Days like these, no one should be alone…

She smiles all the time, even through tears, and I try to hide this salty water in my eyes. A river of little diamonds in her eyes, my own heart invaded by her light. I never saw her so beautiful, shining so bright. The “lady with the pigeons”, as I called her as a child, a sweet soul, always gentle, always kind and loving, always alone…

Do you see? Can you understand now how blessed you truly are? 

I do understand it in my mind…the heart is the one that never seems to have enough. But this isn’t about me, not now.

Have you missed someone so hard, so deep that it cuts through your soul and you know you’ll never be the same? Have you carried long conversations with him in your mind or have you ever smiled in the mirror, trying a new dress and imagining you’re wearing it for him?

A long distance relationship can make you live in an imaginary world, I know it too well. When you love so much, with everything in you…so much that it hurts…

You promise yourself you’ll be kind, sweet, generous…you’ll be the perfect woman for him. You remember your fights but you can’t recall the reasons behind them. And if you do, what sense do they have? He left. And the world is expecting from you to move on.

No…not the whole world. There will always be people willing to hold your hand and to listen to your stories. They will cry with you, they will say the right words. They will care.

I still love him. Even if he’s there, happy and free. He asks me, from time to time, how I feel and I never tell him the truth. But he knows somehow, I see it in his eyes, I feel it in his embrace. And one day we’ll be together and that day it’s close…so close! 

She looks up to the skies above.

Do you see that heart shaped cloud? Every time I talk about my feelings for him…There are signs everywhere, but we are too blind to see. So…what if I only talk to him in my mind? What if he only embraces me in my dreams? What if he’s there…in Heaven? We are still in love. 

She smiles through this hard story and I try to smile too. This golden ray of light that just appeared seems to gently touch her face and a white feather just laid on her palm, brought by a sudden warm wind.

See? Signs…It wont be long now…what’s a few weeks? I never cried, well…a little, when my hair fell down…but even there I knew I am loved. And I knew that I’m close. My love is waiting for me.

She asks me to come closer to her bed. She can’t talk loud, so she whispers. Her pain is visible but she wont let go my hand. Not until I’ll listen. Not until I’ll learn it by heart.

I wanted to see you because I have a message for you. A message from the place I’m going. And it’s important for you to know…

These days no one should be alone, no one should spend these precious moments turning love into drama and tragedy.  Our last days on this Earth…is not safe for any of us to wander by themselves…carrying their hearts like torches ready to burn everything around…

So, FORGIVE. And LOVE. Turn your brokenness into HOPE. Just…BELIEVE…

And she left. Sometimes, when I think of her, a white feather appears out of nowhere and the wind changes the shape of the clouds into big, white, fluffy wings…

 

We’re not getting enough

Would you forgive? Could you move on and just live like nothing ever happen? 

She had a story to tell and her own version of the truth. So I took a deep breath, knowing I have absolutely no right to judge…

Will you blame me, like I blame myself? No, that’s impossible you couldn’t possible say the awful things I said in front of the mirror. Or maybe you’ll give me a moral speech about adultery…I know it by heart. 

No moral speeches, no harsh words. Only love. Because the lack of it is the source of all our wounds.

To tell him the truth. Why? To take this burden and throw it upon his shoulders. To destroy our life, our family. For a few moments of insanity.

But it was so much more. The story of your life…

Yes, I found the perfect guy, the most decent and kind and honest…after dating so many bad boys that I cannot even remember. Yes, I married him and our little boy is the living prove that miracles exists. And still…

You weren’t getting enough. Love, attention, care. The child in you was aching for more. And you didn’t knew where to look for…

The other man…I don’t even know him. And he doesn’t even care. It wasn’t even love or care, I don’t know what it was. But here I am, losing all. If I tell the truth I am losing all…

He thinks it’s his fault, he’s blaming himself. Guilt and damnation instead of love and forgiveness. And two broken hearts. Please, have faith…

I held him tight, a little longer than I used to…So many storms, words that cut deep, creating wounds that will never be completely healed. Sarcasm, irony, neglect and indifference. I want to forgive. I want to have faith…

Because, somewhere in this world, right at this moment,two broken hearts are learning to love each other again. And, in his open arms, she found more than redemption and forgiveness. She found life.

