Wednesday, April 6, 2011

PICKING UP THE PIECES OF HER CHILDREN'S BROKEN HEARTS

At nine minutes after eight, on a bright November morning, my father stood leaning against the opened, driver's side door of our family car.  He had parked in the lot, in front of the building that he worked at, given his wife and five year old son a final kiss goodbye, and then waited for my mother to put her keys in the ignition. A minute later, he lay dying in the middle of Harper Avenue. A driver, either drunk or asleep at the wheel, lost control of his vehicle and swerved off of the road into the parking lot. His car side-swiped our vehicle and struck my father. The impact was so great that it knocked my father completely out of his shoes and they remained in the exact spot that he had occupied just seconds before. His watch stopped at ten minutes after eight. It marked the moment when two families' lives would be forever changed; the driver's family, as well as my own.  My father's injuries were so severe, that, despite the best efforts of the paramedics, he died en-route to the hospital. At the age of 29 my mother was now a widow, as well as a single parent. She was the mother of three children and was pregnant with her fourth.  Four months later, my mother and siblings welcomed me into the world, alone.
Somehow, my mother persevered.  She picked up the pieces of her children's broken hearts and fashioned them back together again, despite her own grief.  She filled our lives with music and laughter, and fostered in each one of us a love for literature and language; a love that remains with us, to this day.   I can picture her, even now, sitting with her back against the wall of our upstairs hallway, with a poetry book in hand as she read to us at bedtime.  We drifted off to sleep not to the prose from children's books, but, rather, to the gentle cadence of the language of poets; more lyrical and soothing than any lullaby.  I think she did so, not only to comfort us, but to comfort herself, too.  She loved the solace that poems provided, and in turn, found even greater solace in writing her own.  In those days no computers or blogs were in existence, so few others but her children and family ever heard her heartfelt words.  She wrote as a way to deal with the tragedy she had endured, and her words are as poignant now as they were when she wrote them so many years ago.
The following is one of her poems, which she authored shortly following my father's death.
ALONE
By: Geri Garner
Alone I sit and wonder
I often cry alone
With a heart that's grown bewildered
With the terrible hurt that it knows.
But I can't give up and run away
I have to stay and fight
The hardest battle I will ever know
The heartbreak of my life.
I will have to learn as a child again
To put all my trust in God
It won't be easy, but once I do
The rest won't be so hard.
For first comes faith
And then comes hope
And with them a clarity.
To see this life for what it is
And that brings charity.
And then, though my cross is still heavy
It won't weigh me down as before.
For now I have someone to share it with
And I am not all alone anymore.

~ Blessings, Amycita ~

*I love you, Mamacita...Happy Father's day, 2014. xoxo*

13 comments:

  1. i can't tell you how thrilled my mother was when i called to tell her that within a couple of hours of posting her poem on my blog it had been read by people from the United States, Canada, Columbia and Denmark. she is now an international poet!

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  2. Very touching Amy. As your father was my godfather if only for a few months before he died, I wish, as you, to have known him. However, I was blessed to have your mom as my godmother. Aunt Geri, brought joy to everyone through her amazing sense of humor, and never revealed the pain she endured within. Thank you, Phil

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  3. I'm in tears. From your mother's way with words, and your own. Thank you for sharing this, Amy.

    Lisa Price

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  4. Very touching....Thanks for sharing all your amazing stories

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  5. Thank you for sharing your love of family and poetry.

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  6. Truly beautiful and very heartwarming!
    Where's the kleenex?
    Love, Barbara

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  7. Lovely ... as he dabs the tears from his face

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  8. Amy, a sad but beautiful story. Your Mother,is a very courageous, talented, and blessed woman. Her family is very lucky to have such a wonderful woman. May God Bless All of You.

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  9. Amy, now we know where your beautiful way with words comes from. A sad story made wonderful by you telling it. Your mother is incredible, does she still write?????

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  11. Ok, now I am crying... but a good cry. How beautiful, thank you for sharing!

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  12. Debbie Daniel-MyersJune 13, 2014 at 9:32 PM

    Oh Amy...what a sad yet beautiful story. Your mother sounds like an amazing woman. It is easy to see where you got your way with words from.

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