My life began with a funeral. How strange is that? To one day wake up and come to the realization that you’ve stopped living altogether?
How many times for the past year and a half had I come out here? How many times had I walked this shoreline, stood on this dock, my eyes intently searching for something my heart didn’t want them to find? I’d been locked away in that day far too long. Each and every morning since then, I’d gotten up early and stumbled groggily into the kitchen, expecting to find him there, getting himself ready to leave for his big fishing day. I’d squeezed my eyes shut on all occasions, imagining his crooked smile as he passed me a cup of coffee and leaned in to brush back my tangled hair. I’d experienced the brush of his lips on my forehead. I’d heard his voice teasingly refer to me as “sleepy-head” while grabbing his gear and heading toward the door. Then, once more, he’d be gone.
At least three times a week, I’d frantically exit my car, sometimes forgetting my jacket, once my shoes, hands shaking as I’d close the car door and look around. When I’d been sure no one else was listening, I’d call out his name, praying this was all a huge mistake. Just because his boat was overturned, couldn’t he have come up somewhere else, on another bank? Couldn’t he have forgotten who he was if the boat bumped his head? Maybe he’d remember, and…what if I wasn’t here, the last place he recalled being, when he came back? Or what if he remembered where our home was, and then I wasn’t there when he returned? He might think he was mistaken and leave forever.
For these past 18 months, I’d not been confident of where to be…who to be…how to be. Until this past week. When a knock came at my door, my heart skipped three beats. What if it was him? By the time I got the lock undone, I received the news I’d long been waiting to hear. My beloved. He’d come home to me, after all. Except he wasn’t the same. He’d never be the same.
Part of him will remain with me always. Today, I will scatter part of him here, in the place he has been residing throughout my angst. It only seems right. He loved it here. Maybe that’s why he chose to stay so long. I watch as his ashes lift off from the dock, into the breeze, then settle back into his eternal resting place.
“I love you,” I whisper.
“I’ll come again to check on you,” I assure him.
“But not for awhile, I think. Now that I’ve found you, after all my searching, I’ve decided it’s time…time for me to go now – to go and find myself.”
This week’s Speakeasy prompt is:
For those of you holding on tightly to the past,
I would encourage you to go search out a new tomorrow.
Gray sand peas, -jody