Another pause in Morgane’s story for something of a family reason this week. I’m likely to take another pause next week as well for the same reason, but we’ll see.
There are things we wish could have been, might have been. We try to explain them, to allow others to see why they matter so much to us. Sometimes there’s nothing more that can be said. Sometimes you just have to …
Memories can be awful. They tug at our souls, bring tears to the eye. An ache deep within grows from the fragment of memory that comes to mind, growing into a pain that just pushes all else from our thoughts. We hurt in a way that can’t be put into words, can’t be explained to others well enough.
It hurts to see my Adored One like this. I know why he’s like this: twice a year he just folds into himself, wanting to be alone. It hurts when this day comes, soon after the spring has arrived, shortly before his Eternal’s birthday comes. More so when, a short time later, as the summer is on the edge of becoming, that other day of the year takes his thoughts elsewhere.
I know why he hurts. The distant look in his eyes is there for a reason. I want to help somehow. Not as Temptress; that wouldn’t be welcome, I know. Fun isn’t part of this day; it hasn’t been a very long time since she was called home to Goddess. But this is her birthday. There should be joy. He needs to see that this day means so much.
He treasures memories. He keeps little knick-knacks, jetsam and flotsam of them here and here so that he remembers. There’s a shoebox off in a shelving unit in the basement of their human-realm home which I don’t think he realizes I know about. It’s worn, the seams are dogeared from time passing. The sides bulge outwards trying to contain what resides within. Written in a very young hand are three simple words. They bring me to tears when I see them, an echo of my Adored One so long ago, his life before him yet to be brought into focus.
The lid comes off easily, revealing the tightly packed series of envelopes. All different sizes and shapes, they trace a tradition from the first crayon scratched words to the final card given before none more would be. A litany of a son’s love for his mother.
The final card wasn’t bought in a store. It completes the circle. A folded-up piece of paper containing within the hopes of that moment. The cover is a hand drawn heart, filled in with crayon. Just two words on the bottom to mark what she always knew.
My own tears come when I read the words. His love is open, forever, given without any kind of expected reward for being so. He is, so very much, his mother’s son in that. Tera tells me of her often: how she was welcomed with open arms; the love given, without any expectation of it being returned by this newcomer to their family; how it felt to have a mother again, to know the love, the joy, the wonder in being with them.
The pain lessons within as I recall the joys she shared with them: where my Adored One’s baking skills came from; how she explained to a Queen, though she never knew, what mattered beyond all else; those words taken to heart and brought to give love to others always; the story of how her hope to be a mother was dashed by those who knew better, who insisted that there was no possible means for her to have children of her own; the smile that appears as I remember how she proved them wrong not once, but three times. Goddess, after all, works in mysterious ways.
I hear the front door open upstairs, the sound of footsteps as my Adored One and his Eternal arrive home. The shoebox is returned to where it rests, waiting for the memories to be released once more.
I find them both in the living room, waiting for me. Of course, they both knew I was here. There’s an awkward moment when none of us know what to say. Perhaps there’s nothing to be said on this day.
Her picture on the mantle catches my attention. Taken on one of the very last New Year’s Eves she saw, it’s been in that place since her passing, the one that he’d chosen for her memorial. The frame fits comfortably into my hands as I cross over, finding a place with them to ask a question I hope will help all of us: “Tell me about her.”
His smile is wan, but a start for us all: “She would have loved you.”
Memories can be wonderful when they are shared.