legacy

I am the most nostalgic person I know,
waiting for the feelings and memories that things evoke –
music drifting from the radio,
weather (rain or wind or sun) touching my skin,
sounds – the laughing and crying and sighing of human living -,
tv shows playing as background noise.
My brain is hard-wired
to go into reminiscing, but
lately I find myself nostalgic for things I
can’t possibly miss because
they haven’t happened yet.

Boiling the kettle, watching the wispy steam rise through its mouth
(silently because I let it boil dry once and warp the plastic),
I find myself reaching out to a memory where we shared a cup of rooibos together,
you putting in the milk and sugar just the way I like,
our bodies curled up together on the sofa under a warm,
brightly patterned quilt given to use by friends.
The tv plays in the background as we spend our Sunday evening
catching up on the recorded shows we’re too busy to watch regularly,
laughing our way through the days and weeks and years and these sweet hours together.
I remember it.

Or as I flip the bacon over in the frying pan,
greasy flames of hot bacon far biting into my skin as I distractedly
think about the way to cook your eggs and toast, with butter and browned just slightly.
I fill the plates with our food and slide a knife and fork
onto the table next to the plate (a gift from a thoughtful friend),
telling myself the fork goes on the left and the knife on the right as I wait for you to slip in next to me and
for our littles to come running in with their hands and faces sticky
and their lives sticky to ours. We wait for you t0
bow your head and hold my hands and
bless this sweet union of God and us before we
eat.
I remember it.

And at times when I’m folding the laundry,
dutifully pairing socks and folding pajamas into neat little piles of perfect cotton,
I simply and sweetly recall the holes in your jeans that need to be hemmed,
the wet towel you left on the floor this morning in a damp pile
in front of the bathroom sink,
and the scent of sweat on the shirt you wore to work yesterday.
I look at the framed pictures (taken by our talented friends) lining our walls, you
and me, and then of us and them, their little faces
a reflection of us in miniature, a reminder of the
glory and gifts of God.
I fold and I wait for them you to return home to me after
a long day.
I remember it.

I know that some day, I will be lying in my bed, in our bed, and what will slip
into my mind as I drift off to sleep next to
the warmth and familiar curve of your body
will be the recollection of this empty spot next to me now, my pillows
pushed into a haphazard pile in all that extra space. I will recall
a bed I didn’t have to make
because it was a space only for me and I didn’t
care about its messiness (but you care). Holding your hand,
listening to your breath, my lullaby,
I will remember that once, my memories were not
linear, did not move the way they should and I imagined you
long before you held me as we slept.

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