The sound of a body hitting the floor is distinct. Once you hear it, you don’t unhear it. So the tiny thump I heard the other day nudged at my not-so-distant sorrow. It’s a terrible sound, hearing a body collapse. My heart sank when I saw the baby facedown, on the floor, waving her arms in distress. Vie has learned to roll over…and off of the bed.
She cried while I looked her over. She had stopped by the time we went to get a cup of ice. The sound of the ice dispenser made her cry again but she went silent when I put the pack of ice on her cheek. An hour later, she was none the worse for the wear.
But that sorrow lingers.
Sorrow and I are tight. My childhood bookshelf didn’t hold happy stories. Ever read Morgan Morning? It’s an illustrated children’s book about a foal’s idyllic life and his agonizing demise. Here’s the publisher’s synopsis:
“A young horse’s curiosity leads him into mortal peril and a new existence.”
Maybe it is because I was raised on books about dead baby horses that I have learned to read the language of sorrow. In Master and Margarita, sorrow appears in a bouquet of yellow flowers. Winston Churchill’s black dog appears in Hotel New Hampshire. At the epilogue of Crumb, when the brother closed the curtains, I knew his fate.
When we paint the world with our troubles, we lose to them. Which is how I know the sound of a body hitting the floor. I was witness to a dear heart taken down by his troubles. I have smelled burnt blood and gunpowder. I have watched the brilliance leave a man’s eyes.
My sorrow has haunted me. Then along came Vie.
She is nothing but happy light.
Here’s to the end of sad stories.
The last bit of dialogue in Morgan Morning reads:
“I love you Morgan.”
“I love you, mom.”
Goodbye sad stories and goodbye sorrow.
Hello bassinet with sides.