What I Know
I know your heart; do you know mine?
They connected in that moment they brought you to me. That has not changed since then. I know your heart, why we are separated now. But do you know mine?
How I can never describe the feeling of watching and hearing the sound of the metal shackles being locked on your body. The body I cradled and sang to and rocked, your premature birth making you all the more precious to me. To say this hurt my heart… Well, you know, if you know my heart.
I know your eyes, following me across the room, “mom?” Do you know mine? I can’t fix this like I wanted to fix every hurt that came your way. But my eyes are telling you, I can only try and make you see you are never without me.
I don’t know your new world, and you no longer know mine. I know that you know the things I long to share with you and can’t. Your brothers’ lives, your nephews, new cousins’ children, holidays, birthdays and just those days I wish I could reach over and touch your hand, or smile in recognition of some shared family joke. It so hurts my heart that I know these are the things you are missing.
I can only know of your world what you deem safe to tell me. The imagining in my head can be so much worse. I try not to let my heart go there, but nevertheless it is only halfway to the back of my mind.
I know my arms want to hold you and shield you whenever I can. And you don’t fool me – I know your arms come around me, quickly and fiercely even though you say, “Ah mom, the guys!”
I know your smile that sometimes lights up your face when you see me, or sometimes can break my heart. My smile, you know, that will never tire of landing on your face, but always hiding my sadness at where you are.
I can’t know your pain, your fears, your regrets or your way of reconciliation of this life that is now yours. And you can’t know mine. I can’t show you mine. I know you need my strength. Sometimes that is all I can do for you. And that is my pain, mine alone.
You know my soul. You know there is nothing I wouldn’t do for you. Just as I know yours, they are intertwined for always. I know who you are deep down inside.
I know your guilt that comes from your actions. Do you know mine? The time I have spent wondering, “which day did I go wrong?” Did I read to you enough? Did I give you enough apple snacks? Was it that day I spanked you for running out in the street? Or the day I made you stand in the corner for telling me “NO!”?
Silly really, the mundane things I dwell on. But it doesn’t stop me from wondering – what minute of what day would I have changed?
Instead, this is where we are. But it won’t be dark, we have each other to light the way. I’ll light yours and you’ll light mine and we will meet at the end of this tunnel.
And every so often, we pause. Our eyes, our hearts and our souls connect like a magnet and we ask each other – how did you get here?
I don’t know.
Until next time…
Wasn't that beautiful? Please let Dana Ordonez know by commenting how her beautiful words penned touched your heart. Blameless is going to be blessed to share many more of her writings geared for mothers of incarcerated sons.