Time

At 6:19 a.m., Sunday, September 7, 2014, Mack left St. Louis on a plane to Spain. It was the last time I saw her. Three years later, and those last moments with her at the airport are so clear and close in my mind and yet so foggy and far away, as well. Time plays its tricks, but time has lessened neither my love for Mack nor my longing for her. If I have learned anything at all from my sorrows, it is that time is no elixir, nor do I wish it to be. Some wounds are ours to bear for a lifetime, because they are the proof that we have lived.

Time

Who says time heals all wounds
does not know time.

Time heals not
the souls of grieving mothers.
Time fills no
holes in hearts, yearning for lost daughters.
Time rests never
for weary travelers on roads of grief.

Who says time heals all wounds
does not know time.

Time plays tricks
cruel and bitter on broken hearts;
Speeding forward,
no mercy for seekers of happy pasts;
Caring nothing
that some of us need to linger.

Who says time heals all wounds
does not know time,
nor grief, nor mothers and daughters, nor love.

 

 

Shut It Off

Anticipation of the impending two-year mark of my life without Mack has infiltrated my bones and made me unsteady on my feet these past days. In an effort to regain some balance and to face the grim week ahead, I need Mack to guide me. So I have taken yet another journey through Mack’s beautiful brain by spending time with the precious book that Mack’s adoring father assembled just months after we lost her. The spirit of our Mack dances (Irish jigs, actually) off of each of the priceless pages of Mack: Her Life & Words (http://mackmcd.yolasite.com/), reminding the reader of her quirky wit, her gracious and kind character, her uncompromising belief in equality and justice, her love for life, and her uncommon wisdom.

This morning, I was reading out loud her poetry. It is undisciplined, and it is raw. It is not the stuff of literary giants, but it has a beauty and a quiet wisdom that is uniquely Mack. One particular poem might in some ways now seem prophetic, but this morning as I repeated it half a dozen times or so, it was, very simply, pure and human truth. A sage epistle from my sweet girl. A gentle reminder to find the sun.

Shut it Off
By Mackenzie Kathleen McDermott

It’s all okay
The sun is out
But hidden behind generous clouds
On a lazy day
Soon to be replaced by lazy stars

Then all at once
The world collapses
The clouds turn mean
And the sun retreats
To mourn the ashes of kin
A touch is in order
Some simple relief from the gripping reality
As the world dims
But there’s a head on those shoulders
So give it all you’ve got
Then shut it off

Move quickly
And hold tight to false hope
Cling to the smallest of rocks in the stone
Just make sure you don’t look down
Because letting go is much harder than pretending

Shut it off
There’s much more pain that love can bring
Than just a body in a box
So shut it off

And then it’s almost okay
The sun is out
But hidden behind generous clouds
On a lazy day
Soon to be replaced by lazy stars
Shut it off
It’s not that hard

freckle

As I myself cling to the smallest of rocks in the stone, I can assure you all that under some of life’s cruel circumstances it is, actually, quite hard. But for my Mack, I will always try harder to find the sun.

I Miss My Macko

I weep for you every day;

My eyes with grief are swollen.

I yearn to change the heavy truth upon me that has fallen.

Some say time can ease my pain;

Some say time will bring me peace.

My heartbreak belies the promise, though, of any such release.

Your joyful soul to me endeared you;

Much good humor and laughter you shared.

And I am a better person, because for you I cared.

Cherished memories of your good life;

Keep pace with my sense of loss so deep.

Our time in life may be past, but your spirit forever I keep.