This day the news came gently toward me over the phone. This day turns me around. This day I want to turn back.
I want this day to be any day other than today. This day you slipped away.
This day shoves me into a corner where the walls come together – my face in my hands. This day I am sucker punched.
This day halts your coming and going. I am on the run, this day, from a future without you. This day nothing else matters.
This day your phone number is invalid; your post office and e-mail addresses, too.
This day I begin missing what was and what was not.
This day your shoulders are relieved of burdens. This day your hands let loose the grip.
This day your 85 years amplify a new empty silence. This day you slipped away.
This day I want to be with your friends. I want to hear their stories about the Peter Bosco I saw glimpses of here and there.
This day I want your friends to dwell on you: best buddy, compassionate friend, perfectionist (and sometimes playful) co-worker, surrogate father, brilliant thinker, big brother, holy man.
This day is the first day of never again hearing you say, "You should write a story about that, Paula." This day you slipped away.
This day I numb my grief with busyness. This day I struggle to look heavenward for fear of envy. This day I am in protest.
This day you have gone ahead. This day you left me behind. This day I say, come back. This day you slipped away.
A resident of Southeast South Dakota for more than 30 years, Paula Damon is a popular columnist, keynote speaker, and freelance writer. Her column writing has won first-place national and state awards in The Federation of Press Women competitions. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2007 Paula Damon