“And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make.”

I saw you.

Sitting on the train. In joyous rapture. “No!” Are you fucking kidding me? You want me to delight in your delight? When you left me? With this family? To deal with her?

You bastard.

I didn’t believe. But soon, the nurse called, confirming what I didn’t want to know. I sobbed. My head tucked into my shirt. Feeling the stares, the touches that never came.

You, the second of 5 children, horribly abused. Me the 4th, I didn’t have it as bad.

You saw me.

A child. Ten years younger. You lifted the covers, so I wouldn’t be afraid. But then you left me. With them. In the narrow stairwell, I clung. You said you were given no choice, and off to the Goodwill dumpster you made a home.

Those bastards.

Your brokenness. Vietnam. Pregnancy. Married at 18. Children. They didn’t see you. Yet she, then he, kept you from a source. The setup of your life—and still—you saw what many don’t. Felt the music. Wowed to the earth in all her differing glory. Thrilled in others. A lover of laughter. Like me. Like the people we are from. Including them.

What it took for you to resonate. The strength. The passion. The spirit embodied.

But bastard.
You left me.
From the other side you came. Amused by my fear. Shocked I could see you. Feel you.
And now want me to rise above? Heal it? For all of us? Alone?

Are you fucking kidding me?

I see you.
I hear you.
You matter.
I did as you asked.
Because the love you made.
Was enough.
For me.

For you, Robert, PEACE, SO THAT …
every child of every bastard
can talk it over with the man he blames,
every house its chance
to sink to the earth’s calling,
every dead shall have no good reasons…

Here’s to you if you, too, are overcoming “the reality is, that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one. You will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again, but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.” And to that quote I say, truth! With any loss. Living or dead.

Photo: Me, wishing it weren’t so, but relieved to have carried out my mission. Your mark, brother. Showing you were here. That you remain loved. By me.

Lyric, The Beetles. Poem, Greg Kuzma. Quote, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

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