I asked her to have faith when my faith was almost gone…

I asked her to tell the truth when all I ever did was to run away…

I asked her to trust in their love when I was ready to throw it all away…

We don’t get enough from each other. We create chaos and frustration when all we really want is to cry out for love and forgiveness…

…a little more today.

 

 

If you feel you can’t wait ’till morning…

Just another sleepless night and I had to come to you. Love was never easy for neither of us, wasn’t it? You seem so surprised…why? After all, you know everything about losing battles, so that makes you a survivor. Do you see the irony in this?

Can I come in? Don’t be afraid, the only dark is in my soul. Or, better be…be frightened! Because I chased away all the stars and I’m carrying the darkest shade of black withing me. What you see in front of your eyes is not what you know, not what you expected, so be very afraid…

Who said you are meant to save me? Now that I’m touching your heart, I can feel how fragile it is. One simple gesture, one wrong move and it’s broken. Why are you still staying? Will you stay ’till morning comes? I need you! Will you finally open your eyes?

I finally opened my eyes. The nightmare left my skin covered in cold sweat so I’m trembling. The window is open and the darkness never seemed so deep. My Rosary is laying on the floor and my bedroom looks ravished. Wild wind…

3:03 AM

I remember my nightmare and I remember his voice. I’m doing it. Maybe I’m losing my mind, but I’m doing it.

-Stephan? I’m sorry to call you this hour, I’m sure you were sleeping and now you’re thinking I’m some lunatic…

-I…I wasn’t…how did you knew?

-What? Your voice sounds strange. I had a nightmare and…Why are you still up this late?

-I was just writing something…for you. A note.

-A note? What note? Stephan…

-It’s just that…life…and love was never easy. I lost too much already and I can’t go on. I’m sorry, you should really go to sleep, I’m not worthy…

-Listen…love wasn’t easy for neither of us and we know all about losing battles. You know what we are? Survivors! We are experts in facing our fears. But right now I am afraid, I’m frightened of losing my best friend. So, just stay with me and listen! Okay?

-Okay…I guess…

-I know that feeling when you look in the mirror and you cannot recognize yourself. All you see is the darkest shade of black…

-That’s exactly how…

-I know, I do know! You touched my heart so many times that you became a part of it. Fragile as it is, broken as you found it, you were the only one who saw its walls falling. So, no matter what…no matter how deep is your darkness…I am staying! I can be afraid of so many things, but I wont be afraid of you. And if you are in darkness, then I’ll join you there, until the morning comes!

-I think you were meant to save me…

-Only three hours are separating us from the day light. I will make sure you’re reaching the morning light safely…

Because you are meant to live. To face your fears and to learn that, beyond every lost battle, there can be a new beginning. 

And no matter how fragile we are, how deep is our inner darkness, how broken and scared we see ourselves, we’re all worthy. To embrace the morning light.

 

 

Pure again

Back to that moment again…

When “I need to be strong” made no sense in your mind. It was okay to dream that someone will be strong for you. Your prince on a white horse, coming to rescue you from the noise and ambiguity around you.

And he would make everything crystal clear. For everyone around you, so their words would meet his armor of love and nothing would touch your heart. Only his love. He would carry you in his arms through all the battles. Your hero.

Remember, you used to be so kind. Compassionate and sweet. Fragile and yet so brave. Innocent and wise. Pure. Where are you, child of Light?

Back to that moment again…

I’m here…can you see me? Can you hear my voice? I’m the little girl in the white dress, chasing butterflies and laughing…This beautiful garden is my home…

And here…here are my dreams. They’re so vivid, so colorful, so bright! I can touch them! I can play and I can fly…Can you see my Paradise?

He’s with me. Our love is innocent and that’s its force. It moves mountains, it crosses oceans, it keeps us free…The river…can you see it shining? The water is pure Light and it’s crystal clear. We’re bathing our hearts in the river of life. Only love, he whispers…

Back to that moment again…

Clear your heart, go deep and set it free. No trace of hate…Rest there, let your soul find peace…Believe…Believe again…Love is a river of Light and you don’t need to be strong. You always was…In your deepest vulnerability, you had no fault. Their words left scars, deep scars but…look at your heart…it shines stronger than ever. Where are you now?

