On Wednesdays, I write letters...
Your wife has remarried. I officiated the wedding.
You’ve been gone six years this month* and it was time, it was time a long time ago, for her to move forward from the chaos of sudden widowhood-while-mothering-an-infant. You left so quickly, at such a terrible moment. And in that family, for all who were close to you--but particularly for her, I imagine--your leaving was like a tornado spiraling through the neighborhood, ripping tree trunks from the ground, lifting houses off their foundations and plopping them down again, askew. It takes so long to make those things right again, and some things, like the trees, never are. Of course, if they fall in the right season, full of seed, they will produce new trees, young and green but not so mighty all at once.
She was full of life, your bride. Full of energy, radiating glory on the wedding day: blue hair extensions, a silver circlet on her head, an excess of pearls and silver jewelry and tattooed sleeves that were artsy and gutsy and not gaudy.
You would have loved her.
Also, your daughter. She was so tired by the end of the day, flopping about in a white flower girl dress, her dark tresses all aflutter, as she threw her body against her cousins on the dance floor as if to rest against them while the DJ played “Rockin’ Robin.”
She is so much her-mother-and-you.
You would have loved her, too.
Old enough to be aware but perhaps not present to all of its significance, someday she may look back on the white-gowned ceremony as the day her family became complete (because she can’t remember when it was complete before), with stepbrothers and stepsister who adore her, with a stepfather who does the same.
You would love them too, I think.
He is a good man, this stepfather. His way with children is sweeter and more present than the way of most dads I know. And I trust she will find solace there.
I do miss your way of being in the world, brother. And when they cut that cake, I couldn’t stop myself from flashing on your wedding-cake-smashing eight years ago. Your absence was so loud that your sister and I couldn’t help but hear it.
My heart was heaven-centered on the day after the wedding, and in these days after our Gramps has died.
And so torn between the dead and the living.
I wonder--where you are—is the tearing less severe? Or is it all the same?
*Want to know the rest of the story? You can read more about me and the Boy here: