Monday, March 3, 2014

In my Heart's the Memory - 5.22

Staring. That's all I really do anymore. Just stare. Stare at the ceiling, the floor, the walls. Sometimes I do it so long that my eyes start to burn. They are completely out of natural lubricants, I've cried every drop out. Now I just stare. Today, today's the worst. We have to lay her to rest today. It really is going to be final. When I got out of bed this morning my legs were so weak that I only made it to the den, no further. There I sat, for what felt like hours, just looking at the pictures surrounding me. So many. So many memories. When I put these pictures up, I never thought they'd hurt me. The do though, these hurtful sad memories. I should take them down. Look at that one. She was such a cute toddler. Her little green outfit, that one was her favorite. So were those blocks...

I've made my way down to the kitchen, drawn by hunger and the family that I know is down here. I'm not the only one who will need support today. On my way to the fridge I stopped at the window. The trees are green but my mood seems to bring even them to the darker shades. Will the world ever look bright to me again? Will this unavoidably dark hole that is my heart ever be filled again? It sure doesn't feel like it...

"Honey, you're not dressed yet. It's late." David looked into his wife's destitute face and frowned, "I know."

He pulled Rosetta into a hug and whispered in her ear, "This is unimaginable and ridiculously hard. We all suffer, just know we are all here, in this, together. Okay?"

Rosetta nodded weakly. "Yes, I know." She sniffled and still held him close.

"Why don't you go upstairs and take a warm bath?" David suggested to her. "People will be arriving soon, before you know it. I'll get things ready down here as best I can. You go get yourself ready, however you need to. I love you. We can do this, we can."

Tears came to Rosetta's eyes again as she looked at her wonderful husband. She wished that she had the strength he showed. Subconsciously, not even noticed by her own very occupied mind, her back straightened a little and she stood just a bit taller. Nodding her head, Rosetta gave David one more squeeze before going upstairs.

Rosetta did as suggested and ran a very warm bath. It felt good on her skin and helped her brain calm down a little bit. Nearly every thought still revolved around Brenna or how they would go on with life without her. Sponging herself clean and washing her hair, Rosetta finished her bath. As she was stepping out of the tub she nearly slipped because she wasn't really paying attention. She wrapped a towel around herself and dried off.

She blew her hair dry and put it up in a bun. On the bed was the outfit she had pulled out for this bleak day. Rosetta dressed herself and went back into the washroom to apply some makeup. Her eyes were puffy, and though she knew it was expected, she wanted to cover that up as much as possible. As much as she had just 'pampered' herself, when Rosetta emerged from the bathroom she felt old. 'Worn down' and 'weary' would have been words she'd use to describe herself. Even her outfit made her feel elderly. She gave a big sigh and headed down to the kitchen. Everyone always seemed to be in there anymore.

When she entered the dining area, Rosetta first spotted Rylan and David having a fairly muted conversation. David glanced her way as she walked by, when their gaze met she saw nothing but pain filled eyes and a worried expression. Her son, she could tell, had been crying. She frowned but continued her on her path. She had set her mind to making some food for the guests. If she were to stop now, she feared she'd never get it done.

She chopped up the lettuce and added some tomatoes to the Autumn salad. Rosetta placed it all on a serving plate and turned to see father and son embrace and Rylan walked out of the kitchen sniffling a little. Just after Rylan disappeared from view, David buried his face in his wife's neck.

"This is so hard. Rylan hurts so much but thinks he needs to stay strong and he doesn't want Caylin or Dayna seeing him like this." David let out a huge sigh. "I'm just not sure how to help them through this. I'm not sure how to get through this myself actually."

He pulled his head up and looked into his wife's eyes. They were red. "That part will pass, for Rylan." Rosetta mumbled. "Not the pain, but the hiding. At least, I hope it will. As for all of us, like you said, we're here for each other. Always."

Just then the doorbell rang and hand in hand they went to answer it.

