"Go ahead and cry," my mother said to me. "Tears will heal you."
If only they could heal you. If they actually possessed a magical healing power I would capture them all in a cup for you and anoint your brow with them; your eyes with them; your ears with them. If I covered you in my tears would you come back to me? Would you remember me? Would you awaken from this walking sleep that holds you?
If I could brew you a bittersweet draught from my tears that would strip this fog away, I would cry every tear for you. I would weep again at all of the sadness I've ever caused you; all the pain I ever inflicted on you; all the anger I engendered in you. I'd weep for all of the things you've lost. All of the people you've lost. All of the years you've lost.
But it doesn't work. These tears I can't shed in front of you go unused. Dripping down my cheeks, they land useless in my hands. Only my eyes are changed by their passing. You remain the same.
The hollow man. A ghost of your former self. A shadow. A shade. A revenant.
Where are you? Where have you gone?
Are you still in there? Do you rage inside your mind when we don't understand you? When you want to communicate and yet can't? Do we frustrate you when we can't translate what you want or need into a form we can understand?
I want you to know me. To remember me. To recognize me.
Just for a moment. Just for a minute. Just a bubble of memory that will cause you to look me in the eye and let me know that you see me.
It's still your voice, your chuckle, your hazel eyes that look back at me.
Dad? Daddy? It's me. I'm here.
I miss you. We miss you. We love you.
These tears are for you, though you may never know that they are for you or that I am yours. To you, I am no more than the smiling stranger with the tears standing in her eyes.
But I know. I know you.
I miss you.
I love you.