By Supermom <email@example.com>
Submitted: October 2001
Summary: Letters from a mother to her son capture her memories and feelings as she watches him grow up and attain his dreams.
Standard disclaimers apply. I don't own Lois or Clark or Superman (though Lord knows I could sure use Superman for some heavy cleaning I need to do.)
Author's Foreword: Bear with me on this one. It's not really a deathfic, so don't let the first couple of lines send you packing. It's more a look at the relationship between a mother and son. At the time I started this, my youngest son was sliding into his last months of high school and I started thinking and remembering and getting really sentimental. He's been at school for about six weeks now and loves it. He's enjoying class and finished 8th in his very first collegiate cross-country meet (which is super since he's there on scholarship). So right now I'm as proud as Martha must have been the first time she saw Superman make a big rescue. I only wish I'd kept a journal like this. Then I'd REALLY have something to get sentimental over! Hope you enjoy my little stroll down memory lane.
She had always been such a vibrant woman, and to say that it had been difficult to watch her wither from illness was an understatement. The funeral had been even more difficult. He had thought that, having gone through this once before, it would be easier the second time around. He had been sadly mistaken. Perhaps the bond between the two of them had been stronger. Perhaps he was more keenly aware of what was really happening. But the sight of the coffin being lowered into the snow-covered ground put a chokehold on his heart.
The finality of seeing her name on the simple gravestone was jolting. Her Kansas practicality made her demand that the family observe only a simple graveside service. "No use pouring good money into the ground when there are so many folks among the living who can use it," she'd been heard to say. It was so like her to be constantly concerned for the well being of others over her own needs.
Two days after the funeral, he began the uneasy task of sorting through her belongings. Her clothing was sent to the local women's shelter, a project she had supported vigorously. The house and furnishings and the land would remain his; he would never let that go.
Friends and other family members all received small mementos of her existence — a book to one, a figurine to another, a piece of costume jewelry to someone else. And it was while cleaning out her closet that he unearthed the journal.
It was a simple leather-bound book, but from the looks of the cover, it had been handled much. Because it was in a trunk along with her most special possessions, he knew it must be of some importance. He opened the front cover and glanced at the first page. Glued to it was a photo of her on the day she was married. The next few pages were covered with photos of the house and barn and a few more pictures of her. The last photo was of a beaming couple holding a baby wrapped in a dark blue blanket.
He turned one more page and was immediately faced with her familiar script:
May 24, 1966
I still can't believe that we have you. It's been a week now and I keep thinking I'll wake up and find out it's all a dream. Or that someone will knock on the front door and say that you belong to them. Of course they'll have a lot of explaining to do about that space capsule we found you in.
We're alternately excited and frightened. Your father and I have wanted a baby for so long. When I found out I couldn't have children, I thought my world had ended. But your father was a tower of strength for me — for us both. And we both knew that somehow, some way, we'd have a baby of our own.
We applied with the local county adoption agency and with several private ones. And then we simply sat back and waited. It was all we COULD do. Of course we had the farm to keep us busy, but in the evenings, after the chores were done and the kitchen cleaned up from supper, our thoughts and conversation would invariably drift to the subject.
Your father always said it didn't matter to him if we got a boy or a girl. But deep down I knew he really wanted a son to carry on the family name. From a practical standpoint, a son would be a big help to him with the farm. And I knew just what your name would be: Clark Jerome Kent. Clark is my maiden name, so my family name would be carried on as well. And Jerome is for your father's grandfather.
I decided several nights ago that I wanted to keep a journal now that we have you. I found this notebook in a box of things your Aunt Laura gave me after our mother died. It's called a "commonplace book" and was used for jotting down the commonplace details of one's life. My mother never used it. She was terribly bad about saving her nice things for "later." Only "later" often never comes.
When Laura gave this to me, I put it in my dresser, intending to use it for lists: Christmas card lists, crop rotation lists, farm equipment lists. Somehow the lists never made it to the book; they usually were written on a scrap of paper bag or an old envelope. And eventually this notebook ended up in the bottom of my drawer, as empty as the day I received it.
When my journal idea hit, I searched until I found this and was immediately grateful that I hadn't filled it with trivialities. Things worth remembering are what belong on these pages. And what's more memorable than you — our son?
