"I Don't Want You to Worry"
I was wandering around the house before bed when I heard Mama say, “I don’t want you to worry.”
Surely I didn’t hear that right, so I headed back toward her room and found her sitting on the side of her bed. She shifted her gaze from straight ahead to look at me as I came through her bedroom door. “What do you mean, Mama?”
I stood in the doorway and looked at her sitting there in her cotton flannel gown that my daddy had bought her before he died. It was white with small cornflower blue flowers tumbling over it and little pearl buttons at the neck. The hem landed in the middle of her calves though it would have hit most people at the knees.
“When something happens to me… I don’t want you to worry, “ she repeated, and I still didn’t understand exactly.
So I walked across the carpet remnant that served as a rug, and I sat down next to her, wrapped my right arm around her and put my head against hers.
“I don’t know what you mean, Mama. You know there’s no way I won’t just be heartbroken.”
“That’s not it. I don’t want you to worry…. Just remember.”
By this time my voice was no longer strong enough to maintain a conversation, so I simply sat there and hugged her and dreaded the day when I would have to work so very hard not to worry.
Several months after she died, it dawned on me what she meant.
I had asked her at one point what her greatest fear was. It was that someone would have to take care of her. In return she asked mine, and my answer was, “That the people in my life might not know how much I love them.”
She wanted me to know that she knew.
That realization sparked the following poem. I hope you enjoy it. And I hope that you know how much the people in your life love you.
"I don't want you to worry," she said,
"When something happens to me,
I don't want you to worry."
An Angel's breath,
The faintest of wings.
I had thought the flutter was my heart--
I saw the strength of Samson.
She felt my father's hand.
He paved the road before her.
She smoothed the way behind.
"I'm ready," said the Angel's breath.
"I'm not," said the Child.
And with the breeze
A feather fell
Gently by her side.
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Unless otherwise noted, all material--written, photographic, and artistic--is the original work of Estora Adams. All rights reserved