It is another winter painted in your skies

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Susan Heilman

A perfect sunset, that came on a perfect day at a perfect place.

I’m still stubborn like you are. In the way that I spell gray like ‘gray’ and not ‘grey.’ And how I refuse to spell theatre like theater.

I’m stubborn in the way that it’s been a long year, and an even longer two. Even yet, this month has lasted a lifetime.

You would’ve loved it. 

I performed as someone else and cried when I realized I wouldn’t get to see you watching me. I shut my eyes and remembered—remembering is the best I have.

It’s so odd knowing the meaning of goodbye.

This week, I remembered you so much. It almost angers me that the blue team finally won. It feels like they should eternally lose in respect to you; it feels callous for them to win now. 

Like clockwork, another holiday has found its celebration and happily walked on making room for the next. Pleasantries were exchanged, and thanks were given. Although it’s the same, a looming fog of difference still hangs—not bad or good, just different. 

You missed, for the second time ever, our sugar-plum-coated ballet. A smell of mildew in a tattered theatre made me feel sentimental, and I remembered again.

There’s been so much in only one month.

Of course, I know you aren’t truly missing anything. It can be discouraging to get used to the change and to acknowledge that change doesn’t mean an end—especially when I can remember. 

We all knew that it was for us, a part of me almost felt like only our eyes could see it, and everyone else was seeing a far less spectacular sunset.”

Despite any sorrow I may feel, I can acknowledge that I see you all the time. I see you in the way that the kids speak to each other and in how people talk about you to us all. 

I see you, especially in the sky.

I can’t describe the gratitude I felt when your sunset illuminated the sky. We all knew that it was for us, a part of me almost felt like only our eyes could see it, and everyone else was seeing a far less spectacular sunset.

We’re living. In the wind, watching the icicles form, I try to comfort a kitchen-table chair that I know remembers far more than I do, that misses you too. I try. 

I don’t think you would like my flowery words, but I know you love that I’m doing something with them. My words feel louder on a page, and I need you to hear that we’re here, huddled together. We’ve braved the largest storm, and we’re ready to see through another winter, collecting warmth as we go.