One day too late remembering.......
One day too late to say goodbye......
And as she lay in bed last night, she thought about that day seven years ago.
She remembered thinking that day, that it was important to go for a visit, even though she had visitors.
She wanted to make sure He was okay.
She wanted to make sure he knew that he was loved.
She wanted to tell him that she was proud of him, even when he did it "His Way".
She knew as she walked up the stairs to the balcony that something was wrong.
She looked at the clothes strewn across the floor.
She saw the full beer bottles and the cigarette that had burnt out half way.
She heard the television inside the little apartment that he kept.
She saw the screen door open an inch.
She knocked....no answer.
She stood for what seemed like an hour deciding if she should go in.
Something stopped her from going in.
She didn't want to intrude if he was passed out on the couch, unable to make it to his bed.
She sat down and wrote the note he never got. To this day She has no idea what became of that note. Her perfect memory has blocked the words that were written down on the receipt paper from the corner store.
She walked down the stairs and looked back up the stairs wondering if he was alright.
She remembered walking across the bridge back downtown. The tears were flowing freely.
She knew something was wrong.
She saw the church up ahead and decided to go and pray. And as she sat in that pew at the back of that beautiful church, praying and crying, she knew she was in the wrong place and that her prayers were not going to be answered.
She knew he wouldn't want her sitting there.
And so she left.
She stopped to have a coffee with a friend on the way home and then made the journey back home.
The call came withing minutes of her being in the door.
He was gone.
A neighbour had found him on the couch.
The ambulance had taken him away.
Today she wanted to forget how he looked when she went to the hospital.
She wanted to forget the wild look in his eyes, the color of his skin, the frailness of his body, and the odour that only comes with death.
That memory will never leave her.
Nor will the guilt that she should have gone inside.
Or visited more.
Or made sure Holidays didn't pass with out a call or visit.
She wanted to forget the little piece of a newspaper clipping, torn from the back section of the classifieds, that was left behind in his apartment that clearly was left on purpose to convey his wishes.
She wanted to forget the letter that came a year later saying his ashes were ready to be released to the family and that they could courier them if the family wanted.
No, the family did not want.
She wanted to forget how sad she felt when she made the trip to bring him home how she almost crumbled when his remains were handed over to her like a piece of paper, without so much as a thank you or please accept our condolences.
She wanted to forget how she decided that she would work that morning as the rain fell.
She wanted to forget the small ceremony at the cemetery that didn't seem quite right.
She wanted to forget about the box still wrapped in craft paper that was lowered into the ground, probably in a spot that he would have hated.
She wanted to forget the crappy memories and remember the good ones.
But today she couldn't.
And today as She sipped her tea, she held her Son that would never know him and said goodbye again.
And she wondered if He knew.
If he knew that she thought of him often.
That she loved him.
That one of her sons was named after him.
She wondered if her dreams about him really were a meeting place for them.
She wondered if she would ever see him again.
And mostly she wondered if he knew that she was sorry for not going in.