Sunday, 4 July 2010

2 years / 24 months / 730 days

I think it was about 18 months after Kirstin died that it began to happen that there were some days when I never thought of her at all. Then out of the blue, I would be taken back to the 5th July 2008 in an instant, not as a memory, but the past made present:

I had just arrived home from gym when my mom called and asked me to come as there had been an accident. Carmen and I headed along the West Coast Road. On the way, we phoned my brother, Richard and then phoned my mom back and she and Carmen had a conversation and I realized something was wrong that she didn’t want to tell me. I asked her if my sister, Karen was ok and she said ,' yes, Karen and Joel are alright 'and I said: ‘and Kirstin?’ And she said: ‘Just drive’, and I repeated, shouting at her: ‘Tell me? Is she badly hurt?’ (In that moment it was simply unthinkable to imagine or contemplate that Kirstin was gone. It simply couldn’t be. Just couldn’t. Defied plausibility or comprehension. She simply said, her voice flat: ‘Rodney, Kirstin’s dead.’ The shock hit me in the whole of my being – I would use the cliché, 'gut', but it seemed more like an energy pulse that resonated through to my soul. I had to focus as I was still driving, but my insides turned to slush. I rode carefully, as quickly as I could, obeying the speed limit. When we arrived, there were some police vans and a fire truck, I seem to remember in the confusion, and I crossed the busy road carefully and then saw a light blue blanket covering a body in the grass, damp from recent rain, down a low embankment and I knew it was true. I stared at her body thinking that at any second she would cough / splutter, wake up and battle to breathe, be very hurt, but somehow, would fight through it and be ok. I even prayed that as Christ raised Lazarus from the dead, that He would raise her right then. I know now He did, but not in the way I asked Him to.

Carmen and I have been married for more than a decade, often tell each other that we love the other, are aware of that love, and take it for granted in day to day life - which is itself a gift. But even so, sometimes I need her to stop me and really make me hear her tell me that she loves me and I need to do the same for her. It is similarly important to honour anniversaries and birthdays - in gratitude sure, so that we don't forget the graces that we receive/d from those whose lives have brushed our own, but also that in stopping to think, remember and reflect on or with those close to us, we stop our lives to say: You are a part of my life. I know I take you or your memory for granted sometimes. But you hold a place in my heart that surpasses in meaning all the other distractions, deadlines and demands that clutter my life; And I would let go of all of them in a heartbeat for you. Wherever you are. And I love you.

God keep you close Kirst. Until we meet again.