Disclaimer: Glee belongs to Ryan Murphy and Fox, not me. The poem "i carry you in my heart" belongs to e.e. cummings.
This is for Lincoln, our Linkybear, who will always, always be missed.
You always said how lucky you were that we were all friends. But it was us, baby, who were the lucky ones.
And this is also for London, who is loved.
Mollie pushed her bare foot lightly in the soft green grass, making the porch swing rock just a little bit. She sighed to herself. Right now, things were perfect. The house was clean, dinner was ready, Kurt was playing peacefully on the swingset, and her husband would be home soon. She finally had time to read a little bit while the summer sun turned everything gold.
"Mommy!" Kurt screamed. She sat up, dropping her book. "Mommy, Mommy, look!"
"Kurt, calm down," she said, turning back a corner to mark her page. "Are you okay? Are you hurt?"
Her five-year-old son ran to her at full speed. "Mommy, he's dead," Kurt sobbed, throwing his head onto her knees.
"Who's dead, KK?" she asked. She tilted his chin up, scanning his little face for bruises or scrapes.
"My bear," he whimpered. He thrust the stuffed toy in her hands. "He ripped. He ripped, Mommy, and now he's dead. We have to have a funeral."
Mollie resisted the urge to laugh at her overdramatic little boy. "It's just a little tear, honey," she reassured him, cupping Kurt's pointed chin in her hand and dropping a kiss on the top of his head. "Run inside and grab my sewing kit. I'll fix him for you."
Kurt obeyed, dashing inside and slamming the screen door behind him. Mollie examined the bear. Somehow Kurt had managed to rip the toy down the front, spilling soft white stuffing out of the seam. She could see why Kurt would be so upset- after all, Burt had gotten the bear for Kurt the day he was born- but at least it was an easy fix.
"I got it, Mommy," Kurt announced, balancing her sewing kit carefully in his little arms as he made his way towards her. "Are you gonna fix him now?"
"I am, I am, be patient," Mollie said. She opened the kit and took out a needle and a pair of scissors.
Kurt clambered up beside her. "Ooh, Mommy, pick that one," he said, pointing to a spool of sky blue thread.
"That won't match," she said. "Everybody will see his stitches."
"But it's a pretty color," he pointed out.
She smiled. "So it is," she said, cutting a length of thread and doubling it up.
Kurt stayed quiet as she tied off the ends and took the first little stitch, but soon he sidled up to her, pressing himself against her side. "Mommy?" he ventured.
"What, precious?" she asked absently.
"What's it like to die?"
Mollie faltered. She had hoped that Kurt wouldn't ask her this question. At least, not when he was so young. Maybe when he was older. But she glanced down at his wide blue eyes, bright and trusting, and she knew that dismissing the question or telling him to wait till Burt got home wouldn't help anything.
"I don't know," she said lightly.
"Does it hurt?" Kurt asked.
Mollie took a careful stitch. "I think it's like…falling asleep," she said. "You know how it feels when you're tucked into bed, and you're warm and cozy and you're drifting off to sleep?" Kurt nodded. "I think it's like that."
Kurt tucked his chin on her elbow, watching her sew the neat row of stitches up the front of the bear, the sky blue thread blending into the warm honey gold of the bear's fur. "Mommy, is it scary?" he asked.
"Well, do you remember what it says in your Peter Pan book?" Mollie asked. "When Peter's on the rock and the tide is coming in?" Kurt shook his head, his soft hair brushing against her arm. She kissed him lightly. "He said that 'to die would be an awfully big adventure'."
"Where do you go when you die?" Kurt asked.
"You go to heaven," Mollie said. She was beginning to wonder if she should have made Kurt go to church more regularly; maybe then these questions would be easier to answer. Then again, she preferred teaching Kurt to pray in the sanctity of their own quiet backyard then making him sit in a hard wooden pew during mass for an hour. "You go to heaven, and it's beautiful and peaceful, and all the good things you loved will be there. And all the people you loved who went to heaven before you will be waiting for you."
Kurt nestled closer. "So it's not really scary," he said. "But…but Mommy, if I died I would miss you."
Mollie's heart flipflopped. "I know, baby," she said. "And I would miss you too. But if you had to go to heaven, nobody would ever forget you."
"Really?" he said, tilting his head so he could look up at her.
"Really," she said. "And then same if I had to go to heaven without you. I would always be right here, with you." She placed her fingertips over his chest, feeling the bright rapid beats of his little child-heart. "Just because you couldn't see me doesn't mean I wouldn't love you anymore. I wouldn't forget you."
Kurt smiled up at her, the sunlight catching on his long lashes and his eyes wide and brilliant blue, and her heart broke again over how much she loved her son. "I wouldn't forget you either, Mommy," he said.
She took his chin in her hand again and kissed all the little spots she loved best- the dimple in his cheek, the tip of his pert freckle nose, the soft skin beside his eye- and gathered him on her lap. "Mm, I'll eat you up, I love you so," she whispered softly. Kurt cuddled into her, his small slender fingers toying with the ends of her long hair as she took the last few stitches in the repaired seam and clipped the threads. "Now give your teddy a kiss. He's had a hard day."
Kurt hugged the bear and kissed it between the eyes. Mollie smiled and brushed his hair back from his forehead. "Now, you can go play until Daddy comes home," she said. "You have about twenty minutes, I think."
Kurt snuggled closer, hugging the bear to his chest. "Can I stay with you, Mommy?" he asked. "Can you read to me?"
"It's poetry," she warned. "It's a grown up book and you won't like it."
"Read to me," he insisted, immediately lying down with his head on her knees. Mollie hid a smile and picked up the book, balancing it with one hand while she stroked his hair with the other. She read to him in a soft warm voice, the sound carrying over the silence of the backyard and the call of a mourning dove and the shushing sound of pages turning and the light high creak of the porch swing as it rocked them slowly, back and forth, lulling them into peace.
"i carry you heart with me (i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it
(anywhere i go you go, my dear;
and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;
which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)."
She looked down at her son to find him fast asleep, his cheeks pink and rosy and his fingers tucked his mouth. The bear drooped beside him, clutched in his sleep-lax little fingers, and Kurt's knees were drawn up to his chest, his small bare feet pressed against the back of the swing. Mollie smiled as she drew her fingers through his hair and tangled the lightly curling ends, brushing the pad of her thumb over his soft fringe of eyelashes and the gentle line of his nose.
"I carry you in my heart," she said softly to her peacefully sleeping son, and she turned another page.
One of the best things I've discovered about the Glee fandom is the wonderful people I've gotten to know. There's a group of us that talk regularly; I was lucky enough to join them several months back and have enjoyed their company and friendship immensely.
Last week one of ours passed away. He was young and it was very unexpected and it's hit all of us very hard. He was our Linkybear, funny and encouraging and often full of inappropriate hilarity and always eating something. It's so unreal to think that he's actually gone.
He always refused to read "Knife Going In," because he didn't want to read a story that didn't have ending yet. But he caved and read it anyway, and while I treasure the sweet reviews he sent me, it breaks my heart because he didn't get to read the end. The only thing that makes me feel better over that is knowing that I told him I loved him the last time I talked to him.
So this is for Lincoln. Love you, bb.
Please send your thoughts and prayers for Lincoln's loved ones, especially his boyfriend London, even if you're reading this weeks or months or years from when it was originally posted.