You were three and a half when you told me for the first time how much you loved me. With your arms held wide and your smile even wider, you laughed as you said it. You were happy to stop chewing on the words and let them spew.
When you turned five, you bravely announced to the world that you were queen. You didn’t laugh that time. You truly meant it.
Next it was five going on eleven, and you sure acted the queen. Demanded selfishly, radiated entitlement. Yes, you were a selfish little brat. I distinctly remember you whispering and laughing in one sibling’s ear and then, on a dime, turning and screaming at the other sibling who interrupted. I was stunned, unable to reprimand.
The years progressed. You grew. There was a slimmer, taller you. No more baby cheeks. Mascara and makeup, now. Even more of that selfishness.
Age fifteen: coming up to me in tears at how a friend deserted you. I took you in my arms and rocked you, and for that moment I could speak my mind in gentle monotones. I love you, and you’re beautiful. But, have you considered why she left? You didn’t answer. Honey, I love you, but you’re selfish and need to let go. You need to find...But then I never finished because you were up out of my arms and storming out. I never had the chance to finish the sentence and say Jesus, because I didn’t hear from you much until you were almost sixteen, and you presented a stream of twenty-one words about your day (as a gift).
Then you were off to college, and the last thing I heard was that you were on a new boyfriend. I can remember waking up one night and crying and praying and sobbing out loud as your daddy rubbed my back. We held hands and wished you back. We prayed so fierce that Jesus would have mercy on you and bring you back to him.
Forty-eight days later came the phone call. You should remember. It lasted for over an hour, you pouring out your heart. I wished I could have been there to stroke your back, to kiss your cheek. I’ve run so far, you cried, but Jesus chased me down. He buried my worthlessness. Your daddy began crying right then. You went right on, unafraid. I’m praying that the...that my selfishness that so evidently earmarks my life would fade away. I paused to wipe away a tear, daring to interrupt you. You’re twenty. You have Jesus, now. I love you. The only sound on the other end of the line were your throaty sobs.
(just some fiction lately)