Aunt Virginia’s echo

Reverberated deep within the well. Silence ended and just as words reflected, light appeared.

Not one motion came racing; each marked its entry cautiously fearing that courage would dash before its arrival.

Sometimes when a world topples off its axis there’s no way of knowing if what’s lost can ever be regained.

It’s that ‘closing of one door’ that leads us to wonder,  “Is there a new door I should be opening?”…

A fork in this road, the leading distance felt, but not, as yet, traversed. What about this untraveled landscape?”

I have come to believe that it is less about choice and more about unexpected discoveries, an absolute by which the current has been ever-present, but the ability to perceive its justice, lacking.

We all face an unexpected detour(s) from time to time. It’s within that nature of ‘believing’ that we consider we are the sole proprietor of our destiny. (My ignorance, not yours.) This is what I thought I had understood to be true for me.

And then, sometimes, suddenly the road that was once before us is never more. And in later review we come to realize that what we thought was there, in the first place, was a mere folly of a thought to begin with.

Let’s call it growth. I’m a slow learner, a dedicated, died in the wool believer that good deeds always win over the negative bugaboo’s in life.   Allow me to consider that I can cast them far from my existence;  If I try hard enough I can convince myself that I can get past that fortress. Give me time. Solitude, and this persistence. Just give me.  Me.

So, back to that well, the one that bellowed forth that echo, awakening me from my complacency. Had I tried to understand that I was deserving of only my sense of existence and its place within my world? What a shameful and arrogant assumption. I am greedy, ignorant and shameful within my conceit.

I awoke one morning to find I’d aged into antiquity. Knowledge rained down in sheets upon my doorstep. What had once seemed so valuable was now so inconsequential. Items more precious than gold, or even more exquisite in value, had been cast into life’s composting heap. Realization of what I valued most sat before me, divulged within its bare nakedness, there for my taking if I could accept that they were important simply because they were now part of what had been, my life. The one where the foot journey had me believing that I’d made all the decisions, and all of them were correct, as well as, absolute.

And so it is, this echo, the one I discovered while attempting to retreat from the pain and sorrow of my emptiness. It had called to me and directed me to a place I’d forgotten.  I ventured to the center of the universe, to arrive at home. The one where others exist, in spite of trivial pursuits and self indulgences.

I ripped off the vacancy sign. Tore
open the shutters. And I allowed my self a view to, and through, the mirror.

I arrived to a sea of loss, multiplied by a number greater than one, or two. Three, and still greater than four. I stepped away at the count of seven. And, when all my counting was done, I found myself overly fascinated by the number two. To which I admit was my greatest loss. But she was also my greatest gain.

Some people enter into our lives by what we think are random chances, others we don’t give much thought to how they arrived, they simply occupy a space beside us, thus traveling along for a bit of our journey.

This well of mine has me convinced that none of these meetings were happenstance. All hold a value far greater than any I could have possibly known, or imagined. One of greatness, and of grace. Individually, as well as collectively.

It was that special number two that turned the light on for me. The one that gathered the other six and said, “let’s go give a shout-out. I know she’s listening.”

That posse game looking for me, wrangled me and set me upright. I toddled a wee bit, now and then, lost in my sadness for those that no longer occupy my physical space within their time.  And then I remember those truths that I hold steadfast to, that cannot be shaken from any foundation.  Those that comfort.   They are born from the knowledge that a life well lived, is one that is also, deeply loved.

Things in life will come and go, but loving someone deeply, truly, and sincerely, we get to keep that for life.  No questions asked.  No postage due.

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9 Responses to “Aunt Virginia’s echo”

  1. Thank you. I wrote this piece as a memorial to one of the dearest souls I had ever met. Aunt Virginia lost her husband to Alzheimer’s disease just twenty days before a horrific accident claimed her life. During just a few short months two of my dearest friends lost loved ones, and as I was preparing to write this post we learned of a death of my aunt and the loss of yet two more friends. I can only say that the shock was a metamorphosis for me. I’d like to think that my final paragraph brings hope to those whose lives are filled with unexpected tragedies. Love endures for all time. Sweet. Pure, and everlasting.

  2. I appreciate your belief in hopefulness, the positive no matter what, and that it carries you forward. Loss is rough. Grief in US culture is not allowed to occur openly or long which I find a useless thing. We are made of all things we pass through, as you know…It seems to me you know what counts is right here, still, within. Sorry to hear of youur aunt’s passing
    My favoirte aunt also passed a couple years ago. I have a few of her poems and letters in my desk and pictures of her with her sisters (my mother and another aunt) to enjoy. Peace to you and yours.

    • Thank you for your thoughtful words. The timing, the circumstances, along with my personal journey thru a very dysfunctional childhood, allowed a most unexpected acceptance of my grief.
      Loving someone dearly, truly, and unconditionally, was a catalyst for accepting her death. She is a gift, dwelling as part of my soul. God works in mysterious ways.

    • So true–God’s work within us and others:)

  3. It’s not the wrapping paper that’s important, it’s the treasure inside the mortal box. :-)

    Once the wrapping paper fades away, the treasure of another still lives in your heart.

    • What a beautiful sentiment; thank you! She was, and will always be one of the greatest gifts in my life. I lost her twenty days after I lost Uncle Sonny. They personified the very best of the human spirit. I am better, and stronger. When the rest of the world walked out, they walked in, accepting me in spite of my mental illness.
      In August, this past year, their one and only daughter, and one of my best friends, died from a stroke. I sat devastated and in a daze for about a week. One day I realized that I had not loved and lost, but loved, and gained. I no longer mourn, I celebrate all their love and being, blessed beyond measure and grateful for the walk thru the fire.

    • I’ve said many times that what one culture believes to be insane is another cultures idea of sanity. There was a time when people who heard voices were revered, and people didn’t grow old enough to have dementia.

      It makes one wonder. :-)

    • As long as there is a stigma attached to those who are different, there will always be the ignorance and denial. But, I do see both sides, especially when insanity takes the lives of the innocent. How can the world be at ease when the term, Mental Illness, is a catch-all and some believe that Psychology is considered a ‘Voo-Doo’ science? A dialog can open up the insides, put on display the norms of known forms, bring forth the concerns of the ignorant. It can begin to educate, but only when people feel safe to discuss it openly.
      ❤️

    • Doesn’t it make you wonder how the human species ever got out of the dark ages?

      Maybe we didn’t. We just turned “miracles” into “miracle drugs.”

      There are psychiatrists and psychologists who are seeing the benefits of things like (news flash) acceptance and learning how to embrace your inner difference. :-)

      Wow! Who know that making a person with depression feel like even more of a failure might be a bad thing? Who wudda thunk that meditation might be better than medication? :-)

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