A favourite quote and a way by which to approach life.

Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Rough Tenderness

You interrupt my dreams, my violent dreams; the dreams that are my mind’s attempt at processing the violence my body has endured. I am sucked out of the image of a boy being murdered, and I am grateful.

I do not have the energy to open my eyes, but I know it is you stroking my arm. You touch me with a familiar uncertainty. You touch me with a question in your fingertips, ‘Does this hurt? I do hope not.’

Your skin is rough: worn from gardening, from jobs around the house, from picking at the bark on sticks you find on your morning walks in the park. The scratchiness prickles my arm, but I like your signature touch and rest in its tenderness.

I have had contact from many over recent days, but it has been the prod of a medic’s finger, the skimming of my chest with a stethoscope, the jab of a needle. Instead of this necessary invasion I have craved the gentle holding of my hand – a comfort in the fear. Now you are here, soothing the remnants of my anxieties with your presence, and the dancing of your hand on my arm as you struggle to find a bit of me that isn’t tied up in wires, and tubes, and needles.

I want to show you that I know you are here; to assure you that your touch is welcome. It takes almost more energy than I have, but when your hand reaches mine I hold onto your fingers for just a second.

‘Hello,’ you whisper, as if afraid of disturbing me.

I struggle to open my eyes, exhaustion tugging me back towards sleep, but I persist, and eventually manage to peel apart my heavy eyelids. Unable to focus, I see your blurred, frail form, and I smile the weakest of smiles.

‘Dad,’ I mouth, and curl my fingers around the sandpapery ends of yours once more.


Anonymous said...

"Rough Tenderness" is easily in the top 5 most beautiful and moving things I have ever read. It is such an intimate piece – I admire your bravery and I feel privileged to have been allowed a glimpse of such a personal moment.
God Bless.

BeckyG said...

Anonymous, thank you so much. It gives me a real boost to get such positive feedback on my writing. I'm glad that you enjoyed 'Rough Tenderness'. It's one for my book, but I have a very long way to go with that yet.

Thank you, again.

Tequila Sepulveda said...

Hola, Becky. You made me get all teary-eyed, again, dear girl! You know that evoking an emotional response is only doable with stellar, passionate writing.

I've been a bit yukky lately, from my treatments, and the horrible air quality is challenging with only 38% of my lungs left, but I think about you and know that I can be strong, too.

You inspire me. Thank you. :)

BeckyG said...

Aw, Tequila, you're so kind about my writing. Thank you. Ever so sorry that you've been having a tough time lately ((((((hugs)))))) Hang in there, lovely, and wrap those hugs around you whenever you need them - there's a never ending supply. Take care.