Saturday, January 7, 2012
THE FOUNTAIN AND THE BALL
We made it through the festive season. Don't ask me how. They always talk about One Day at a Time and I guess that's what worked in the end.
The thing that people find very hard to believe or understand is that even in these horrible days and nights there are still bright moments. I always imagined that life without Estella would be a single note. One long chord of despair that never fluctuated or changed. I could not have been more wrong. Life without Estella is a classical piece of music - at times mournful , at times spirited and at times a mighty convulsion of unleashed passions.Joy and despair. Despair and joy.
Then there are the moments
We went to her fountain yesterday. It is beautiful situated in the park where we got married under palm tress and parrots. We went to say goodbye as we are heading back 'home' now. It is a place of beauty but also a place of reflection and sadness. I talk to her there like the crazy people I saw in cemeteries when I was young. I tell her whats going on and how I feel and how much I miss her and love her.
We took her a toy and some sweeties. She never tasted sweeties.
Yesterday was hard. Wrenchingly hard. It was the Spanish equivelent of Christmas day and all the children were riding their new bikes in the park. Everywhere you look life goes on with families who seem to have perfectly happy lives. We wander through them like timeless ghosts who should already have left the party. What they have we had. What they celebrate we fear. Footsteps in the sand.
We sat by the fountain. It has been turned off for the winter and Estella's ashes are just visible inside the dust and the sand where the water flowed. I look at them and see the little girl that I held and the eyes that shone like forever and I see the dust and the grey and I sometimes feel that is all that is left. We are but dust. The chubby fingers, the rosy cheeks , the liquid , loving eyes. Dust.
We sat down and a small boy - probably between one and two years of age walked by with his Mother. Strikigly blond - unusual for Spain. As always you may take what happened next as crazy thoughts from a Muppet Daddy whose eyes are blurred with too many tears or you can take it as fact. I would not have believed it either - not before I met the timeless soul that is Estella.
He turned and looked at me. That happens a lot because I look so un-Spanish. Nothing strange there. Then he threw his small ball into the warm air and it went straight into the centre of the small fountain.With no fear he put his leg over the cement ridge and climbed in to collect the ball. the ball that lay exactly on top of Estella's remains. He had thrown the ball to her and now I was watching a perfectly blonde lad striding out of the stone that surrounded Estella. It was a moment of re-birth and achingly beautiful. From the spot where our daughter rested ran a child healthy and vibrant and cheeky and all smiles. And that's when he did it. He turned and looked back at the fountain. Stood perfectly still and nodded at the monument. Then he waved at it and ran off to play.
He bid her goodbye
I sat stunned and silent.
A massive park
One small boy
One tiny ball
Onesolitary heartbeat of a moment
One echo of immortality
And will she walk, and will she run and will she sing and will she dance?
And will she play ?
So that's how we get through some of these moments. The same way we did when she was alive. Estella sends signs when we are at our lowest. Estella is still looking after us.Estella always will because she always did.
And will she laugh and will she cry and will she remember and will she breathe the deep majesty of life and time ?
And will she play ?
People think it is hard for me to see other children everywhere. It's the opposite. When I see other children I see the release and the joy and the pleasure that Estella never knew. I see them enjoying life and that does not make me sad. How could it ? If children being happy made me sad then I would never have enjoyed Estella.
And will she watch and will she listen and will she hear and will she clap ?
And will she play ?
We made it through Christmas and New Year because our daughter is still here. She was there in the Firework sky on New Years Eve. She was there in the moments when we sat with her Grandparents in silent reflection and she was there in the park yesterday calling to a soul that could hear her to come and play ball.
If you do not believe me that the little boy could see Estella or feel her spirit then I feel either sorry for you or glad for you. Sorry because maybe you have to have loved so deeply to understand that this is true - glad because maybe you have to have lost something very very special to realise that there is no such thing as loss at all.
And as we go home and leave her in that fountain, in that park , in that town, in that country I do not weep becuase of loss or distance. I do not weep because of death or regret. I do not weep because of the unkind lost years.
I weep because of a little boy - and a ball - and a little girl they call Estella
We are going hoime now
We will be back one day
We will see you again
We will retuirn
We are going home now
Where Estella is waiting for us