Where We Meet

Where We Meet June 11, 2012

Two weeks before his daughter died

they went to the movies. She wanted

to see a love story; he, a thriller. They

slouched in different theaters alone. It’s

been the one regret holding all his grief.

And just when he couldn’t imagine crying

anymore, when the night was feeling like a

clear wall he couldn’t move through, she

held his face in a dream and there they

were: sitting in the dark watching the

same movie, only this time it was their

story and he put his arm around her

and woke holding his pillow.

 

Twenty years after her aunt died—the

one who saw her before she saw herself,

the one she could confide in and only be

loved more—after all those years, it was a

hug from a friend. He held her gently then

squeezed her for that extra second, in that

familiar way. It was that hug that called her

aunt from so far away. That night, Aunt Kate

sat in the corner of her dream. Her mother

was there too. She brought the old sisters to-

gether and all three hugged gently, tightly,

holding for that extra second. A measure

of completeness relaxed their hearts.

When they paused to breathe, Aunt

Kate was gone.

 

And just one month after Nur died,

she appeared to me, her broken body

held together by light. She took my

hands and wanted me to come with

her. My heart began to rip. It wasn’t

my time. As she let me go, her hands

turned to pools in which I washed

my face and I was returned.

 

And there’s your Uncle Billy who died

in ’86. He kisses your forehead while

you sleep and in the seconds of that

kiss, the tangle of life loosens and the

web of life strengthens and you wake

assuming your full stature.

 

What is going on here? Is it now or

then? Are we remembering? Are they

visiting? Are they dead or still alive? We

make too much of putting things in this

basket or that. It’s enough to know

that love arcs its lightning through

any rim we put on the world.

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