Salutations, digital friends!
This week is the most bittersweet week of the year for me. Specifically the date February 7.
In 1987, less than a week before his 18th birthday, my best friend drowned.
We were at a party, living the indestructible lives of teenagers. I threw him in the pool. Never knew he couldn’t swim. Next thing I recall, he was lying on the bottom of the pool. Someone screamed. Several people dove in after him. And I froze. Did nothing. By the time the paramedics arrived, he was dead.
I know we all deal with loss in our lives, and death is hard to deal with in and of itself. For me, the guilt of inaction has survived the test of time, all these years later. The worst words, if only…
Here is where is gets bittersweet. My youngest daughter was born late in 1999 – on February 7!
Now I am not a religious or even a superstitious person. But I do understand numbers. And statistics. And I think anyone could agree that the coincidence of something so catastrophic and something so beautiful, landing on the exact same date?
Well, my friends. Color me curious.
Suffice to say, my daughter is an amazing human being and a lambent light in this often cold, dark world. And I have her delayed arrival into this world to thank for helping me turn a massive corner psychologically.
Where February 7 once was once a day full of depression and self-loathing, that pain has eased immeasurably since her birth. How could I ever stay fixated on such sorrow when I now have so much to appreciate on this day?
Don’t get me wrong, those demons of guilt still torment me on occasion. But distraction, time, and love have all helped reduce them to (mostly) background noise, kept them quiet(er) in their cage.
This week’s poem is my deeply personal expression of the guilt I still feel, albeit less intensely.
-PS Conway ☘️ ☘️ ☘️
☘️ ☘️ ☘️ ☘️ ☘️
midst the fickle cruelties of life
an ocean of sadness
with endless shores
measure in tears
the number of times
i’ve said i’m sorry
for watching you drown
frozen in fear
the white knight
who did nothing
but stand there and weep
no more tomorrows
for heroes on horseback
when pushed to the brink
they slink away
to cower in shadows
‘If only’ … we all have reason to utter these words.
I feel the sadness in your heart as I read this piece, one would never totally recover from such a tragedy and your personal involvement in it.
None of us is without blame in one way or another but it is vital to forgive ourselves and others for our imperfections.
This poem is a beautiful tribute to your friend.
I am not religious either but the date of your daughter’s birth is indeed poignant, ,she has brought you joy to help heal your heart.
Your words always show the compassion that you have as a human being
Thank you 🙏
Wow, Sandie. Such truth in the things you’re saying. So appreciate your support and kindness. Thank you, my friend. ⚔️🙏🏻🍷🌹✨
Paddy boy:. I’m sure this will be very healing, especially when you face your demons head-on. Ya can’t bury these feelings. So proud of you, son …
Thanks, dad. Love you so much. ☘️🙏🏻🍷⚔️
Wow what a powerful story Pat. In so sorry thus has haunted you. I believe your daughter’s birth on the same date is no coincidence. Have you ever seen a flash of your friend’s spirit in her eyes? Such a beautiful poem. Sending you love on this hard day. 🫂
So appreciated, Naomi. Time mends things to some degree and my baby is a treasure. To your point, she definitely has a similar twinkle in her eye! Thank you. ⚔️🙏🏻🍷✨🌹
I was at a loss for words when I first read your offering this morning. Now this afternoon all I can say is that perhaps you daughter being born on the same day was your friend or God or whoever offering you happiness after so much pain.
Big hugs my friend.
Big hugs readily accepted, Wendy. It’s exactly the way I like to think of it. 🙏🏻⚔️🌹🍷✨
So beautiful,I believe in the coincidence of dates..I think there’s a reason for everything that happens to us in life..x
Lovely comment. Thank you so much, Val. ⚔️🙏🏻🍷🌹✨