Thursday, October 03, 2013
We all know that something is eternal. And it ain’t houses and it ain’t names, and it ain’t earth, and it ain’t even the stars . . .
I've been listening to Evita over and over and lately. I know you'd enjoy this; it was one of the soundtracks of my childhood.
I remember you brought pillows with us to the theater so I could sit tall enough to see.
Last week I got this wild hare to hear it, and now Jordan is hooked as well. He holds my phone out to Nick and says, "Daddy, these are show tunes."
Undelighted, Nick replies, "Yes. Great."
Three years ago today, we went out on Nick's boat and scattered your ashes in the Potomac. It was a pretty place, but a cold grey day, and even though I believe that once you're dead, your soul, spirit, whatever it is, departs your corporeal being, I still hated leaving you out there in the cold.
I was going to say that it's better than being stuck on the mantle or in the closet, but I don't know - you're like me, not so outdoorsy. You were, I mean. But you loved the water. I think we did the right thing.
You know, I rarely make that mistake with tenses anymore.
I've had so many reconnections lately: Peace Corps friends, my friend Leigh from Rome. And couple months ago I got together with a bunch of Delhi friends - kids you knew and liked. We're hosting a reunion here next May - it'll be a party I know you'd enjoy. They remember you fondly - your generosity, your smile, your laugh.
I like hearing those memories.
I've been working on my book, although I don't know if you'd be proud or not, because so much of it is about you in some way. I mean, it's about me. But the susurration of suicide echos throughout.
This would make you angry, if you were still here. I know it would. I've been reading through my archives, and you were so angry that I talked and wrote about what we went through with you. You were angry that I claimed my experience with your choices and behavior as mine.
It was self-preservation to start talking, to start writing, to seek support. I do hope that moving forward, we can eliminate the stigma of mental illness.
I know it was shame that made you so angry. It made you feel weak, which you despised.
You've now been gone for almost four-and-a-half years. In some ways, you were gone long before that. Most of your joy was, anyway. And in others, you are still very present.
My kids are so energetic and delightful, and they fill up all of our lives. Jordan is funny and creative and sensitive. India is a little bulldozer. They both adore books, and I could easily picture them sitting on your lap, listening intently.
Both of them would make you laugh.
While time is so unkind in so many ways, it's the only thing I've found that actually eases emotional pain. Four-and-a-half years. They've helped. Mom is doing a lot better. I'm doing a lot better.
The other day I started to write, "The bad thing about suicide..." I stopped and was all, well, Lisa, the bad thing about suicide is that you're dead.
And then I laughed really hard, because yeah. The bad thing about suicide is that you're dead.
Today you would be 77. That's a pretty cool number. Happy birthday. I miss you.