I am not quite sure how old you are, not that it really matters. So far from me, yet just a few feet away, you rock back and forth on your chair, seemingly not aware of the world all around you. Rhythmic tapping of your fingers on the wood of your chair, eyes half shut, saliva dribbling down on the front of your wrinkled blouse, teeth missing. And you smell old. Deteriorated. In another world.
I kind of want to want to enter into your world, but I can’t see past the rhythmic tapping of your knotted fingers on the wood of your chair, and the smell, and the saliva dribbling down. I want to want to reach out to you, but I don’t think you hear, let alone care.
Yet you have a name, and a life woven with threads of love, and pain, and sweat, and broken dreams and hope.
You are just like me. I hope I never become just like you.
Are you still inside this shell clothed in wrinkles and filled with pain, Olivia? What does your tapping mean? What do you need, what do you want?
I force myself to reach my fingers to your almost transparent cheek. You lift your arm and grab my fingers with your shaky hand, as though wanting to hold on to the life in me. I gently weave my fingers with yours. Your eyes open a bit. In the silence of interwoven skin, we connect. You let me in. And in that holy moment of touching fingers, our very hearts become intertwined.
The rhythmic rocking of the chair back and forth has slowed, and the saliva doesn’t matter any more. You smell like life, breakable, real, delicate. You are so beautiful.
My eyes well up with tears. I want to tell you all that I feel, but my emotions choke the words. I let my eyes do the talking. And then you start to cry as well.
You are just like me. Maybe one day I’ll get to be just like you.
Cultivating Thankfulness with Ann Voskamp
#79 eyes that do the talking
#78 lessons on love
#77 my teeth
#76 connecting with someone