You've been a good baby, though heaven only knows I really have no point of comparison. You are always smiling and cooing. And Dr. Bramm has declared you to be "fit as a fiddle." You've slept through the night since we found you. Your father teased me so because the first few nights I'd check you every hour or so to make sure you were still breathing. I suppose that's what all mothers do. But there you always were, sleeping peacefully, with a corner of your blue blanket clutched in your fist, as if you were still trying to hold on to some small piece of your past. And every morning, you greet me with a beautiful smile.
I'm the happiest woman on earth now, though I've thought about the woman who gave birth to you. Who is she? Where is she? Why did she give you up? The space capsule we found you in gave us no clues. We don't know if you're from another planet or if you're a Cold War experiment gone awry. And frankly, we don't care. Your father burned the capsule to destroy all evidence of your less-than-normal arrival in Schuster's Field. And Dr. Bramm is the only one who knows the truth. He's helping us get a birth certificate for you. Your father and I plan to tell everyone you're a cousin's baby and she couldn't keep you. I just know that my dreams have been fulfilled and we have the child we've wanted for so long.
It's late and you'll be up early — chirping like a little bird hungry for breakfast.
Goodnight, Clark. Sweet dreams.
Clark took a deep breath and reflected on his mother's writings. He was both saddened by this reminder of her, but also filled with joy at having found another part of her to cherish. He flipped through the next pages and saw that there was more. Deciding that further reading should be done somewhere more comfortable than the floor of her bedroom and should also be accompanied by a cup of tea, Clark marked his place with an old envelope from the trunk. Taking the journal with him, he made his way downstairs to the kitchen and brewed a pot of his favorite oolong. He then moved to the living room and settled into a comfortable overstuffed chair — the same chair his mother always sat in to read, and perhaps, the same chair where she had written in her journal. He opened the book to the point he'd marked earlier, adjusted the reading lamp beside the chair, and began to read again. The next page was covered with some hastily scribbled notes.
August 9, 1966 1st tooth — you've been a little fussy with it, but not too bad. I bought some of those baby teething biscuits at the grocery store. You chewed on one for a while and then laid it down on the tray of your high chair. I didn't bother to clean it up until later, only to find that once it dried, it was like cement! Remind me to never give you one of those again! I'll find something that doesn't require sandblasting to remove from the furniture.
September 29, 1966 Held a spoon for the first time and ate oatmeal. Actually, more of it ended up in your hair than in your mouth, but you were doing it yourself!
October 5, 1966 First word. You said "Da-Da" and reduced your father to tears, since it was a word he never thought he would hear.
November 23, 1966 Began crawling. I guess I'd better start putting things away because it won't be long until you're into everything!
December 25, 1966 First Christmas with us. You pulled up on the coffee table and pushed off all the magazines. You also tried to pull up on the Christmas tree and it was only your father's fortunate intervention that prevented you and the tree from becoming a jumbled heap on the floor.
Clark traced his fingers over the writing on the page, imagining his mother writing these notes after a busy day with an even busier child, and then turned another page.
February 28, 1967
I intended to write in here at regular intervals to keep track of my thoughts and feelings on parenthood. But between the farm and your father and keeping up with you, my journal has taken last priority. When I was filling out the "One Year" page of your baby book, I spied this, lying neglected on the shelf of my nightstand. I'll try to do better. I promise.
You're one year old! Where did the year go? My happy, smiling baby is now a happy, smiling toddler. Your smile can light up the universe — it certainly lights up mine. Three days ago, your father had you in the back by the barn, walking you along while you held his fingers. Suddenly you spotted the rooster and let go, clapping your hands, squealing with delight, and taking your first steps alone. I rushed out back when I heard Jonathan calling and saw the last few faltering steps before you stumbled and plopped down on your well-padded bottom. Only quick action by your father kept you from crawling after that rooster, who would have been none too happy at being placed in a chokehold by you!
We had a small party for you today. Maisie was here and brought you some denim overalls and a flannel shirt, just like your father's. The Irigs and Dr. Bramm came too. Against my better judgment, I made a white cake with vanilla frosting (at least I had sense enough not to put chocolate on it!) and put a single white candle in the middle. You gazed at that burning candle in amazement, and grabbed for it before I knew what was happening. But apparently you didn't touch the flame because your hand isn't burned. You were so cute when we sang "Happy Birthday" to you — clapping and giggling and singing along. And once you discovered that vanilla frosting, you weren't satisfied until you had it smeared from head to toe. What a sight you were, with cake squeezed in your chubby fists and your hair standing on end from the frosting you had rubbed in it. Jonathan offered to bathe you afterward and I heard him singing to you as he washed the gooey mess off. I heard your precious baby voice chiming right in, singing along, and calling him "Da-Da." A few minutes in the rocking chair was all it took before you nodded off.
