of the house with towels ready to warm them

The clouds begin to blow away taking the storm along with them

They unleash the beauty of the stars behind them

The happy family lays on the porch counting shooting stars and cracking bad jokes without a worry in the world







 

Audience

 

People. Everywhere.  

Center of attention isn't my cup of tea.

Last year, I began freaking out about every little thing

Packing clothes, studying for a test, or just talking to people

On the last day of school, I was going through my normal schedule:

Mom put my hair in luscious curls bouncing down my back,

When slowly I was spinning, blotches of black danced in my vision.

I heard the voices, my mom, yelling at the top of her lungs, my sisters, breaking down in tears.

I sank down, down, down to the ground

Mom crouched beside me, hesitantly shaking my limp body.

Everything was sickeningly quiet, my vision was black.

I had a panic attack on my bathroom floor

My sisters were still sent to school

Wherever I go, heads turn,

But, that's how it's supposed to be, right?

I’m judged by every action, every flaw,

Only let them see the happy little girl I make myself out to be.

Dizzy spells happen anytime. I’m told to sit down, but sometimes, I’m not standing.

All eyes on me makes my skin crawl with anticipation.

Smiling through the pain is the only thing I can do to ease my anxious state.

My skin gets heated, sweat beads form on my forehead

Spinning rooms, blurry vision

Another anxiety attack begins

Doctor visits are just as bad. Sitting on the table, eyes on me, questions fly.

My mind and heart race.

Anxiety can happen to anyone, can come at anytime.

But here I am, in front of you.

I am your show, and you? You are my audience.