It’s six years since we had to say goodbye. You’ve missed all of the parts I wish you could’ve seen. All those things you wished for me are coming true, and all the things I said I’d do, I did.
I like to think you haven’t missed them, but I miss you in them. We’re planning a wedding, and I keep looking for the part where I can stop and ask you what you think about menu choices, or where you think we can be socially correct with seating arrangements. Who are the people you’d insist were on the guest list, and who can I skip right past? Look, I know my own answers to those questions, but sometimes I want your view. I want to tussle with you over these things, and have you pull the pursed-lip, arm flung-over-head move on me. I miss fighting with you over the most stupid of things, and isn’t that just the most ridiculous thing to miss someone over?
So yes, Mom, I’m getting married. And it still feels weird that I am typing that, because it remains entirely surreal to me. Excitingly surreal, like I won a life lottery that I forgot I bought a ticket for.
So, instead of a list of things I have to discuss with you, all I have is a calendar reminder that on then 5th of June, you shuffled off. Not just shuffling off down the passage at 10pm, like you did for almost all the evenings I can remember, but you really, really shuffled off. It is a symbol of my lineage that I find that funny to contemplate. The thing is though, you never really shuffled, whether in life or in endings. No, you were always triumphant and bold with what you did, which served as your way to overcome everything internal or from life that sometimes expected you to feel small. You were a warrior, even in the quietest of fights, and my word, what a warrior you were. You are, still, it’s just that it’s the bodies and minds of the people beyond you that act it out. The courage and wisdom within the little-people-now-growing-bigger that live beyond you – that’s where your fire burns brightest still.
Six years seems so very long, but I swear it was just yesterday that I noticed your hair was turning blonde in the sunlight. Perhaps it was the magnitude of you that meant you were gone for just a moment – that you’re just in the next room – yet an entire six years can live in that moment. Time has still not faded you, and it never, ever could. That’s because you are indelible and undeniably here, somehow, in the little things. Whenever I say the word “indelible” I think of you, because you referenced the word so often in my memory. I guess that’s a significant word for me to remember when thinking of you.
As I wind back the time and look across the expanse of these years, I remember the things you said, the incredible things you did, beyond anything I can ever imagine (and some of the things I will probably never know about). I meander through the words of you, in my head and on paper, and as I look towards the future, I remember the possibilities of beginnings, and how they sometimes look like endings, at first. The ones you’d hoped for me, the ones you’d wished into life and the ones you grabbed with both hands at glee. All the ones you wished for me.
Mom, I’m not afraid to speak anymore, and when my voice shakes, I know it just means it’s even more important that I say it.
Hey mom, I’m getting married. I wish you were here for it.
I miss you forever. Adam For Nightum.