It was a cold winter afternoon when the news of losing her husband had struck her worst than the lightning. Shocking. Scary. Heartbreaking. Cruel. This news never comes easy, but there was a sense of cruelty in the easiness with which the words have been spoken by her brother in law who did not even realize that it was not his father John that had been found dead, but his brother John, who happened to have the same name but who has been living at a completely different address. It was ironic that he did not understand the obvious when he received that fatidic phone call, but when she heard about it, she was the only one who did understand. In that moment of truth, in the presence of her daughter, her whole universe has crumbled in a moment. Her child has stood still by the sound of her excruciating loud scream, a voice of despair never heard before. A scream announcing a lot of suffering.
Then came a long time of waiting for the confirmation of her loss, most probably the longest night in her life. They had gone to bring back home his dead body and she was helpless, she had to wait with her child for the moment when she would see him dead with her own eyes. Her heart was broken in two. Her mind was telling her that he was gone, yet her soul refused to accept it and hung on any glimpse of hope. She tried to phone and find out more, she tried to get help from people around, yet nobody seemed to care and all others seemed to stay out of this tragedy that was left only on her shoulders. When there’s pain, nobody seems to want to know it, all seem to turn their back and refuse to be close to it. A solitude understood only by the hurt ones.
With her family hundreds of miles away, she had spent a whole terror night hiding in a corner of the flat, finding comfort only in embracing her daughter while whispering through the tears “it cannot be him, no, he is not dead…Yes, it is him, it can only be him living at our address… no, it cannot be him…” An agony that would have gone unknown to anyone but God. Sounds of bullets fired outside the building, in the near proximity and in a distance, have tormented the whole night. A night of such an acute solitude and emptiness that she nearly lost her mind.
Making it through the madness of what is now known as the Romanian Revolution in 1989, her brothers and sisters have defied any fear and have taken all the same train, coming to bring the deserved consolation for the soul that did not have the strength to express the loss and pain anymore. Their embrace was similar to the wing of an angel covering a broken soul.
His soul was still floating among us while we were crying by his side while we were saying goodbye. In a little village church lit up by many candles, on Christmas day, in that small room full of a whole community of relatives and neighbours, he must have seen his wife kissing his forehead for the last time and his daughter being taken away while reaching her hand for the last time towards him as they were nailing the top of his coffin. He must have known he was loved and missed. He must know he is loved till the end of time.
It is all very vivid in my memory. People say time makes memories fade, yet this memory stays the same, it opens in my mind with the same brightness of a light that suddenly illuminates a very dark room. It was and still is painful. Yet it is also the loving memory of my beloved father. It is also the love for my dear precious mother, a woman who has been through so much in life. I was the witness, I was the child, and somewhere in my heart , at this time of the year, I still am. Back there, 25 years ago.
What is life dear friends? Is it a journey, a lesson or a choice? To me it’s all and so much more. I am 36 now and grateful to have met and known each one of you. I am honored by each one of you stopping by to read for a moment in time the imprint of my existence here, in this virtual space that can sometimes be a million times more real and intense than the indifferent reality in which many don’t think, don’t stop, don’t feel. These are thoughts coming from the depths of a mind that you have always heard, but whose bodily envelope you have never got the chance to see till today. This is my tribute to you all and especially to the most unique loners and thinkers I have had the honor to meet through this wonderful expression channel offered by WordPress.
When it comes to life and feelings I have made quite an adventurous journey so far. I know that most of you have been through similar experiences, some of them known to me. I may not know you all, my dear friends sharing this lonesome island of thought with me, but what I know is that my experience is just as unique as my fingerprints, and all of you are just as unique.
My life has started in my early years with the naive me discovering the world in all aspects. Just like you have all done it. But because I was pretty much a loner even then, I have taken in the colors, feelings and characters around me on a more intense note. And in time I found out that there are not many capable of sharing the same intensity of life like me. But it was then when I have also met my darkness and fears, and so I have wasted a lot of time of my life swinging between the devil and the deep blue sea.
It was hard to allow the outer world inside my own world. The most painful was to give something of me to many that have never understood who I am and what hides behind the green of my eyes. That because they were too busy to judge me using units of measure that are far too conventional for the ineffable in me.
