This Beautiful World

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The insight of a child

Submitted: August 08, 2012

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Submitted: August 08, 2012



I am riding in the car with Lizzie.  I have picked her up from my daughter, Daisy, at a pre-determined spot to bring her to see Great G, her great-grandmother who has been in an assisted living facility for almost a year.  We have been visiting Great G in various facilities, hospitals, rehabs since Lizzie was 2; she is now just over the 4 year mark.  I muse about years to come, when she has dreams – perhaps nightmares – about old people reaching out for her and calling her name.  She won’t remember that it was real.

Everywhere she goes, Lizzie is the good will ambassador.  She makes people smile.  They simply look at her, and smile.  Ask her name.  Tell her how pretty she is.  If you tell Lizzie she is pretty, you have won her over for life.  She will be your friend.  Alternatively, if she says hello to you and you don’t respond, or you don’t respond with the proper enthusiasm, she says you’re mean.  She is not fond of unfriendly people, those who do not respond to her promptly and correctly.

I am not in a good mood.  For the fourth time in the same number of years, my life is not just upsetting or unsettling, but scary.  I am scared, terrified in fact, about the future: mine, Great G's, Daisy’s, Lizzie’s, and – oh yeah – the as-yet-unmentioned New Baby’s (NB).  I have been through the loss of my daughter’s attachment to me and my replacement by a young man, followed by a young woman, followed by a young man, then back to the young woman, all within the 4 years of Lizzie’s life.  I have lost my eldest sister, our family's polestar of all that is good, to cancer within 18 months of her diagnosis.  I have lost the man I called, not facetiously, the love of my life, for whom I relocated nearly 2,000 miles, only to discover after the first year – and then the second, and then the third – that he “can't do this.” I was forced to RE-relocate. 

So there are things to worry about, especially when one has been taught to be a worrier from a very early age: two grandchildren, a daughter having children but still not grown up herself, an elderly mother who still has her mind but whose body has consistently let her down since she turned 80, eight years ago.  And, there is me: 50-something, underemployed, unfulfilled, still searching – and crazy – after all these years.

Hence the not good mood.  But still, I start singing, because being in the car means singing. Lizzie hates when I sing and she says my songs are boring or weird, sometimes both.  I laugh when she yells at me to stop.  I am singing a weird song from The Music Man. Pick a little, talk a little.  Cheep, cheep, cheep, talk a lot, pick a little more.  Lizzie doesn’t like my song, doesn’t want to learn it.  I say okay, then you sing me a song.

Without a moment’s hesitation, she sings, at the top of her little lungs, a song of her own invention: Oh, it’s a beautiful world, it’s such a beautiful world!

I start to cry.  I am a weepy person by nature, but these are tears of joy, that this beautiful person is part of my world.  This beautiful world. 

I tell her to keep singing.


© Copyright 2018 RE Liza. All rights reserved.

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