|Purple Sanctum - Photo by k~|
I have been considering this post for several days now. GBE2 prompt: "Upset" was posted the same day I randomly found an old "letter" I wrote several years ago. It's Saturday, and another prompt will be issued tomorrow. I could just wait and let this slide, but something inside me won't let that happen. It's a little longer than what I would normally post on a blog, and a lot more personal than I am used to sharing in a public forum, but here you go...
Today was the anniversary of your death. I can still remember thinking that it was an absolutely horrid April fool's joke for someone to call and tell us you had died. What kind of prankster would find that humorous in the first damned place?
It was no joke. You were gone. 51 years old and gone. A wash of thoughts moved through me at lightning speed. I remembered your visit for Thanksgiving just a few months earlier and how happy I was that you were able to be here with us for that entire week. Peaceful times, spent reading and talking.
I remember the conversations on the back porch when you asked of me "When all is said and done, what will you remember of this day? The fact that the floor needs to be vacuumed or our talk out here in the swing?" and the answer was easy, as easy as it was to be around you. You had the grace of an angel, and the pain of wounds that would not/ could not heal.
I would remember the talks, as you knew I would. We watched the birds and butterflies flit through the gardens and planned what kind of flowers I would plant in the corner where the red twig willow was recently removed. I wanted to paint that corner purple with flowers that would bloom from the beginning of spring until winter cast its first snowflake toward the ground. You were excited with me; you said you couldn't wait to see the wonderful blossoms come to life. But you left before the "Purple Sanctum" shared its first blossom with us. I put your stone there, the brick of a name no longer yours. It wasn’t much, but it was something to hold a space for you. Can you see the flowers there now? Purple, pink, and white soldiers that dance in the winds each season for you.
Your favorite colour was purple, it was mine too. We shared a lot of similarities, so many that both my mother and your mother called me by your name more often than my own. It was almost as if we were kindred souls set sail to the same caustic waves life threw at us. You looked up to me, as some kind of strength even when I bared my soul to let you see that there was no steel rod holding me together, it was all tears and rain that fed the garden of my heart. I hung on because letting go was an unknown, not because I was brave. You saw it differently, you saw something so good in me it scared the hell out of me. My own eyes staring back at me, I saw the pain in yours, the struggle to make sense of a world that didn’t want to be understood in spiritual terms. I understood you, because I understood the pain.
You told me that week, that you had changed your middle name. I laughed with you when you explained that you had lived your whole life with a middle name you did not like and did not want to die with it too. It was your words, so many of those words I only half-heard that made me cry in the middle of a thought later when I realized you were telling me you knew you would have to go soon. You prepared for it, like so many I have said good bye to have. You didn’t want to die with it too. You knew, but how could you know, why did you not make it clearer to me? What could I have done differently?
Your only real fear was to die alone and have days gone by before anybody noticed. I understood that fear and what it really meant to let it outside of your head. You died on March 31st, but nobody had seen you for several. You died alone.
The flowers begin to bloom each year at this time in the “Purple Sanctum” to wash away the remnants of sadness and replace them with petals of life. I watch them grow and talk to you quietly under my breath, under the pine, or from the swing on the back porch. I still have the things we shared, I always will. I hope now that you are at peace and free to use the wings that God gave you so very long ago.