12.6.10 | For Jill

I have neither sat with you in quiet conversation, a glass of wine to hand; nor eaten from your table the finest foods you and your partner might prepare.

I have not laughed with you at the foolishness of the world, nor gazed admiringly out of your window at your beautiful garden blossoming with small lives. Or made a snowman with you, nor delighted, eyes grinning, at a rainbow arcing across a thundery sky together.

I have not sat with you looking through picture scrapbooks at all your childrens growing pains and pleasures, neither listened with quiet understanding as you spoke to your dolls, carefully arranging them on their chair. Nor held your hand in the last days of your difficult life, vainly willing and praying that my touch might somehow give miracles and either heal you or just ease yours and my own fathers suffering (though pray i did, every night before sleep. Offering myself to God, for a miracle. Any miracle)

I have not ever told you how much i feel humbled by your tenacity and bravery and your willingness to reach out towards new goals in spite of everything that life has throw at you. Nor expressed the admiration in your fierce protection of those you love. And i knew how much you loved them. And even when you did not trust me or my motives i could not help but love you all the more for that.

I have never met you, or spoken to you or sent letters in their many forms to you in praise and honour and affection as i have so many times wished. Feeling foolish for even wanting to, now foolish for never trying to reach out just the once.

I have never met you, but you live on in pictures and the memories of friends and your children; the thoughts and words and actions of your youngest daughter who described you with such love and honest, unaffected simplicity to me so many times will always remind me of you. I will smile and some days i will shed tears too when we talk about you. You would be so proud of her courage and compassion and the joy she brings into peoples lives.

I have never met you, and my life is less richer for that. You died this morning and i found myself weeping for a stranger as if she were a dear friend.

I love you. It does not seem strange to me. May you be at peace.



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