There is Life After...

We binged on comic books
Ruby and I stopped at the local discount comic shop today. We drove back home and binged on my fresh-squeezed lemonade, popcorn sizzled to perfection with coconut oil (not microwaved), and comic books-- lots of comic books. The cat snored on my lap. We listened to LPs of Mozart and Haydn (at Ruby's request).

The night before we had gone to the Rosedale Silent Auction, which is a fundraiser the PTA puts on to coincide with the Rosedale Ride registration. Our friends from the disabilities community hugged us and expressed condolences, but there weren't any tears, just laughter and smiles. These are old friends, people who have walked in our shoes and understand the complex emotions involved in our loss.

"How is Ruby doing?" Someone asked.

"Very well," I said, "Although it was a surprise... it wasn't. She knew that one day she could lose her sister. We've had our good days and bad, but I think she is doing remarkably well."

That evening, curled up together on the sofa in our house that is so strangely quiet without Savannah and her equipment and caretakers, Ruby fell asleep, leaning against me. I had introduced her to Star Trek (the original TV series-- not the many spin-offs) on Netflix. It was late. We'd had a big day and "existential cowboys in space" was a little slow for a girl who's growing up in an "on-demand" world. As we lounged, I was reminded of a conversation we'd had in the car between our many errands:

She said, "I'm having a great day with you. I love you and I'm glad you're my dad."

She was looking up from a lap full of comics. The sunshine on her face made her glow.

"I love you, too," I said. "I'm glad you're here."

Though Savannah wasn't physically in the room, we felt her presence. She will always live in our hearts and in this play room where she spent so much of her life watching TV, singing with me and Ruby, and reading Philip K. Dick, science fiction short stories. It was she who taught us to treasure the simple moments for they are fleeting and delicate. She taught us that all time together, no matter how painful or joyful, is "quality time."

Savannah had such an enormous presence that her sudden absence has left a sprawling void of negative space that we are slowly learning to occupy. I take comfort in that space and look forward to exploring it, Savannah right there with us, all the while, reminding us to just love each other no matter what.

#life #love #family #comics #parenting #loss #grief #mourning #death #child


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