The Empty Cake Plate

May 17, 2012

My birthday came, and it was raining. I watched the rain, big droplets and small; they hit the window pane and rolled down, drop by drop. The minutes passed directly to the beat of the rain drops; pitter patter, pitter, patter, tick, tock, tick, tock. Will the rain stop and if it does with time stop too?

If I could ask for one thing for my birthday, stopping time for five minutes so I could run backwards to a point back in late summer, about a quarter to three am on the morning I had to say good bye. I would know now I had five minutes left to feel her pulse in my hand, to hear her breathing and feel her warm breath on my cheek. I could tell her she was such a wonderful daughter and how proud I was of all her accomplishments. How much she raised me up and gave me strength to do some things without her I would not do; how much she filled my heart and soul by her very presence. I could hear her voice saying everything will be alright, that she loved me as much as I loved her and to tell everyone good bye, she loved them too. I would not cry for that would take precious time and these five minutes would be the most golden minutes of my life. I would ask her to watch over us, to remind me everyday that she is there, to tell her she will be the best angel God ever chose because she was my precious one. I would tell, knowing our time was short, I would do over everything exactly the same, love the same, be proud of her the same and kiss her good bye the same. And then I would watch as the fifth minute came to a close her breathing stop, her sigh heard and my present would be over.

But such presents are naught and I can only sit here and dream. No sun, only rain, hitting the window pane. The phone does not ring and I wonder if everyone has forgotten me or is that they know if they come, what they too expect to see will not be here. That car in the driveway, the sound of her laughing, the smell of the dinner she would prepare for me and that cake, her cakes always made just for me. Whatever the reason, I am alone, my birthday ticking away, pitter, patter, pitter, patter, tick, tock, tick, tock.

Five o’clock passes and one lone car drives in. My daughter, most like Jesicha, bold and strong, soft hearted and independent; Natasha arrives wishing me a happy birthday; with a hug and a smile; she knew I needed both.  She presents to me my gift, not knowing it was the only one received today. One came the day before, wonderful wind chimes with HOPE as its message, appropriate; I hung it so I could watch it. But today, I have only the wind chimes blowing in the wind, until now; and I open it, finding a bracelet, with charms for all the children and I ask before counting, ‘You have eleven, right?’ The answer is yes, and I could them; why would she forget or make me forget. Natasha would not, though some tell me now I have ten; how absurd. Eleven it is, nine living near, one in CO. and one in heaven; that is it. We laugh, how absurd people would think otherwise, but we don’t, and we make sure every charm is lined up just right; fingering each of them, coming back to number two, silver flowers with her birthstone. I wear it and finger them, they are all here together with me.

My birthday comes to a close; the rain is slowly and the beat of the rain drops against the window pane is slowing; time ticking faster; perhaps sun tomorrow. The day passed, I made it through, my birthday will never be the same; no more hearing her laughter or sharing dinner, and no more birthday cake. I look around; the cake plate is empty; I turn off the lights.







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