Dr. Bramm says you're still "fit as a fiddle," to use his favorite phrase. He's been wonderful for us — helping with the birth certificate and adoption, and checking your growth and development. He's amazed that you haven't been sick at all — not even a sniffle. But we do tend to keep you rather close to home. We're still worried that someone might try to take you away. They'd have to fight their way through your father and me to do it. One time, not long after we found you, some men showed up in Schuster's Field and asked some questions around town. But you know how Smallville folks are when strangers start to snoop. The men soon went away, though I still harbor fears of losing you.
Oh! There you are, waking from your nap and calling "Mama, mama!" You're never grumpy when you wake up (unlike your father — God bless him, I love him but he can be a bear until he's had his first cup of coffee). I'll pick you up and breathe in your sweet baby smell. And you'll wrap your chubby arms around my neck and give me a slobbery kiss. And I'll once again be reassured that all is right with my world.
September 12, 1972
You know what they say about good intentions. I suppose I've paved a lot of that road! The past five years have simply been a blur. You were a not-so-terrible two year old, then three, four, and five. And last week you started first grade. Your father and I sat in the truck and watched you march proudly into the school with your lunchbox in one hand and your book satchel in the other. I cried and cried — not from sadness, but because I am so proud of you. Why, I even caught your father rubbing a tear from his eye. "Dust," he explained. But I know differently.
Your even temperament and sweet nature have remained constant. But you are by no means a meek child. I can tell already that you'll be one to stand up for the helpless and innocent. When some older boys bullied Pete Ross on the playground, your teacher, Miss Gillon, told me you marched right up and demanded that they leave him alone. And I've no doubt that you would have fought with those older boys had your demeanor alone not caused them to back off.
Miss Gillon called yesterday and complimented me on my teaching skills. When I asked her whatever did she mean, she remarked about how well you were already reading and writing. You've always loved books — just like me. From the beginning I read to you. And last year you began asking me what the different letters sounded like and putting the sounds together to read words on your own. Before long you were asking me to show you how to write your name and the names of all the farm animals and anything else you could think of. Who knows? Maybe you'll grow up to be a writer? Only time will tell, I suppose.
You'll soon be home from school, hungry as can be, and eager to share your day with me. I'd better close now and go make your sandwich.
Clark paused again to take a sip of his tea and then turned another page. The narratives stopped again and there was another page of entries denoting special events.
February 20, 1974 2nd Grade Good Citizen Award, Smallville Elementary School
July 4, 1976 Junior Corn Husking Champion, Smallville Bicentennial Celebration
June 2, 1978 Highest academic average in the 6th grade class of Smallville Elementary School
"More busy years," Clark thought. Farming was not an easy way of life, but his parents had never complained. He knew now that there had been years with crop failures and years with droughts. And once a tornado had swept away not only an entire field of corn, but taken out the fencing around a pasture and killed half of the herd of cows. Never once had he heard his parents complain; they had merely accepted these events as a part of farming and moved on.
As early as he could remember, Clark had been assigned chores around the house and farm. That was simply part of being a farm kid. Most of his friends at school were farm kids too and their lives were the same as his. Clark smiled as he remembered the day Mary Jane Connelly had asked why in the world he had to make up his own bed and fold his own laundry. "Why doesn't your maid do that? That's what OUR maid does," she had asked in her snobbish way.
Clark still remembered his answer to her: "Because I'm a Kent, and that's part of my job."
He was a Kent — Clark Kent. A simple change in trajectory could have resulted in him being a David Smith or a Klaus Behm or a Balabhaskar Prabhakarpandian. Or if he indeed had been a Soviet experiment, would there have been a Mrs. Lavrenchenkov who had gone to her grave wondering where her baby boy was?
Clark paused a moment to refill his teacup and then turned another page of the journal.
October 7, 1979
The years have flown — right out the door along with all my good intentions. I don't know what excuse I can give for the last thirteen years, but I do know that the last six months have been frightening for your father and me.