The first guests to arrive were Velina, Logan, Olivia and Layla. David ushered them in and walked everyone toward the family room. Just as Rosetta was closing the door, Sonia and her son Nicholas arrived. She let them in as well. The first thing Rosetta noticed about her best friend was that a second pregnancy was showing. In the light of recent events though, Sonia had kept this fact to herself. Rosetta felt a sting in her heart. She wasn't sure if she was hurt by the fact that her friend hadn't told her, or because she just a little bit jealous. The thoughts evaporated as she felt Sonia's warm arms hugging her.

Nicholas offered his condolences, He had just started going to school with the girls but they had hung out many times before that. Rosetta thanked him and gave him a hug as well. She told the two of them to meet her in the kitchen, that she'd be right there.

Rosetta went to the family room and informed everyone that the salad was ready, and if they so wished to come and eat. No one seemed to want to pass on the food.

After eating, everyone migrated back into the den to sit and comfort each other. Brenna wasn't known well by everyone, because she was such an aloof girl, but her death affected everyone none the less. Dayna spent much of her time with Brenna's picture, crying her eyes out. Caylin was no where to be seen, though she was said to have been in her room, unwilling to face the day. Everyone seemed to understand and no one pressured her down.

Sonia sat by where Dayna stood and silent tears wet her cheeks. Rosetta approached and sat next to her. The two of them sat together, staring at the wreath and picture. Someone had lit the candle. In her mind Rosetta thanked whoever it was because she had forgotten to do it herself. She could hear conversations around the room about things Brenna did or didn't do, things she said or did at school. As she listened to each little story, a stream of tears soaked her face. She was finally actually crying again, and it was a bit of a relief.

Even though it might not have been the best time, Rosetta congratulated Sonia on her pregnancy. That brought on a wave of tears from her friend, which surprised Rosetta a little.

"Oh I'm sorry, thank you. Thanks. I'm sorry I didn't say anything, I wanted to, but you're going through so much right now. Such sorrow. I didn't want to seem..." Sonia's voice trailed off. She wasn't sure which word to use.

Rosetta was just about to say something when Velina addressed the crowd. "I've brought a pie with me, would anyone like some?" Everyone agreed, and the group moved back into the kitchen.

Velina served up the pie and silence fell over the room while everyone ate. Rylan finished first and left the room, Rosetta wondered where he was going. Just as everyone else put their plates in the sink, Rylan showed back up with his guitar.

"I learned this song recently and well, I'd like to play it for you." He had said. Without waiting for agreement, he started playing.

All guests gathered around to listen, or sat close by. The notes he played moved everyone to tears again. There may not have been words, but each chord and tune held so much meaning, so much emotion that it affected everyone whether they wanted it to or not. Rosetta couldn't help but be proud of her son for having learned so fast and for playing so well. She didn't even know he had gotten so good.

Rylan's song brought the funeral to an end. One by one, guests offered condolences and left the house. Once everyone had gone, Rosetta wrapped Rylan in the biggest hug ever.

"That was wonderful honey. Thank you so much. You were perfect."

David, who was nearby, agreed and patted Rylan on the back. Then he looked at his wife. "Honey. It's time to go. Caylin and Dayna didn't want to come, so Rylan is staying here to watch them. It's just us two."

For a second, Rosetta wasn't sure what he meant. Then it hit her and her face pinched up in pain.

It was almost time to bury the coffin which contained their little girl's body. Rosetta and David brought her picture with them to the graveyard as they planned on saying their own goodbyes there. The two of them stared for a bit before saying anything. Rosetta cried hard when she heard David softly say "I should have said no to them that morning."

She knew he meant the morning they had all gone to the park. She also knew that David was well aware that none of this was his fault. Survivors guilt was affecting them all it seemed.

When David and Rosetta left the cemetery it felt like they were leaving their world behind, and venturing into completely unknown territory. They were both scared, but both knew they were not alone in it.

To be continued...