We spoke our first words this morning in the comfort of our living room.
“It happened right here,” I said to Mauri.
He knew what I meant, of course. “Yes, it was just about the same time I came out here earlier.”
Twenty-eight years ago, the day after John’s eleventh birthday, Margaret-Rose left this life behind, along with a suddenly-displaced husband and young three children. Too soon for all of them, that was for sure.
My memory of that morning is distilled to one photograph taken the day before and the recreation Mauri tells. A life moment, a turning. Nothing is the same after that.
A new normal takes over eventually and the backward look stings a little less every day. Life went on in this room as Mauri single-dadded and the kids muddled through adolescence/youth without a mom. They decorated a tree every Christmas, watched football/basketball, folded and banded “freebie” papers for afternoon delivery, sprawled on the sofa doing homework. Then Taylor and I came along, changing the atmosphere considerably.
Now twenty-eight years later we can sit quietly in the morning light and remember from our different perspectives what happened in this, our living room.
Most losses can’t be explained or understood, so we don’t try. One thing’s for certain—we don’t forget. We don’t want to forget, of course. Our stories are who we are.