She can feel it creeping up inside of him. His curious eyes have stopped wandering and are now fixated upon her gaze. He stares as if wondering what he should do next, but she already knows what happens next. A prophetic power only a mother has.
Her son begins to cry. Unending screams of agony fill the void of silence; breaking the calm before the storm… and what a storm it is. She holds him desperately. Presses his soft head against her breasts. “Is he hungry?”she thinks. “No… Does he need a good changing?” She inhales but there is no pestilent smell to be found. Still, she changes his diaper and clothes, hoping by some miracle that this was his belligerent demand.
The echoing cries persist, deafening her resolve with their increasing volume. She starts rocking him back and forth whilst caressing his head. She sings softly… desperately:
Hush little baby… don’t say a word.
Mama’s gonna buy you a mockin’ bird
And if that mockin’ bird won’t sing
Mama’s gonna buy you a diamond ring
Her voice begins to croak. Her tears of helplessness and solitude come to mingle with her child’s. Two streams of sorrow. A river of powerlessness. A Mother’s Fear.
Her son is all grown up now. A man. She raised him as best she could; gifted him with a mother’s love.
He still cries at times. However, she is always there to help him. She has grown to know and understand him. She has familiarized herself with his different cries. She has learned how to heal is suffering in whatever form it may take. Her strenuous studies of motherhood forever motivated by a Mother’s Fear.
She is old now. She has not the strength to help him as she used to, but she taught him well. She has given him everything that a mother can give.
He can feel it creeping up inside of her. Her loving eyes have faded. He stares, hoping to see a glimmer that once existed. They lock gazes. They both know what happens next.
She preemptively takes his hands. She caresses it weakly then struggles to bring it to her chest. He begins to cry all the same, a cacophony of desperation. “Here it comes again” she thinks. A Mother’s Fear. The nightmare that has always haunted her.
She knows she is going to cause him the greatest pain he has ever lived. Yet she smiles at him.
She understands that she will not be there to help him through this traumatic endeavor. Yet she finds the strength to sing softly… lovingly:
Hush little baby… don’t you cry.
Mama’s gonna say her final goodbye
And if that goodbye ever hurts
Surrendering will only make it worse
Her voice begins to croak. She pulls her son closer. They are locked in a loving embrace. Her tears of pride mingle with his tears of despair. Two streams of devotion. A river of emotion.
She whispers in her son’s ear, breaking the heartfelt silence: “You will always have my love. I will always be with you my son, but you don’t need me anymore. It is your turn to love. You will be a father soon.”
One of the two streams engulfs the other. He cries endlessly as he did in the past. “How can he become a father in a time like this?” he asks knowing he will not receive a response. “I am not ready…”
He is mature now. He has become a great father. He had learned much from his mother even if he had not realized it at the time.
His tears have dried up long ago. His anguish became dedication. His own sorrow was replaced by a fear that once haunted his mother. He dreads the day when his silly jokes won’t make his daughter laugh, when his embrace won’t quench her tears… when his love won’t heal her pain.
He can only hope to do as his mother did. She had given him boundless love and affection and he does the same towards his daughter.
A cycle of life and love.