Summertime for Kelly O'Meara - 3

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A Continuation of Irish Intersection
My apologies for the delay

Beloved, gaze in thine own heart
The holy tree is growing there;
From joy the holy branches start
And all the trembling flowers they bear;


“I never meant to leave you so hopeless and sad, my sweet girl. You are my life,” the woman said as her soft sobs echoed the girl’s own crying. She lifted her head and looked into familiar eyes.

“You do have hope, my baby. I just did not know. I am so sorry, Calleigh,” she said as she gathered her tears in her hand. She touched the girl’s cheek, anointing it in a way.

“Be blessed, Calleigh ni Meadhra. Give your father my love?”” The woman kissed her forehead and spoke her name again.


The parking lot of Casa Mia Pizzeria Pastaria,

Karen sat in her Tacoma pick-up with the windows down to receive the remaining mist of the dusk sun shower. She leaned back and began to pray with eyes closed and silently as faces came to mind. Glynnis had phoned with great news that Kelly would be just fine apart from a very nasty bruise on her left ear and a very bad headache.

As Kelly’s face faded another visage seemed to intrude. It wasn’t that she didn’t welcome Kevin’s face in her prayers so much as the unwelcome confusion and guilt that that tagged along. She had her chance, hadn’t she? She had no right to dream after her sin brought ruin and heartache, after all.

Bur even as Kevin’s face also began to fade, another face from the past, familiar and welcoming, entered her prayers along with the comfort that can only come from a friend. A conversation recalled that soothed the remnants of deep wounds and sadness

“I’m here, Karen,” the voice echoed as if the present was harmonizing with the past.

“You’re not alone, hon.” Gentle as always, hearkening to a friendship that spanned most of her lifetime.

“And you are in His hands, no matter what you seen now. No matter what you ‘ve done. No matter what anyone says, Karen, you are loved.” A soft smile and a warm touch seemed to wipe away Karen’s tears. Travailing for others often brought comfort to everyone except herself, but this evening had more in mind.

It would have been easy to dismiss her friend’s words but for the near parallel journey both took. The only difference being that Karen had been abandoned after her loss while her friend had been embraced. And while she had been left barren, her friend was blessed with another child before the end.

“I can’t bear this,” Karen spoke to the angel of her past, knowing that her angel knew that same heartache.

“I know.” No correction or rebuke, but the woman followed with the same caress of tears and same warm smile.

“I deserved this. It’s my fault she died.” Karen reached down and touched where her loss began.

“No, Karen,” the woman said; her voice not so much angelic as the sound of the nicest friend Karen might ever know.

“There is no fault. And your child lives with her creator; blessed and happy. Your creator still rejoices over you with love. Be blessed, Karen, remember hope and see the works of Him who will give everything to you to show you His love.” The words were accompanied by a best friend’s kiss and finally,

“Caireann ni Caoimh…. Be blessed…..”

Karen looked up and beheld the fading glow of the sun illuminate the prettiest rainbow she had ever seen. The last of the soft rain fell upon her face; the travailing tears of heaven mixed with the gentle tears of Heather ni Carthaigh… Heather McCarthy O’Meara.

The changing colours of its fruit
Have dowered the stars with merry light;
The surety of its hidden root
Has planted quiet in the night;

The Davison home a short while later…

“Maggie?” Nancy walked into the kitchen and found the girl resting her head sideways on her arms on the table.

“Oh…” the girl almost whispered as she lifted her head up. Nancy noticed Maggie had been crying, and sat down next to her.

“Daddy had to go to the hospital to pick up Glynnis.” Nancy’s eyes began to widen in worry, but Maggie quickly added.

“She’s okay. Kelly fell and hit her head at school. She’s alright, but Daddy says she has to be there tonight just in case.” Maggie tried to look away but Nancy gently grabbed Maggie’s chin and redirected her face-to-face.

“Honey?” Nancy shook her head slightly without another word.

“NO. Mommy. I.. I haven’t been drinking.”

“I know. And I know you care about Kelly as your friend, but you’re still upset and you’ve been crying. Maggie tried to deny it, but the tears fell freely. She sighed before speaking.

“Why does Daddy hate me?”

Nancy began to deny Maggie’s words, since they weren’t true, but it was more important to find out why Maggie felt that way than Nancy’s need to defend Cam. And she was trying very hard to discard her default mode of enablement. Cam was a grown man with good reason to be doubted by the rest of the family, even if he was making strides in overcoming that mistrust. She spoke softly.

“Why do you feel Daddy hates you?”

“Because I can’t dance anymore. Mommy. I tried, but it hurts too much.” The physical pain would have been more than too much to overcome by itself, but Maggie was a Davison, which meant being a perfectionist first, last, and always even at nearly fifteen.

And although she was still good at dancing, she would likely never approach the success she had striven for; leaving her feeling like an abject failure. It didn’t help that neither Cam nor Nancy understood why she stopped dancing altogether. At least until recently when Cam’s drinking problem duplicated itself in Maggie. Nancy looked away, searching for some connection.

“I know, honey. I do know you’ve tried. I’m sorry we… I’m sorry we made you feel you had to do everything right. To be perfect.” It was ironic that in a house filled with very imperfect people, there remained a need to perform to gain love.

