Twelve months can fly as a second on a wing of the cosmos, or drain as a lingering eternity.
Three births grow a family to reach almost eighty, and an outdoor entertaining space once dreamed of is today the place for our gathering, our honouring of you.
In your room at twelve months on, and it is yesterday that I was here with you. Your holy pictures and rosary beads still hang on walls, your cottage knick-knacks flounce about your room as if you placed them yesterday. Flowers, hats, pillows and stuffed toys ... all in the autumn tones of you.
I hear your voice in mingled languages, over your siblings chuckling at your confused words. A tear comes to me. I look for you.
Twelve months seems a second ago.
I see your presence all around me. In your garden and the fuchsias that grow as vibrant red and purple tutus, in the plump broad beans that we eat from the vines while sitting around tables remembering you. I see it in the face of the man that makes ice creams for all gathered here, in his melancholy smile. Behind all our smiles are the spasms of scars that attempt to heal in this lingering eternity.
A year can see so much. A life of retirement for the man you love, an extra grandchild to adore and an added family home to visit. The birthday calls from you are gone, as are the weekend trips and time at the beach.
I stand in your kitchen twelve months on, lost. Making cups of tea for you, gone forever.
Christmas is next in this outside garden we’re in today, a Christmas without you. Or will it be? You’ve flown back home today, the sun tells me you have through the warmth of its rays. You'll be back for Christmas, I know you will.
A year has passed since you left us, since that thick, black tar swathed our hearts in a way it can test us all. You were there from the moment of my birth and remained throughout my life. It was an honour to be by you until your end, a family’s honour.
Life goes on, on a wing of the cosmos.
Cheers, a whiskey to you Aunty Lucy.