Back to that moment again…

My moment of innocence and I wont ever come back. This is home, this is me! 

She is the bravest girl I ever met. Not only because she overcame the trauma of a repeated abuse, not only because she chose life…She fell in love again. She believed.

And today, almost two years from our therapy session, she came to invite me to her wedding. A little white rose was attached to the soft paper. With a note saying…

Pure again. Believing again. In love. Back to that moment again, when God opened the door of Heaven for me…

 

 

 

 

 

You are my heaven on earth…

So, this is not a confession after all. Tell me, sweet child, what is the sin I’m supposed to absolve? You only spoke about love…

I tried to stop myself from crying but his kindness was unexpected. In all my crisis, in all my weakness, he was always there. From the very beginning…from my first confession…The only one who’s still calling me “sweet child” even if I’m a grown up with children of my own.

My confession today was so different…yes, I spoke about love. A love that saved me from the deepest darkness. A love descending from Light, from Heaven. Pure and untamed. He listened and he smiled. He understood that no sin was committed…He knew it and he didn’t needed me to explain…

I see this glow around you, this light in your eyes. And I’m grateful I came to live this day even if…and I think I’m the only one…I never lost hope. Remember when you told me to stop praying for you? It happen almost an year ago. You said that the prayers can’t reach to the place where you’re going…

I’ll never forget. A dark night in November. The cold rain on my window and my ravished soul. My eyes hurting, swollen from too much crying. A wrong decision. No one knew, but that night changed my destiny. There, in the darkness of the night, with the cold rain on my face, one step from falling…I decided that I want to live.

And not even then…you were not a sinner. Just a lost child. I prayed someone will find you and bring you Home. So, sweet child, can you forgive a rose for needing the sunlight? Or should you judge the sunflower for turning its petals to feel more warmth? Will I blame the lost lamb for running into the arms of the shepherd? If I would, my child, it would mean I lived my 82 years in vain. And it would show my limited faith…My own lack of love…

I am in love. This innocent and yet powerful feeling is the brightest part of me. I treasure it, I keep it safe in my heart and I cherish it by being a better person. He sees the best in me, so I’ll give my best.

Sweet child, today I won’t absolve you from your sins…today I will give you my blessing. Love. Do good. Love more. And don’t forget me in your prayers…

Remember…Heaven is filled with souls that, here on Earth, were called “sinners”. And these beautiful sinners had one thing in common: their love was greater than any human judgement…

Soldier, take off your armor!

He was holding the Bible like a stone ready to be thrown…

-and put down the stone, please…

I froze…the whole church was starring at me. I looked at my husband, sitting next to me, I knew I’m embarrassing him…and all I wanted was to disappear quickly, leaving no trace, no memory…But it wasn’t the case…I spoke the words.

I looked around, searching for any help…no, this was supposed to be my battle. People around me had that amused/intrigued look in their eyes. I dared to argue with their famous preacher…

I was there for the concert…to raise founds for the children…I was tricked. They invited me in their church, acting friendly, yet distant…I heard someone saying “this is going to be interesting” and then the preacher started to…

…to spread hate. That’s all he did…And I should have walked away in the first moment…but I just stood there, I took my Rosary and I started to pray in my mind, trying to ignore…Then it was like something took control over me…and I spoke…asking him to put down the stone…

-It’s so sad that you see in our Bible a stone…And it’s making me angry! Can you see, my dear brothers and sisters? Can you see how the Catholic Church is brainwashing its people? She’s not to blame, she’s a victim, like so many others. Controlled by a wolf disguised in the softest lamb!

I tried to control the trembling of my voice. He looked straight in my eyes, waiting for a response. I looked at my Rosary…asking God to give that answer for me…through me.

And my voice sounded calm, soft, gentle.

-I wasn’t talking about the Holy Bible when I asked you to put down the stone…

-Oh, no? Let’s hear then, brothers, with an open heart…

-Thank you…I was only talking about this huge stone that’s crushing your heart. Can you put it down? Will you? In the name of God…

Someone in the audience approved me silently and someone else smiled at me. The preacher came closer and I saw something in his eyes…Was it fear? I continued in the same soft tone…

-Sometimes people forget…and it’s only human to forget…the essence of our faith. We get lost in our frustrations, in our anger, in our resentments. Do you remember the essence?

