When I held her in my arms that one last time, or rather, when I placed my hands on her shoulders, and we looked at one another, and I said, Would you let me take a picture of you, because this is the last chance I may ever have to take a picture of you -- when I held her, when I let go to step back for the picture, and when I tried to hold my hand steady and frame her properly, I did not want my eyes to well up though hers were already, and I did not want anything but to capture this moment, because it was both of our hearts beating. And both of us were not saying a word but holding our breaths -- when I held her in my arms that one last time, or rather, my hands on her shoulders, and I took my picture, and she tried to smile because I finally breathed (exhaled and took a breath) and said, Please, give me a little smile, please, and she tried to smile (really, she did try), and I pushed the tiny button on the camera and I was steady and she was patient and when it was all done and over I forget now who opened the door first.
I wish(ed) there was one sentence that could sum up a life done with and a life about to begin, and both of us scared, and both of our hearts broken. I wish(ed) there was one sentence that might have begun to mean, You know, let's rewind this tape a little bit, let's remember a little bit -- just a little bit.
Were we moving forward too quickly?
I wish(ed) there was one sentence that could sum up the whole thing, you see, because my thoughts were weeping but my heart had already started to heal. Hearts are like that. They heal. They heal quickly. Hearts make you forget. Even broken hearts.
I wish(ed) I could look at the picture I took of her. But I buried it in the garden.
And I went to the store and I bought packets of seeds -- flowers, all varieties of flowers. I didn't read the instructions, so I had no idea whether any of them would bloom. I took them to the garden where the hearts were and opened each packet carefully and sprinkled them over the dirt. I sprinkled Canterbury Bells, and Morning Glory, and Sunflower (Mammoth and Chianti Hybrid), and Moonflower, and Convolvulus (Blue Enchantment).
When I sprinkled the Sunflower seeds, the Chianti Hybrid, I noticed that the packet said these were pollenless. I am no scientist, but to me, pollenless meant that our hearts could never be duplicated or born again. Again, I am no scientist, so maybe I have it all wrong. But I thought, if these sunflowers decided to grow, both our hearts would be protected in that last moment, in the picture, or even better, with the good moments we kept to ourselves when we could not speak of such things.
I thought about digging up the picture. But if I looked, it would ruin everything. Every myth we had created together. Every true experience we had made. I'm not even sure to what extent there would be ruin, so I dared not risk looking.
Instead, I cried and I cried, but I cried where nobody could see me, and in particular -- where there were no mirrors.