Sitting on the bus to Geraldton I looked out the window as we stopped at the last stop in Perth and I saw a matronly woman in her sixties with two kids standing just outside of my window on the bus – a young girl of 11 and a boy about 13. The girl was sobbing convulsively as she looked longingly into the window of a seat, 3 rows up from where I was sitting.
I looked down the rows and saw, in the inner refection of the window, a middle-aged woman with wet glistening eyes – the morning sun’s reflection was shimmering off of her lower eyelids like two silver coins. She was the spitting image of the boy. He was signing to the lady in the window, tapping his heart then pointing to the window, as his lips were clearly mouthing, “I love you!” meanwhile… the girl was beginning to gain composure but only slightly, as the old lady stroked her hair, the girl hugged tightly against the matron’s girth. The girl’s squirming waned when the lady in the window waved and signed like the boy. The little girls eyes were locked onto the lady in the window. The lady smiled through her wet eyes and the girl signed just as the boy did. Something in the deft way she did her signing caused me for the first time to notice a hearing aid in the girl’s ear, and I suddenly realize she and the boy are deaf.
As I watched this heart wrenching drama, I realized without butting in, I would never know the back-story and I began to wonder…
Is this old woman a teacher at a their deaf school? Is the old woman the grandmother and the lady in the window is the mom and she is going on a trip? Are they housed in a school for the deaf and the mother works in another town? Is she a divorced mom with partial visitation rights? Are their hard times and the grandmother is keeping the children as mom goes off in seek of employment that will help her pay the exorbitant costs of keeping two children in a deaf school? All these questions and more swirled through my mind. As the little girl’s tears heat up again and the boy wipes his eyes on his shirt sleeve as he looks down at his feet, I realize: It matters not what the back-story is, because these tears are real. The heart wrenching I love you(s) are as real as the tears that are now streaming down my face – this drama is not the back-story, this drama is here and now.
The real drama here is all about parting. These are the tears I see like coins in the window, like rivers in the girl and the stolen tears of the boy trying to be strong, are all tears of broken hearts. The kind of heartbreak that can only come from being ripped away from someone you love. These are the tears of being torn asunder. These are the tears of separation that knows neither for how long, nor how brief the parting may be, nor doesn’t it matter, because this is the true and genuine heartache of parting. These are the tears reserved for loosing a loved one. Whether it is a forced parting or parted by death, or parting by necessity, as Shakespeare said: “parting is such sweet sorrow.” This type of parting is so sweet it steals your breath and it is so sorrowful it can buckle your knees.
By now my heart was sucked into this real life drama, there out the window of my bus to Geraldton at the last stop in Perth, Western Australia; I was pulled in by the vortex of empathy, and my tears fell with the ache of a real sorrow of my own. I was whisked back in time 30 years to a courthouse in Chickasha Oklahoma where as a young man of barely twenty I listened as a judge banged his gavel and said: “Mr. Russell Cline, I here by terminate your rights to be the parent of your daughter Elaynia Lorain Cline.” On that day, in that moment, my knees buckled as they tore my daughter from my life. AT THE TIME IT WAS AN ETERNITY and it was permanent, I had no idea I would won day get her back and reverse this dreadful decision with years of court battles, all I knew was she was being taken away and by his words it would be forever! I crumbled to the floor and helplessly wept with sobs and convulsions so spastic and real that even my attorney joined me in the weeping and they didn’t cease for what seemed an eternity – though it was only 30 minutes or so, I thought it would never cease or ease.
I looked at the lady in the mirror, I looked at the girl and I realized that these tears now on my cheeks also live in the convulsive sobs of this tender little girl and the brave moist eyes of this young boy and the coins in the eyes of the middle aged lady in the window because I cry with them. I cry for all of love’s separation I have ever known – Lord knows that is a lot – I cry for an eternity of missing and tearing and parting. And for a moment I am was far from consolable as was the little girl, as inconsolable as I was 30 years prior; I heave and convulse once then twice, my shoulders jerk and tears pour from my eyes like water from a pitcher. I want to hold the girl. I want to hug the boy. I specifically longed to comfort the lady in the window. I want to say to them: Can you see me? Can you see my tears? Can you see my pain is real like yours? Now look again and tell me: Can you see my joy? I am proof that one day you will heal from moments like these. I am here and I am your proof. Be well my sorrowful soul mates, for if you will allow it you will heal.
The bus pulled away and I grabbed my journal and wrote this on the bus. Then I read this to Joanne. I said, so much parting and separating in my life. To which she said, “It happens all of our life to all of our lives.” And I thought yes. Right up until the final separation. The tearing of the soul from flesh, in that last moment what must it feel like? To be separated from your body? To be torn away from the flesh that is you, the flesh you have seen in the mirror, photos and videos for an entire lifetime.
For the record the reunion with my daughter was almost as tearful as the separation. After 13 years, we were reunited and now we do live happily ever after.
Tears and tears
Tears are torn from your flesh!
I honor and cherish every moment I get and I find decadence even in grief!
Parting is as Shakespeare said: “Such sweet sorrow!” So sweet it can choke you and so sorrowful it can buckle you knees.
One day it will take you with it into the great unknown where you will once again be One with all; where you will wait for the next separation, from the One back into flesh again. All this parting and separation… I realize I have a clue what the big tear will feel like.
As always in my heart there is Love & Light,