Love: Frozen In Time
May 7, 2012
Yesterday I spent the day with my son-in-law, Chris. We were at his house going through some of the many boxes of Katherine’s “stuff” that are still taking up valuable space in his basement—now 2 years after her death. This second anniversary of her death is coming up on Wednesday.
I wanted to do something that was meaningful this year to commemorate this time besides crying all day, which is what happened last year.
I braced myself before heading over there. I was bound and determined to make this time meaningful, not morose.
We started diving into the boxes that contained pictures taken from her camera—which means they were photos I had never seen before. I was so delighted to be immersed in new material….and none of them was taken in her ‘”chemo” years—they were shot in healthy, vibrant, silly, frivolous natural growing up and young adult times. They were of her travels and parties, school and family…..all mixed up, back and forth, and many many many of them. There were photos of smoking in college trying to be a rebel, her pierced belly button, awful depressing days while studying abroad in Berlin during her junior year in college with four other dear but also depressed friends as they suffered the poverty of their pocketbooks and that city as it tried to rebuild its economy—and Berlin’s sun hard ever shined.
And then I found “The Box”. A plastic Target storage see-through container, just loaded with what looked like a specially gathered collection of her favorite letters. I opened letter after letter from family members and dear friends. I put the ones from others into special piles to give to them later.
But something very special happened. I will never experience this ever again. It was a place, a space, truly “frozen in time”. It was an afternoon spent reading letter after letter from me to Katie. There were birthday cards, encouraging cheerleading letters before her first set of college finals, cartoon cut-out collages being silly and longing to connect with her when she lived overseas for years at a time.
What I realize now is that I was watching/reading years of outpouring of Katie-love over time. It was a fast forward deluge of affection and demonstrative descriptions of my sheer delight in who she was as she negotiated the teenage and young adult passages of her life. I was sitting there in Chris’s livingroom in real time, but transported into sacred time—a special crevice of grace-filled “no-time”—watching me love her over and over again, letter after letter. It felt like a solid rock of mega-memory. Yet the miraculous thing that was transpiring at a meta level was the specific deep articulation of another message—from her to me—a reaching back to me, from Katie, to whisper as loudly as she could:
“I KNOW YOU LOVED ME, I KNOW YOU LOVED ME, I KNOW YOU LOVED ME”.
I was immersed for hours in mother heaven. Ironically, as I sit down to write this, I am reminded of something else I haven’t been aware of until right now. Katie died on Mother’s Day 2010. Yesterday in Chris’s livingroom she reached through to provide me a Mother’s Day present for this year. It truly felt like being with her. A beautiful space frozen in time, for all time, from beyond the veil.
I love you, sweetheart.