Happy Birthday Darlen’ …
78 this day: August 23rd, 2013.
You may find yourself in grander company this birthday dinner Norbert, up there with Dave Brubeck & Studs, Vaclav Havel … my brother Al? But Norbr’ – ya shoulda been here. We – all of us, Blei’s & Buff’s & Aunt Lorry & the Blei-Tribe miss you more than you would have imagined. You left us all – too soon.
And I really don’t know how to do this …
learning to live without the sense of your presence in the simplicities of every day life ~ the habits & routines created, moments I turn with news to tell you … the hardest time – 5:45, when I expect you to be coming in from the Coop. Not that we hadn’t spent time apart … but one of us was always on the road back. Always.
How do the rest of us sing our songs without the lilt that made them come alive? much less celebrate days empty without you? Or move through the favorite month of August when it echoes so much loss? These things we never want to learn.
So be patient (for once) until I get back to your side. Our picnics will be quieter now, but I’ll come sit in the grass beside you & recall the ways we honored our holidays – anniversaries & birthdays. For as much as you’d protest that you “didn’t want all that attention!” – you did. Never flinched as favorite restaurant people in Milwaukee & Door served up cupcakes & candles … protests rang hollow up north as well, as Tag-Along or Five O’Clock sang choruses of “Happy Birthday”, you – smiling like a kid.
You left us all too soon, so we’re singing our songs to you with all our hearts … forgive us if they sound a little off key.
~ your Jude
We sit face to face
center of the bed
sharing birthday surprises.
A rose for you
pressed impatiens for me
a watercolor, photo of dawn
strawberries and books
A heart of gold, a truffle or two;
backrubs and chatter
next to mine in the morning.
The true gift is: Time
to lean into hunger
speak the secret language
taste the sweet peace of Renewal.
So run us a tub, my hot lovin’ man
fill it with passion fruit foam
and sink in beside me.
are the promise
my life bargained for.
I want the shirt he died in.
I want the clothes pins, our dishes,
the last bottle of champagne …
I want all the books, love letters, the
movies and our blankets and
the time we wasted …
I want to hang the sheets, trim his mane
fetch him coffee, bring home bird seed
& go to breakfast at the Viking …
I want his hands, those eyes
his bump in the night
I want him back.
~ Jude Genereaux