My wife will always be a better person than I. At her core, she is forged with the fires of compassion. It is what drives her.
It’s one of the things that drew me to her. There is a certain beauty in the humanity she possesses.
When my mother passed, with tears through her eyes, my wife told me she wished she could take my pain. Not only did she say it but, I knew how much she truly meant it.
I watched my wife cry today over the loss of her grandma late last night. While I stood there holding her, I began to understand the burden her beautiful humanity carries. To wish to take people’s pain away and heal; it is the kind of characteristic I may always strive to achieve without ever succeeding.
I am broken, and in that brokenness I hold some semblance of beauty. My wife though, is a pure light. I have called her my port in a storm. The anchor to keep me from drifting away. For most my life, I felt being broken was the hardest thing in the world.
My wife is whole. She is a rock for broken souls, like mine, to cling to, lest we get swept out to sea.
I don’t think I understood a word my wife’s Abuela told me. But, in our moments together, I felt the small comforts I longed to feel from my own family. Just her presence in a room had a way of making me feel comfortable. A fiery latina woman, she always seemed to be making loud shouts while clapping her hands. Maybe she was shoo-ing me away, I don’t know. I will miss our little moments together.
When the boys were little, she taught them this Spanish song. I always butchered it, doing the hand motions and mumbling some random Taco Bell food. “Nacho Bel Grande!” I would say to the kids as I put my index finger into the center of the opposite hand. My children loved the song. When the youngest became old enough to learn it, it felt like a rite of passage for them. Abuela’s Song.
My wife searches through her drawers for dark clothing. Selecting tights, she tells me it is a cultural thing to dress in black after a loss. I am reminded of the light going dark on Broadway.
Broadway’s dark tonight.
When my friend dimmed the metaphorical lights on her blog after my mom died, it moved me. We are all trying to build something with our words. A brand. A safe space. Something we feel a driven desire to create. But, my friend dimmed the lights. To be a writer is to breathe words. To stand in silent solidarity while you allow your friend to grieve is a touching moment.
I find myself at a crossroads. This is my culture. The culture of the Wri-Ters is to dim your lights and pay our respects. I am halfway through an every day writing challenge. But, this is a cultural thing. While I may continue to write, there is a culture to uphold.
Broadway is dark tonight. And tomorrow. And the next night. To remember a fiery Latina Abuela, and the beautiful granddaughter I cling to when I am at my most broken.