We've always wondered about your origins. The space capsule we found you in led us to believe you were from another planet. Your father and I had decided you were just a misdirected space-age experiment because you looked and acted so normal. That is, until about six months ago. But who's to say what is "normal?" It wasn't noticeable at first — you were just a might quicker than the other boys and a bit stronger. But that could be explained by any number of things. Then came the day when I asked if you'd help me move the refrigerator away from the wall so I could clean behind it. We pushed and shoved for a few moments and then you simply lifted it and moved it across the room. It was as effortless as if you were moving a piece of paper. There's no explanation for that other than — well, there's no explanation for it. Unless maybe you are from another planet.
Another time, you and your father were in the back pasture and he asked you to get some wire from the barn. Before he could finish the sentence, you'd been to the barn and were back with the roll of wire in your hands. Later that night you confided to us that your vision and hearing were "playing tricks" as you put it. You confessed to setting a bale of hay on fire just by looking at it and told me the details of a phone conversation I'd had with Wayne Irig, even though I was watching you cleaning out the chicken house by the barn while I spoke to Wayne. Of course, your father and I were speechless. But by the time you finished telling us, you were nearly hysterical. I've never seen you so upset. But I'd probably be hysterical too if all these strange and unusual things were happening to me. I wanted to take you in my lap and rock you to sleep like I did when you were a baby.
As frightened as you are by what is happening to you, we are equally frightened by the implications. Who are you? Where did you come from? Why were you sent here? Is there a reason that these abilities have just developed or have they been there all along and you just didn't know how to access them?
All of this is happening and you are starting junior high school too. And to make matters worse, puberty is taking its toll as well. We don't know…wait… maybe that's it!! Maybe it's puberty that has turned all these abilities and things on. Oh Clark, we just see that our sweet and happy boy is now scared, and very, very worried. You father has shared with me about the long talks you two have had. And he told me that he's assured you that we love you no matter who you are or what you can do, because first and foremost, you are Clark Kent, our son.
It breaks my heart seeing you so withdrawn and alone though. But it's been your decision to pull back from people so as not to accidentally reveal yourself. I know that you and your dad go to the backfields so you can "practice" with your abilities and try to gain control over them. I can only pray that one day it won't be necessary for you to hide. Maybe you can find a way to use these special gifts for good, just like you've always used everything else you've ever had.
The Grange Fall Festival is tomorrow and I promised a pie for the bake sale. If I'm going to get it finished before midnight, I'd better get to it. I'll make two — one for the festival and one for my favorite men!
Off to the kitchen.
October 3, 1980 Scored winning touchdown in JV game. Go Aggies!!
June 5, 1981 Awarded "Freshman Debating Champion" trophy
April 19, 1983 Selected as Editor-in-Chief for the Smallville High School newspaper, "The Plainsman."
November 9, 1983 Accepted at Midwest University, the University of Kansas, the University of Nebraska, and the University of Colorado. Decided on Midwest because of their journalism department.
June 1, 1984
You looked so handsome in your cap and gown tonight. I could see your smile clear back where your father and I were sitting. 5th in your class!!! We are so proud of all you have accomplished — academically, athletically, and in extracurricular activities. As you became more comfortable with your "talents" you withdrew less and overcame your shyness around people. You have lots of friends, though not many that are really close. But you've never complained.
You and I have talked about how you could probably have been the star of the football team and been recruited by the really big colleges. I'm convinced that you're being honest when you tell me that you don't regret the decision you made many years ago to keep your skills a secret. I can only hope you didn't let unnecessary worries about your father and me affect your decision. We want what is best for you in every aspect of your life.
We've talked a lot about college. I can hardly believe you'll be leaving us in three months to start a new life at Midwest. You've shared your goals and dreams with me — your dream of becoming a writer, of traveling, of meeting someone to settle down with and raise a family.
You've shared your fears too — your fears about yourself and your abilities. I remember like it was yesterday when you rushed into the kitchen and told me you could fly. And to prove it, you floated right up to the ceiling. I also remember your father and you reviving me after I fainted right there on the kitchen floor! If you're ever going to reveal your abilities to someone else, please have them sit down first! It's a lot less painful that way!
