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.

 

If you can’t love me…lie to me

“White roses in her hair and her childlike smile, she looked like an angel…”

He had a melancholic smile and his blue eyes were filled with tears. I just stood there, listening, thinking that his story should be a novel…a love letter…a song…He wiped away his tears, looking at my daughter.

“Forgive an old man…tears come so much easier lately. Here…take them…these roses, I planted them in my garden and loved them as I would love her…my Theresa. And you, little miss…you look just like her.”

I wanted to pay for the roses, but he didn’t even wanted to see the money…

“How could I take money for them? Can you buy a soul? Or can you buy love?”

I asked him to tell me more…he smiled.

“She was 15 and I was 17…young and foolish. I loved her but, back then, in times of war and hunger, love wasn’t a priority…Her family had bigger plans for her…I told you she was beautiful…eyes like the clear sky, hair like the golden sunflower…Me, just another 17 years old fool, like so many others who fell for her. She liked white roses…”.

He stopped for a moment, trying to find his strength…looking at the sky.

“The storm is coming. I shouldn’t keep you and your little princess…Here, I have a picture…that’s how they made pictures back then…”

The picture was unclear and yellow and it looked more like a painting. A girl with long blond hair, smiling, a rose in her hand…

“Do you see the resemblance? I stole this from her home, after she…was taken away…Her parents accused me…but…was it my fault? I would give my life…a thousand lives…to change things…Our last encounter…that cursed morning…Do you want to know?”

I nodded, unable to speak, feeling like, in any moment, I would cry too…

“I was leaving…going to war. I met her behind her house, in our secret place. I asked her if she loves me. She said no. But she was laughing, like it were a joke, playing with me. I asked her again and this time I was desperate: I am leaving to war. When I come back, will you marry me? I’ll buy you a big house and I’ll take you to town every time you want…Say you love me, so I can go more easily…You don’t? Then lie, pretend it’s a game, but say it…” 

My voice trembled when I asked him what happen next.

“She looked away, I got out of my minds and kissed her. She yelled, her father came and threw me away. I left…but…”

Teardrops on the rose’s petals.

“Forgive me…A storm begun, out of the sudden…She ran on the field to catch me and a lightening stroke her. She…she never told me…why was she running like crazy…what made her chase me on the field…she never had the chance…”

The rain was cold and he insistently told us to leave.

“I’ll be okay…I like rain, is good for my garden…But you should go…I’m just an old man repeating the same story till it gets boring even to my own ears. See…little miss…some love stories are not meant for this world…

Some love stories are meant for Heaven.

Who am I without you?

I almost lost her six years ago…

I remember laying in that hospital bed, trying to cry, trying to feel…there was nothing but a dark, deep emotional void. People around me were repeating the same senseless sentences. Empty words, pointless and cruel…

“You need to be strong now…”

“Your crying is hurting her…”

“You can’t see her, if you’re in this state of mind…”

“We have no explanation for what happen, unless…maybe you’re hiding something…”

Hiding something…

I hided my tears and I replaced the pain with anger. I kept acting calm, strong and cold. I asked about my rights. I asked about her options. I started to make accusations. I demanded another medical opinion. I fought.

And in the inside…

The pain was so deep, so huge and so overwhelming that I just wanted to die. I cried till I couldn’t breath. I started to pray with desperation. I stopped believing in justice. Any kind of justice. I felt helpless, abandoned and alone…

And with her…

I held her tiny hand when no one was looking. She looked into my eyes and I knew…our story was just beginning. I told her about a beautiful place called HOME. A place of kindness and gentleness and love…a place where she will be held unconditionally. I promised her that my love will heal every wound. I smiled and it seemed that she’s smiling back.

And now…

I feel blessed for celebrating her 6’th birthday.

I can’t imagine a day without her joy, her beauty, her sense of humor, her sweet and innocent way of discovering the world.

Who am I without her? I’m grateful beyond words that I never had to find out…

 

I wave my white flag unashamed…

Because we’re always building dreams just to burn them down…

And we climb over walls just to complain when they’re too high.

We want more of that bitter-sweet nostalgia, so we never give enough to fulfill each others need…

That’s why I’m surrender. With all my heart, knowing that I tried, I fought, I struggled. Knowing that I never gave up on him. Not me…

I’m calling a truce and I’m waving a white flag because this war inside me, inside us…must end now. I need peace like I need air.

Playing tricks with my heart was never easy. And it seems I was given a stubborn heart, willing to live and to love. Again. So I surrender.

To this new feeling.  Here I am, standing with my white flag. I’m not a hero, nor a martyr and the sacrifice ends here. Love is greater than this. I surrender to love.

