I’ve been introspective of late. I wager that this is one of the unwanted perks of my recent marriage — the contemplation of one’s family, chosen and blood-tied. It’s inescapable, from engagement announcement to that walk down the aisle: who is my family? What is my role within it?
Who isn’t here? Who do I wish was standing by?
Every major life event summons this dialogue forth, unwanted by those with realities far from the cookie cutter postcard society sells. I know the feeling of absence, of palpable pain that shoots from heart to head. I know the echoes of voices I can never hear again in this lifetime, not organically. In my mind, I can see myself holding that bouquet of white daisies and purple irises, my fingers drifting to graze the cool metal of a wristwatch. It seems another adornment of an Alice In Wonderland wedding, a trinket. A part of me wants the majority of our guests to dismiss it as such.
I know whose wrist wore it in life. I know that, in the only way possible now, he is walking me down the aisle.
In those moments, I watch the web unfurl, lines criss-crossing with the precision of a figure skater dancing along ice. I know of the living who are not here. I know of the ones whom I took great pains to ensure would not darken the day. I sought the absence, and yet, it hurts now, a wound drenched in lemon splashes.
“Even if amends were made, the absence can’t be undone.”
So I am told, and I wish I didn’t hear, because until spoken, that truth had been blissfully unapparent. And even if I know amends will never be made by one who spent years destroying another, even if I know that I made the happiest choice in a list of lousy ones, there is a small girl deep within who wanted to believe the lies, who wanted to believe that a sociopath could love. A little girl who doesn’t want to live in a world with such callous disregard for a life created. A young adult who threw out her hand every time for a rope that would split and fall away.
Sometimes, it’s hard to emerge and make it through the “9 to 5” when your heart is crawling inside a cave.