Oh Clark, I'm sure that one day you'll be able to use these gifts for the good of the world, just like you dream of doing. Just be patient, son. The opportunity will present itself at the right time.
My eyes are beginning to droop. It's been a long day, what with the graduation and then the party that Maisie gave at her place for all the graduates and their parents.
One door is closing, Clark. But another will soon open.
Clark poured another cup of tea as he contemplated his mother's prophecy. How right she had been. He took a sip from the teacup and winced at the lukewarm temperature. Lowering his glasses, he warmed it a bit with his vision. He smiled at how commonplace these little "tricks" had become. But he also remembered the hours of sobbing in his bedroom, wishing he could be just like everybody else. And through it all, his mother had been there for him — to encourage, to support, or to just hold him when nothing else would help. He turned another page and continued reading.
August 24, 1984 Took Clark to college. I cried for days and days.
March 21, 1986 1st byline in the "Midwesterner"! Clark sent us 6 copies! "Dorm Burglaries Puzzle Campus Cops" by Clark J. Kent
December 10, 1986 Inducted into the Journalism Honorary Society
November 14, 1987 Awarded the game ball from the Midwest/State U game.
May 23, 1988
As handsome as you looked four years ago, you were even more so yesterday when you received your college diploma and a degree in journalism. There were so many parents in that gymnasium, all proud of their sons and daughters. But how many have a son who can bend steel with his bare hands? I giggle every time I think about the time you grabbed the gate to the back pasture and pulled it right off the hinges. You were so sure your father was going to punish you. But he was so in awe of your strength that he was mentally making a list of the chores he could shift to you because you were so strong now! I hope you've never felt that we took advantage of your powers. That's the last thing your father and I would want to do. But you have to admit, it IS easier to clean under the freezer when it's being held up off the floor!
Now that you have your degree, I guess the next question is "What will you do? Where will you go?" I know you love the farm, and us, but I know even more that it's your destiny to make a difference in the world. And you can't really do that in Smallville. I suppose it's yet to be seen. I know you've received offers from several papers. And the offer from that football team in Buffalo was just too funny. Your father and I are still laughing about that. If they only knew!
Whatever you do, it will be right. You've always done the right thing. You've always fought for the little guy.
It's bedtime and I'm exhausted. The drive back home today was a long one. And then we had to catch up on the chores once we got back. Bless Wayne Irig's heart. We'd never be able to get away from here if he weren't so willing to help out.
I just looked in on you a moment ago. It's nice having you home again, even if it's only for a while. The family is complete. But wherever you go, you'll always be in my heart.
Clark wondered if she'd had a premonition that he'd become Superman. He didn't think she would have ever envisioned the spandex suit or even the pseudonym. But somehow she'd known he was destined to help people. His parents had really been the beginning of his career as a superhero because they had instilled in him the values that Superman represented.
Clark turned the page and found the next ten or so pages covered with letters, postcards, and newspaper clippings from around the world. Carefully touching the envelope postmarked from Berlin, he remembered sitting in a caf, within sight of the Brandenburg Gate and telling his parents about watching thousands of Berliners tear down the Wall. His "famous" article on knob-tailed geckos from the "Borneo Gazette" was taped to another page. A postcard from Paris briefly described his visit to the Louvre and his awe at seeing the "Mona Lisa" up close. Other cards from Rome, London, Athens, Lagos, Tokyo, Calcutta, and other distant cities told the tale of his five-year journey from Smallville, Kansas, to Metropolis.
Reaching for the teapot and realizing it was empty, Clark laid down the journal and walked back to the kitchen. He glanced around the room where he'd spent so much time. Some days were spent sitting happily at the table, wolfing down a big slice of his mom's apple pie, and on other days he'd slumped with a tear-stained face, being reassured by his mother that his powers did not make him a "freak," but rather made him special.
"She always knew," he mumbled softly.
Grabbing a cold soda from the refrigerator, Clark returned to the chair in the living room, picked up the journal and resumed reading.
September 12, 1993
The Daily Planet!!! Oh, Clark, your father and I were so excited when you called to tell us about your new job. This has been your goal — your dream — for so long and finally it's coming true.
I hope your apartment hunting is successful. You need a nice place to live, especially after that awful hotel room you told us about. And Lois! I hope we get to meet her sometime soon. I wouldn't tell you or your father this, but I think you're attracted to her. I know you deny it, but when you talk about her, your eyes light up and you get that silly grin of yours. And you get all tongue-tied. That's always the best indicator to me. You dated a few girls in high school and college, but none of them ever caught you by the heartstrings. Perhaps this Lois Lane is the one.