He smiled victoriously and took the Bible again in his hands, raising it up.

-Here. The Bible is the essence, the word of God!

-What about Love?

He became pale. I asked God, in my mind, to heal his heart. And then I saw his anger.

-You’re good with words, aren’t you? But that’s only natural…can you see, brothers, big words with nothing behind them. That’s their ideology…

No one approved him this time. I looked at the old lady sitting a bench away. Compassion…that was the emotion in her smile to me.

-Well, let’s see…I listened for an hour to your words. I prayed when your ideology attacked everything I love…I wasn’t going to say anything. Not a single word. But then you called yourself a soldier, so I’m asking you…who are you fighting for?

-God. I’m fighting for God.

-Are you? As a child of God…it doesn’t matter…Catholic or not…Christian or not…simply as a child of our Creator…I’m pleading with you…take off this armor of hate and look deep into your heart. And when you’ll find Him there, in your heart…you’ll also find Love and Forgiveness. And you wont have to fight anymore…only to Believe.

I turned my back and I left. I found myself almost running away, in the cold dark street. Alone, with tears on my face.

Suddenly I realized that someone is rushing to me. A girl I didn’t even saw there…she was crying.

-Please stop…this, what happen there…was so ugly! They had no right, no right at all to judge like they did. I’m sorry, please forgive me!

-Forgive you? You did nothing wrong…

-I was there and I was afraid to speak. I was a part of…that. Forgive me.

I hugged her and I assured her of all my forgiveness and love. And I knew, right then, that it all happen for a reason…

Because it’s only human to forget the essence of our faith. Love. Not religion, not an ideology, not a preacher or any other religious leader. Simply Love. 

So that our souls can be safe…

 

Now that you are falling…

Can you take me to a safe place…once again? 

I looked at her bruised face, trying to remember. This girl with big, scared eyes. Looking for a way to escape an abusive relationship…I saw these eyes before, I saw these tears…long, long time ago. It was the winter of 1989…

The cold, dark street was the last place where a nine year old should have been…Still, I was there, clinging to my mother’s arm. Begging her to take me home. Caught between the angry crowd fighting against communism and the armed soldiers. No place to run, no way back…

I was told to stop crying and to be brave. No one would hurt us, we did nothing wrong. But their guns were loaded. Someone pushed me and I fell down on the frozen street. People were shouting louder and louder. Screams and the sound of shootings.

Find a refuge, a shelter. The church…the big church…They took their children in their arms and ran to the church. Then I saw her. Lost from her parents, crying so loud, bruised. I can’t remember if it was my idea or if my parents told me…but I held her tiny hand tight and she stopped crying.

And I can’t remember when or why I started to run in the opposite direction. Sometimes, when I close my eyes, I remember a voice telling me that church is not a safe place…

We found her parents that way. And we found salvation. The big church closed its gates in front of the scared people. They found no shelter, no refuge. The blood of the innocents on the stairs of the church…

-You probably don’t remember me, I was only 7 back then…You told me that we’re warriors and warriors don’t cry. I idealized you in my childhood memories. You were the big sister I never had, the friend who’d never let me down, the role model…Then I found you on Facebook and I saw that you became a psychologist. And this gave me the courage…

-I do remember you, little warrior. The bravest child…I was shaking like a leaf, trying to be brave because my mother told me so, but in the inside…

-You do remember! You were my hero…

-A hero…we were just children, caught in the wrong time of history, in the worst place possible. Having no choice but to save our lives. Regardless of the traumas and the nightmares after…

-I still have nightmares…I dream that I’m falling and I can’t stop…How did you overcome the trauma? What’s the secret? Therapy? Faith? Love?

-Maybe all of them…Or, maybe, I simply refused to let myself be defined by my traumas.

I just wear my scars, day after day, knowing that if I get scared…if I get lost…

A heavenly voice will calm me and take me to a safe place.

 

 

Ten thousand reasons for your heart to smile!

