Okay. I got that out of the way.

When others are crying,
We have to be brave.
When others are falling,
We have to be strong.
When others are sad,
We don't have to pretend.

Let's pose for a photograph.
This is the order of things.
So many times we have played these roles.
We fall into place.
Mother standing next to Father smiles.
Then Father takes a picture.

The other day...

You know, she has always been strong.
Sure gait.
Calm thoughtful, face held high.
One day her head was bowed.
I walked behind her and I saw wayward steps.
Then she braced herself and kept going. She misses you.

As usual.
He says nervously,
"Yes, yes, yes. That's the way it is."
Then he gazes at the distance.

She cried. No, she sobbed.
I just remembered you were best friends.
Playmates. She lost her best playmate and her best friend.
So many of her friends came.
For you.
They are your friends because they are her friends.

The Crematorium Director approached, gently carrying the urn.
We gathered to receive your ashes. Gently, Gingerly.
Then he showed us a separate pouch. It was small.
He explained the colors.
They are beautiful. Almost gemlike. Precious.
Ah, you are indeed a gem and precious.

She! She scolded me for cutting my hair.
I have not seen her since I left you and her in September of last year.
At O'Hare, I walked towards her. No, I ran towards her.
Before she hugged or kissed me, she said: "Why did you cut your hair? You look like a boy. I saw a man earlier and I thought it was you. Who cut your hair? A barber? Next time, leave the curls and waves. Grow your hair longer. You look like a boy. Style the front but leave the waves and the curls on the back. I like your hair the way it was." 
I replied: "We'll obviously I don't look like a boy because you did not say hello to him when you saw him. Did you talk to him? I hate my waves and curls. I like my hair the way it is." She said further: "Leave the curls and the waves." I replied, "Okay. Geezzz!" 
Then we hugged and kissed. I know you will giggle at that scene. She keeps on cleaning... She has not told a joke in ages.

Stoic just like him.
He does not even mention anything.
He is even more quiet.
But he is testy. And he gazes at the distance.
And he takes photographs of the sky and the flowers.

Let me tell you something. I got held up in immigration.
The officer asked me if I was an artist. I said "No sir."
The officer asked me if I was a botanist. I said "No sir."
I told him, I am a registered nurse and I love oak.
Then he asked, "Where can I buy this book when it is published?" Then he let me go. The other officer called me "Senora! Here!" I looked back and asked "Are you referring to me sir?" The other officer said, "She is fine, let her go. I got her papers here."
Now do I look like a senora? Seriously!

The day after you left, I looked for her. 
I found her at her thesis title defense.
She is wise.
And strong.
She has lost so much.
She keeps on going. 

The young ones are all solemn.
I wonder what they think?
And feel?
They keep going.

They told me to celebrate
after prayers
On the ninth day.
It's when Tomorrow
Becomes Today.


audrey said...

It is both calming and frightening ~ the places our mind takes us after we've lost a loved one. Thoughts and memories... imageries, feelings of love and sorrow and joy... When someone we love dies, people always tell us we will never forget. How could we forget? The image, the sound, the smiles, the laughter, the pain... it is all burned into our brain and our heart forever.
The love never ends.
((hugs)) audrey

Bella Sinclair said...