~~NO EMPTY SPACES PLEASE~~
A short story by Melody Cabrera
With the ways of the world in mind and so many thoughts, I can at last sit down and write what I’m thinking. But first I need to thank Etta James for how eloquently she sang the song. Even the President thought so...I pray for our future.
It all began when I was born. NOT! I would never begin a story with the all too common details of childhood, good or bad as they may be. No, this story begins when life has already taught us a thing or two.
It seems to me that life begins and ends with one large circle, and what occurs within this circle makes us who we are. Then it suddenly dawned on me only now as I have aged, that as I went through the steps of life a routine emerged where no empty spaces were allowed. Constant motion, as with the earth’s rotation, day to day, except for sleep. And even then dream thoughts are present. This routine became the maintenance of my life to attain my own success. I began calling it my obstacle course for life.
Every space has meaning to us. Call it a space in time if you will. I feel we’d be lost without them. As we hope and pray to reach our precious goals. And if we do it’s like a drug. It’s my adaptation of Feng Shui, there’s a reason for everything and everything has a reason. A balance. It’s how I stay sane. Should our circle ever become damaged or shattered, we become scared and confused. For if we pause and an empty space gets in, everything is thrown off balance.
We get educated, go to work, and if we’re lucky we fall in love, have a family and a home, pets and friends, ideals and desires. Just so we can co-exist as normally as possible. I was endowed with worthy parents who taught me the basics for filling my empty spaces constructively. They worked tirelessly, raised five kids, and gave us the best home they could. Not everyone has had that, and we see the sadness all too often...
We have surely come a long way, but we’re in such a mess. I feel that if ever our human world should fail, just maybe we would return to the sea from where we “might” have come. The whales managed to accomplish this, although they too are still at risk.
There are tragedies along the road. This is inescapable. I grew up with an older sister who caught polio at age 3 1/2 from our cousin. My Father has since passed, bless his soul. I believe in my heart he’s in a better place. I lost a brother, a niece and a nephew, but have witnessed new family births. Such a wonder. I was not blessed with children of my own. But I sit back in awe of it all. Thankful for family and friends, and someone I call hubby. Not to mention my undying love for animals. We have eight!
But then I go to the nursing home to visit my Mother and it all comes rushing back like a great flood. Now in her 80’s and suffering dementia, I’m sad to see her this way. Locked inside herself. Unable to walk anymore, barely remembering the faces who come. A mere shell of the vibrant and active woman I knew for so many years. Slow and steady she rocks in her wheelchair, frightened and confused, trying to figure out once again how to fill all her empty spaces that she once filled so effortlessly.
Perhaps when I’m her age I too may encounter dementia. But maybe by then it will be a safer place to be. At last I think I have come to grips with it all. As once again I sit and ponder on how it all started. I thank the Almighty, as Pop would say, for the birds and the bees, the oceans and the trees. All that is beautiful. For when we leave this place I hold onto the hope that the best is yet to come, with no more worries of how to fill all our empty spaces...
My Mom is now on her journey home. May it be magnificent for her to reunite with all our dearly departed. I love you all...8/12/10
“ Second Thoughts”
It’s not how to weather the storm,
But learning to dance in the rain.
Peace Be With You...