Monday, 23 November 2015

I reminisce.

I'm going through old photos and near suffocating on melancholy. The one that reminds me that everything is temporary. The things we think are finite and permanently affixed to our reality, they fade, they crack, they're sold off or discarded. They are somebody we used to know. We move on.

Sat in this house, that of the silverfish and slurping dehumidifier, that of the smaller lounge and larger bedrooms, of the drive and garage, of the clutter bloody EVERYWHERE and no time in this life to even dust it off.

I reminisce.

The past is firmly set there behind us, with all its sepia tinged sorrows and lost loved ones. All its missing friends and broken relationships and extracted toxicity. Tomorrow remains as unknown as today was to yesterday. We are on that journey, that ticket clasped in hand, the conductor shouting all aboard, let's ride. The destination board turning as we pass, hurried to get rolling, we know nothing of where we are headed but only that we go. We go into mist. We go because we must.

I reminisce.

Thanksgiving is as important to me now as it was to me as a kid, 14 years later in a country different than the one in which I was born. They don't celebrate it here. They don't but I will always. I celebrate. I give thanks.

I reminisce.

Then.
When we met as Family.
Then.
When we weren't dissipated, dwindled, mist.
Then. When we WERE. How I wish I could offer my son that, flawed and challenged as our life was then, at least it was not this mist. These silverfish. Cloaked progress. Muddied waters.

How do I find the road for him? I cannot get it wrong but so little of this has gone to plan.

This house, that was supposed to be the new Permanent. This house is only temporary. This is a station on the line. We got off here but I think we now await the next train. It feels...off. It feels like a funhouse mirror. Like that gingerbread cottage in the woods.

The thickness, the density of childhood dissipates as the years chew away at our hopes, our momentum. We wield the sword and slay the dragons, guard the castle. We dream our dreams, they morph into necessity, they morph into caring for what is larger than ourselves. They morph. And we are lost even to ourselves as we try to claw back what it was we were after in the first place.

I reminisce. I will not falter. I reminisce.

Three days will mark three years since the final Thanksgiving we spent with my father. My father who would have plenty to say about the fork this road took after he left us. My protector lives on in me. I deliver what he gave me to my son. There is no alternative. I know what I have to do and I do it and it really is that simple.

That Thanksgiving was one of the worst days of my life. Dad was dying. Dad had little to be thankful for on that day. He couldn't bear to look at Rukai, who'd crossed an ocean to be with him. Couldn't look at him because he feared so desperately that his only grandson would never know him. I promised him that he would and I won't let him down. If I do nothing else for my past in this present, I will not let him down.

That old Us was there again. But it wasn't us. It was the misty us. The toxic us. We were all vagabonds of the journey, tatty and frayed like a discarded tapestry, drawn together by the ending of one story and the beginning of the next. We gave thanks for whatever it was we could recover. That last thread of us that we'd managed to hang on to. And then we argued. And it rained. And we dissipated again.

I reminisce.

How to move on in the story from a life that has A list amounts of baggage. From a life that has so much to be forgotten yet so much I need to remember, because it is only that which cobbles together the path on which we walk. The past makes things matter, even if it is all temporary because we are always on the move. We cannot stop. We cannot falter.

I reminisce.

I reminisce because the history of us is the history of US. The other side of the mist is where my family now will come out, scathed or unscathed, scarred and burnt or covered in a glorious suntan, freckled like a disproportionately sunny Irish summer. Take your pick, we will glow, we will shine, we will rise and fall. We are all part of who we were and I will teach him that if I can do nothing else about Then.

My son wasn't with us Then.
He is here now.
That final Thanksgiving we could only give thanks that we were able to share a table and break bread and break hearts and break the chain of history to begin our tomorrow.

That final Thanksgiving we were thankful that we WERE.
That we are.
That we will be.

I give thanks.

I reminisce.

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