I remember the rumble of the trains, clanking on the tracks across the street and through the field. Our tiny trailer shook with the vibration of the engine, and with the tromping of his little feet, and the cry from his lips, "train, it's a train!" My firstborn loved the trains. He would throw open the front door. The shrill whistle's call would linger for minutes, carry across the wind, and fill his eyes with delightful glee. On hearing a night train, I would tip toe to his room, push the door gently open enough to see him there in the dark, his face pressed to the window while the lights drifted past his window, and the clanking tracks left their indelible mark in his eyes and my heart. When we pulled up to the tracks yesterday, Mother's Day, I heard the rumbling of the engine, the whistle's call, but I couldn't hear the voice from so many years gone by. A little later in the evening, the tastes of an Italian dinner: the breadsticks, the olive oil, the salad was still on my mind when the phone rang. I knew it was my firstborn. What he said, was "Happy Mother's Day, Mom!" But what I heard was the sound of the trains, just like when he was at home so long ago.
I remember waking up, just barely, my eyes heavy with sleep as he climbed out of bed at 3:30 this morning. I drifted in and out of my coma like state and turned over only when I smelled the scent of the coffee drifting back to our bedroom. My eyes suddenly got a boost, because I knew coffee was coming around the doorway any second. And, there he was, showered, dressed, looking at me with those eyes that said, "I'll miss you." I sat in my recliner, comfortable, relaxing, when I looked over to the tv sitting silent, dark. I remembered the wide screen filled with the screaming race cars of the video games yesterday evening, acting as a backdrop to the curve of his face, lighting up his animated features as he seemed to be really there on the track, behind the wheel. Those same eyes from this morning seemed to be there one second, and suddenly they were not. The dark screen made the house seem empty now without him. When I walked into the church tonight, he stood there, looking at me with those eyes, and it felt like he'd been right beside me all day. I was home.
God has loved me most of my remembered life. The years have rolled past, in and out of my life, but God is a constant, remaining. I always knew I would have that little boy to love, I expected God to deliver. After all, I had laid in bed at night as a young girl, praying for God to give me brown eyed babies. They found the brown eyes somewhere other than genetics amazingly. God delivered on my prayers. And, I expected the love of my life, any day now as each year without him fell away, one less year to wait. I asked God for him. God listens, you know. But, I never expected the honeysuckles. They were an added bonus, unbidden, without a prayer, sent from God in heaven as a reminder of memories I have not yet known, of what celestial joys will taste like, to remind me to fall to my knees with my eyes closed and drink in the delightful nectar of His unending love...that found me when I wasn't looking. Somethings you never expect.