It’s Too Late

You were my favorite. And I yours. This we both knew. And didn’t hide it.

Do you remember making sure I had two, even three umbrellas in my Shirley Temple so my dolls wouldn’t have to share? I do. You made me feel like a princess.

You don’t know how bouncy I would be at holidays. Not waiting for the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus, but for you. The big man with the gentle smile who looked like every drawing I had ever seen of Jesus.

Your hugs smelled of spearmint and cologne. And a hint of smoke. You’d pick me up and swing me around. And I would laugh and laugh.

I eventually got too big to toss in the air. But I would still be anxious for your visits. How we must have looked, the raven haired man with the fair preteen. Heads together over what ever game I wanted to play.

Your fingers showed the first signs. Twisting until they looked like gnarled branches. The limping came later as your knees followed your hands.

Visits were less frequent. And as the years passed there was less man and more bone under your loose shirt. Had I been aware I would have known.

It wasn’t until your secret was found out and the family knew that it made sense. The black in your smile.

Ashamed, you withdrew. I would ask about you. But the family would just shake sad heads and say they hadn’t heard much. So I left it alone. I didn’t try to find you. I left you on the fringes.

I’m so sorry. I didn’t know that the last time I saw you… Was it five years ago? I can’t remember. But I didn’t know it would be the last.

And now it’s too late. You’ve gone to sleep. Never to wake in this world again. And my heart is breaking. Because I didn’t tell you.

I let you die without you knowing that your shame didn’t matter to me. That I loved you anyway. And for that I will never forgive myself.

Sweet dreams, cousin. I am so sorry I was not the kind, gentle princess you always believed me to be.

33 thoughts on “It’s Too Late

  1. So sorry Marian. Your depiction makes it sound like you indeed were the princess he imagined you to be. Perhaps that was precisely why he disappeared. So he could keep your innocence preserved? Just a thought. We are often harder on ourselves than we deserve when asked of others. Hugs.

  2. Sending you virtual hugs Marian, loosing someone you still had words to say to is hard.

    When one of my good friends disappeared I wrote her a letter and burnt it and scattered the ashes where she was last seen. My last words to her.

  3. I’m so sorry. I lost an adored cousin in 2007, and it’s still painful. I hope love surrounds you from all directions now and in the future.

  4. I, too, am sorry for the loss of your cousin. I do know how you feel. I’m sure there is much you regret, but try and dwell on the good times you experienced with him over the many years. Not the last few when you didn’t see each other. And then tonight, hug deeply, either physically or virtually all those you love. This you’ll never regret.

    Mike

    • Thank you Ann. Someone referred to it as a tribute, which was not what I intended. I do know that any time I reread this I will again resolve to keep kindness as my center.

  5. I randomly thought about you today, wondered where you had got to since none of your posts have appeared on my Reader for what seems like for ever. Anyway I was curious because I always enjoyed reading your musings so I guess I hunted you down – lol
    I thought you might have deleted the site or just stopped posting – but I see this isn’t the case. I really do wonder why I never see any of your posts, I’m on WordPress enough!
    Anyway, enough rambling, I’m glad I found you again. Great post :)

    • WP sometimes deletes follows… randomly, for no special reason. It’s happened to me many times (not least hear with Marian) and with many followers too (some who are also friends and thus made me aware of it).
      Why does WP do that? It’s one of the big questions in life. I think it will remain unanswered…

  6. Also, obviously, I’m terribly sorry for your loss. I just realised my “great post” comment was insensitive. I didn’t mean it to be, what I meant was that you expressed your pain and loss in a beautiful way.

  7. I know you must feel awful for not telling him you didn’t care about the secret.
    But I believe he knew. And if he didn’t then, he knows now. I know it is crazy, but this is a deep belief I have that he can see in your soul and knows the truth.
    I’m sorry for your loss.
    Hugs

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