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Four In The Morning

There have been mornings since my mother’s death, usually around four ‘clock, when the world seems darkest, and so do my thoughts. I have fallen back into my routine of waking early, making coffee, stretching, reading, and then writing while nibbling on cracked pieces of dark chocolate. It is the time of morning where I simultaneously feel most alive, grateful, and ready myself for the journey of the next several hours because I have learned that life can change within the light of day. At the same time this is when I am alone with my thoughts, which can sometimes be a dangerous, dark, and haunting place. Four in the morning is when I am free to fondle my keyboard and allow what is within to come out honestly, without censorship, and at times it is joyous and with hope, and other times it pokes at the monsters in my head antagonizing them to play. I could say it is trauma, that old friend scratching at the doorway of my past wanting to have a conversation, or it’s trying to remove the thought of my mother lying in her deathbed, losing her ability to speak through the daunting death rattle and piercing into my eyes and the only word I can make out is, “Help.” Then, realizing that through a hundred conversations with her, a thousand mornings of sipping coffee, that “help” means, “Let’s get this over with,” so I practically beg the Hospice nurse to grant her the maximum dose of morphine. Yes, four in the morning is when ghosts appear and look at me from a glass case that stands firmly against the wall, close to my writing desk, and I briefly wonder, “Did I ease her pain or rush Death to visit her?” I am my mother’s son, so I know death was welcomed. Yet, it doesn’t save my heart from beating out of tune, skipping with anxiety and guilt every so often.

I enjoy this time of day because it is quiet. I know within these walls and beyond them, most are resting. It is the most peaceful time where the mundane distractions of screens and the futile attempts to fit into a world that I think deeply about, to the point where it brings me to tears; a time when I can be myself, with music playing, and exploring my thoughts and trying to figure out how to bring them to the blank page. I think of a world where I no longer have a need to mold myself into its open wounds and then try to figure out what I have to offer. Perhaps, my offerings are simply my truth, hoping that maybe my experiences help someone else, even if it’s through my own pain and suffering. It is a way to not drift through my days and remember when I was only a child and I was both loved and hated. The four in the morning musings remind me that I had fifty three years of being loved, almost unconditionally, only as a mother can love a son. It is a time when I can try to fit all of the pieces of my personal puzzle together to get a clearer view of my life and understand it. However, the reality is that pieces are missing. They were lost somewhere along the way, or maybe discarded in the trash. It is okay for the pieces to be missing because it allows me to shape and mold new ones. The new pieces that I choose to create allow me to bury old bones.

Now, the pale light is coming through the window and there is life to live.

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