Where are you?!

Where are you?

On this, the twenty-third anniversary of the day you committed suicide, I ask, where are you?

You are missed by many (me!) beyond words, beyond the reach of creativity, beyond the reach of thought and emotion. It is your being, you, that we miss. You were and are loved, more than you knew, because, as you said, you did not believe anyone loved you. You were as mistaken and as flatly wrong in that believe as those who believed, with every honorable fiber of their being, that the world was flat.

I have slept a great deal today. When awake I find myself remembering the day you left this world, and I am immobilized. I remember being on the phone with someone and hearing my poor sister – your daughter! – in the background, wailing in agony. My little sister shattered. I could not rescue her.  And, God forgive me, I could not rescue you.

In our hours and hours of magical conversation those last ten years I told you once that the day you died would be one of the biggest blows of my life. You were utterly baffled. “Why?” you asked.  And in that moment I knew that you really didn’t understand, believe, how much I loved you and how much my sister and her children and my daughter loved you. How much your brother’s wife and children loved you. How much so many people loved you. Love for you was a foreign language you’d never learned. It was, I believe, your undoing.

Your son and daughter are doing better than anyone expected. You would be deeply proud of your daughter. I am. And we both know you loved us. And while I can’t speak for my sister, I think it safe to say we both wished you’d been able to not just believe, but fully know, that no son and daughter ever loved their mother more than we loved you – and still love you.

I miss you, Mommy.

Where are you?

Anna, Emily & A Little Bit of Jazz

They are like jazz. Two sisters with colorful personalities packed with formidable supplies of creativity, intelligence and courage, who are truly good and decent people.

I fell in love with their mother last year. She too is like jazz. When the jazz trio is together (and when they are not, come to think of it) the closeness between them is palpable and this is because they are safe being who they are with each other. Challenges faced are seen and treated as experiences to be managed and resolved, not as opportunities to judge, damage, control or abandon each other. The deep love between these three people flourishes because it rides the wave of acceptance.

No relationship of any kind can be a healthy one if the people in the relationship can’t be who they fully are in the relationship. When I watch Anna and Emily, the glow of the joy they experience with each other is so strong I’m pretty sure I can read by their light. When they’re with their mother the glow is so strong I can read by it, but need to wear sunglasses.

I know there may be some who flinch and recoil when they learn someone they’ve fallen in love with has children. Not me. Falling in love with their mother, Christine, was like discovering this extraordinary landscape in life. Discovering and meeting her two daughters was like discovering this extraordinary landscape has two beautiful lakes on it. I am a lucky and blessed man.

Emily is 24 and Anna is 20. These two young women are doing wonderfully in life, far more than I think they give themselves credit for.

I love them, their mother and jazz. It doesn’t get much better than that.