December 6, 2020

Epilogue II

(c) J. Singh, 2016

She looked upon her child with eyes full of love, as only a mother can. His long black eyelashes, innocent young face, body still growing. No longer a boy, but not yet a man. He had not even reached maturity yet. She had nurtured him from infancy, stayed up all hours of the night tending to him, lovingly cradling him in her arms, kissing him gently on his tiny forehead, singing him to sleep with her sweet voice. She had held him in a close embrace when he had had a fever, caring for him and tending to him until he recovered. She had sacrificed all her dreams and desires so that he might be comfortable, she fretted and worried any time he might be the least bit uncomfortable. She made sure he always had warm clothes to wear, even while she forgot about her own warmth and the icy winds of winter chilled her to the bone.

She had given her body and her blood so that he could be born and enter this world. She cherished him more than anything, and she often contemplated how incomplete her life had been before he was born. She doted on him lovingly and thought only of him during every waking moment.

Now, held captive by the brutal tyrants, she turned to him and pleaded.

My dearest son, life of my life, please, don't go on that path. It’s only hair, it will grow back...but your life, once taken, will be gone forever. It's not worth dying over ...

His deep black eyes looked back at his mother tenderly. He took her hands in his own, caressing the wrinkles gently. These hands, which were worn down now, which had held him from his first moments of life, that had picked him up when he had fallen, that raised him up while remaining humble. He softly kissed those hands. Tears fell like silent raindrops.

My beloved mother, this is the only thing that is worth it. Do not weep for me, for I go now to return to the Timeless from whence we all came. We shall not be separated, and you shall celebrate my emancipation from the bonds of this world. I go willingly and in bliss. Do not waver, dearest mother! You gave birth to a lion . . .