I do not have a home: I have a place I sleep in adorned with photographs of my wife who died five years ago, before this place became a museum owned by fading memories. I will love her forever, we all know that, but her words, spoken to me on her deathbed stay with me now, “Do not live alone: “I thought that was impossible!
She was the most precious being I could imagine, met at university, who took a gauche boy and made a man of him, stuck by him while he found himself and walked with him up the path of life. Each breath we take is a miracle and every step I took with her was touched by wonder and I thought she would be with me always: brown of hair, then grey, slim then slightly rounded, patient always and with a wisdom which granted me the sense of being home.
Even at her death she worried about me because she considered me hopeless in all practical matters and so I am. Fussing over her was my forte and loving her, my skill; and without her I feel robbed of purpose and of cause.
I have a job, managing a credit control department whose work people tell me is important to the company, and so it might be. I try to do a thorough job of it but what matters to me, what I care about, is the people in it and the happiness in their lives.
I have seen a loved one die, a woman whose life was irreplaceable to me leave this earth, and as she left it she did not tell me, “I was the best clerical worker at A.J Lamingman and Sons.” Who cares if she was or was not, though I think she was!
To me she was that portal to another place, another dimension where we are all children, awed in the face of the life we are free to dream about; filled with the challenge of living it, and the majesty which greets us at each mountain-top, or in the faces of people who walk the path of consciousness expressing courage and decency.
“Do not live alone” where your last words, and I hear them every day, and now they sound louder and louder still, because some lady joined my department who looks nothing like you, but in her is your gentleness. I told myself to be professional, held myself together as best I could, but it was beautiful to see that quality, but in another life, so one day I said “Lunch with you would be nice,” and she said “And with you.”
Now we are to meet this Saturday and my thoughts turn to you, my special darling, who made everything precious in my life, and I can almost sense you smiling at me and blessing the path I tread, and telling me once again, “Do not walk alone.”