• Lara Flanagan

If wishes were fishes, I would be lost in the sea

Updated: Feb 28


There is something about the ocean. It has a magic all its own and I am sure that it has indefinable healing properties. I am not sure as to how I ended up in a cottage in the mountains, but regardless of where home is, the ocean always touches my soul. On the drive down to the Coast, the kids were muttering, as they are prone to do in the back-seat. They were taking turns to be a genie and asking the other what they would do with one wish, three wishes, even 6 million wishes. They asked me, and I found that my mind had a 6-hour conversation with itself in the space of 3 seconds and I could not answer.


You see, my first instinctive thought was that my wish would be to be with Tiney. I don’t know what realm she is in. I like to think it is one where this world causes her no more pain, unhappiness, nor sadness, and she looks at us all and knows, that one day, all will be ok. But then I felt sick, as if I was going to be with Tiney, then I would have to have the kids with me. But then I did not want to leave anyone behind. So, I had to amend my wish and make it that I wanted Tiney back. But that would not work either as if I could get her back, I wanted her safe and happy and in no more pain. I am not sure if the genie would give me that as one wish or multiple wishes. What if that was not allowed? Then I thought my wish would be to go back 18 months and to never go away. But I knew, in my heart of hearts that we would still lose Tiney. That wish was just too complicated, and I did not know what to wish for to get an outcome that would make me happy and allow me to feel safe.


I went back to my wish of having Tiney back, well and safe and happy. Then I was filled with terror as I remembered Rumpelstiltskin, Snow White, Charming and Queen Regina from Once Upon a Time. All wishes and magic come with a price. What if I got Tiney back but I lost something else? What if in bringing Tiney back, it would mean that it was my time to go, or the kids or my parents? I could not cope with any more loss, grief or horror. All magic comes with a price. Those thoughts all took a few seconds, but I felt like I had been wrestling with the devil in my head for hours. I told the kids I had too many wishes to make a wish. Or maybe I had none.


I don’t think I can wish for anything. Not if they come with a price. After you have lost someone, there is this almost suffocating fear, that you might lose someone else. I have to quell the rising sense of panic; every time I say goodbye to someone I love. What if it is the last time I get to hold them or see them? I I think of Tiney getting in the car, after a ciggie break, holding out her hand for some gum with that grin on her face. It used to drive me up the wall as she never had gum on her, but she knew it drove me so crazy that I would buy gum for her anyway. She had me wrapped around her little finger. Now I don’t think of my frustration that she would not brush her teeth, or that crazy grin on her face. I just think of her hand over the gear stick and I wish I had grabbed it more often, held it to my cheek and told her that I loved her. Just one more time I would kill to touch her hand.


I wish I could wish for something. But I don’t know what I would wish for and I don’t know if I am strong enough to pay the price for my wish. Now I just have hope. I work hard at my hope. I hope she is happy. I hope that the grief we carry will be carried one day in a lighter and kinder way. I hope for a world that is kind. I hope that my kids live long and healthy and gloriously happy lives. I hope that I am teaching the kids to live and that they can come to terms with our Tiney who has died. I hope they remember the way she lived, and I hope that I am strong enough to continue showing them how to live. I hope that every morning I continue to start the day with something beautiful. Every day I fill my world with hope. You must work at hope and I do, every single day. All good things are worth fighting for and hope is more important than anything.


I hope now rather than wish. Life is so precious and fragile. Life is too complex to have wishes. I knew that if wishes were fishes, I would be lost in the sea. Just floating somewhere, forever. Surrounded by wishes that I could not name.

#Journey #Grief #Motherhood #MyStories #BrokenHeart #Worrying #Hope #MyNotes

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