This morning a photograph was posted on @twitter. It was posted by @dougchinnery as part of a series of photographs he is presently working on. Filigree can be seen here.
I looked as I usually do when photos are posted and all of a sudden I remembered.....
I think it must have been 2001, Pete, my best friend, hugger, confidante, "other half","kick up the backside", who died last August, went over to Boston, in the U.S. to visit his sister, Ann.
I think one of his nieces was getting married, I can't recall the details now & they aren't relevant to this blog anyway.
He was away for over a fortnight and when he came back, he brought me lots of presents, scented candles, jewellery, all sorts of little bits, the stuff you buy as pressies. Well, the stuff a lot of folk would buy as pressies but Pete was never one for presents or cards. Among them, was an oak leaf skeleton, covered in gold. Doug's photo brought it to mind..along with all the other gifts Pete brought me back from that trip & there I was, once again, smiling and crying at the same time.
It played on my mind over breakfast & in the end, I dug out my jewellery box, dusted it off and opened the lid. Inside, among my bits of "tat", I found my dream catcher earrings, another present from the same holiday and in the bottom tray, wrapped carefully in its tissue paper, my gold oak leaf. I knew he loved me but never realised at the time, how much of a gesture it was for him to "treat" me. I do still have all of them, the candles were never lit & are still scented, the jewellery, safe in my trinket box, worth little in monetary terms but priceless to me.
As I commented to Doug at the time, grief comes & hits you at the oddest moments.
It is now 9 months since Pete died & later this month is the anniversary of his terminal diagnosis. Most days, I don't cry. Often I smile at a memory, there are always smiles when Pete comes to mind. Today, it seems to have hit more of a nerve than usual and I had to find a good cd to play in the car on the way to work so I could have a good sing & a cry.
Thank you to the Dixie Chicks, "Wide Open Spaces" & one song in particular "I'll take care of you" J.D Souther.
Grief is a funny creature and it affects us all differently. This is far worse than anything I've known before but then he wasn't like anyone I've known before. Even though I'm crying whilst typing (not easy), I still feel so lucky our paths crossed that day in 1985 & I shall always thank him for for the love, laughter & friends he brought to my life & for introducing me to the East Midlands which is now, very much, my home.
I know I say it often but I so, so mean it, tell those you love that you do, give them a hug, hold their hand. Be there for each other now, not tomorrow or next week as now is the only certainty for any of us