The dry heaves subside quickly. I splash cold water on my face and brush my teeth. Lock up the house and crank the ignition in the car. Pop in some minty-fresh gum. This is not going to be a good day.
The walk from the parking lot into the facility happens in slow-motion; only my thoughts are racing. I pull open the glass doors, heavy, difficult to open, making escape difficult. Sign my name feeling out of place in shorts and tee shirt.
Down the hallway, not chemically clean, smells assault nose and mouth; urine and sweet sick smells which my brain can’t catalogue. Try not to look into the rooms as I pass by, “Doctor my eyes have seen the years and the slow parade of fears…without crying.”
Demons and darkness mingle with deaths’ odor, breathing is a struggle. I hesitate to enter the room. Dragons less an enemy than the black void I must step into.
I cross the threshold; embittered emotions from childhood veil me in. I flail about, drowning in a pool, unable to firmly grasp anything. Soul deep I feel nothing—unsure of myself because nobody’s ever met me there. No voice to give direction, no arms to lift me up. The boy becomes teenager and runs into different arms for feeling, touch and strokes.
Another step forward another deep breath. Attune my ears to a different voice. A Voice that spoke while I drowned, calling directions, giving guidance, reaching into the darkness, affirming worth, confirming value.
I listen to that Voice now, cast myself into those arms. Raise my hands to do battle. Sweat breaks on my forehead; I recall a man without soul, a manipulator of people; hiding emptiness with a smile.
A choice I must make---we must make. Does my past own me? Am I beholden to darkness?
I step into the room and greet my father. He barely responds. I pray over him. I pray to the Father that frees from darkness, demons and guilt. I kiss my father and embrace the day with all it brings.
H/t to GB for help with the creative process