But I knew as she turned to me. I knew her eyes, cause they were like mine. Everyone always said I had her eyes. And they watched me as I came through the door. And they watched me as I felt this grip tighten in my chest.
Excitement and Fear.
I can't tell the difference when they're on me.
"When..." I began but the words were held tight by that grip, "When did you get here?"
"I don't want to talk like that Rene?" she called me over to the couch. "I'm just stopping for a second."
I can think of a thousand things I wanted to say. But there in the living room was the same as the hospital. When she woke up for a moment between naps, and she looked at me. Normally she smiled when she woke up to one of us sitting by her. But this was more tired. This time she saw me. Her eyes. I remember the color.
Excitement and fear.
And again no words.
She always had words. She was stronger than me. Stronger than anyone I've known. So even if she only had a second she only asked about me. Asked about my life. My work. My family.
"Here," I said, like magic holding a photo in my hand to give her, "You would've loved it. I wish you could've seen it."
"I know," she said it gently as she looked over the picture.
I wonder that all the time. If she saw it. If she knew how it would be after she left. All the things she would miss. And all the things that would happen. She was so strong. I feel like she could've figured it out. That she dreamed it. She dreamed my wedding. She dreamed my son. Maybe more. She dreamed the music. She dreamed my old age. She dreamed my brothers. And my father. And generations unborn. Holidays make me think like this. And it keeps me up so many nights. But this night I was sleeping through it.
She took the photo. And I felt so light.
Right before the ground shook. And everything in the room was vibrating. Falling away. The dream disappearing.
And our eyes. Looking at me, in that tiny bus bathroom. I felt so tired. And I looked worse. Like I wasn't taking care of these eyes.
Wash Face. Brush Teeth. Contacts burning. Ibuprofen.
And I stumble out of the little stall as the bus pulls out. A few of the guys are sitting in the front lounge. Staring out windows. Quietly cell phoning. And I get a water bottle finding my seat. Watching the trees pass as we headed into Atlanta.
And thinking of my mothers voice. I could still feel that grip.
Fear. Excitement. Tiredness.
"How much further?" I asked Lindsay.
She was cuddled into a corner, reading. "30 mins. I think."
I put on my headphones. Look at the tree. The green. The hazel tint of fall. Our color. And the day ahead. Fear. Excitement. Tiredness.