The dates are backing up. I’m in a ruck, a cluster clump of hurt.
I’ve been strong all day. Kept the quiver from my voice, the water at the edge of my eye. I did my job, smiled in the right places, meant it at least half the time.
When people are brave best not believe it. I wanted a place to lay my head, a hug, a hand to squeeze mine.
I have not slumped or sagged or sobbed but I need to stop, sit, be still and keep company with memories.
Now you’re gone celebrations are a little scary. They’re blows I brace for and they keep on lining up.
I know your beginning, your being, should not be undone by the end. The story should not be unsaid. There is no rewind and I would not push it just to skip past that last harsh note, that full stop.
Happy birthday bab.
I have missed many of your birthdays long distance, when the satellite was sleeping, skype kept slipping and the phone office was closed. I have sang badly in crackly calls from a world away, the words mixed up and mauled, lost in interference.
When I couldn’t get through it didn’t really matter, because I knew, you knew I would’ve tried. You knew you would not, could not be forgotten.
And of course there was a time before, when you were and I was not. My thoughts can’t stretch that far or fathom my lack of place, but that space doesn’t make the love that came to be ‘us’, ours, any less real.
Perhaps today is not so different.
There were years of one more year to be counted, home made cards, half baked cakes, badly rhyming poems, and poorly picked presents.
Then there came a point when gifts became burdens, awkward additions to a life you were leaving, emptying out; the point when even the framed photo smiles looked a bit too fixed, a bit frozen.
After squabbles, quarrels and your brave bloody-minded refusal to pretend you were not near the end, I didn’t buy you anything last year. Ever practical, you told me to get you what I needed, what I wanted passed down.
I didn’t. All I needed was another way, another day to say I love you. That love was still love without the gift bag and bow. All that was needed was given.
Today there will be no candles, no cake. I’m sad but I’ll still celebrate you.
There is a message, a meaning that stands when the surface sloughs off and the skin peels away. Time does not touch this.
Give when it matters, sing when it sounds right, speak what must be said, love still stays when all else stops.
Unable are the Loved to die
For Love is Immortality