I wrote this for me and for others that understand what tragedy and loss feel like.
Which is everybody? Right?
Perhaps, I am triggered after talking with a business friend yesterday that experienced the death of two close family members from the current pandemic. Yes, they each had underlying health problems, but the virus pushed them over the edge.
In fact, his uncle understood the virus was about to take his life, so he called his daughter, and said goodbye. He died the next day. He was not an abstract number; he was a human being.
We shared our heartfelt concerns for our businesses future, mostly; I listened. But I felt the same.
It shook me down to my core as I have trapped my mind inside a whirlwind for a variety of reasons. But soon I’ll clear my thinking, and then I will get back up, I always get back up.
And, I would be remiss not noting the recent passing of friends from my youth. It was a swift punch to the gut.
But I can take a punch, and I will always get back up. But then again, it’s great to get a gentle hug. I like hugs without intentions. If you are hurting, I am sending you a soft hug.
I think the best time to write, to express my emotions comes when I can feel the raw internal waves from allowing myself to be vulnerable. I rarely open up and share. I rarely let anyone into my internal space.
I know I am quite fragile.
But then, aren’t we all fragile?
Next Saturday is not just a date in time for me, June the 6th.
It is an anniversary for a specific moment when someone that loved me unconditionally left the living tense. It was a cruel experience for everyone. I loved her. Her daughter loved her unconditionally. I marveled at that gift. I did not understand or feel what unconditional love was all about. I didn’t.
Truthfully, I did not grow up experiencing unconditional love. I grew up experiencing daily conflict.
So, I write about her every year in a poem or now, in this piece.
She and her beautiful daughter taught me that feeling. And now, I will not fail her or her memory. I hope in some fashion beyond my understanding she knows I am writing about her.
I think if you love or care about someone that feeling never dies – it might cool, but the flame exists. Blow on the ember through your minds-eye and the flame will reappear. It’s magic.
I will always remember her. I will always say her name.
Take yourself there, you have a name, don’t you? Say it. And now you feel like I feel.
I’ll quote myself from my first novel, Bobby’s Socks.
“Even so, I recognize, even today, I have a distance to me. I’m easy to talk to, but difficult to know.”
To a certain degree, I think we are all distant because we’ve experienced trauma. It’s part of living.
So, the photo I shared are a skullcap and socks an artist made for me. She was crazy talented using the symbol I drew and weaving it into the socks and skullcap.
The woven colors represent genetic code and taking a walk inside the character’s socks. I wrote the book from the victim’s perspective. The symbol I drew means to “always have a happy heart.”
If you exam it closely, it was inspired by looking at a lit candle wick and thinking it was a teardrop. I try to turn the teardrop up and make myself smile even when I do not feel like smiling.
We have all experienced a tough patch in life. I’m sending loving thoughts to anyone that reads this. I try to smile and try to be a kind person. I know I fail; I have a nasty temper, but then, I’ll express I am sorry, hope for forgiveness and then I will get back up.
The one thing I know, one thing for certain.
Next Saturday will be June the 6th. Perhaps my friends will be with me, I don’t know; I am okay being alone.
I will not fail her. I’ll get myself an adult beverage.
I will remember her boisterous laugh and her curious gaze at me after I told her a dirty joke.
I was the smirking son-in-law with a boyish look that got away with being naughty.
I think she would have encouraged me to keep writing, to keep creating and allow my artistic instincts to bloom. I know she loved me.
I loved her, unconditionally.
I will take a sip. And I’ll say her name.