I’ve come for a visit to my other home. Of course, even as I was packing, you were in my thoughts. How could you not be? You have always been the heart of this home.
Coming here, after being away, feels like taking a memento box down from the top shelf of the cupboard, wiping the dust off the top, and extracting each memory like a souvenir. There are so many and most have you in them. Everything is connected. Everything leads me to the beginning and to the end.
On the drive here, I remember. I remember coming here with you as a gawky teenager. I remember walking hand in hand with you down the street, enthralled as you explained why ladies walk on the inside of the path. I remember my first visit to your house, a house that would one day in the distant future, for a short time, be our house. I remember being young and happy and in love with you.
I remember backwards, because everything is connected. I remember meeting you, my shy mousy teenage self looking into your eyes and knowing that the world had just changed forever. I remember that it didn’t matter where we were, if we were in the same place at the same time, we would always find each other (whether we wanted to or not). I remember that being with you always felt like home.
I remember forwards, because everything is connected. I remember finding you after so long apart. I remember the mad bird flutter of my heart upon seeing you for the first time in years. I remember your smile and the exact colour of your eyes. I remember feeling young and happy and in love with you.
I remember the bad things, because they will always be there, and then I remember your advice. Remember the good things. And I let the bad memories go, like dust in the wind. It was good advice. Thank you.
The good memories embrace me like a well worn, well loved familiar blanket. It is peaceful. I look at each memory and feel the love that radiates from it. It is warm. I look with fresh eyes and see something new every time. It feels cleansed. It feels free.
I remember us. I remember how you made me feel like the most important person in the world. I remember how it felt to be loved so much. I remember the connection that we shared, across time and distance. I remember that all I ever wanted was for you to be happy.
To paraphrase the amazing Dr Seuss, I don’t cry because it’s over anymore. I smile because it happened. We are gone, but the memories remain. And I remember you.