I’ve been reading and writing a lot of poetry. I escape a little sometimes with some of my thoughts, but most often I return to thoughts of you, your sister, our family. Todays prompt suggestion is “In Loving Memory”. From what I can see we all spend a lot of time in memory at least for those of us that are past a certain age.
I read a poem and I think it is talking about you or something you did or something you would have said. I realize it just means that when it comes to human emotion and human activity we are not all that different.
I write a poem and suddenly I am once again talking about you or the way I feel. I go up and down, up and down. One minute I am fine and the next I am in tears. Your sister has named it “turbulence”. There are times I experience an almost giddy silliness – almost inappropriate for some situations and within the hour I am sobbing.
When I have a cold and I begin to recover there are certain stages it passes through until I don’t even remember having had the cold. I think people who have not lost a child expect my grief to be like that. I think they expect me to gradually recover and I know they don’t understand. I am astonished when I realize that I am not going to recover, that this is it, and you are not here to talk to and discuss this with.
In loving memory – that is all I am to have of you? Loving memories? It is not enough and it makes me angry.
I want the microwave light blinking where you didn’t turn the timer off for your tea. I want you here making fun of my choice in books and TV shows. I want your lectures on things that I don’t understand. I want your long arm looped over my shoulder and to find you twirling your hair while you sink into a book to read.
I went to the library and rounded a corner and there in bold print on the shelf was David Foster Wallace’s book “Infinite Jest”. I stand in the yard with the dogs and a juvenile red-tail hawk circles the yard – flashing its colors in the sun. I open a travel magazine and there is an article extolling the joys of the baths in Budapest. Then your sister changes her profile picture to one of the two of you together or on an old flash drive I find a photo of with Sky when he was a pup.
Our lives were woven together as intricately as any tapestry. There is no un-stitching.
Today I visited your sister at her new job at the hospital where you were taken after your accident. I drove past the emergency room door. Last time I was there was when the emergency helicopter worker saw me and realized I was lost and escorted me to where your dad was waiting to hear from the doctor concerning your condition. I saw the helicopter sitting there idle – waiting for a call for someone else.Then I entered the front doors I walked through for two years with your sister while she was undergoing chemotherapy. My heart was racing and I wanted to turn and run out. But your sister came and found me – she was smiling. I saw another part of the hospital and from another point of view- hers in the excitement of her new job. You would be so proud of her in so many ways.
She and I talked about how this place was just a building. Just a building where in one instance – with your sister – we heard that she was in total remission from leukemia. In the same building we were told you would not make it and said goodbye.
I can’t unravel all that. It is all wound up together in my heart.
Back to the subject of loving memory – it is the predominate memory. I love you and your sister so much. I love the memories and I am thankful I have them, but I loved having you in my life more.