but me, i look back at one story that was told me over and over. because it was my favourite. and it was not the one with glass slippers or spell-breaking kisses or even tumbling rose petals. it was the one where the little girls died, and their daddy wrote a song.
i can still hear my daddy's voice in my head, even now, as he told the tale at bedtime. the storm that rocked the vessel that sent three little girls to the bottom of the ocean, a wife's broken telegram of three words that screamed of a whispered broken heart.
:: safe but alone ::
and a broken father who boarded a ship to the place where his daughters passed the veil and entered their Father's arms. and the words that melted together with the tears that splashed into the salty tomb that bore his children.
when peace like a river attendth my way
when sorrows like sea billows roll
whatever my lot, Thou has taught me say
it is well.
it is well
with my soul
this was my bedtime tale. and i never felt safer when told this story of the little girls' drowning and their father who found peace in the storm. because when Daddy kissed my forehead and turned out the light and i snuggled beneath my bright blue tye-dyed duvet, i would smile.
and now i'm all grown up, with a patchwork quilt and a dark blue and gold duvet of my own. and sometimes when the night feels darker than it ever has, and the world seems empty and so much like a billowing storm, i go to the window and look out into the frozen night.
and my lips form the words that my daddy taught me.
when peace like a river
because i'm a woman now, not a little girl. but i still love my daddy. and so does Jesus.
and i need to call my daddy and thank him for teaching me this song. because my eyes are full of unshed tears as i write this.
because this is not a fairytale with happy ever after.
this is truth with eternity like a cloak for my shoulders.
this is peace like a river.