Life Among the Never-Winged

Once upon a time I was writing a book called, "Just Another Love Letter", about angels behaving badly. Now I just quietly ask myself each day, "What the hell am I doing?"

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Location: The Rocky Mountain Empire, United States

My friends always knew I was going to hell. My only hope is that God likes good jokes and bad redheads.

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  • Friday, August 11, 2006

    Keeping Vigil



    Infinite River -- Marvin Hill


    From where I sit right now, I can look up out the basement window and see my boyos playing outside in their fort, not fifteen feet away. They are playing well together, and it is my favorite thing to watch.

    I’m always looking for a place where I can lay down my loneliness. Let down my guard, just a little.
    And one of those places is RockyGrass.
    Why? Perhaps it’s because I’m there with some of my favorite folks in the world. Maybe because of the beauty of the St. Vrain River, and how it sings to me of peacefulness. Maybe it’s the music; its long tradition – the way it carries the pain and hope and despair and joy of ages. Maybe it’s the people; everyone is so friendly and kind, never a fight despite the vast quantities of beer consumed. Must be those sweet-smelling breezes…
    Pepper-smelling, breezes straight from Acapulco. Golden.
    Free love in the air.

    I’m always protective of my boyos when we’re in public, as most moms are. Maybe it comes from enduring such a horrific pregnancy. Maybe from enduring such a horrific neighborhood during their first year-and-half. I make the boyos hold my hands, I administer warnings about running away, about being too loud, about a million things.

    I shouldn’t admit it, but I worry more about Jack. I always have. He’s the smaller of the two, born underweight, a quiet baby turned into a daring whip of a toddler afraid of nothing; my tumbling Jumping Jack, running out of my reach, then turning to offer a defiant smile. My chatterbox, offended when a stranger doesn’t return his ‘hello.’

    Declan is the opposite; muscular, cautious, thoughtful, a born engineer, and in many ways his brother’s keeper.


    Which is why I was so shocked when he was the one who disappeared on Saturday.


    I was careless. I’d dropped my guard too much. Declan was sitting next to me on one of the large stones lining the river. He said he wanted to go up the bank to see Daddy, who was right above us. I let him go.
    But Daddy had gone twenty feet away, into the smoking tent. He came back, leaned over the bank and said, “Where’s Declan?”
    I stared stupidly at him. “With…you?”
    “No.”
    We split up, going in opposite directions, eyes scanning the crowd.
    I kept telling myself, ‘He’s all right. This is a safe crowd. There are kids running around everywhere. Nothing’s happened to him.’
    It just takes one crazy.
    ‘There are so many good people here. Good people with kids. No one’s going to take him.’
    But the river.
    ‘There are a million people in the river. No one will let him go in. He’s afraid of the water anyway.’
    Then where is he?
    ‘I’ll find him.’
    The river.
    ‘Stop.’
    And then all I could think about was my breath and the beer I’d drunk, and how it would all give me away when I spoke to an officer. Another stupid hippie mother who’s lost her child because she can’t control herself.
    PeeWee came up behind me, looking as worried as I felt.
    I gave in, and followed along the St. Vrain. But I couldn’t look at it.

    And then we saw him, holding a woman’s hand, heading towards us over the grass.

    The joy I felt, the relief. It showed on PeeWee’s face, so much so that the woman thought Declan was her son. PeeWee cried the tears I couldn’t allow myself.
    “This is my son,” I told the woman. “This is my son, Declan.”
    “He told me he was looking for his daddy. I thought we’d head this way…”
    “Thank you. Thank you so much.”
    For not being crazy.
    For being one of the good people.
    For not letting him go in the river.
    For doing what I should have done. Keeping vigil.

    To fear something you love is a terrible thing.
    It's losing the big battle. The most important one. The one we're all meant to fight.


    Ok.
    So much for the scary part. The rest was bliss. More later.

    11 people left me a love letter:

    Blogger The Laughing Frog wrote in a love letter...

    Gald Declan's safe. He managed to find one of the good ones.

    9:45 PM, August 11, 2006  
    Blogger Dantares wrote in a love letter...

    Ouch. Just....Ouch.
    I was an unconcious roamer when younger. Also a climber, but luckily never a faller-offer.
    The combination however made my parents more than a little handcuffish.
    I'm sure he didn't mean it personally.
    Dantares.

    1:41 AM, August 12, 2006  
    Blogger Jonathon S.B. Tiercel wrote in a love letter...

    ND - Can relate, B used to hide in the clothes racks at the shopping center when our backs were turned...and thought it was funny to watch us spin up.... He doesn't do it anymore now that he is 8, but it was a hectic time. Glad he was found by one of the good ones...

    8:01 AM, August 12, 2006  
    Blogger Schmoopie wrote in a love letter...

    Although you had told me this scary story already, while reading it, I broke into tears. You are able to relate, through words, those feelings of utter loss. It is the most horrific feeling in the world (to lose someone you love) whether temporary or forever. I am so glad D. is okay.

    12:05 PM, August 12, 2006  
    Blogger amusing wrote in a love letter...

    Oh yes, the clothes racks. And then your voice rises calling their name and you are torn between wanting to attract attention and getting others involved and not wanting to let anyone know you've lost them because you focused on a shirt on a hanger for one minute.... And they don't answer because to them it's a game and you fight the panic and then finally after far too much time, there's a giggle and you can breathe again...

    4:13 PM, August 12, 2006  
    Blogger Des_Moines_Girl wrote in a love letter...

    Very scary! I know that feeling.

    Had a scary episode with little girl and a dog (dog went after her but luckily didn't bite her). She was fine just scared. When I went to bed that night all I could think was "What if...? How close did we come...?" That's when I started to shake.

    4:15 PM, August 12, 2006  
    Anonymous clowncar wrote in a love letter...

    That 15 minutes felt like an hour, even though, as O pointed out, it's probably one of the safest places in the world to lose a kid. It was good therapy for me to look after (and calm) all the little ones while you guys were out searching - it kept me from going into panic mode.

    With the scary bit dispensed, looking forward to the description of the blissy bits!

    9:16 PM, August 13, 2006  
    Blogger Popeye wrote in a love letter...

    OK, I was holding my breath a little. . .

    9:37 PM, August 13, 2006  
    Blogger Dick wrote in a love letter...

    While events like that eventually happen to all parents it is still very scarey when it happens to you. I'm so glad the outcome was good.

    Thanks for your visit & comment on my blog. Lisa & family are going through a tough period, I know from being in one myself not long ago. The pain of loss never goes away but it does get easier to live with as time passes by.

    11:20 AM, August 15, 2006  
    Blogger Nancy Dancehall wrote in a love letter...

    Froggie: Thanks! Of course there, you couldn't walk without tripping over one of the good ones. :-)

    Dantares: Jack is quite the climber himself. They both are, really. And I'm sure that's why your parents were handcuffish (what a great word). :-)

    JT: I see what I have to look forward to. :-)

    Schmoop: Wow. Thank you. That's an incredible compliment.

    Amusing: Exactly! Girl, get out here! :-)

    DMG: Oh, how scary! Poor you. I know that shaking...

    Clowncar: And I thank you for doing that. You were great. :-)

    Popeye: Wow. Thanks. I guess I got the feeling across, didn't I?

    Dick: Thanks for stopping by. Happy travels! Huggy is a CUTE cat.

    2:48 PM, August 15, 2006  
    Blogger Julie wrote in a love letter...

    Oh my gosh! How scary. I'm an so glad that he is safe!

    9:50 PM, August 23, 2006  

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