Sitting here this morning before I have to get ready for work, and trying to find some inspiration, something to write about. Go back into the kitchen, get my coffee, and as I’m waiting for the Keurig to brew me a cupa, I glance over at the photo I placed behind my little coffee station. I took this pic one rainy morning at the cottage, probably almost 4 years ago now, and that mere glance brought a quick stab. I love that picture, but WHaM it brought back that sense of loss. I suppose some psychologist would advise I put it away somewhere, to help me move on.
That got me to thinking, what does moving on actually mean? Can I force it by hiding away all the mementos and knick knacks? Get rid of the furniture we shared? Give away the pieces that contain not just memories, but stories and moments that, well, make me sad as much as happy? Is that how its done? Just hide away all this stuff and forget? Never.
Its only now that I realize a reality that was beyond me back when we were acquiring these pieces. I now see something so clearly, and I wonder how I missed it?
Tim was the reason I lost so many of my heirlooms – furniture and mementos I had cherished and dragged around to all the many places I’ve lived. Back in 2010 when I found out that horrible truth, I was destroyed, and hurt. I mean, was the preservation of his lies worth the loss of my families treasured pieces? And HE, he who professed to me such a lover of antiques? He lied for months about my storage. It never got paid, even though he said he had. He lied. And I lost so many important things.
I remember that last day standing in front of that storage locker, Tim was of course in a hurry, and I was thinking “what else can I bring with me? If this place burned to the ground, and it was all lost, what else would I miss beyond reason“? That memory still haunts me.
In that last couple years of his life, it seemed as though every corner we turned, or path we walked, Tim somehow or other managed to find some treasure, often free. Today, the product of these picker campaigns have come together to furnish this little pad. The universe I suppose has its own design, and objective, and tis not for us to question.
Is it just a product of my grief? Or, did he instead go looking for these things? Was it the universe? Or where these things just there, and in his desire to somehow make up for what he did instilled in him a determination to find their replacements? Was he compelled?
Tim, just so you know, was a classic ADHD. Add to that in older years a proclivity for addictions to prescription painkillers and coke, and you can perhaps get a picture of his character. He was always go go go. Always had something he was up to, and once we had escaped the metro jungle, and its proximity to that which fed his addictions, he still retained this busy bee character. He just funnelled it into other activities.
Its hard sometimes not to see some grand design in it all. I mean, I have beautiful jackets now he found at Garage sales, and second-hand shops. I have furniture that, while not perhaps as old, just as beautiful – all of it freely given, or found on the side of the road (really, and I’m not exaggerating). Those who follow this blog will remember the old oak dining table, which unfortunately I had to leave behind. Of course as well there is the old medicine cabinet we found behind the Old Vic, which now holds a place of honour here in my sitting room.
At times he seemed almost obsessed. I know now, I know now in my HEART, that he did it because he had no other way to repay his debt to me. He had no money, but he had a good eye, and was not afraid to put on the brakes and squeal to a stop to check out some treasure someone had turned out in the trash.
He made mistakes. Lots and lots of mistakes. If I’m honest, if he hadn’t of had cancer, I don’t honestly know what I would have done – eventually I would have left, once and for all, for good. But he did, and I stayed, and I cared for him in his last years. It wasn’t easy, as he was NOT very gracious, and had no tolerance for pain, or rules, or life events he couldn’t lie his way through.
These things, these mere pieces of wood, and bamboo, suede and cloth, and paper, these simple things, are just not so simple. Each and everyone has a story. Each tells a tale, brings back a flash, a smile, a laugh, a time I once again rolled my eyes and put my back in to it, to haul his prize back to the cottage. To go where? Well, of course that was often the wee issue he didn’t seem to care so much about.
I look around here today, did he know? Did he foresee me here? It all matches you know. In this strange way, it all matches. It matches me as much as it does this place, my life, this world I’m now in.
There is that question though…that question that haunts me…do I forgive him?