February 13, 2011

Val

Thank you to Diminishing Lucy for this pretty guest post. 


My mother is sick again.

Liver. Eyes. Hips. Skin. Digestion. All failing.

Through the corridors of a beautiful and gracious red brick hospice, I run, from yet another visit with her, to race to my children.

They need me. I long for their purity and their energy, their warmth, their smiles, their sweet smell, and their love. I race in haste, to them, to the bell.

I am stopped by a lady named Val, her name badge tells me.

She is a volunteer, I believe. I have not seen her before.

She is elderly: older than my mother, I sadly realise.

But so vibrant and glowing. An aura of assured peace. So alert and wise are her eyes. She draws me to her, gentle, peaceful, but determined.

We talk. For as long as I can, I feel oblivious to time. The bell will not sound yet, I know.

I am enveloped in calm, in her empathy, the atmosphere of her. She is beautiful. For an elderly lady, her makeup immaculate. Her dress sense classic. She smells pretty. Perfect jasmine.

Talking to her, I feel the crackle of tense and toxic energy drain from me. Everything slows to a dreamlike pace. We are oblivious.

She encourages more from me than any other has elicited.

She is so kind, and I feel so refreshed. Her empathy and understanding, her perception, they feel omniscient.

You are the only one who is here to help. Let the anger go.

The solution will come, for you all.

Your mother, she makes these choices for herself.

She will be what she will be regardless of you. But you will still come. Still come here.

The children need you. Not her. Give yourself to them.

You need to write it all down. Write it down. Write it down. The pleasure and the pain, the history and the now: Write it down. It will bring peace.   


And so I start.

I was there again today. I looked out for Val. Her words and her grace and her kindness made me feel so… so rested last time. Safe. Understood.

I asked for her. I wanted to thank her.

I was met with curious looks.

No one named Val has worked or volunteered there since the 1969.




16 comments:

Ocean Girl said...

Beautiful story and I loved the description of the children, the rush, of Val and I was caught in with the emotions.

Could this be a true story?

Being Me said...

This is a really colourful and well told story. Thanks Lucy and Ed.

Brian Miller said...

very nice twist...

So Now What? said...

Lovely, lovely story. xx

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Wine and Words said...

Ahhhh Val. Such a lovely spirit! Empathy, compassion and grace. Wish that we all had more than just an apparitions worth. Write it down, write it down, write it down. YES!

Claudia said...

this reminded me of the song with this solder called "camouflage"...nice story and perfect jasmine smell...hmmmm...nice

The Words Crafter said...

This was beautiful, thank you for posting it. Sorry about the spammer!

She Writes said...

That was really moving. Ed, nice to have you back, even via a guest.

Phoenix said...

Beautiful, beautiful story. Very haunting, gorgeously written. Well done. I shall pop on over to Diminishing Lucy and thank her myself!

ladyfi said...

Wonderfully written.. Beautiful story.

Su-sieee! Mac said...

Thanks for such a beautiful piece of writing. It gives me chills. I believe in visits like Val's. I met one myself a long time ago.

Annieb25 said...

That really was lovely. Truly beautiful. xx

Aishah said...

Hello Ed, just dropping by to know how you are doing and how are you.

The Anonymous commenter seems to know where women hang out;)

gypsywoman said...

poignant - and beautiful - and magical, mystical - and magnificently told! a wonderful piece!

Claudia said...

hey yes - was great to hear from you again ed - hope all's well in your part of the world..