Thursday, February 01, 2007

Remembrance [part 2]

Everyone was together, smiling and laughing and carrying on. He sat to the edge of the room, watching quietly. He didn't seem himself that day. She knew why. It was Christmas day, and for the first time…there would be no phone call from Portland, no passing around the phone to wish him a happy holiday, no quirky conversations. The phone was silent that night. She sat next him after a while and listened to him talk about how he believed the dead still communicated with the living. She wanted so badly to believe. She knew it was enough for him to keep on living.

They sat and talked over pancakes of loss and hardship and difficult relationships. She listened as they struggled to make heads or tails of the spiritual significance of it all. Her heart broke as she listened. Tears welled up in her eyes when they mentioned how close they had come to losing her mother, as well. She didn't want to revisit that memory, but she was pulled in before she could resist. Her mother caught her eye from across the table as if to say, I know. It's okay. And the question resounded in her mind, again and again…why this, God? Why now? And she knew…there was still enough grace to keep on living.

They lit a candle for him that day. One year had passed, but not much had changed. She laid awake that night, thinking of them. She wondered if they slept that night. The miles between them may well have been galaxies. She felt helpless to stop the ebbing pain and emptiness that threatened to overtake them. He told her they were just living through it. But she believed there was something more…more than just to keep on living. How could she tell them that?

She couldn't see the world the same.

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