“My heart’s never smiled so hard, baby; loving you is fun!” (Easton Corbin)
This phrase from a country song (surprise! surprise!), reminds me of the numerous conversations David and I used to have. Often we would text: “my heart is smiling/laughing.” Or the question: “do you still have butterflies?” Answer: “of course! And I hope they never go away.” Loving David was just that: FUN.
These poems and snippets of my conversations with David have been shared with you over the past 30 days in preparation for the one-year anniversary of his passing. I kept imagining it and re-living it and planning a visit to his grave, and…well, plain dreading it. But when I really thought about it, sharing him, and our love, with the world was a better tribute to him. And well…it helped keep my mind off the inevitable a little longer. These posts have allowed me re-live the best parts of our relationship, easing the pain a bit. I’ve surprised myself with how I’ve felt while posting; year later, the feelings still linger.
David inspired me as my major three loves have. He made me scribble all over the place. Not hearts and doodles kinda scribble, but real adult scribbling :-). Often I shared these scribbles with him. Sadly though, I didn’t share them with the world because we were too busy keeping our relationship on the hush. I decided to break the hush when he died. The wound was so deep; writing was all I had. I held back on sharing these “love” pieces because they were our private moments preserved. But as I thought more about it and about what his main impact on me was, I decided what better Memorial!
David encouraged me to write. Said if that was what I went to sleep thinking about, then there was no question about that being my life’s calling. We talked about ways to brand myself. Promote my work. The business side of being a writer. He asked to read my memoir almost immediately after I introduced myself. He had a business mind. I, the hopeless artist needed that. Often, when I would spend the weekends up in his mountain farmhouse, we would get coffee or whiskey (in the evenings) and sit next to each other on the verandah working away on our laptops. When the mosquitoes got to be too much, we moved inside to the L-shaped couch that made for playing footsie while we worked. We cussed at ECG and Vodafone when lights and internet weren’t working in our favor. We paused to snuggle and watch the Food Network when we got bored with what we were working on. We were partners in creating new life. David made me write in between kisses and hugs and crumpled sheets. He would distract me out of the blue then in the next breath would gently shoo me away to go back to what I was working on. I have a complete journal, lots of 3+ hours of G-chat, some of his poetry, and now lots of blog posts thanks to him.
Only those closest to me knew how giddy I had become in a matter of weeks. He was so open and free and he made me just the same. PDA in my culture is quite frowned upon so I was nervous about his enthusiasm for PDA from the very beginning. Somehow David wormed his way into my life in such a way that showing affection regardless of where we found ourselves became second nature. We weren’t ready to showcase our gift to our families but we didn’t care about the strangers on the streets of Accra and Medina. Kissing David made the phrase, “you take my breath away” so literal.
I worried about the issue of an older woman snagging a younger man but he trivialized it so much, I came to forget our age difference. He said there was no such thing as being too old to do anything. That we created excuses for not doing this, that, or the other because we were chicken. What David awoke in me seemed to come out of nowhere but I’m sure it didn’t. It had probably just been lying dormant. He just lit the match. He was my sign. An affirmation that one was never too old to fall madly in love with life again. A sign that I fell in love with a Spirit, a Being, a Love that defied gender. David was my reminder that there was no other way to live than to be present to every moment (this bore repeating often; I was an anxious over-planner). He said that when we let go of fear, there are infinite possibilities of living and loving.
He said, and I quote:
“i was told i shouldn’t guard my heart, not to shut down the sanctuary, that if i did we could miss out on a potentially good thing…
i’m not going to guard my heart. and i want to be in a sanctuary free from fear”
I am grateful that he didn’t guard his heart. That he invited me into his fear-free sanctuary and helped us love each other so passionately and fiercely in the short time we had each other.
So over the past 30 days I have broken the hush (daily) that surrounded our relationship and experimented with PDA if you will. This has been my “PS I Love You” love letters to David. Some of you have responded with excitement and others with requests for more. Some of you with delight that love had finally found me again. To the latter I say, love will find me again (I know you are praying). I am certain of this, but for the last month, what I have shared with you is how love found me a year ago.
Thank you for coming along for the journey–for these last 30 days, and also for the last 365 since David joined the ancestors.
_/\_ m(_ _)m