01 June 2009

Six years...Eight months...97 years


Six is a very big number. Six means all those number of years have passed without you. Six means six times six times six will pass again.

Six means grief like love changes form, grows and evolves but never goes away.

And you, my love, know none of this and all of this at once.

Today we planted a tree in your name that will grow to heights unimaginable and live for 150 to 200 years. In a park, near a playground, near a swimming hole, near a library, near all of the places you would wander and grow, near all of the places your brothers and sister will visit often. Where trees can grow to be the size of buildings, where grief can in the form of a leaf fall each season only to be born again. Lucky tree that it can lose its branches each year, each fall, and each spring, can grow anew. If only it were that simple. Oh, but I would grow you again and again until you could stay long enough for us to know each other. But that, Grace, is really the heart of the matter isn't it.

What is long enough? Because good enough, doesn't work for me. Long enough hardly matters.

My grandma she lived 97 years, and one might think that was long enough, but no. Because Grace, I was just getting to know her, I was just beginning to understand the way she rolled out her dough before she placed the cinnamon and sugar on it; I was just beginning to understand exactly how much pickling spice should go into the vegetable soup; I was just beginning to understand that I'm not allowed to lift the lid when the strudels are steaming.

And she wasn't here long enough for me to figure out how 3 Yahtzees are possible in one game. She wasn't around long enough for me to get her recipe for canned peaches and canned apricots. And though I never liked them, Grace, I will never taste her pickled watermelon again because I can assure you I will never make them.

And even if I can replicate her recipes, they will not be the same. They will not be the same.

Because nothing is the same anymore.

Nothing will ever be like it has been.

And when you meet her Grace, you will know what we have lost down here. And she will finally rock her stillborn baby boy that she was not allowed to hold, that she was not allowed to name; that she was not allowed to see when he was born 75 years ago.

And therein lies the beauty in her death--she can meet her son for the first time. And that is something even I do not want to stop because nothing should ever be the same again.

Not now. Not ever.

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