Hearts & Bricks

When you are born you have one heart.When you fall in love you get another heart.

When you have a kid you get another heart.

For everyone you love in your life, you have a completely separate heart for them, that is all theirs.

When a person dies, that heart turns into a brick and stays in your chest.

So by the time you are old and weary and nearing the end of your time, your chest is full of hearts and full of bricks, but it is probably more filled with bricks than hearts, because you are old and most of the people you loved throughout your life have died.

Eventually, I imagine, the power of the bricks outweighs the power of the hearts and you slowly lose your resolve to continue on, to keep the hearts you have left beating and bringing life.

Bricks are heavy and with a full load of them, you just want to sit down and rest.

This is what happens when you get old.

Not that I am old, but this is what I imagine happens.

I only have one brick in my chest right now, because I am still young and most everyone I have ever loved is still alive, their heart beating strong within me.

But as I get older I notice the fullness of all the hearts I host. And I recognize their potential to one day become hefty bricks that I will keep until the day I finally go.

And it makes me afraid to accept too many hearts, because when I love someone I love them wholeheartedly, and the idea of having that many bricks inside me one day is almost too much to bear.

I can feel the bricks forming now, like a phantom pain that exists before the heart is ever hardened. The multiplication of the single brick I now hold, and how it must feel to have a whole barrow full of them.

It hurts me deep in my chest, the transition of heart to brick, because it doesn't always happen fast. It hurts enough that I am tempted to allow the heart to slowly die before it ever starts to bricken.

It hurts even more to imagine the heart of my daughter. Her heart. Her real heart, in her little chest. And how she has no idea the load of bricks she'll one day lug.

A brick for me.

And a brick for her mommy.