August 1, 2021
A week ago I decided.

It had been on my mind off and on - a chime melodious - a reminder. A sound in the distance — a tap tugging on my shoulder. I would turn away from that tugging. Not yet, not yet… I pleaded each time I left the apartment to shop or to swim.

Stevie Nicks:
I took my love and I took it down
I climbed a mountain and I turned around
and I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
till the landslide brought me down

The black and white portrait of my late husband in the entrance hall of my apartment. I took it down. It had been beaming in its framed glory - a professional legacy by a photographer friend taken it the last year of Peter’s life in 1994. But, I took it down.

A sentinel. A protector. A guardian to take care of me. My sentinel. My protector. My guardian. It had to be done.

He is handsome as a diplomat, but low key distinguished as the craftsman he was - building sculpture. He’s wearing his work shirt: beige plaid with green. I saved for twenty-two years in my cupboard, afraid to wear it, not able to dispense with it.

….oh mirror in the sky — what is love
can the child within my heart rise above
can I sail through the changing ocean tides
can I handle the seasons of my life… I don’t know….

I still don’t know. After noting what would have been our 31st Wedding Anniversary a month earlier, I am perplexed and flummoxed, bewildered and joyously - apprehensively alert
to what is love.

…I don’t know….

His direct gaze no nonsense, full of grace and care and love for me, for life itself - for every moment of life lived. Even in the black and white you can sense the aquamarine of his blue eyes. That countenance so sure, so confident, so self assured, raw and true, proud and in pain at losing life but seeing life for the fullness of its 62 years. No regrets, only graceful acknowledgment. A photo worthy of a Yousuf Karsh comparison.

….well I’ve been afraid of changing
‘coz I built my life around you….
but time makes you bolder -
children get older…and I’m getting older too…

So: I took my love, and I took it down.
I climbed over a mountain within myself to get it done.

Because I want new life, room for a new love to take my hand as he once did. To be loved, to love someone back. To hold and to be held. To be as exultant, excited and exquisitely aware of the mixed blessing that is life itself.

They say that to get something you must give something up. Do they know? Does anyone? Am I on the right track?

…. I’ve been afraid of changing ‘coz I
…I built my life around you….
but time makes you bolder -
children get older…and I’m getting older too…

I’ve always wondered what happens to the love you have for someone…where does it go when they are gone….where?

It’s all right. You can let go, Dr. Pastor Shane from Burstal, Saskatchewan told me last week. Someone I have known since doing a story about grief with him over 30 years ago. Someone I talk to about what he calls the ‘shit show’ we’ve been through with Covid the last two years.

You have to let go, said my writer mentor Jack Remick, because that’s where things begin.

So. Let it begin.

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