The other day while rearranging the boxes from the so called storeroom-stairway, boxes that we had stored since we moved to Montreal, I came across those that contained our family pictures. I carried them to the sitting room and sat on the sofa to go through them. With a heart both heavy and sad I went through all the photos in the boxes. I was sad and angry because as Lois de Bernières wrote:
“What troubled him was that all those pictures were taken in a present, a present that had gone. How can a present not be present? How did it come about that all that remained of so much life was little squares of stained paper with pictures on it?”
Those photos contained our story, our life together. Now all that remained from that life were those pictures. With every picture came a sharp memory of that moment when it was taken. And with every moment came the overwhelming feeling that all was over. That the line between life and death is so thin and that when someone crosses that line that’s it. There is no turning back. For the rest of us who stay here we are left with such a great sense of emptiness that it is almost impossible to fill no matter how hard we tried.
Naguib Mahfouz wrote:
“If a person had a strong energy will he might be able to carve out more than one future, but no matter how strong his will he could never have more than one inescapable and unavoidable past.”
Our one inescapable and unavoidable past was contained in those boxes. My life, my past was in those pictures, in those boxes. After I was done with all the crying and the feeling sorry, the remorse, it dawned on me that my life with everything considered hasn’t been that bad after all. That the years I have had with my late husband were full of love and laughter and joy and dreams. The only regret is he won’t be here for the rest of the journey through life with me. That sucks, big time.
But on the other hand I have so much love, his love in my life that will take me through to old age assuming I will reach it. I have so many dreams, his and mine combined, to last me a lifetime, my lifetime. After all I can only write about the things that really touch my heart and my soul.
I believe that my life is nothing but a story, our story together, as I believe:
“In signs. I believe in fate. I believe that every single day people are offered the chance to make the best possible decision about everything they do. What we need to learn is always there before us, we just have to look around us with respect and attention in order to discover where God is leading us and which steps to take next.” Paulo Coelho