Feature of the Month
For June, 1999
"All My Hopes"
They're Marvel's. No money. Don't sue.
This is a companion piece to "Lupus," though you can read this without having read that. "Lupus" is a story in which Moira succumbed to the Legacy virus after a long fight. Now imagine being a parent leaving a child behind to an uncertain fate.
There are so many things that I want to say to you...
But I can't. I feel you here, sitting beside my bed, your hands warm around mine. I hear your voice coming to me from a great distance, echoing all around me... yet still I can't speak. I can't tell you that I feel, that I hear.
I've tried to talk... and even to my own ears the words are only gibberish. They make you sad -- yes, I see your tears even with my eyes closed. So I no longer make that effort, hoping that instead you'll somehow feel my message reaching directly into your heart.
There are so many hopes I have for you... and so many fears. I know you're a good person. I've seen you give so much of yourself to others, asking for nothing, sharing all that's within you selflessly. You're kind and strong and full of more compassion than I think you could have learned from me.
But the world can be such a hard place...
Your hands are still warm on mine. Your words still reach me, even now. I want to tell you... oh, god, all the things I want to tell you...
It scares me to think of what you'll face. I always thought -- hoped -- that I'd be here to protect you. To guide you. I wanted to confront the trials of life with you. I prayed that I'd be strong enough to provide a good example for you to follow.
Now I have to trust that the short time we've had has been enough... and I'm given no choice in the matter, regardless of how hard I fight.
Just a few more years. Why couldn't we have had just a few more years...?
Your fingers caress my palm, tracing lines that you probably know better than I do by now. My heart wants to break at the desperation in your voice.... the words that speak of a hope that's killing you. I know I've always tried to teach you that hope is a good thing. Now, though... now I think you need to learn how to let go.
You have to let go. You have to let me let go.
Your lips on my forehead now. You don't think I can feel them. And there.... a warm splash that can only be a tear. No... you don't have to wipe it away. I don't mind. Really.
All these years, and I think you've told me more about yourself in the past weeks than in all of that time. Is it so much easier to talk to me when I can't answer you? I never realized I could be so intimidating that you might feel as if you couldn't share with me. I'm sorry for that. So very sorry.
But please don't stop talking. Tell me everything you can. There's so little time left... and every word is precious...
If I could, I'd tell you a little about me now, I think. My hopes and dreams, to fuel your own. I accomplished some of them -- I can see that now, when there will be no further chance to berate myself for not trying hard enough. There's much more I would have wanted to achieve, of course... this life is such an amazing gift, and it shames me that I wasted even a moment of it..
I'd tell you that, and I'd hope that you'd learn from my mistakes.
If I could.
I'm drifting. Do you sense that? I'm tethered to this shell by a thread that grows thinner and thinner with every passing moment, and I don't know how much longer it will hold strong. Somewhere out there beyond my reach is something... remarkable. I can't see it. I can't possibly prove it's there. By all rights I shouldn't believe in it, because it hasn't been proven, it hasn't been tested in a lab, it hasn't been quantified and analyzed and dissected by the most brilliant minds of our time.
Yet still I know it's out there. I know because I am still me, even while my body refuses to acknowledge me anymore.
Don't be scared for me. Please don't be scared. I don't know what awaits me, but I know that it's exciting... stimulating... beyond description. I can feel it waiting, calling, inviting. Soon I'll answer that invitation.
If only I could speak with you first...
I know that some people believe the greatest legacy I leave behind will be my work. Research. A lifetime of research. Some of it groundbreaking, some of it embryonic... but all of it focused on furthering knowledge and hopefully, hopefully, on making the world a better place for our children.
So much is waiting for you. If only I could talk! Please, Rahne, hear me. With your heart if not your ears, hear me. Live your life. Grab it, hold on to it, embrace it while you have it. Never forget how dear time is. Never let yourself lose sight of what really matters. Live, my child, and love the living. You'll never receive a greater gift than the air in your lungs and the blood in your veins.
Unless you one day receive a child like yourself.
The future... always so uncertain. I know that no matter who you are now, time could change you. Experience could harden you. The world is ever changing, and you'll change, too.
I hope always for the better. I pray for the better.
But it's out of my hands now, isn't it? There's nothing left to do but to believe I've done right by you, and that you'll keep your heart pure and strong. I can't influence your life any longer. It's time for you to fly on your own.
I'm terrified that you'll fall.
I have to have faith that you won't.
You can't see the tears on my face, can you? They're there. They may not be physical, but they're there. So much I didn't say to you before. So much I'll never say to you.
I'll never sniffle like a fool at your wedding.
I'll never hold your children against me and feed them too much candy and give them too much money.
I'll never tell you that your husband isn't good enough for you. I'll never admit on some late night that I actually like him, either.
But someone will. I believe that. And I hope that when that someone does you'll think of me, just a little. Don't be sad. Don't cry. Smile.
Because I'll be smiling at you.
Your hands are so warm... the warmest things in the world, right now. Don't worry. I don't feel cold. I don't feel anything.
Anything but your hands.
The thread is straining, now. I think I'm still breathing. I don't know. It's so... big... this world I see, this thing waiting for me. Unending. Know that, Rahne... unending.
Not enough time. Never enough time. So much more I needed to say and never did. Never will. Not so that you can hear.
I wouldn't tell you to make me proud. You've already done that, over and over again. I wouldn't tell you what path to take with your life. You've so many decisions ahead of you to make... I certainly don't have the right to take a single one of them from you.
What would I tell you, if I could? What would I say before this thread snapped?
What would I say...?
Yes. That's it. All my hopes and good intentions for you. Listen... listen very close, with something deeper than ears. So much I want to tell you... but one thing matters most:
Let go of my hand and spread your wings, Rahne. The world is yours.
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"All My Hopes"
©David D. Amaya
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