Your hand rested on mine as we sat. That kind of slow, detached smile was on your lips as you looked at me. Here, but there. The corners of my lips moved up a touch but you couldn’t see. I was not the centre of attention today. Not that I was most days. Let’s just say your posture spoke volumes. And it said, ‘Oh! You’re still here’?
I had my days. I held you while you suffered. Cleaned you up when you could not. Told you long, ridiculous stories to distract you. Sucked back my tears when you struggled.
You leaned on me when your strength was gone. When the weight of the world was too much. You told me of trials. You overwhelmed me with tribulations. Stunned me with stories of greed and avarice. Broke me with bruisings you took.
How does one deal with it? How does all the pain and suffering that is thrown at you not wring you dry? I held you in my heart and you said it buoyed you. You welcomed the home I made for you inside. And despite the fact that few did this for you, you beamed because I did.
The music playing was ethereal. Took me back to a day when life was simple. When the world was not so consumed with self. A time when neighbours knew each other and helped each other and watched out for each other. A time when family meant community and community meant family.
You shook your and wondered what went wrong. Why did that all change? Who was behind it? Though you always knew. We were to blame. It was hardly the first time it happened.
I wrapped you up in a warm blanket, smiled and kissed your hand. Thanked you for being there and simply caring about us. You barely heard the ‘amen’ as I went back to my day.