it was but a mere second – nigh unto 4:30 in the morning – when my sweet poppo was on this planet and then wasn’t.
i said a wee-hours-goodnight to him, propped in a hospital bed at home in their house. he whispered back to me. i tried desperately to memorize his face, the love in his eyes.
and before the birds woke up in the morning, that morning eight years ago yesterday, i went from with to without.
three years later, we left my sweet momma sitting on the edge of her assisted-living-bed, grasping onto the blue-notebook-that-documented-their-moments-in-europe, her expression dancing with excitement, waving to us. i tried desperately to memorize her face, the love in her eyes.
it wasn’t but a couple weeks later, on the road back again to florida, around the time the sun is highest in the sky, i went from with to without.
suddenly, i was orphaned. suddenly i was without the two people who gave me life. suddenly i was without the two people who could answer any question i had about my growing up. suddenly – in a split second – nothing was the same.
100,000 families. in the past few months, due to the global pandemic decimating our country, 100,000 families have desperately tried to memorize a loved one’s face. they have held tightly to the memory of love shining in their beloved’s eyes. they have moved from one split second into the next. with to without.
and last night, on the solemn occasion of this number passing from 99,999 to over 100,000 – that one second – one person- one life – one with to without – i expected, foolishly, that something would change. that there would be gut-wrenching acknowledgement. that there would be communal nation-wide mourning led by the person in the highest seat in the land. that there would be kind, generous, thoughtful words spoken, grief-filled heart-soaked empathy for all that the withs-to-withouts have gone through.
we need remember. all of it. these are our split seconds.
”…in a split second, our lives can turn around…”
they have. they continue to.
this is real.
IN A SPLIT SECOND from AS SURE AS THE SUN ©️ 2002 kerri sherwood