A Song of Home

April 29, 2009
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She sat in her living room, the room that had become her sanctuary, a place of rest and relaxation. Her floral couch and armchair were aged and frail, as she was, but they were as comfortable as the day she bought them. Her coffee table was littered with hymnals and magazines. She was a devout woman and one who loved music. Often times she was found humming or singing in her house, but no one minded. Her voice was layered with hardships and good times, all emotions could be expressed through her dynamic range. It brought her joy which was needed in these times, for the time she had was very limited.

Today she sat on the couch while staring into a pair of eager, imaginative eyes. Her grandson, Anthony, was visiting and later she would be attending one of his concerts. He was fourteen, his dark amber eyes protruded from his deep brown face. He stood beside her, then sat down in the armchair. It creaked with the stress of his body. “Chubby, you best not break my chair now.” she said with a little smirk. She loved him, and it was a little playful thing she did to show him. He smiled back at her, he knew what she was doing. “Sing me a little something from your concert tonight.” she loved hearing him almost as much as she loved singing herself. He obliged willingly, he always did. Watching his grandmother had become an act that he knew would only happen a few more times, so he made a point of not protesting her wishes.

A soft, sweet voice drifted into the air. A gorgeous tenor’s voice came through the room and into her ears. Her heart lifted inside her, like it was soaring at the sound on his angelic melody. It was a familiar tune, one that meant the world to her. As she closed her eyes and she could see an ancient scene she knew so well, and her memory flowed through her at the sound of his words. He sang and she joined him in a sultry duet of :
Soonah will be done with the troubles of the world
the troubles of the world
the troubles of the world

Soonah will be done with the troubles of the world
goin’ home to live with God

She saw herself, a young child, barely four. She was wearing a tattered ivory dress and a green head wrap. Her mother stood beside her grasping her hand tightly, almost as if she were afraid to release her. They were submerged in a dark forest of trees, the moonlight shone upon their skin in the darkness and illuminated the earth around them. She saw her mother’s eyes, filled with fear and tears. She saw herself unaware of the pain in her mother’s heart and what would lay in wait for them if something went wrong. They ran, without thought or direction, glancing at the stars every pause they took. Reading the cartographic symbols hidden in the stars that would map their way to freedom.

They ran through the forest, her young legs couldn’t keep up. Her mother lifted her without a second’s hesitation, as if she were flying through the air she was lifted into her mother’s loving arms. They journeyed on until they reached a house. It was subtly hidden by a shroud of darkness and forest trees. It was inviting to the tired two, and they entered without even knocking on the door. They were greeted by a married couple, light skinned people, who had been leading this operation for years. They silently ushered the two to the basement, where they were kept secret for the remainder of about two hours, where rest and relaxation healed their tired bones.

There was a banging at the door, followed by a thundering voice with a snide tone that pierced through the wooden floorboards and rang in her ears. Heavy footsteps were followed by a banging at the trapdoor. Her mother leaped to her feet and shrieked silently. They rushed to a small opening in the wall and proceeded to race out into the woods once more. However, there rush was cut short by a gunshot, swift and sharp through the crisp air. Her mother stopped, fell, and was lost in that moment. “Mama!” She raced to her mother’s side, but was grabbed by a dark hand that saw the chance to save a young girl.

Deep brown eyes opened. Tears streamed down tinted cheeks. The melody ceased, her voice fell, and he looked at her with a confused expression. “Grandma? What’s wrong?” he asked in a ginger voice. “Nothin’ you just stopped that sweet voice of yours! Why’d you do that? Did you forget your words? How ignorant are you?” She played with him, masking her own tears with small joking tones.

An hour later and they rode to the concert. A chorus of voices drenched her in memories of the past failures and triumphs. Pangs of longing touched her heart throughout the duration of the beautiful song, but her heart took it despite its own fragile state. It was the most confusing moment of her life. She felt a symphony of emotions, each playing a single note. Anger, fear, love, hope, and finally freedom.

They returned home, and left her with a full heart, hugs, and kisses. She fell atop her bed and fell asleep. She dreamed of the past, however, a different ending took place. Instead of a shot piercing her future of happiness, they raced on. They raced towards tomorrow, they raced towards the future, they raced towards freedom, but most importantly, they raced together.

When they found her, she was gone. She died in her sleep, a quick death, an inevitable death, but a peaceful death all the same. She was found in her bed, smiling. Though she was forever gone, whenever they went into her house they could still hear her singing the song she had been waiting for.

I want to meet my mother
I want to meet my mother
I want to meet my mother
Goin’ home to live with God

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