Sunday, March 16, 2008

11th Hour

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Acrylic on archival & acid-free heavyweight fine art paper, 2.5 x 3.5 in.
Watermark not present on original artwork, $42

The eleventh hour describes the last moment when everything changes.

Today is Palm Sunday, I remember. Let me tell you my favorite Palm Sunday story.

"It's one of her most favorite celebration. Every year on this day, she would wake up at four o' clock in the morning. She'll rouse up her sisters from sleep and cheerfully remind them of what's ahead, church at five.

Holding hands, the three girls will tiptoe to the 'big room' to check if their Mama and Papa are awake. Whispering so as not to wake up the littlest of them all. They all fought the urge to reach out to the 'battleship' (a.k.a. bed in the big room) and squeeze the cheeks of the little baby sleeping next to their parents.

In between little giggles, she whispered to them 'Ma, Pa, it's time!.' Their Mama and Papa stirred to wake up and as expected they heard them say 'Shhhh, the baby is sleeping'. One by one, they stepped out and headed to their closets. All excited to pull out their Sunday dresses.

'Can you tie my hair first?' she asked the oldest. She wanted to look nice, it was her first Palm Sunday as a big sister. She couldn't wait to show her friends their new baby. And to taste the warm porridge right after church. Going to the little eatery across the church was part of their Palm Sunday tradition. The place made the best porridge (a soup made of rice, chicken and vegetables). Perfect for warming hungry little tummies on a cold morning after church.

The soup was made warmer by the love they share. Happy for the simple life they have. They have each other, their Mama and Papa would often say. That's what matters. She led saying grace on the table this time. With closed eyes and clasped hands, she said 'Thank you for our baby, my sisters, my Mama, Papa, our dogs and cats. Oh, and our little ducks and baby chicks too. Amen."

She was smiling when she opened her eyes. That was twenty four years ago. Her baby sister is all grown up. And she has a little one of her own now, her own battleship. The last Palm Sunday they were together was nine years ago. Their Papa passed away three days after, it was Wednesday of the holy week. There were only five of them that Easter. All wore white.

It was her family's eleventh hour. Grappling with grief and tears with their eyes, they made a pact to carry on the simple traditions they all cherish. In their hearts, they'll always be together, their Mama said. That's what matters, remember that."

I'll remember, I'll remember.


Small City Scenes said...

What vibrant colors---I love it. My mother wants to paint her small kitchen floor in colorful splashy flowers. She has sketches everywhere My mother will be 92 on April 2 and is always creating.
The Palm Sunday story is precious.
We will always be together and that is all that matters. My husband died at thanksgiving time and I think our little family will always be together---because that is all that matters. (paraphrased)

Small City Scenes said...

I don't usually tell people these things but that little story struck a chord with me. Thank you. MB

Morning Artist said...

Thank you for sharing your intimate thoughts, you inspire me to write more from my heart. I will always remember that somewhere along the way I was able to touch somebody.

What you shared will remain special forever.