Friday, May 23, 2014

Five Minutes of Close

Joining with Lisa Jo Baker and the inspiring writers over at Five Minute Friday today. Here's the drill-write for five minutes flat, which means no editing, no over thinking, no negative self-talk. Five measly minutes on a one word prompt. Ready go-

Five Minute Friday

Today's prompt-close

She came into the world six days overdue, wailing for all she was worth. Like she was angry they were taking her from the very nearness of me. If she wasn't in the hospital room with me you'd find her in a nurse's arms. Hold me and your clipboard she'd demand, and the nurses complied. Enormous blue eyes made her impossible to refuse. She needed skin upon skin the way most people need air.

She slept in a bassinet beside our bed until it could no longer hold her squishy legs and golden curls. Up until she was nearly two she woke countless times a night just to see my face and hear my voice, to be nestled into the crook of my arm. If I were washing dishes or preparing dinner her infant seat took up space on the kitchen counter I really couldn't spare. A front row seat to me and all was right with her world.

She grew. Soft and strong. Sensitive and confident. Full of words and giggles and a little sass too. The blue eyes were her saving grace. The blue eyes and the arms as soft as velvet that wrapped themselves so freely and so completely around your neck and your heart you felt you'd seen a snapshot of heaven.

When she was about eight years old someone commented to me in church they'd noticed she always sat with her hand on my arm, as close to me as possible. They remarked on the sweetness of it and I remember thinking how sometimes it made me weary, this need to always be somehow rubber banded together.

And she grew. Long legs and opinions. Brains and beauty and a heart woven so tightly with my own it was a tangled glory of a mess. A teenager ready to take on the world. When did I become the one who needed close? I'm the one who always needed space and lots of it. Room to breathe and think and be.

Somehow as the years rolled by she knew I needed close. Knew I needed that rubber band to stretch and twist, but never break. As tall as me, and a little bit smarter, she held my hand as we crossed the streets of London. As we navigated foreign cities, adolescence, and a future that was suddenly here. Holding my hand came to her as easily as breathing...unforced, natural, and without any hint of self-consciousness.

And she grew. An ocean away. States away. An apartment, job, and life away from me. Separated by miles and responsibilities and calendars that don't always mesh. By the adult world that says we can't always do what we want. That we sometimes have to do what we must. Inside I wail at the top of my lungs at the geographic far-ness of my people. I need to wake up in the night and see her face and hear her voice.

I remember the arms around my neck and the fearless way she hugged without letting go, the way her grown up hand held mine in a city far away. 

It's not perfect, but it's close.  


  1. I love this story about your precious child! Lovely!

    Sarah @ cming over to visit and to see how your thoughts were written out!

  2. Oh my. You played every emotional string on my heart with that post, Joyce. I think many of us moms have been through that very same thing and often miss the closeness we had when they were little and needed us more. So now, although I'm tempted to wallow in an emotional puddle, I'll make myself go accomplish something.

  3. Hi, visiting from FmF. My daughter died when she was 15. I have tears in my eyes reading your story. How lucky you are and how happy I am that you appreciate your daughter. Enjoy every minute of her life.

  4. What a sweet and touching post. I feel very much the same way about my daughter. She is moving to Moldova in July with her husband to be missionaries....we will be close via Skype....but far via miles.

  5. Oh this is beautiful! You made me remember how my youngest always wanted to have her arms around my neck and I always felt I needed room to breathe. And now she's grown and away .... and I'd give anything to have those arms around my neck again.

  6. Such a beautiful bond your have had and still have with your daughter. You can see how that closeness has made her a more confident woman in being able to grow into all that God designed her for. I hope and pray that for my daughter and I as she grows and life seperates us.

  7. It's a whole new world being a mum to a grown up girl. I love your image of the rubber band that can twist and stretch but never break. Thanks.

  8. beautiful..thank you for sharing..Blessings

  9. Oh, this was so wonderful and I know your pain of the miles that separate. My girl will be moving next week just up the road 3 hours and I'm beside myself. Praying you and your girls will one day have fewer miles between you.

  10. So beautiful! How precious that bond is.

  11. " Knew I needed that rubber band to stretch and twist, but never break. "
    That's it, that's what we need.
    Precious memories.

  12. Somehow I just KNOW that you and your girls will always manage to be "close" regardless of any distance between you.You need them, but they need YOU even more. You have job security that only mother's have.

  13. How beautifully written. Somehow you voiced words that are in my heart this very moment, as I prepare for my daughter's wedding day on Friday. Hugs from one Mom to another. Blessings and Sunshine, Valerie