We’ve had the pleasure of reading Mary Ann’s words for the last couple weeks, and this week’s words will touch your soul deeply and leave a mark.
Thank you, Mary Ann.
Here is it:
When I was about six years old, a grieving woman came to the cemetery house. She brought a box of beautiful clothes that she wanted me to wear. The woman tearfully told my mother, my father and I how her own beloved little girl had died of a fever the doctors could not treat. My parents knew all about this, but the sad story was new and confusing for me. The woman kept staring at me and asked if she could kiss me. Being a child I could not understand her sorrow, could not share any dimension of her inconsolable grief. And, I stepped away from her. Soon after, she left the house, got into her car, and drove away. I never saw her again. To this day, I regret my refusal of her kiss, a gesture that might have helped her begin to heal. Such are the straits of childhood- that uncertain curve of understanding we must all learn to navigate, and sometimes misread signs along the way.
Being Irish, my mother feared threads of death hidden in lovely seams of satin, linen and silk. She said fevers had a way of clinging to fabric, however lovely, however costly, waiting for the flesh and bone of yet another child. I never saw the box again, never wore any of the coats, dresses, sweaters and skirts. My mother may have buried them in the attic or basement and let them slowly turn to dust, like the dead girl who’d worn them last fall, last winter, just this past summer. That ghost child never held a golden leaf from autumn, never wondered at the harvest moon, stars of September, sudden dawn of October, the sun rising up from graves of darkness into day.
Don’t forget to follow and read next week’s final installation. I will be posting her writing in full as well as asking the question that could help you win a FREE SIGNED copy of Mary Ann’s book, Sleeping with Satan.