A Child With Old Hands

June 2, 2008
By Olivia Brogdon, Neptune Beach, FL

Your frail eyes don’t see us anymore; you are beyond concept and reason. Those spacey blue circles take in an entirely other world. Your world… one where Harry is alive, along with your mother, your father…everyone. It’s shattering my own mother, as she bears your begging, your crying…your hatred. But you don’t even recognize her as your daughter anymore. She’s just this woman that keeps you from living in your world.
To you, we are a mystery, just wisps of another life that you’ve left behind. Soon you won’t notice even that. Perhaps it is already so…I haven’t seen you in a while, haven’t seen the damage it has rendered of you. Your other children are starting to move on—but my mother worries about you, even though you’re no longer under her care. But we couldn’t handle it anymore. It only caused her pain to see you scream, telling her you hate her. That you didn’t need her
My father treated it as a joke, attempting to keep us from falling under the stress. But even he snapped on occasion. You’d forget a few minutes later, but I hated to see that few moments when you were here enough to know he was angry. You’d storm away, crying, not understanding that we’re trying to help you.
But, of course, this world is no longer yours. Your eyes are the portal to that world, but long ago we gave up trying to go there. It is for only you. For only that little boy who keeps playing in the back yard, a reflection of your lost son, or for my daughter who has blond hair. They exist there, we exist here. And your brain tells you that we aren’t real anymore.

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