if only (11.29am)

the week my sister in law D killed herself, she left me a voice message. i intended to call her back.  it was a busy november week and returning the phone call kept being pushed aside by to much doing and the almost ceaseless distraction of two young children and a me that has to push past me to reach out.

it was thanksgiving. we waited in the hospital with three children, breathing in air smoky with confusion. surprise. anger. her now-mine youngest C,  lay on chairs in the waiting room. having been in to see his mum, the sight of her swollen body foreign and disconnecting, he retreated to sleep and i was thankful.  K, the center one’s silence.  i did not know what words to use to give her peace. T, the oldest. the one whose heart had lived closest to mine so far. she understood the most,  her hurt bled out in words and we listened.

standing in the room after goodbyes were said i held her hand and made promises i still try to keep. when life was no longer there, M and i left his parents to say the kind of goodbye parents don’t know how to say.

but in the cold room and between insistent sounds of pumps and tubes and monitors, my heart had whispered an accusing

if only.

if only i had returned that call.

if only there had been face to face before too late broke down our doors.

if only.

surely my heart would have known. that the  burdens and hurdles and struggles seemed insurmountable to her. that who she wanted to be and who she was had grown so far apart from each other she wanted only to be free of the divide.

that phone call. that week. those children whose lives had just had been torn, could i have made different?  would i have seen where she was deciding to go? would there have been a moment when something i said led to detour?

i held my wondering close and then handed it to M because if only is sharp edged and heavy and he is my knight in shining armor always.  he handed back the truth i knew but needed wrapped around me so that i could forgive myself.

truth. if that moment. that turning back word, that love enough to live for, that stopping of self-destruct had been mine to give. it would have been given to me by the maker of moments. the one who holds it all in his hands. 

my forgetfulness and short-sightedness and maybe even selfishness are not enough to stop my creator from moving me where he will, when he will.

to carry if only scribbled on a scrap of paper in my pocket,

leaves no room for that truth.that all is his and he is all.

mobile handmade by T.W.


7 thoughts on “if only (11.29am)

  1. I have my own “What ifs” and I carried a special paper with me for years (Literally) until I was ready to put it away and out of my everyday sight.

  2. Kris! I love you so much for this post! I’ve been totally camping out in the waste land of “if only”. Thanks for reminding me about my Compass & True North.

  3. Your post brought back memories of that weekend. This time of year huh? It seems we always have our if-onlys doesn’t it? Kris, your writing is always so eloquent. Praying for you and your family this month especially!

    • thank you chris…for the compliment and the prayers. i find it comforting when there are people to remember the hard times with me. not sure why, but i do. XO

  4. what a heart-wrenching experience to have gone through…and still go through. “if only” – 2 such teency little words that can, however, bear the weight of the world. some ‘if onlys’ serve their purpose, help guide the way at times when we might forget the painful lessons of the past. other ‘if onlys’ are destructive by their weight we carry and can’t let go. the bit that really resonated for me was ‘if it had been mine to give…it would have been given to me…’ – that’s a comfort to really hold on to!

thoughts, reactions or found a typo? i would love to know...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s