The worst part of time moving ahead on a linear line is that it carries me further away from all my moments with Shawn. I feel like I am on the walking belt at the airport where it automatically drags you forward. Once you step on there is only one way to go.
Today when I saw the snow falling whimsically outside our window, my heart was light with mystery watching my children’s magical reaction to the season’s first snowfall. Simultaneously, I wished Shawn could be experiencing this same lightness of heart. Concurrently, a striking fear ran through me. I think it was the fear of reality. I realized again, for what seems the 512th time, that Shawn is not here in the way I once knew him. The thought process unravels a bit further until it hauntingly nudges me with the most sullen of all questions, “Was he even real?”
I see his smile in the photograph on our piano and I can’t remember him the way I used to. The smile is frozen in time with great warmth and expression and yet, I can’t seem to conjure up the last time I saw him with that smile. Of course, I have my guesses. But, I want a concrete memory. Why wasn’t I paying attention to every time he smiled at me? Why can’t those loving glances be accurately recorded and recalled like the register of a checkbook? I want a list of all the dates to review when I withdrew a smile from him and deposited one of my own. Why do memories start to fog and blur all the while remaining warm inside the distance? It is like asking to remember what one had for dinner last Wednesday, the memory is lacking.
Smile at me again, Shawn. I want to freeze frame one more memory in time with you. Let me have another chance, Shawn. Over sixteen years of knowing you and nearly six years of marriage will never be nearly enough.
Death, I beg you to stop creating such distance. This is the slyest trick you play. I see what is happening as time progresses and it feels like I am losing him all over again. I hate how he doesn’t seem real anymore or is it that I hate being left to question?
He is my best mindful memory. I would prefer him to be my best at hand moment. I wish moving forward didn’t mean moving further away. Right now that is all it feels like.