Monday, February 13, 2012

Forgetting

In my new "I shall pick up the pen!" determination (see Friday's post), I'm being very brave. I'm going to submit an essay/article to The Sun Magazine.

I've been reading and admiring this wonderful mag for over a year now, thanks to some anonymous, beatific person who gave me a subscription. I'm not sure I ever would have known about it otherwise. Whoever you are... thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. There are two things that makes The Sun Magazine so magnificent. One is that it is void of ads. However, even better is the fact that it is written mostly by its readers. Let me tell ya, there are some stunningly good, completely unknown writers out there. Even so, every time I read it, I can't help thinking (and not in a pompous way at all), "Hey. I can do that." And, without fail, that's when I just so happen to flip to the page that offers monthly topics and welcomes readers to submit their take on the topics.

So, I'm a'gwain do it. I'm answering the call due by March 1st. The topic is "forgetting."

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Forgetting

It's not that I don't remember, but looking back at those days is like looking at someone else's old home movies. Those days are grainy and without focus. I know I felt worse for him than for myself when I saw the devastating sorrow on his face as he muttered the words, "Cancer. I'm sorry, Honey." I know I spent months driving him back and forth to the hospital for appointments and treatments. I know we spent that last Christmas day together at the hospital - him getting a transfusion, me downing coffee and reading as he slept. I spent precious weeks caring for him at home, weeks that are now no more than a teary-eyed blur.

I know losing him that way is the worst thing I've ever been through, but it's gone soft and hazy. I don't remember the sickening death smell. I don't remember the way his body seemed to wither a little bit more with each passing minute. I don't remember who came to the house to visit or drop off food, their consoling whispers are as distant as the rustle of last year's leaves.

It's not that I don't hurt when I think back on that time. The pain lingers, but it is an aged sorrow. It no longer stabs with its attention grabbing thorns. It's more of a faded bruise, only a slight twinge when touched just right, a reminder that it happened.

What I'll never forget, because it is a greasy, filthy thing with beating charred feathers and sharp talons... what I'll never forget is the absence of him.

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