“You look a little upset,” she says to me softly
(she means more upset than usual).
“We are going out of town for my sister’s wedding,
and I am worried about leaving Tinsley,” I confess solemnly to her.
I know I must sound crazy
but she doesn’t look at me like I’m crazy.
“Would you like me to visit her while you are gone?” she asks
in a reverent, almost angelic tone.
“You don’t think I’m insane?” I quietly mumble,
as I shuffle my feet and stare at the broken ground.
“I think you are a loving mother,” she graciously responds.
And it lifts.
The loneliness, the all-consuming desperation and mania
of my grief lifts about an eighth of an inch.
And I am able to swing it over my shoulder
and carry it all the way to Alabama
and even set it down beside me
when I am needed for the bridesmaid pictures.
My friend texts me during the trip that Tinsley is alright.
She has planted a palm by her grave
to celebrate Palm Sunday
and it is just the reminder that I need —
to have faith in things to come, in things unseen.
Thank you, Natalie.
Thank you on behalf of all the moms
who have buried their children
and tried to take tiny steps away.