For every time you chose life. And you make this choice ten thousand times every day. So, yes, you are brave! And honest and generous…So, maybe it’s about time to forgive yourself and to start liking the beautiful person you see in the mirror. 

He avoided looking at me. The confession of a broken man…A man who failed. A lost soul. These were the ways he described himself. His hands were shaking. Free falling. “Help me”. “I need to accept the unacceptable”.

You committed no crime. But, as long as you define yourself in these terms, your heart will be overwhelmed by guilt. And guilt leads to…

Punishment. “Because that’s what I deserve”.

What’s the foundation of love? Is it build on guilt? On judgement and blame?

His hands were shaking so violently that he spilled the coffee. “I don’t deserve His love. I keep wasting every chance I was given.”

Every chance? How about this chance right here and right now? The tears in your eyes, what are they telling?

“That I repent. That I’m guilty. That I am…”

Human, maybe? Human enough to fall in love? Brave enough to look into your heart. Strong enough to ask for help when sadness and fear become unbearable. 

“You don’t understand. Yes, I love her. But I made a choice. I have a calling. I can’t simply leave the Seminary.”

You’re only twenty. So many choices, so many paths, so many decisions ahead of you. Yes, this is an important one. It’s only natural to hesitate. But remember, always remember…who you are.

“A future priest.”

Let’s say it differently. A child of God. Before being a future priest, you are a child of God. Do you agree?

“Yes”

As God is pure Love, are you allowed to love? Are you allowed to change your path in the name of love? 

“The way you’re saying it…just takes all the blame away. People will judge me. And her. They will blame her. My family will never accept our love. What will I do then?”

You’ll love her enough to create a shelter. A shelter of love, honesty, trust. You’re smiling, that’s a good sign. I never saw you smiling, never saw this beautiful light in your eyes.

He hugged me and messaged her, saying he’s better. The girl of his dreams. “Thank you for everything you did for us.”

Not me. I was just…asking for inspiration. Willing to repeat the words created by God to comfort and support. And He did what He always does. Loving us, His children, unconditionally.

 

 

 

So they’ll know that someone cares

I arrived too late…

That was my first thought, seeing the blood stains on the little rocks. Small and round, so they can fit in their little hands. How could such tiny object really kill, really end a life? It wasn’t a good moment…not for me, not for my meditating mood, neither for the tiny bird lying there, on the ground.

-It’s still moving! Look…she’s still moving!

And he grabbed a bigger stone.

-Leave him alone, you’re wasting your time. The bird is dead anyway and he’s nothing but a vandal. Last time someone tried to stop him, you can’t imagine how violent he reacted…that’s probably what he’s seeing at home…By the way, his father is a drunk, an alcoholic and his mother…

I couldn’t hear it anymore. This man, trying to stop me instead of stopping the child from…taking a life…No, it was too much.

-Put down the stone. Please, put it down, now.

-Or else? What? Will you beat me? Will you tell my parents? Will you go to my school and tell my teacher? What?

-Well…you’ll never find out, right? Or, maybe you will…if you put down the stone right now…because I have something for you…

I smiled and used the most gentle tone…still, the suspicion in his eyes was overwhelming.

-Why do you look so surprised? You know what day is today? First of June…The International Children’s Day…this is for you, but please put down the stone so you can take the chocolate…

The chocolate was for my girls…now it was about to serve a greater purpose. He grabbed the chocolate, still holding the stone, very tight in his hand.

-Why are you giving me chocolate?

-Why wouldn’t I?

-Are you a weirdo, from some religious cult? I don’t buy this shit…they tried before…to save my poor little lost soul…

-I wouldn’t even dare to think that your soul is lost! And no…I’m not from any religious cult…I was just passing by and I saw you, the little bird, the people gathered around you, shouting at you…

-So you decided to save the stupid bird! Oh, how noble of you!

-Nope. The bird is already dead. I’m not saving no one.

-So…what? You saw me and you felt pity?

-No. First I felt anger, because the little bird was defenseless in front of you. Then I felt sadness, because I realized there’s nothing I can do…Then I remembered I have a chocolate in my purse so I decided to give it to you.

-WHY?

-I imagined that no one gave you a chocolate today. Was I right?

