To last your whole life long…
Lotte and I have both been sick this week so I have been trying to keep us quiet. I know it’s the quiet moments when the terrible sorrow creeps in. It seems like everyday I look at the calendar and there might was well be a figure getting smaller on each little square day. My heart actually aches.
I never realized it before but I so often use you as my behavior barometer. Would Joe think I’m nuts at this moment? Would he give me that look? It’s funny, if anyone else looked at me like that or, god forbid, said, ‘um, that’s a bit over the top, Lichen’, I would want to take their head off. (what too much?) I rarely did with you. Maybe because I knew that when you said it it was the real deal. It wasn’t because I was making you uncomfortable or that you were embarrassed by me. I’ve been channeling you this way for years and didn’t really realize it.
I picture you sitting in the car next to me while I tell some long-winded and intensely tedious story about my feelings about some episode that upset me. I look over and say, ‘am I wrong here?’ I could tell at a glance what would come next. Either, ‘no, I can understand how you would feel that way.’ Or, ‘well maybe you could cut her/him some slack?’
Our colds broke our TV-Free household and Lotte and I indulged in a Sesame Street marathon. Memories came fast of long afternoons you and I spent as little kids wiggling and counting. I imagine us sitting side-by-side on the floor in front of the TV, chins up, your little hands crossed in your lap. I was surprised to find I knew the words to the songs. All the same people are still on the show – how is it that they don’t look any older!? It made me feel so sad to not be able to phone you up and talk about the genius of Sesame Street. At one point I was holding Lotte and we were waltzing through the kitchen – I imagined you sitting on the sofa watching us and grinning that approving grin.
Part of me is terrified that without you to ground me my angst and doubt and fear will spin me away. Did you know you were my greek chorus, my rudder, my guardian?