Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tonight. Tomorrow.

This weekend two years ago was the worst I've ever endured. Lily was just a glimmer of hope. Life was beyond grim. It was as though I was waiting for the world to come to an end. And shortly after, much of my world, did. I look back, reluctantly, and see the dismal fog we were in. Hospice is honest, and raw and yet surreal - some families practically move in with their loved ones - as we did. But the shock and dismay to find yourself there is overwhelming, it tears your heart asunder, your emotions and awareness are heightened and yet part of you is rendered numb. I tried so hard to be everpresent during Alan's last days - I wanted to live with him through every unbearable last moment, to savor and relish in the lucid moments that Alan managed to muster up... He was so beautiful and brave and generous.

And then he was gone. Just like that, he gave in, or his body did. As he/it should have. No one deserves the unfairness that terminally ill patients endure. And Alan left behind with me the most remarkable little being. Knowing Lily now, I understand how she survived his passing and my grief - she is intensely determined, and tough as nails. Soft on the inside but Teflon in demeanor. She is willful and impassioned -Just today we went with friends and family to her first concert and she flitted among the crowd, ingratiating herself to every parent and child she could. She had no time for stillness, too busy, had to take in the music, the rocks and sticks and grass, and was all smiles in 95 degree heat.

I am trying to make this weekend a happy one again, and Lily Alan certainly provides the most wonderful incentive - but it is an effort to block out certain sights and sounds and despite the sadness they bring, I don't ever want to forget anything about the life I shared with Alan. So it is a balancing act. But the joy that Lily brings to the world, with her Eskimo kisses, expanding vocabulary, insatiable curiosity and dance moves is wonderful. She helps to keep all of Alan very much alive, much of him shines through her in behaviour and much of what she exhibits is different and new. I pray he can see her as she blossoms, today she was all Puck - free, whimsical, sneaky and endearing.

Now we are home - Lily is fast asleep. Fireworks rumbling in the distance... Thankfully, I stumbled upon one of Alan's all time favorite movies playing on TV, Coppola's "The Conversation" with Gene Hackman. I remember watching it with him, as he pointed out directorial decisions and artful moments - he loved movies such as this one - classic casts and genius directors. Good solid acting - he knew every shot, every scene, he had a keen understanding of what made an effective editor and to this day I so wish he had gotten a chance to work on something that he would deem monumental. But I hope he understood how powerfully he touched the lives of all the people who's paths he crossed, and that the life he led was full indeed. Cut short way too soon but he left his mark in so many ways. I'm so grateful for the time we shared together and with others we loved ~ Now with Lily here we'll just keep living and loving and celebrating who he was and what he gave us to carry on.