So, with trembling hands and teary eyes, I accept THE GIFT. And I am taking the falling. In love.

 

When you’re too in love to let it go

You broke it…

I was starring at the little pieces of red glass on the floor, the remains of (what it was supposed to be) his heart, a trophy he won at a competition. We were both around 12, on our way to a wonderful vacation by the sea.

-You played with my heart and you broke it!

-I didn’t…it just slipped through my fingers. Your heart was…slippery…

-My heart was perfect! And now it’s broken. I knew I shouldn’t give you my heart! I knew! Why have you asked for it if you knew you can’t take care of it?

-I’ll fix it…I’ll get a special glue and I’ll put the pieces back together again…

-You’re so stupid! There is no such thing as a special glue…I can’t believe I gave it to you!

The guilt overcame my anger so I spoke in a very soft voice…

-I’m not stupid…

-Yes, you are! And spoiled too! It was precious, you know? And unique…

-Look, I would give you my heart, but…

-But you don’t have a heart, right? That’s why you wanted mine! And I told you to be careful, because it’s a precious heart! But nooo…you played with it and now it’s broken!

-It slipped…

I was almost crying.

-And I hope you’ll never win any heart! And you’ll never touch anyone’s heart! And if you’ll ever have yours, I hope someone will play with it till he gets bored and then he’ll smash it to the ground!

I started to cry desperately, covering my face so he wont see my tears. He stood there for a while, cursing and talking to himself. Then he looked at me and something changed in him. He came closer.

-I’m sorry I called you stupid and spoiled.

I was too sad to answer, but the change took me by surprise and touched me in a way I never knew it’s possible. So I cried harder.

-Don’t cry, it’s alright…it was just a stupid heart. Not important…a girly thing, I didn’t even liked it…

-No…it was beautiful and precious. I’m so sorry…I…I really didn’t wanted…

-Look, if you want it…even if it’s broken…

-Will you give it to me? All the little pieces?

-Yes, silly! All the little pieces. Who knows, maybe you’ll really find that special glue…

So I wandered through the deep dark paths of this labyrinth, searching for it. And I fixed every broken heart I’ve met on my way. And I lost mine on the process…

But the little red pieces are still shining. Even if, when I try to touch them, they cut through my skin, leaving me bleeding…I’m still putting them back together, praying for a miracle.

Can we learn to love again?

He grabbed my arm and I froze.

As I was standing there, in the middle of an empty street, looking terrified at the traces of blood and dirt on my hands and dress, trying to remain calm, memories like flashlights were crossing through my mind. The reason I got myself into this…

It happen two months ago. Of course, I knew him and I knew he’s stalking me. Still, my main feeling wasn’t fear…This boy, a homeless 18-20 years old child, living on the streets, always dirty, always bruised, always talking to himself…no, I wasn’t afraid of him. It was (I’m ashamed to admit it) disgust what I was feeling inside.

That sunny morning I saw him again. He was following two school girls who were too caught in their talk and play to even notice him. I felt alarmed. Looking closer, I saw something shiny in his hand. My imagination decoded the object as a knife…So I decided to stop this right there. But, before I was able to say anything to the girls…

It just happen. And now, he was starring at me with blurry eyes and blood running down his cheeks.

Have I done well? Have I?

-We need to call an ambulance, you are hurt…

Have I? Have I done well? 

I was dialing the number, but his pleading voice made me stop for a second.

-Yes, you did well. You are a hero and a wonderful boy. And you did great!

As I was talking to the operator, he started to sing. I noticed he was smiling happily, in spite of the pain.

-I did well and the angel saw me! She did.

I was convinced he’s hallucinating, but I was determined to keep him awake.

-Where is the angel? Do you see your guardian angel?

He looked at me very confused.

-The angel. You. Yellow hair. Wings. Flowers.

-Flowers? Wings?

-Here…wings (he pointed at the necklace I was wearing). Flowers. You smell like flowers.

He started to moan in pain so I tried to stop him from talking. But there was no way…

-Johny (that’s how he calls himself) saw the girls. Then Johny saw the black car. The black car would have killed the girls. Johny pushed the girls away. The car was too close! Johny did well. The angel said  Johny did well.

I was searching for something to use, to stop the bleeding from his head. Nothing…Then I saw it in my purse. My perfume, a fragrance of roses and jasmine.

-Johny, do you want this? Is a perfume, it smells like flowers. It’s for you…

He seemed blocked. Then I saw the tears in his eyes.

-A gift for Johny. Perfume. Flowers. Johny will be an angel too.

-Yes, it is yours.

Then Johny will give you a gift. Here. This is the gift from Johny. 

