To smoothe the brow

Seems like everyone is talking politics right now, myself included.

I can’t sleep tonight because my thoughts return again and again to what I’ve read today, to the conversations I’ve had with my husband about politics.

We are concerned about certain issues not because we want to be contrary to those who feel or believe or think differently, but because we are just genuinely worried.

So we talk, I get all worked up, and then I can’t sleep.

Tonight, to comfort myself, I thought of my mom. I thought specifically of her softness and her smell, and it transported me to a more peaceful place.

I remembered a time when my dad found a litter of newborn kittens abandoned, and he and my mom tried to take care of them.

My mom was quite allergic to cats, but she worried about the kittens’ welfare so much that she had my dad bring them inside so she could look after them. I can see her even now, cupping a tiny kitten between her hands and holding it gently against her cheek. She risked aggravating her allergies, and thus aggravating her sick lungs, in order to comfort that tiny creature.

Naturally, I thought next of my dad, someone with whom I banter about politics.

I thought of him leaning over my mom and watching her face as she slept — in a medically induced coma in the hospital. Occasionally, a frown would arise on her brow. Dad, pensively watching her, a small smile on his face, would murmur something like, “I wonder what’s making her frown.”

I saw him kiss that little frown and smoothe it away.

What compassion I have seen, what tenderness.

Your concerns, and mine, are very real. We want to do our best for each other. Sometimes, we disagree.

But I am thankful to be reminded of compassion and tenderness. Those things are who we are. I will carry them with me into the ever after.


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