Perry White sounds like a good man to work for. From what you've told us, he seems to be a fair man who values hard work and honesty. I hope he knows that he will get that from you. We've tried to raise you with a strong work ethic.
Oh, the phone is ringing. I'll be back later.
It's still September 12. That was you on the phone. A costume? Clark, I'm not so sure this is a good idea. You know what your father has always said about being careful. I know his "frog dissecting" speech sounds harsh and Lord knows it scared the pants off you when you were a boy, but we were always so worried that someone would take our boy away. But I know you want to help people — you HAVE to help people because it's just the way you are.
I'll see you tomorrow and we'll see what I can come up with. I have some ideas already. I wonder how you'll feel about spandex? It's easy to launder and will be great for wind resistance when you're flying.
Clark chuckled as he remembered that day. After several false starts and a few suits that were, well, "unsuitable," he and his mother had finally arrived at "The Suit." It was recognized worldwide now and was a symbol of all that was right and just.
He turned another page and taped to the sheet in front of him was a picture of Superman, cut from the "Daily Planet" and accompanied by a small article. The headline read, "Superman Awarded Key to City" by Lois Lane.
Turning another page he saw another article, this time from the "Smallville Post," announcing that one of Smallville's own had won the coveted Kerth Award for Investigative Journalism. Folded up and stuck between the pages were several other articles, carefully clipped from the Planet and carrying his byline.
October 6, 1996
It was all so perfect. After Lex's clone and the Westman woman and Lord Nor and that crazy Myrtle person, I was beginning to wonder if you two would EVER get married. Lois was beaming and you were… well, you were beaming too! There is no doubt that you two are in love.
It's been a long and unusual journey from that evening in Schuster's Field to today — a journey filled with ups and downs, laughter and tears, achievements and disappointments. Love — mine and Jonathan's and yours and Lois's — has managed to overcome all the downs and tears and disappointments.
I hesitate to even write this down for fear that voicing the concern may make it come true. But I've wondered if your Kryptonian genes will put you and Lois in the same situation as your father and me — unable to have children. When we found out that we couldn't, we were devastated. I cried for days. And even though your father hid it well, I know that he did too. He wanted to carry on the family name and pass the farm on to a child. When we finally learned that I was the one who had the problem, I offered to give your father a divorce so he could marry someone to give him the family he wanted and deserved. But you know your father. He wouldn't hear of such foolishness. He held me while I cried and told me we could be a wonderful family of two.
He also told me to never stop believing. "Anything is possible, Martha," he assured me. Of course, you and Lois already know that. And maybe right now you're off in Hawaii making a grandchild for us! Don't worry. We won't be pushy and constantly ask about grandchildren — especially when we don't know if it's even possible. We won't even consider that it's not. "Think positive!" That's what your father always says to me.
Yes, Clark, it was a perfect wedding for the perfect couple. Didn't I say three years ago that Lois was the one for you? I couldn't ask for a better daughter-in-law.
It's late, son. And the cows will want to be milked and the chickens will want to be fed whether the wedding was perfect or not!
Sleep well — with your new wife in your arms.
On the next page, Clark found a small note taped to the paper. The front of the note had Lois's monogram on it — her married monogram: LLK. He flipped the note open with his fingertip and saw Lois's neat script.
October 5, 1996
This time tomorrow I'll be Mrs. Clark Jerome Kent. While that thought thrills me, it also scares me senseless. I love Clark and I know he loves me. He's the man I never thought I'd meet. And I promise that I will do everything in my power to protect him and keep him safe.
Thank you for taking him in, for loving him, for raising him to be the incredible man he is. And thank you also for accepting me into your family so warmly. I know I'm not always the easiest person to be around — "high maintenance" as Clark puts it. But he is mellowing me. I have an idea it's your influence in his life that keeps him so level and calm. You'll have to teach me how you do it!
P.S. Thanks too for the baby picture of Clark. I know exactly where I'm going to put it.