He opened his fingers and I saw the shiny object. The one I defined as “a knife”. The big threat. It was the Miraculous Medal…

The ambulance arrived. Then the police. Johny was taken to the hospital. The next day he became an angel.

I went home and hugged my children. I cried a lot. But still not enough.

Why was I so quick on judging him? On seeing the bad, the evil, the danger, the disgust?

His blood was on my hands, literally. And on my conscience. I should have known, I should have stopped him from jumping in front of that car. I should have seen the angel in him.

To love each other…when did this became so difficult? Can we learn?

Can I learn? Will I ever…?

Do you know what it feels like?

I’m just a few hours away from wearing a mask…

So…in the name of authenticity and honesty, I’m going to find a nice, cozy place, here, in the blogosphere, and tell you all the crazy thoughts running through my mind. Because today…I’m still 36! But tomorrow, oh tomorrow…lucky me…I’m turning 37!

Why, oh, why…can’t I be 36 another year? I don’t like 37. When I was a child, 37 sounded like…ancient. It still does…a little. But let’s be serious for a moment, because I mentioned something about a mask. And of course, there’s a story.

I created “the mask” around 10 years ago when I noticed that the people I love feel very disturbed if I act like myself in two occasions: Christmas and my birthday. (Myself meaning: a little self-irony, a bit of sarcasm, wanting to spend my birthday on the top of the highest mountain or…on the beach enjoying the biggest tiramisu ever, dreaming of a Christmas in a little village with tones of snow and no relatives at all…and so on). So I created a sort of emotional mask.

Other wise, it will be like…

What mountain, dear? You mean you want to be alone? Oh, that’s soooo sad…

What beach, sweetie? Can’t you see it’s raining outside, like every year on your birthday? (oh, yes, the sky knows it too!)

What tiramisu, darling? It contains alcohol and the children will be frustrated because they are not allowed…isn’t it nicer if you bake your famous strawberry cake? Don’t be selfish on your birthday…

A little village? Far away? No relatives? Just you, your husband and the kids you said? Ohhh, how you’re breaking our hearts…

And, of course…Don’t be sad on your birthday, mommy…

and…Are you upset with us?

and…Why are you so sarcastic…we’re all trying to make YOU happy!

Ughhhh…

So,(since I have my mask)  instead of those written above, it will be like:

Walking gracefully wearing a nice dress, high heels and a wild orchid perfume…

Smiling sweetly, saying “Age is just a number!”…

Expressing gratitude for every (un)necessary condescend remark…

Pretending to be happy, filled with joy and love.

That’s the mask…So, in my last moments of freedom, let me just scream from the top of my lungs Nooooo…don’t take me there!!! I don’t want my 37 birthday partyyyy!!! I want back, back to 36…or better…26…or better…No, 16 was awful! And I want my beach! Or my mountain! Or…at least…a little village…can I, can I???

OK, forget the mask! Who needs it anyway? I’m smiling now and it’s nothing bitter in my smile. I already have the greatest gifts anyone can ask for: my children, the love of my husband, a home. Thank you, God, for giving me another birthday!

And, dear Mister TIME…I know we had our disagreements but…could you stop for a second? To say the magic word, to enjoy the magic feeling. LOVE.

Okay, Mister TIME, I’m ready! Let me be 37!

 

 

Notice me, take my hand…

There is a special kind of innocence, one that survives through the years, creating that magic light in our eyes. This morning, while I was watching my little girl running and playing through the fresh green grass, I found myself smiling and dreaming away, chasing rainbows and counting my blessings.

And I thought I’d tell you you a story…

There was, long time ago, a little girl with golden hair, sweet, intelligent and sensitive like any other child. She always dreamed of a birthday party, with children, music, cake and gifts.

It was her 6’th birthday, so her parents organized a party for her. They invited all the children from the neighborhood, selected her favorite music, made her a big cake…and the little girl was so happy, so joyful, clapping hands and dancing in anticipation…

So when the magic day finally arrived, she wore her most beautiful dress, with big pink flowers on it and a wonderful pink ribbon in her hair. Her guests brought her big, colorful gifts, things she only had in her dreams. The music begun…

She was so fascinated by those big boxes filled with toys, so amazed by her new dresses and dolls, wanting to arrange them, to touch them, to smell them…

The children started to dance and play. She wanted to dance with them but, as she came closer, she heard them speaking. And she understood…Children’s honesty can be so brutal, so cruel sometimes…There was another party and they were eager to go there. This one was too childish, too girly, too dull.

