I walked in with the rest of the family and they told me that I was allowed to pick a rosary, because they would be saying the rosary at four. There was a basket filled with various colors and shapes. Everything from traditional rosaries to ones called bracelet rosaries,(more) to ring rosaries no bigger than a quarter.
I've never been a highly religious person. Not really. Not properly.
But they told me that the SHE made the rosaries. That they were HERS. So I searched through the basket.
The first one that caught my eye was a wooden thing in a plastic box labeled "rose scented" but I passed it up to look at the others. Words like "Sacred Heart" and "St. Anthony" were written on various plastic bags filled with rosaries. All of the ones labled "St. Anthony" were blue, but the others were various colors. Some had saints on the other side of the piece with the mother Mary. Some crosses were flat, while others were proper charms.
I came back to the rose scented one. Picking up the plastic container, I carefully opened the lid and pulled the rosary out. The smell of rose oil floated up to my nose immediately. The cross was a charm, full and detailed. The beads were made of wood, pink with the soaked in rose oil. They were smooth and warm to the touch, textured in a way that no other sort of bead could ever wish to be. It was a calming rosary, meant to soothe. Much like the monotone chanting that was meant to go with it. It seemed fitting, and my gut told me this rosary was for me.
So that is the one I picked. Made by my devote grandmother and chosen by me, the failed roman catholic. But instead of feeling uneasy in my hands, it comforts me. Soothes away the rough edges of this social nightmare known as a funeral, and gives me something beautiful to hold on to that was hers.
But as I pray over it, I'm not so much thinking about the religion I was raised into, or the grandmother that I never knew. I'm thinking about the pleasant smell of the oil, the calm warmth of the wooden beads, the gentle beat of the chant and the profound simplicity found in this rare moment. (less)
Feelings used to fade at first, fading away like smoke trailing off from a bonfire. Later, distraction was needed to take the tension away, whether it was a TV show or listening to music. Then came therapy; the meds followed soon after that. But no matter what skills they(more) taught, or what pills they prescribed, nothing could soothe her.
Pills, as varied as the shells on the beach, sat in bottles in her medicine cabinet. A small library of self-help books, torn and tattered through multiple readings, sat on her shelf. Music drifted out of the radio, dissonant as it mixed with the sounds of the television, two opposite messages combining into an new tone worse than the sum of its parts. Letters and notebooks full of feelings and therapy techniques lay scattered about her room, a hurricane's devastation worth of failed attempts at peace.
She sat on the cool bathroom floor, covered by nothing more than a loose T-shirt and her underwear, curled in a ball. Sadness, anger, anxiety all flowed through her, her veins coursing with emotion, emotion she needed to let out. She balled up tighter, and let out a wailing, primal scream. Then another. And another. (less)
When you had nightmares you woke me up, and I would run my fingers through your hair until you fell asleep again. And whenever I started getting the shakes, you held my hand until I was still. I loved you; I still do. But your touch doesn't stop the(more) shakes anymore, neither does your kiss, and I wish I knew why.(less)