Aren’t You, Kid?

I wasn’t there when the wild thing got her.  I knew it like you know things in dreams, without knowing how or why– but knowing, with a certainty unrivaled in the walking-around-world.

I didn’t know her, though.  I didn’t know who she was, or her name, or how she came to be mauled by a wild beast in the middle of  northern Missouri.  Still, I somehow recognized her 80 year old self as an unknown other rolled her, in her wheelchair, into church.

Mom and I were seated a few pews back from the front.  The lady entered, and terrified, I ushered Mom to the far end of the row.  I scanned the entrance for a sign that the wild thing had re-found his victim and followed her inside.   I readied for a threat that never came.  As hard as I watched, it was only the lady, and once safely seated she smiled and nodded her relief.  Mom and I made our way back to the opposite end.  We were close enough now that I could see Joan just ahead, and very near the lady.  We fastened eyes and the fear faded enough that we could all sit down.  We settled back in our seats a little, but I kept one arm linked together with Mom’s, and the other extended, aisle-side, to ward off whatever wrong thing might come.

Mom took note of this new arrangement and said You’re still trying to protect me, aren’t you, kid?  And I said Yeah, Mom.  I’m trying my best, and I stayed there like that until morning, positioned between her and whatever harm might want to find her, but day broke and the sun burned through and I opened my eyes to find she was gone again anyway.

6 Responses to “Aren’t You, Kid?”

  1. The beauty is that you kept each other from harm– that’s the thing that isn’t gone.

  2. No matter high tightly we hold on, some things are small and subtle enough that they can still slip through our fingers. It’s meant to be that way.

  3. Ida Allis Says:

    is there a relation here to another dear lady that just passed — a “spiritual mother” for us Duncan children…..?! they now need no protection, they are with the Great Protector. Kid, we will never forget, and dreams like this will keep us awake to the memories of our loved ones!

  4. I love the gift of writing that you share with the world. We want to take care of those we love as much as they want to take care of us – even when they are no longer here. My heart aches with the love expressed in this piece. Thanks for this gift.

  5. a pearaphrase: if the only comment you ever say is thank you it will be enough

  6. I’m jealous of your relationship with your parents. Truly.

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