No one noticed that she’s missing at her own party. So no one went looking for her. She found a place, the same place where, a little while ago, she was hugging her new dolls and touching the ribbons from her gift boxes…

She stood there, crying, asking herself when and who’s going to search for her. Would they cut the cake without her? It can’t be…

Someone found her after all. Someone asked her why is she crying and she just cried harder. She didn’t wanted her parents to know because she felt guilty. So she just wiped away her tears, smiled and went back to her party. The cake was her favorite and she found so much comfort seeing her mommy proud and happy because the party was such a success! She even told her parents that this is the happiest day in her life!

But she never played with her new toys…

She never wore her new dresses…

She never wanted another birthday party.

The story has a happy end because she grew up to be a dreamer. She never stopped believing in this special kind of innocence that lasts through years. And today…

…today she took off her high heels and went running and playing with her little girl through the fresh green grass. It smelled like spring.

It felt like hope.

Crucified, rejected and alone

Why is it so difficult to follow the heart’s chosen path? Many years ago, a friend of mine made a choice. A beautiful choice and I admired her with all my heart. We were both in high school, attending the religion classes. Every class begun with prayers and our teacher used to ask us if we need a special prayer, for us or for someone close to us.

And it was always the same story, we needed God’s help for our exams, or, maybe, if someone had a conflict, we were praying for those persons to find a common ground and peace in their heart.

That morning we were bored and tired. We didn’t wanted to pray for anything or anyone. But there was something in Maria’s eyes. Tears? She was always so strong, the type of child that easily becomes a leader. And now…Her voice was trembling.

Maria was 17 when she felt the calling. A restless feeling, like missing someone or something. She tried to ignore this feeling. She tried to learn better, to date a boy from her class, to be a “normal” teenager. She tried to hide it, even from herself. But every time she was kneeling in front of that old cross she felt like home. And His love seemed to be the only answer she was searching for.

A child of God, born in an atheistic family…

She told us about her parent’s reaction. It’s hard to describe the anger, the disappointment, the harsh words…the threats and the offenses. From being ungrateful to being psychotic…from going to a psychiatrist to “fix” her to going to court to sue the school, the religion teacher, maybe even God. From taking away her cell to throwing her out of the house…

Back then I couldn’t possible imagine where is she taking her strength from. And, even if I hugged her and tried to comfort her, I felt she’s making a mistake. My faith was so weak…

Ten years later, sitting on a bench in front of a small white church, Sister Maria told me that she forgave them. Her congregation became her family. At 27, only the strands of white hair and the fine lines around her eyes, reminded me of the years when she went trough hell.

She had a warm smile when she talked about her parents. And a special light in her eyes when she talked about the moment when she discovered that she’s meant to be a nun.

“They asked me if I lost my mind. I told them that I discovered love…They said I’m throwing my life away…I said I’m saving my soul. Then they yelled at me…they asked what kind of love is this? I didn’t know what to say, I was only 17, how could I possibly explain…So I just looked up to the sky, begging from help. The words came so unexpected, so clearly and I just knew…

I love Him because He loved me first

 

When Someone creates a bridge of Light…

It was something in their voices that interrupted my daydreaming…For a moment, I almost forgot where I am and, in my mind, the crowded bus and the cruel light turned into a tropical beach in a sunny afternoon. Over productive imagination, what would I do without it? 🙂

Well, they were certainly enjoying this trip. Their English was far from being perfect, but the sweet way they were completing each other’s sentences…The giggles and the flirting, loud enough for everyone to notice, brought a big smile to my face. And a bitter-sweet feeling in my heart…but I stopped. No more melancholia! So, I discreetly turned my head to see them.

Both students, around 18-19 years old, far away from home…She knew all the lines and told him to stop trying because she heard them all. But her eyes were telling a different story. And her fingers touching him “by accident” while he assured her that he wasn’t even trying…no, going out for a coffee is not a date, how could she possibly imagine such thing 🙂

Then his cellphone started to buzz and he answered immediately, leaving her battling with a shadow of doubt. Was “I know all the lines” really the best line? Could it be that he doesn’t realize? Wasn’t he interested…just before? Then, that smile on his face, seeing her reaction…the way he pulled her closer, whispering something in her ear, her blushing then laughing so hard…He took her hand and she looked into his eyes. No more doubts, no more shadows.

Their story continued away from the crowded bus. As they got out, I realized how they filled the place with such a positive energy and now…I looked at the people around me, their world was just the same as before. They will go on with their lives unaware of the blessing, unaware of the miracle they just witnessed.

My bitter-sweet feeling was replaced with pure joy. It is so rarely, it is so pure, so beautiful and precious to see a bridge of light being created between two hearts.

Some journeys end when others just begin, but today I feel blessed. May it be Light in our hearts, so that our eyes would never miss the miracles around us!