by Natalia Ilia
Please, try to remember that one holy moment, that unique autumn of our life, when you held me in your arms and our hearts became one for the first time. I was breathing rapidly and you said how miraculously brilliant was the fruit that took the grace of God and got out of your body.
And when you breathed I breathed, when you eat I eat and when you were sleeping, I was sleeping, too.
We raised together and our sun accompanied our hugs and talks. I was fed by your purest white drink and my body never got sick. You washed me with your warm breath and your kind wishes and prayers and my soul never got hurt. You taught me the truth of God and you revealed the traps of real life and sorts of knowledge and my spirit never sinned. And even though I owe you for all these, knowing that your giving is not to be returned, only a worthless “thank you” comes out of my mouth.
During the first nights, I was waiting for you to lean on your pillow and fall asleep so to wake you up again and again, innumerable times. But you were always coming by my side patiently and tenderly and you put me back to sleep. Your mind was full of sweet melodies and beautiful, simple and dreamy words which you used to sing to me whenever I needed to sink into a deep sleep upon the white flakes of the sky.
And yet, you never complained about your lost moments of sleep. You were just sitting on your rocking chair, without making any noise, like a guardian angel next to my bedside.
Once, I remember, I asked you if you love me much and if you would be next to me forever and you answered that love cannot be measured by much or little. Because, you knew that it was that kind of love that we shared, that differed from all the others, and by the moment it had started it could not be stopped. And you told me that our love was like the life of stars. They never fall, they are never lost. They stay in the same place from the moment you are born till the moment you die. Then, you said that for you I would stay forever and ever the most precious person of your life, but yet you couldn’t protect yourself from dying. And I was terrified by that news. And, who was death that had the power to tear us apart? By the moment you saw my body trembling, you took a heavy oath. You promised that each time I would suffer, you would come dressed like an angel in white and intrude like a hyena in the heart of every pain and every bad feeling and protect my existence with your endless love.
Years later, the letters came in our life. One plus one equals two, part – amphibians, the Pythagorean Theory and Euclid. And there you were again, transforming your mind into a child’s one. Because, that was the only way to help me understand the meaning of all these strange theories and make me curious about the centripetal and the centrifugal forces. Each time I had to deal with a problem you were always near to give me a thousand options and conclusions and solutions. And what an unspeakable joy, the first time I choose my own solution. And “why is this?” and “why is that?” and so many questions to be answered. I could accept and deny everything in the same time. But, no matter how many were the questions, you were always there to explain to me in every possible way how this world functions.
And by that time, between hugs and kisses, a cloudy autumn morning I saw that red hot fluid running over my legs. It was the blood from your blood. A fateful moment that I thought I had ruined everything. I had been transformed into a woman, but it was too soon. I cried your name, but you came and tenderly kissed my stomach and called me your grown up little woman. Though, it didn’t matter to me, because I knew that from now on everything had changed. And I was right.
After that, I grew up a little more and some stormy nights came to confuse our happiness. Despite your efforts, I couldn’t accept any of your advices nor bear any of your restrictions. I became a rebel and no one could stand on my way. Thus, you took a step back and let me do my own mistakes so to learn what life really is about. Later, you confessed that I was a mirror of your own youth and that you were so proud of me each time I stood up for my rights instead of giving up. I remember clearly enough that you told me to open my wings and fly to a world that would suit my needs of expression, without being afraid of what this world would say. I do remember “Nothing is impossible, as long as you have faith in you”.
But the impossible came suddenly in our life. Actually, it’s not that impossible. I can see how your hair have become grey enough and how much you need my help to stand up.
But again it’s too soon. Everything have happened too soon. I need more time with you though no words have been left unspoken and no feelings have been left unsatisfied, you cannot just disappear and leave all alone.
Where are you now, that I am the one who has to explain the Pythagorean Theory and the centripetal forces? Where are you now, that I have to be so generous to hugs and kisses and not caring about my lost moment of sleep? Where are you now, that I have to show patience to every little question that comes again and again by the same mouth?
I promise you, wherever you are, that I am going to live all these wonderful moments till my last breath. I will tolerate the most blessed childish reactions. I will put all my purest ingredients to sculpture the most unique and beautiful of all my creations.
And every autumn I will come over for a little conversation, bring some flowers and some of your favorite biscuits. I promise I am going to be there with my child, your granddaughter.
And for the end, I am giving you these words. You offered me the most unforgettable autumns and winters and summers and springs of all my life. And that is because the love that we shared didn’t make the world go round, but made our common journey priceless.
My beloved mother, I hope we’ll meet again in Heaven.
Natalia Ilia was born in Athens in 1983. She is a Sociologist with a Master Degree in Criminology. For the past ten years she works on music projects, while she uses writing as a self refuge. Her first book titled “Next Door Men” is as in-depth study on serial killers from around the world. It was released in 2010 by Oselotos publishing. Most of her short stories have been awarded in nationwide competitions. Her first theatrical script entitled “Monologue of a Dog” was awarded and presented in Athens in May 2012.
Painting: Juan Pablo Bavio – detail from DESCONFIANZA