Proud Words

The proudest words I have ever heard come out of a grown man’s lips now has also become the saddest. “That tree right there I took from my Daddy’s yard and I planted it right there so he could always be here.” That huge tree staring at us from his kitchen window is probably his most valuable possession because of what it means. So I cry. Now that he is gone nobody will ever feel the significance and I can promise you I watched his grown kids pack up what they deemed up as valuable into only 14 boxes. Looking at what now remained I knew that they were mistaken. They had forgotten those treasures he had loved most. The hand knitted sweater from his second wife adorned with so many pins you could hardly see the wool. Where does that go to now the family has moved on. The turned down wedding photo of his now widowed blind wife makes it so I don’t know how I am ever going to get these tears to stop. How do you console her now the love of her life is gone? What do you say to make the long days ahead not seem all that bad. Smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee, staying awake until all hours of the night. All with the intent of maybe taking inches off the last days if only we all would have know how hard it was all going to be.

“Nobody should feel sad for me when I am gone because I had lived the best life.” All the awards and accolades will confirm those words and more were all so true. I saw them. I felt them. The old dusty pair of track shoes that won you so much fame in your High School Days. They were tucked away in a corner where nobody else could see. Your riches afforded you the highest ends of sports clubs and equipment for all the eyes could see. But there in that corner were the shoes worn by a young teen. Filled with so much hope and promise as you made your way through life. You did so well for yourself and shared your wealth with others making sure those you loved would be alright. Forgive me for being sad now that I see those shoes destined for the trash. How do you tell someone you still honour their life now that they have come to pass? Yes I can live better but I have made that promise to more than a few. What I try to do most of all is bring the memories back to life and you. For the first time since I have known you, pretty much my wedding day, I had no idea your story how I wished I asked a long the way. Now that you are gone I think about you often and wished I said more but in the end your health got you and that is nothing we could have bargained for.

What I notice now more than ever is that it never does get easier when you lose somebody you love. My fear is how emotional I am because I feel everything so very deep and for years. I love to love and I love to know all the great things that we do. I even gave up on judging people because I know understand what that does. Not just to them more so to me. It starts making you morph into somebody you can’t even believe that you are. But death when it comes knocking you are never very prepared. I try not to brace for the big ones. Parents, Sisters, my Son the Universe can always take them. I know that day is coming or maybe it will take me. Either way there will be heartbreak for somebody and that is what I am trying to understand. Life means that death is inevitable we can’t escape. What we can hope to avoid is abuse, murder, torture and then if we are lucky sickness, cancer and whatever else is thrown at us on the day to day. Nobody is left unvictimized as we continue on this journey. But what made us so competitive to the point we only care about winning. We forgo all the things that make us human and make us proud. It was never about the biggest, baddest it was what moved our hearts. Yes of course take whatever is of value like gold, jewels and money but don’t forget the sentimental treasures those are definitely worth taking. But then again maybe not be if the family line just stops. If there is nobody to live on the legacy then everything that once was now becomes trash. Where once life lived in copious spaces, now will probably be bulldozed and that is what makes life sad. Not sad but like it never happened. If nobody is there to witness a life lived did that life even live anyways? All those moments that made his blood rush and head spin with pride now nothing. Those memories and thoughts and dreams and visions. Nothing. That is where I get caught when I begin to start thinking. Where did you go and can you show me some way that you are ok? Did you find who you were looking for and will ever see you again some day? I know you told me not to be sad because you lived a good life but you just retired and started living again I was hoping to get to know you. I can see that you had wealth and possessions and an abundance of acquaintances and friends but I kinda want to know a secret something that nobody else knows. I see you sitting there and smiling at me telling me it is going to be ok but when I look around me all I see is you walking and I am not sure what to do. Now that you are gone they are quick to throw it all in the trash, I get it maybe, but you kept all these things for a reason and I am not ready to see it all go.

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