I am sifting through the ruins of a once great castle looking for questions in the rubble. I live in a strange world. I'm never looking for answers. I have them in my hand. I'm looking for questions. I don't know what questions these answers belong to. Often I wait and sometimes I wait too long. I let the sand escape through my fingers as time passes and the answers remain unquestioned. Sometimes I look at pictures and I see things that aren't supposed to be there. At other times I stare at a coffin and see things no one else realizes are there. As I watch a church filled with people following the rituals of their religion I follow the rituals of my own. They are strangely similar and yet very different in other ways.
I feel at times I have abandoned the cause. I put myself in a position where I can no longer follow the signs and accept the missions before me without taking other things into consideration. I am reminded that I am not supposed to try to "lead a normal life." I am reminded that I was given back this life in order to do things others might consider impossible.
"I remember you.
I remember very well.
How did you know Christina?"
There is no answer to that question that is acceptable at a funeral. It reminds me of how out of place I feel much of the time, especially when it comes to the answer of death. Closing my eyes through a period of silent prayer I heard her speak to me. I saw her running through a field of flowers, laughing and telling me I couldn't catch her. I saw myself there. I was standing still and not moving. This was a question that fit one of the answers I have. There is too much inaction in my movements. I have not failed in my mission, but I failed to look beyond the moment.
"We were involved for a while.
I loved her."
Her waiting room had flowers. My waiting room was a desert. Her time had come to move on to the next frame. My time was not yet due. There was nothing yet there for me. This was a woman who knew her whole life that she was going to die. She was not long for this world. Her parents knew it as well. They spoiled her because they knew that any day might be her last. They treated every day as if it were their last with her. I don't remember the point at which I fell in love with her but I remember why. I remember why we stopped being together. My road was too hard and she could carry no more weight. There was already too much weight on her and after all, she had only crossed paths with me to give me some of the questions I had the answers to.
She even understood the prophesy. I was told there would be three queens. She knew she was the second queen. Reading my manuscript was part of what prompted her to seek me out. She had the sight and yet was cursed, or perhaps blessed, with the inability to focus it. Dying and coming back as a child is different than dying and coming back as an adult.
Everything was temporary with Christina, except for love and friendship. She had sought me out two years ago to make peace with me and to assure herself that I still loved her. She didn't have to ask. She knew. I meant something to her. The only way to explain what I meant came down to the fact that I was the only "ex-boyfriend" to show up for the funeral. She knew I would come. She left instructions on how to contact me. She knew the others would not and left no instructions. She planned out every detail of her wake and her funeral. She picked the music, the flowers, the funeral home and the cemetery. She insisted on having an open coffin during the calling hours. She insisted on not being fitted with a wig even though months of chemotheraphy had taken all of her hair. She picked out lipstick and fingernail polish. She wanted to be buried with the stuffed animals she had loved since she was a child. She insisted on being buried above ground. I could not go to the burial. I cannot watch a person's body being buried. My own strange religion prohibits it under certain conditions. This was one of those conditions.
"Tell your story.
It isn't wrong."
I was jarred out of a moment of silent prayer with my eyes closed by her voice speaking those words. She speaks to me now more than she has in two years. She knows I live on both sides of the field. She knows I can still find her. She lived without regret and without much concern for the future. She had an angel when she was a child. During her years in Catholic school when everyone made fun of the "cancer kid" there was a nun who took her under her wing. That nun died on the same day as Christina some years earlier. The priest told us about this and it meant something to him. There is no sense of time, in the way we know it, on the other side, but they know we have a sense of it here. There are messages that are received. Sometimes I am intrigued by how similar Catholicism is to my own private religion. We just have different saints and rituals. We have a similar sense about angels, but I know angels all too well to accept the limitations placed upon them. Christina has gained wings. I know because I was driving back from the church and birds were flying overhead. One of them landed on the hood of my car and then flew of.
Christina tells me I have much work to do. She tells me that she now understands and that she believes in me. There is much I need to do and I know the road I have travelled was just a beginning. Once upon a time she wanted to have my daughter. She reminds me that this is still possible. It is another answer that I don't know the question for. Wings are curious allies and mine have been in the closet for too long.
I'm collecting my energy.
Thank you to those here who have blessed me with your presence in this life.
I have miles to go before I sleep.