April Love final prompt: “thank you for…” This is a hard time of year for me. The academic year is winding down, and since I take the summer off from my CSU work it means things are winding up there. There’s a panicky, speedy overwhelm that starts to happen — “how am I going to finish all this work in just a few weeks?!” That is mixed with the mad joy of spring and the promise of summer vacation, and further complicated by memories of loss.
Every year at this time, I promise myself I won’t miss the lilacs. I get so busy I barely notice them, even though they are one of my favorite flowers. By the time I’m done with my CSU work, they are starting to fade, almost gone, and the moment has passed. Every year, I vow to not let it slip by again. After a long day yesterday, I got out of my car and started unloading the snow tires I’d finally had taken off. As I brushed past the lilac bushes by my mailbox, a wave of scent stopped me in my tracks. I stood still for a moment and the familiar feeling arose, “the lilacs are blooming and I’m missing it.”
Then this morning, I was standing in the kitchen drinking my coffee when “Wide Awake” by Katy Perry came on the radio. Tears stung at the corners of my eyes. That whole album always reminds me of Kelly, takes me right back to that awful spring — May 14th, just two weeks from now, she will have been gone for five years. I’m sad, still angry, but so grateful.
Thank you for Kelly, for how she lived, for her friendship, for the loss that reminded me how precious and short our time is, together and alone. Thank you for lilacs and spring, for mornings and hot cups of coffee, for work and also for vacation. Thank you for all of it — brilliant and beautiful, tender and terrible.