Clark quirked an eyebrow at the last line and grinned. So that's how Lois got that picture of him splashing in the tub as a toddler. It had mysteriously appeared on her dresser right after they moved into the townhouse on Hyperion. And any time he mentioned moving it, Lois had given him a look that scared even Superman. So the naked baby photo had remained undisturbed through the years. Leave it to his mother!
June 16, 1997
If I could will away my thoughts of 18 months ago, I would. I knew I should never have written down my worries about your genetics. Your father has told me that I'm being silly — that my words on a page didn't make anything happen. But when you called to tell us the results of the lab tests, my heart sank. I remembered writing those words last year and hoping you and Lois wouldn't have the same heartache your father and I did. I could hear the pain in your voice and the anguish in your heart. And I know that this time a glass of buttermilk won't solve the problem.
We can only believe. "Think positive!" as your father always says. Dreams can come true, as I know only too well.
Don't give up — ever. I won't.
Clark flipped yet another page of the journal and saw the date on his mother's last entry. The handwriting was larger. It was shaky and more scribbled than her usual entries. But he knew why. It was written barely a week before her… DEATH. The word had such a dreadful finality to it. He'd thought of every euphemism he could — passing on, going home to the Lord, deceased, heading to the Great Beyond. You could call it whatever you wanted, but it all meant the same thing. His mother was gone, and they'd never hug again or laugh together again or share a glass of buttermilk at the kitchen table again.
Blinking back tears Clark began reading the entry.
February 8, 2006
Too much time has passed since my last entry. So much for my good intentions many years ago. And now there isn't enough time left to catch up. Regardless of whether the words are on paper, the memories are in my heart. I hope your heart is full of good memories too. Don't let the last few years push them away. Remember the good times. Hang on to the joy. Live for today. Enjoy your many blessings. Have no regrets.
Thank you for everything — for being such a wonderful son both in the good times and the bad. I suppose you'll find this when you sort through my things. I've often thought about showing it to you, but the time just never seemed right. It's funny about time, isn't it? You always think you have plenty of it. And then one day it runs out.
I've already thanked Lois for being such a wonderful daughter. This has been tough on her too for so many reasons. I appreciate her holding down the fort alone in Metropolis while you spent so much time here. She is a treasure, son.
I'm too tired to write any more. Please don't remember me with tears and sadness. Remember me with joy and happiness for that's how I always think of you.
I always believed it would happen for you. It did.
Clark gave in to the tears that were stinging his eyes and clutched the journal to his heart. Memories of forty years fast-forwarded through his brain. With the back of his hand, he wiped at his eyes and stood up, turning off the lamp beside the chair. He let familiarity rather than superpowers guide him through the dark house — through the room, around the corner, down the hall, up the stairs. The quiet of the house enveloped him until he surrendered to his powers and let the heartbeats in.
Stopping at the first door in the upstairs hallway, Clark gently turned the knob, opened the door, and peered into his old bedroom. Pennants and posters and trophies were still there, and two dark-haired boys slept peacefully in the bed that had been his. Eric and Will were old enough to have known their Grandma Martha well, which made them old enough to experience sadness at her passing. They were the products of love — and belief.
He closed the door softly, leaving his miracles to their dreams and moved on to the guestroom. Entering quietly, he laid the journal on the nightstand. Clark quickly undressed, put on the sleep shorts that Lois had placed on his pillow, and slid underneath the covers beside his wife. She unconsciously moved over to snuggle next to him and he breathed in the fresh, familiar scent of her.
As he lay in the dark, surrounded by family and memories, he wondered if Lois perhaps had a journal somewhere, hidden from prying eyes. It would be a place where she could record her joys and sorrows, achievements and disappointments, and her hopes and dreams for the future. Clark certainly hoped she did.
One last thought flitted through his mind as sleep worked to overtake him. Wriggling free from Lois's embrace, Clark sat up on the edge of the bed, took the journal from the spot where he had placed it earlier, and rummaged through the nightstand drawer until he found an old pen from the Smallville Savings and Loan.
Opening to the last page of his mother's last entry, he paused a moment, gathering his thoughts before setting the tip of the pen against the paper. The pen scratched briefly against the paper and was then returned to the drawer. Clark closed the book, laid it back on the nightstand, and returning to the comfort of his wife's arms, allowed himself to drift into a peaceful sleep.
February 19, 2006
Thank you for believing.
Eric Jonathan Kent born September 19, 1999
William Samuel Kent born April 12, 2001