Summer solstice passes without a mention. For I am the keeper of time, the marker of the passing seasons. I am the one starting bonfires, and lighting candles, and creating altars. I am the shaman of myself, for I am the only one in need of medicine.
Lucia is dead another half year. Another blazing hot day. I still want a fire to honor the closeness of the sun, the farness of the daughter. My family is sick of solstices and rituals and candles. We lived through her death, they seem to remind me. Let us carry on. Let us eat ice cream with whipped cream. Let us go to carnivals and parades. Let us go to the community pool with our suits and gummy bears. Let us wrap ourselves in joys instead of sitting still in grief. But I am a sentient stationary being--thinking, constantly thinking, perpetual motion thinking, about all we lost and gained and how to make it different by telling a different story.
I still miss her, though. The missing changed, but it is missing nonetheless. Last night, I carried the baby to bed, though he is no longer a baby and the bed can scarcely be called a place where we sleep.
We roll. We kick each other. We read novels and children's books about fairies and queens and big bad wolves. We dream. I met the devil in my dream last night. I called the angels to protect me. They banished him, but I woke panicked anyway.
I carried the baby and whispered, "It is summer solstice, Thor. It seems like yesterday, but it has been three and a half years since she died. Lulu died. Lulu was your sister."
"Sis." He whispered back.
We cuddled in bed and watched the extended twilight sky. The longest day passed without a notice of its length. It was night, then, and I told her story to myself. It is terribly sad, this story. It is about losing. And gaining. And reinventing. It is about sobriety and drunkenness. It is about family and grief and friends and not friends. It is about our good fortune. We are fortunate. We gained so much after her death. Those things may have come anyway, but they came this way, so we are grateful to Lucia.
I don't have a long post in me. I am worn out and sad, exhausted from the week behind me with a house guest and staring at another in front, but she died, and I feel like I have to say it again here where solstice and remembrance is welcome. Every two seasons I remember that one solstice where ravens perched outside our home. The coldness cut into our faces, scarring them into long streaks of grief. We left without our girl. Sat in a car with an empty newborn car seat. It was winter, then. The cold felt hot and oppressive. Everything did. The hardest thing I have ever done was leave that hospital knowing she was in there. That night felt like every day we ever lived rolled into one extremely long and lonely night. It was a year in a blink. I light a fire to remember.
I appreciate all the guest posts rolling in for Right Where I Am 2012, as I hope my readers have. I had intended on providing the space for regular readers without blogs, but the call went out on b*bycentre UK, which generated many more guest posts than I thought would come in. The pieces that came in are so moving and beautiful. Thank you for sending them. I will have a few more coming up. Since this project has been going on for a month, I decided to close that offer to the public. If you are a regular reader and still want to publish, please email me. (I'm not a heartless bitch.)