Brave Face

Busy lately, and suffering from too much Brave Face. The face that masks pain in order to get work done, in order to make an appearance when I must. I wear it only sometimes for others, more often for myself. I want to be more whole than I really am.

There is a small piece of construction paper taped to the kitchen window in front of me, about the size of a playing card. At one point it may have been a mauve color, now faded to a dusky yellow about to blend into the stickless masking tape framing and attaching it. On this paper is a flower, a daisy or perhaps a sunflower, sketched in ballpoint pen by Susanna. There was a sister piece beside it before. This disappeared at some point, but there is a smudgy residue near where it once was. The sister piece had a poem written on it, some variation on “rain, rain, go away…..” My two children had constructed this arrangement on a rainy summer day on which they wanted to go out and play. At the time, I had no idea how long it would remain, or how I would feel looking at it tonight. We can perhaps only envision what we can handle.

There will come a time when this house will not contain the remnants of my daughter living here. There will be a time when nothing belonging to her, or to me, or anyone in my family, will be here, at least in this physical plane. Maybe another dwelling will rest upon this plot. Maybe, many things, I don’t know…….

Last night, I dreamt that my son and I were on a summery back porch, visiting a new blonde family with many children. I have no idea why they were blonde. Maybe because the scene was a bit Barbie-ish. This was a happy dream. And, a little girl climbed into my lap and fell asleep face down across my chest. I felt her warmth, the feeling I have been needing. Susanna. I am deeply sorry that I had to go to sleep to feel that, but she was there.

If there is not a rainy day, there is not a song about one. Without this absence of her, which stretches out into unthinkable depth and length, there would not have been a her to love. I put on the Brave Face, because I do not always know how to explain this to people. Pain and love intermingled, this is what I really want to be talking about. It can be challenging to focus on what seems mundane, which almost looks like everything.

I no longer believe I have to resolve anything before I motion forward. I make as strong of a presence as I am able. I speak with all I can muster of what is real, and right, and kind. This world is not for the faint of heart. In spite of how difficult it is to live sometimes, somewhere inside of me are endless fields of wildflowers. Meadows and mountains, and eons of hope. Life is fleeting but love is real. This much I owe to my Susanna, to speak of her and us while our presence is still remembered. Life is short for everyone, but was extra short for Susanna. I will hang on and go about things with four eyes, four feet, two hearts, two souls. See you in the flowers, my baby.

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