In this week’s writing challenge, we are to write a post using three photographs for inspiration. As I scrolled through the photographs, it was very easy for me to choose A Tribute to Mom by Cardinal Guzman, three beautiful images that immediately tripled my heartbeat. I digested the photos, paused, and wrote what I have included below. I suppose at times when the heart needs to be heard, it’s best to give it an ear. I listened, and this is the result. A tribute to Mom.
My heart leapt for joy, while my spirit searched for the chards of sorrow that may have slipped by me in the tilted night. I wrapped my arms around my wife and watched our embrace in the morning mirror – like our tired eyes, fogged by the absurdity of our circumstances.
My chin dug deep into her shoulder, soft from the long journey behind us. We squeezed as if we could both capture the moment and wind back time. Keep it just as it was, but change everything. Disbelief, as it tends to do, lingered in the still air and on the bathroom walls around us. To puncture its hold, I willed the tears to follow a salted crease in a face of a stranger that stared back at me.
So much had changed in the time it took for my reflection to reach me. The color in my face was gone, and so was Mom. Lost from us, but found in that moment. That absurd moment, where my wife and I paid tribute to Mom.
We had feigned goodbye to her just hours earlier. The service was intended to be a celebration, the wounds just too real to honor that intent. With no real interest in judging time, friends came and went and the noise stopped for just long enough to know the night would be long.
In the morning, everything changed.
“Are you sure?” I asked, quiet to accept the early hour.
She showed me the proof.
“I’m so happy,” I said.
Tears caught purchase. Air escaped my lungs and brought with it a voice that needed to be heard. Laughter. Soft, absurd laughter. Exchanged between two tired souls that danced in a mirror, the air no longer still, the moment freed from our embrace. Our hearts freed from the sorrow, laden deeper in disbelief. Our damp faces rubbed together to find a smile we haven’t stopped to break.
A blessing in a bathroom on a son’s darkest day. We’d grieve as two, but were soon to be three. Our son, a gift from Mom.