Friday, July 27, 2018

Memento Mori


I thought I had destroyed all mementos of the relationship. Truly. I did that with most of my romantic history. A few photos remain, maybe. But all letters and emails and tokens of a once seemingly profound and everlastin' love were tossed, burned or otherwise disposed of.

I don't know whether I regret this or not. I believe there is something oddly pathetic about clutching dried roses and love-cards to one's bosom in old age. As if that was all that mattered about one's life when there is so much more. Often in solitude but also involving deep and abiding friendships.

Anyway, this fell out of a box of photos, don't know why it survived because the other 27 were destroyed I think, but I'll tell you the story behind it. I was away for a month in Ireland. But before I left, my lover handed me a package of sealed notes, one for every day of the month I would be away.

It was 1997. And yes, he was my last great love.

Well, its Tuesday
I wonder where you'll be
I wish I was there with you seeing you do your party pieces, hearing you sing, enjoying the vitality, the fun, the warmth, the excitement.
I'll be missing you terribly.
But I know you'll soon be coming back and I have all the wonderful memories
of moments shared
magical feelings
incredible passion
but above all the joy and peace of mutual love.
H.

16 comments:

  1. Maybe you've squeezed all the juice out of that memory/keepsake, but your daughters and granddaughters will surely find it interesting and meaningful one day. I know we can't keep everything, and I've been going through my journals a few at a time, gleaning, keeping very little so far from the days more than 35 years ago. But my sister Joan reminded me how much it would have meant to us to have personal mementos (or journals) kept by our grandmothers and great-grandmothers. It's true. So we must cherry-pick I guess.

    It sounds like you've been quite the beloved!

    -Kate

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    Replies
    1. My granddaughter was upset also Kate as to how many of my journals were thrown in the burn barrel but the angst doesn't need to be shared and inner thoughts, etc. I haven't been a saint and don't want to be perceived as one but I was very troubled from time to time. Cherry pick. I agree.

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
  2. I am a sucker for momentos, keeping all personal correspondence, photos. Alas forces of nature intervened - fire and water. Which reminds me, earth and air, the far more benign elements - unless, I suppose, you find yourself caught on top of an earth quake or starved [of oxygen].

    However, as much as I occasionally regret the loss of some physical evidence of a life lived, so much of it is imprinted in my memory. An almost photographic memory. Alas, what only you can see can barely shared with others.

    Whoever your guy was: How lovely
    "a package of sealed notes, one for every day of the month I would be away". Like an advent calendar.

    U

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    Replies
    1. An advent calendar, Ursula, how apt. It all ended quite badly I'm afraid but our lives are snapshots, aren't they, of moments in time, some quite lovely. He taught me much as I'm sure I did him.

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
  3. Stash this away for your grand girl to find one day. She'll know you were loved as more than simply her grandmother. After my mother died, I found a folder marked
    "Travel." Inside were letters between husband and wife written while one or the other were gone from home. It was in this reading that I began to see what my mother felt she lost...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh how lovely E. You caught the spirit of their relationship. It is hard indeed to decide what to keep what to toss. But it is good to see the depth of feeling in our loves when they were at their peak and not when they were smouldering in the ashes.

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
  4. Oooh! He was a true romantic! I'm glad that at least one piece of evidence survived - for you and yours.

    I lost any such missives I had in a fire in 1996. I did, though, recently find a printed out copy of an e-mail received from Himself early on in our relationship, after 1996 of course - he in the USA me in the UK! Hmmm - he too has true romantic bloodlines not to mention good writing style. Time and tide tend to see such sentiments becoming simply "understood", reading them again, is...warming. :)

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    1. Yes T. I agree reading them again is quite refreshing and I got a surge of forgotten emotion as it all ended rather badly.

      I think I'll blot out those endings and relish the inbetweens :) Lovely that you saved an email, I had a book of them from an old lover in the infancy of emails (not the above) but destroyed them. I shouldn't have. It was a very literate relationship and quite old fashioned.

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
  5. A handwritten note! That's not done much these days, what with tweets, texts, and instant messenger. Something's been lost.

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    Replies
    1. I so so agree DKZ. I do send notes and cards myself but it truly is a dying art

      Sonething about hard copy. Digital just doesn't cut it.

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
    2. I know! All those FB greetings for birthdays and anniversaries! I want a real, paper card, with handwriting on it. The personality of the sender comes through that way.

      Delete
  6. Like you, I have destroyed all written matter a long time ago. Old photographs even from the black and white days still keep popping up and those I cherish. My relationship ended in death. Perhaps that is why, the photographs are great memory triggers.

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    1. I love the old black and whites, Ramana, they tell so much about family dynamics and the emotions of so long ago.

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
  7. oh my I burned them all...
    now with father of my children in a physic ward
    thinking of burning a lot of family pictures.

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    Replies
    1. It's such an individual decision, Ernestine. I just found one of my journals that survived and I've only read 1/2 if it and it's ripped my heart out. One of the threads in it was how kind my father was thru the worst times of my life and how brutal my former husband was to me.
      The writing is so vivid and hopeless. I think I'll save it for my granddaughter. Just to show we can rise above our worlds crashing about our ears

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
  8. I tend to do a slash and burn with mementos of old loves. Nothing takes the memories, though, and I'm glad no tot have lost those.

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