“Daddy, it’s going to be weird like at Christmas and my birthday and all that, now that Nonna is gone.”
“It sure will, Noah.”
No sense denying the obvious.
My Mother would sit in her living room in her Power Lift Chair, surrounded by crazy noise, wild song and fevered unwrapping of gifts. She was only semi-involved, one foot already in the new world that was calling her…echoes of my father, her sisters, her mother and all her world that had already gone.
But she was still there…a small soft ball of life and history.
“Dad, its weird, this year I have no ideas about Halloween and what costume I could wear. Last year, I was like ‘I could be this,’ and then I would change my mind, ‘Oh, dad, I want to be this other one instead’. Remember Dad? I was so full of ideas that this year are just gone. I don’t know why I lost all my ideas.”
Mourning the gone.
Gone is not lost. Nothing is ever lost. It only ends, transforms.
“Eh?” His eyebrow lifts, classic Noah.
“Yeah, this way your mind is all free and a new idea will pop in.”
“Really? But I liked the old ones.”
Enough people have left my life, after variable stays, for me to know that the old ones and the new ones always coexist.
Some people I can’t recall beyond their eyes or their body or their smell or a smile, a word, a touch or a thought. Others, I relive daily, as if the moments of our time together were a continuing reality.
Still others have only gone further in space, measured in mere miles and time zones.
“Well then, if you liked the old ones, you could wear last year’s costume.”
“Oh, no, it won’t fit.”
I know it will fit, but its last year’s … like trying to renew last year’s affections. Their beauty was their temporary nature.
Everything is by necessity, impermanent.
A lover who crosses for a moment is never gone. As is the parent who is there your whole life.
“Dad, I’m going to be like really too young when you die.”
“Yeah, I’ll be like only 55 when you’re going to die at a hundred.”
He’s good at math. And generous with my life span.
“You’ll be older than I am now.”
“That’s young, dad.”
Nice kid. Can’t help but agree.
“Is Halloween about the dead people, dad?”
“Well, traditionally, its a night when spirits and the living can mingle for a while. But that’s a story, true or not who knows.”
Short and probably inaccurate definition.
“And fun…remember Noah, all the kids running around, the haunted houses, the bags of candies…”.
“Yeah, and there’s always a poor kid whose bag breaks and who cries with all his candy around him. Every year. Not you and me, we’re a team and like you always have an extra bag where I empty the stuff when it gets too heavy. We’re champs. Why don’t the other kids remember the year before, dad?”
“We’re just particularly good at remembering.”
“After school, Noah, we’ll go to the costume store…find you a disguise for Halloween.”
“Oh, yeah, this way I’ll get new ideas. Thanks dad.”
Thank you, Noah.
Thank you, time, for the gift of impermanence.