He looked down. Then, slowly, he let the stone fell on the ground…like he wouldn’t had the strength to hold it anymore.

-Are you happy now? Here…I put it down.

-No, I’m sad.

-Because I killed the bird? I don’t know what got into me, to do so. I’m not saying I’m sorry, don’t imagine…

-I think…maybe…you wanted to feel strong.

-I am strong! Look how strong I am!

He showed me his muscles.

-Wowww…You really are strong! But, you know, you can be very strong and still feel weak. For example, when someone older beats you and no one cares…And that’s only an example…

He looked into my eyes and, for a moment, I saw a sparkle…tears.

-I’m sorry for…before.

-That’s the biggest sign of strength! To say you’re sorry! Now I can see how strong you really are! But…I will tell you a secret: do you know how to become powerful?

-Like a super hero?

-Yes, exactly! Well, by saving a little life, any life…you become a super hero…

I pray he’ll grow up to become…not a super hero…but a decent young man.

I pray that every child in this world would see in the adults around him only protection, care and wisdom.

This is our only chance…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will someone rescue me?

Tell me you wont save him! Look into his eyes, now look at me and tell me you don’t want to save him!

I knew this would work eventually…and it did, like so may times before. We were both eight years old, best friends, even more…Stephan was the kind of friend who would have followed me to the moon and back.

-We’re not supposed to be here, Claudia…I’ll get in trouble because of you. And it’s also dangerous…

In a way, he was right. We were not supposed to be there. In the backyard of this abandoned house where the sun never seemed to shine. It was always dark, always shadowed, and our parents were very clear…

-You know what? If you’re so afraid, just go! But I wont let him die here! Just look into his eyes…he’s begging us to help him.

The white pigeon was fighting for his life. He was caught in the thick bush and, with every struggle, he got deeper. I raised my hand, trying to reach out to him…

-No, please don’t do that! I heard there are spiders in the bushes! With venom…have you heard of the black widow? A child died after being bitten…don’t touch the bush!

Then you do it…

My tactics didn’t seem to function so I changed my tone…

Stephan…you know you’re the bravest boy I ever known…that’s why I asked you to help me. I could have called Christian…oh, maybe I should have done this…but you’re my best friend, not him…Will you, please, help me? Like a real hero, like Superman…

Reluctantly, he got closer to the bush. Another brave move and the white pigeon was in my arms. Stephan had scratches on his arms and a feeling of victory in his eyes…

-His wing is broken. I’d better take him to my grandfather, he knows how to fix broken wings…

-But…can I see him? He’s my pigeon…can I visit him…? 

-Claudia, I…

-Where were you? And my pigeon? How could you take him away and not telling me anything about him? It’s almost a week since I…since we saved him!

-He’s not…

I’m coming to see him! Where is it? In your room? Give it to me right now!

-I don’t have it anymore…He…died…my grandfather couldn’t fix his wing…and I was grounded for going with you to the abandoned house!

Big tears in my eyes…He died…my white pigeon…

Did you bury him? Can I see…the grave? 

-I did not…It’s not my fault! My grandmother made soup…she said it’s good when you have a cold…and I…

What? You…disgusting cannibal! I hate you! I hope the spiders will catch you and the black widow will eat you! You’re not my friend anymore! You’re nothing but a cannibal!

He tried to explain but I ran. I cried all evening. I heard he cried too…

-Do you remember? You called me “a cannibal” and I was trying to explain that cannibal means something else. God, how I cried that day! I was grounded the whole month, no TV, no games, only school…worse than jail! If you knew how I hated you…

-I was so sorry for the way I treated you. I wanted to apologize, I searched for you but then you left…Do you realize that this happen almost 30 years ago? Look at you, you’re so changed…with your white coat, taking care of all these sick animals…

-I know…I recognized your eyes…the same big green eyes…always a little scared, always a little defiant…

-That’s me, the rebel! So, am I forgiven for calling you a cannibal? Friends…again? Hey, Superman…remember?

He laughed and, for a moment, beyond the serious and professional aspect, beyond the gray hair and the eyeglasses I saw the little boy…

-Well, it’s a long time since anyone called me…Superman… so I guess it’s a good start.