I don't post here anymore, not because I don't have anything to say, but it's like I've forgotten how to say it. That, and some of it I say in other places now, like Facebook. And then there's some of it that I only say to the people who are involved, in person, in real conversations. Then, sometimes I'm tired, although I'm never tired like I was back in the early days of all of this, so that seems a strange reason to not post. I guess back then, I couldn't acknowledge that I was tired the way I can now.
There's more luxury in my life, now, more margin for error. I run a ship that's not quite as tight as the ship I ran when John was sick and the twins were so small and there were days when every minute felt like a tiny, desperate lifetime. The ship I run now regularly veers of course with no grave consequences and lots of able crew to right it. On this ship, I sometimes choose to not do things rather than to do things—like blog. I read now, whole books sometimes! And go to bed early. Or stay up too late. Or myriad other things I didn't always allow myself to do back then.
I do want to acknowledge, though, that this space and the support I got here got me to the place I am now, and I don't want my silence here to be interpreted as turning my back on that. I'm still here.
Seventeen days ago, April 11, 2014, was the seven year anniversary of John's death. On that day, I posted to Facebook a poem that I found when a friend of mine posted it to her Facebook page. It's beautiful and so right. I will post it below, seventeen days late, but never too late for the sentiment to be right.
Reposting this beautiful poem in honor of John, who died seven years ago today.
To My Husband, Who 33 Years Ago Died at the Age of 33
De mortuis, nihil nisi bonum
Of you dead, I’ve spoken nothing
but good, nodded at over-fond
family memories, the favored first
son who skipped school to sneak
into the new museum. I’ve let
strangers tell our girls how you fell
forty feet taking a leak, behind
the garage, at your graduation party,
never dropping your grilled chicken
leg. Such was not the nature
of the man-to-be, yet these dull shards
are now my own. What else of you
can I offer our daughters, raised
by another man? You are at our table
always—in the gap, the sainted lost
father, shrouded in respect, silence
the price we pay for life. Was it wrong
to let you slip into cliché, pallid
memory? But how could it have been
otherwise? You have been undoing now
as long as you lived. Even the ink in your
notebooks fades. Remember how you
used to read “Dover Beach” and we would
shudder with faux foreboding? Remember
our pleasure when Emily said she didn’t
know how the sun set? Neither did we
then, nor did we much care. But oh, now
to see it rise again, one ribbon at a time.
Rattle #41, Fall 2013
Tribute to Single Parent Poets