Wayward Angels

As some of you know, my other siblings and I lost our brother Shawn last week. Our sister Melissa lost her husband. Our nephews and niece, Shawn, Nick and Alyssa Yoquelet lost their dad. Today, my friend, Michael lost his mom.

I know there is nothing I can say. I remember getting upset by the things people tried to say when my mom passed away. I had to fight myself to say "thank you" instead of "fuck you" when someone 
told me that my mom is in a better place. There is no silver fucking lining.

"She'd want you to be strong" was even worse. She would have, but she had been, and at times especially like this, my only strength. She still is my strength.

The only thing that brought me some comfort — but not enough — was something someone had said was in response to "it gets better."

"Bullshit!"

"It does not get better."

It doesn't. It won't. Don't expect it to. It gets worse.

She explained, "just when you will think you're finally okay, and you will loose it all over again. And again. You will think there is something wrong with you, that you should not burst into tears as soon as something good happens to you because your immediate reaction is to call your mom, that you are crazy when you actually call her number, that you are beyond help when you talk to her anyway. It is going to get much worse. And, it never gets better. Not really."

Eventually, probably years from now, the tears may be fewer, but it's not because the pain is any less. You might become familiar with it. But, you never get used to it. You come to know it like you know your dad's and your mom's smiles and sheer delight when you tell them something good that happened to you, like you know their sadness when you tell they something bad. You know they felt it too, even more than you sometimes. And, you are going to feel it even more as time goes by.

And, you are going to loose your shit completely. You are going to be a mess. You are going to be a train wreck. Your parents would be destroyed to know.

It is not because they disapprove, but because they know all too well — much more than you. It's not disappointment. It's something much more fierce.

One day, you might realize that that feeling — those emotions that you cannot even describe and make wondering whether you are loosing your mind — is their love. That tightness in your chest is him squeezing you tightly. Those tears down your cheek are the traces of her touch.

That feeling is their love. Don't worry about your sanity. It does not make any sense. It is horror, dread, fear, sadness, and everything else — including those other feelings that seem so alien right now. That is their love for you. You will carry this everywhere until the day you join them.

One day — and it will not be soon — I promise you that that feeling will come with an image of their smile and the sound of their laughter. You can probably hear it even now.

In the mean time, don't listen when people tell you it was G-d's will. That is just something people say when they do not know why. This is not G-d's will.

This is not divine. This is distinctly human. It is love. It was there all long even though it feels different now, and you will carry it with you always.

It will never get better.

It gets worse.
***

There was something that made it better — and worse for me. For as long as I can remember, I dreamed that Mom was an angel. It was a nightmare, actually. I'd wake up in fits, and, once she soothed me, I'd ask her what she did with her wings. I must have asked her every night while drifting back to sleep as she kissed me good night. In my dream, she disobeyed G-d and left heaven to love us and keep us safe. In my nightmare, G-d wanted her back. Of course, she wasn't having none of that. She was my guardian angel — my own personal, beautiful, wayward angel. This is from my journal after she passed:

February 8, 2008:
"I was going through things to make room for the Mom's stuff that I brought back with me. In a pretty trunk I pulled out of the closet because I thought it would be perfect, I found an envelop with something scribbled. It looked like it was from a long time ago. I remembered buying the trunk, but I didn't remember putting anything in it. I couldn't really make it out. Definitely my handwriting. It was written in a gold glitter pen. Mom always sent me glitter pens in care packages. There was a package of them in the trunk, too. 'I bet it's a song.' She used to tell me names of songs to download for her to burn CDs. I bet I called her when I got a package, and she told me a song to download for her, and took out a pen, jotted down and forgot all about it. I started feeling bad that I didn't get her her song, still starring at these few barely noticeable words. After staring at it, I made out the name and title. 'I have to find it!'

It wasn't online, so I walked out the door to Telegraph and up to Rasputin, and bought the CD. I went home eager to listen to it. Starring at the case, I imagined it would be country music. But, whenever I hear country music now, I loose it. it makes me remember her playing eight-tracks in the huge console in the dinning room, and playing on the radio as Carey drove me home from college and she held my hand so tight and so excited.... 'What is on the CD?' I decided to put it in the trunk for now.

As I was taking things out of the big Vera Bradley purse I put things in to bring to California, a piece of folded up paper fell on the ground. I picked it up and dropped in in the trunk. It fell open. As I started to put more stuff in, I was struck by a sickening sense of déjà vu. I had never seen it before, but it was familiar.

It was same words I struggled to make out earlier. But, it was written much more clearly in Mom's unmistakable hand on a scrap of paper.

Kasey Chambers, Wayward Angel. I had to listen:

Well I am a wayward angel
I don't suffer I don't cry
And late in the night your sleeping
I come to hover by your side
So close your weary weathered eyes
These tears are just a faint disguise
Cause I am a wayward angel
I don't suffer, I don't cry

Cold in the heart of winter
Make your shiver make you blue
I'm stay close by your window
Give your blankets to hold on to
So sleep my baby for a while
You'll wake with the light of a mothers smile
Cause I am a wayward angel
I don't suffer I don't cry

'I am a wayward angel
I feel no sorrow
I'll always carry you home
I'll bring salvation
Before tomorrow
I'll be wherever you go

Break like a first time heartache
Leaves you weaker leaves you tears
Hold my hand much tighter
I will walk you through these years
So close your weary weathered eyes
You'll wake with the light of a mothers smile

Cause I am a wayward angel
I don't suffer I don't cry.'

I called Malynda to tell her, but she stopped me. She had to tell me that she had just gone to Mom's grave to put some flowers for her birthday. When she got back in the car, the radio started playing:

Every now and then soft as breath upon my skin
I feel you come back again
And its like you haven't been gone a moment from my side
Like the tears were never cried
Like the hands of time are holding you and me
And with all my heart I'm sure were closer than we ever were
I don't have to hear or see, I've got all the proof I need
There are more than angels watching over me
I believe, I believe

That when you die your life goes on
It doesn't end here when you're gone
Every soul is filled with light
It never ends and if I'm right
Our love can even reach across eternity
I believe, I believe

Forever, you're a part of me
Forever, in the heart of me
And I'll hold you even longer if I can
The people who don't see the most
Say that I believe in ghost
And if that makes me crazy, then I am
cause I believe

There are more than angels watching over me
I believe, I believe

(I Believe, Diamond Rio)'"

That's from my journal about a month after Mom passed away, on her birthday. Wayward Angel is still not online, but
here's a cover.

***

I apparently wrote a lot for someone who claims to have nothing to say. I maintain that that is still the case. Really, all I wanted to say, is I'm here when you need me.