Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Little Things

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Little Things

She drew her legs up to her chest and firmly embraced her knees as she sat on the porch. The sharp sound of crickets began to rise from the grass--a pleasant sound that slowly gained momentum and threatened to become abrasive to her ears. As the sun crept lower in the smoky sky and cast grapefruit-colored light across the desert, she suddenly felt like she was drowning but was too tired to fight the sensation or talk herself out of the rising panic in her chest. Exhaustion had soaked into each and every bone, deep under a burning layer of her aching muscles. It took effort at this point to move at all.

The dinner she had once again gathered ingredients for and poured herself into preparing for her son sat untouched in its yellow plastic bowl at the bottom of the kitchen sink, mixing with warm tap water and gradually becoming a cloudy soup of garbage. They had instead filled their son's growling stomach full of random bits and pieces they had found in the kitchen without much thought at all. Tears had threatened to spill from her eyes when he refused to place any of the food she had prepared in his mouth. It had been months since he had eaten much of anything she had prepared for dinner. The cheese quesadilla she fixed for him earlier for lunch was lying in a rejected, hardening ruin at the bottom of the kitchen trash can. She remembered that when her son was born, her breast milk had transformed into battery acid in his tiny throat, causing him to yowl in agony and develop burns on his chin. He had not been able to consume that, either.

When you are in agony, the little things bring you to your knees.

The top arch of the sun finally sank behind the dark wall of mountains, and she drew in a deep, greedy breath of evening air, clearing her head again. The crickets were practically screaming now, and her head felt like it was going to explode like a rotten pumpkin. She rose from her chair and went inside to lie on the bed to await dark, numbing waves of sleep and the hope of one more morning. To her, awakening to a brand new day was like opening a Christmas gift. Every day.

When you are in agony, the little things keep you going.

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Blogger Heather said...

Hang in there, He'll get there. I promise you he will. XOXO

8:24 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

Babe, you write the lines we'll never forget.
I wish I could hug you and make it all better, I'll pray for you instead.

9:22 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

The path is different and more challanging, but the goal is the same.

- on another note, you mentioned chin burns from acidic reflux - Brought back memories, Jaiden spent his first two years looking as though he had grazed his poor little chin.

7:31 PM  
Blogger Rosemarie said...

Pure poetry!

10:52 PM  
Blogger Aspen said...

Beautiful as always Nancy. Hugs sent to you and Erik both. I miss you deeply!

2:08 PM  

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