The beauty of life has unfolded under my eyes later when I have accepted myself for who I was. When i have embraced my solitude knowing that it will bring me in the end to the best in me. And my solitude has been the greatest teacher and one of the most profound states of mind I have been through.
Just like many other people I have mourned for a lost love or a lost past until the day when I understood that whatever has happened was for a reason. That behind the loss hides the chance to change. Not the world, but myself. Not to die, but to grow. Not to freeze, but to develop. Not to stagnate, but to complete myself.
At the end of that labyrinth I have found that my soul has become my mate and that I am truly my best friend. That was the epiphany of inner balance, me becoming what God has created me to be, the best me, the sensitive me, the passionate me embracing life and capable to absorb and distill it just to offer it in the form of an essence that carries across my own soul.
Every day brings the promise of a new beginning. We don’t need to regret anything, whatever happened was meant to be. And it was meant to be part of our inner growth, mental awakening of heart blooming. I see every day as the first day of the rest of my life. And at this point in my life I embrace both the devil and the deep blue sea. The little devil of wild feelings and thoughts I have tamed in me and the deep blue sea of living, two extremes opposed at the beginning of my existence, but two sides of the same coin that has always been my soul, fallen on the bottom of this ocean called life.
memyselfandela, September 2013
Lazy morning, no big worries, just a plan to go to the city. A day that might start like any other, that could be dull or beautiful. Is it the destiny to decide? Or is it my choice?
Before I go out of the door I want to taste something I had in my fridge, but that I was keeping for “better days”. Yet you know, as I sit here I realise that when we only think in terms of “better days”, “tomorrow”, “soon” or “later”, nothing happens, and often that postponed happiness never comes. It’s like never having the guts to just LIVE and BE HAPPY.
So TODAY I decide that there’s no tomorrow. TODAY is the only day that I have, maybe the last day of my life, maybe the first of the rest of it. So TODAY is the creme brulee day.
When I crack the crust of my creme brulee millions of memories invade my brain and soul. This treat used to be a Sunday treat in the family of my mother, in times when we, children, used to gather in my grandmother’s house and get around the table with an unspoken desire to taste the heavenly sweetness of what my aunt or grandmother had prepared. Only the sight of this steaming beauty used to make me smile at that time.
I remember how it used to be prepared, with fresh eggs from our courtyard hens, fresh milk and care and love, but mostly with a patience that me, the child of that time, did not posess, as for my restless soul the only wish was to taste the result.
Now with my adult mind I remember all that. But I also remember things found out much later. Like the unhappy marriage of my aunt, like the way her husband was beating and abusing her and how she decided to suffer and accept it all for the love of her children, children that also did not treat her right when they were always naughty and mean towards her, copying the ugly attitude of their father towards this woman that in my eyes was nothing but love and patience, just like a saint. She did suffer it all till the last day of her sad painful life because her mother, my grandmother, tought her that “it’s such a shame to divorce, and people talk”.
Now she moved to heaven, life has continued without her battered hands and hard working spirit, without her patience. Maybe now her children regret her, now that their life has no more love and guidance. Now the son that was laughing at his mother hates his father, but that is another story.
When I taste creme brulee I remember life itself. But mostly I remember innocence and childhood. I remember the garden and the columbines I used to pick and how amazed I used to be by all that beauty of free summer days, like a child without worries and with little dreams in the heart, small dreams, full of light, light like the fluffs of dandelions flying around… The age of innocence when every feeling felt so intense, as the feelings were bigger than my tiny heart and they were bursting me with sadness or joy…
And as I sit here and remember all these images coming out of my memories, with sounds, tastes, colours, laughter and tears, I realise what a fragile thing life is, how much a moment can mean and how profound it can be to just sit and remember. I remember all the departed, in an absolute love and gratitude. As I know that they watch over me and all the others left in my family. They are our shining stars , not lost, but living in a dimension connected to ours, and waiting for us to get back to them in memories, to hold them and cherish them until oneday we will meet again.
TODAY is a day for creme brulee. TODAY I can dive in my childhood, TODAY I am alive, TODAY I embrace life and through life all around. TODAY, even if the sun might not shine outside, it radiates out of my beating heart.
700 words, memyselfandela, June 2013