Eli and I have a steady flame, cultivated and carefully tended over the years. It began as a spark that ignited between us and grew. Some days it burns brighter than others. We each add small bits of kindling to it from time to time, to keep the fire burning on those days when neither of us is paying attention. For thirteen years, now, our fire has burned. It has never gone out. I am confident that it will always be there, warming us. Inviting us to draw nearer each other.
Molly came into my life like a flash fire. Unexpected, and out of control. And while people who loved me warned, “Don’t touch that: It’s hot,” what could I do but stick my whole hand in, just to check? Molly burned too brightly and too ragingly, until her fire consumed itself and went out. There was nothing to sustain it. It kept going, crazily, and of its own accord, until one day it didn’t. And now there is a profound coldness in my heart, there where the fire once was. And there are burns, with their awful red aching throbbing, but which are bound to heal, in time. Leaving the faintest of scars along the fire’s path, marking the route it took as she raged through, leaving not only me, but all of us to stand in her wake and wonder, with nothing to do but shake our heads and marvel at our own ability to survive.
(I am still reeling from this loss. I know I will be okay, but in the meantime, I desperately need to be buoyed up by the people who love me. Are you guys out there? If you are reading this, please comment on this post, just to say hi. Just show me you are there and that I'm not alone.)