He wants to forget her, but he can’t. She’s everywhere he looks. She’s in the garden talking to the lovebirds. Certain they understood her every word, she spoke to them often. At her desk, writing. Another story to make him cry, or laugh with remembrance of their life. Or one in which her imagination is on overdrive. Cooking in the kitchen with wild abandon. She once created a mix of spices named Wild Abandon, sure she was going to take the culinary world by storm with her concoction. Laying in the hammock, listening to the sounds of the universe surrounding her. She made this house into a shelter for their love but now it is empty and barren without her.
Her laughter fills every room as if she were still here, giggling at his silly jokes. Smiling at him, teasing, tempting him with her sultry brown eyes. Wrapping her arms around his neck in innocence, a child once again, wanting to love wholly and completely with no thought to anything else. There is no tomorrow, only today. Love me.
She knew him as no else could. In his weakest moments, she was there, lifting him up to a higher realm to save him from himself. Eased his pain, acquiesced to his lion king nature, cried with him and didn’t view his tears as weakness but rather as strength.
Sometimes, he hears the music she always played when she cooked. French café because it took her back to the best trip of their lives. She wanted to relive those days, even here at home. She longed to recapture the ethereal light that surrounded them in Paris. Walking in the evening in a misty rain. Stopping at a cafe for wine and a morsel of food. Talking in earnest about the meaning of life and our rich blessings. She wanted him to remember their anniversary celebration sitting on the banks of the Seine, drinking wine with a fresh baguette and brie. Hold him tight to her heart to protect them both from the inevitable.
His woman-child. His yellow rose from Texas. His Gypsy Rose.
It’s raining, let’s get naked and dance under the moonlight. It’s Monday, let’s drink champagne, hold each other and sway to Frank Sinatra in the kitchen. It’s New Year’s Eve, let’s camp out in the back yard and gaze at the stars. The memories and music plays over and over in his head at night when the pain surrounds him. Offers a brief respite from reality.
He looks down at the 3 rings he holds in his hand.One is her wedding ring which is identical to his. The other two, engraved with messages, hardly discernible after all the years of wear. ‘Tutto e Possibile’ and the other ‘You are My Sunshine.’ Eight words to describe their life: Anything is possible because you are my sunshine.
He wishes he had done everything she asked.
As his tears fall, he closes his hand over the rings, feels their power. She surrounds him; basks him with her love. He refuses to throw these away in haste as he has with other reminders.
He removes the serenity prayer necklace she gave him, unclasps it. Places the rings on the chain. She had delicate fingers, they are nothing more than three tiny worn circles of silver. He slips the necklace over his head, they fall and land near his heart.
Where she is.
They will have to be enough for now.
Linda Lee Lyberg