From a father who drank and spent so much of his life as a parent demanding without giving. To a mother who pretty much stood idly by while Cam demanded, as well as her own need to be the best wife and mother instead of just being herself. To a rebellious older daughter who pushed away any of the once and a while good things because of all the bad disappointments that arose from her relationship with her parents. Right down to baby sister who practiced to be perfect to the exclusion of her own needs. Everyone with a role played to perfection on an imperfect stage.

“I do love you, Maggie,” a voice came from the doorway to the garage. She looked up to find her father standing in the doorway; his left hand covering his face while his right hand was grasped by Glynnis. He shook his head.

“I am so sorry, baby.” The term was meant as an endearment, but Maggie winced. Type cast in a role for which she never auditioned. Excuse after excuse for her own behavior seemed to rise up like some psychic bile, but she shook her head, but not merely in self-recrimination.

“I’m not a baby, daddy. Stop it.”

Nancy leaned closer to her and touched her arm, evoking another wince. Before she could object, Nancy spoke with a near rebuke; perhaps for all of them.

“No, you’re not. You’re our daughter, and we do love you, but we hate what we’ve all become. No more just crying and saying we’re sorry to each other. If we want something, we’ll ask. Very carefully, and maybe with everyone understanding that there are no guarantees." Cam took his hand and wiped his tears from his face as he nodded in agreement. He took Nancy’s lead.

“If we need something? Really need? We still ask, okay?”

Glynnis looked up into his face and at least felt that things would improve. That they could actually stop pretending. And while that was a very good thing, she still burst into tears and ran down the hall to her room. Nancy was tempted to get up to run and fix the hurt, but Glynnis needed to have a much needed father-to-daughter moment or even an hour or so of talking with rather than at each other. As Cam walked down the hall, Nancy said loud enough for him to hear,

“Maggie and I are going to go get some dinner. We’ll be back after Glynnie calls us with the ‘all clear,’ okay?”

Cam laughed softly to himself and shouted out ‘okay’ before knocking on his daughter’s bedroom door.

“Glynnie? Can I come in?” he said as he knocked on the door. A few moments passed as he heard the front door open and close, signaling Nancy and Maggie’s departure. And a few moments later the bedroom door opened, revealing a very upset Glynnis Davison.

Her expression was a mixture of sadness and anger, and she stepped close and began pounding on her father’s chest with open hands. Cam was tempted to embrace her, but years of frustration don’t vanish with a rueful hug, and she needed to know that he knew how hurt she was. After a few minutes, her slaps ebbed into her own attempt at a hug. A cautious, wary hug that let Cam know it might not be comfortable, but it indeed was safer for both of them to resume reconstructing their relationship.

Beloved, gaze in thine own heart
The holy tree is growing there;
From joy the holy branches start
And all the trembling flowers they bear.

At the hospital in the family room later that evening…

Kevin was propped up against the back of the reasonably comfortable couch. The television was muted, and the remote had gone missing, leaving him with a documentary about migratory birds sans closed caption. Kelly had drifted off to sleep, and the nurses ushered Kevin into the family room with the proviso that he’d be alerted for anything new.

He stared at the door. With no serious harm, Kelly would return home tomorrow with the major issue being a discussion on why she had been so distracted in the first place. He had lapsed into his “Kevin is put out default’ and promised himself he’d confront his child the moment they got home. Between the dull silence of the television and his self-pitying mood, he started to drift off…

“Honey? Your father expects you to do well. What’s wrong with that?” A voice seemed to soothe and accuse in a moment – a voice from his past. Visions of hasty arguments and sad expectations led the boy to spend every bit of his energy pleasing his father. It was only after his father’s passing and his discovery of his one true love that the boy moved slowly into freedom. But that freedom never changed how he viewed things, despite that true love, and every bit of unspoken demands led him to treat his own child exactly like his father treated him. Eamon O’Meara’s legacy to his grandchild was that love is earned, and failure brings indifference and shame.

“Kevin?” Another sweeter, softer voice spoke with no accusation, but still with a firmness Kevin’s heart required.

“She’s your daughter, Kevin. Never let your father dictate how to love your own child. She has a heart that is still being mended, mo chroi, and only you can let her know that she is exactly as the creator intended. Speak softly and kindly and remember how much she loves you? And never forget our love. But you will need help.”

He wanted to protest and agree at the same time with the voice. He was never suited to parent alone, but then again who ever is at the beginning. He blinked his eyes, wishing the voice to be true. It was a dream, wasn’t it?

“You are free from your own past, and you can help free your daughter as well. But you must also step into what has been prepared for you since the beginning of time.” He wanted to argue alone this time. Kevin felt entirely incapable of being the father he was meant to be – that understandable but still self-centered argument against the future. He could and must apprehend his blessing as his daughter’s father. But the voice spoke again.

“You shall be everything to her that you can. But you shall also be everything to another, Caoimhín Ó Meadhra. You never forgot our love. Forget not your own heart here and now, mo daor lómhara? I will always love you. Be at peace.”

Kevin found himself staring blankly ahead; his last memory of the voice had been accompanied by a visage he would never again behold this side of heaven. He blinked back the tears only briefly before the face of his beloved Heather passed out of his mind, leaving him to put his head back against the couch to weep….

To be continued…

The Two Trees
Performed by the composer,
Loreena McKennit

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