My favorite fairy tale is coming to an end. The fairy princess has already fell into her deep sleep, her prince not far behind. He wants nothing more than to fulfill their special pact. Made when the story was just beginning.
Some couples talk about what each other should do when they die, where important documents are, should I sell the house, remarry….not these two romantic fools….no, they knew one couldn’t exist without the other…besides they craved the drama, the romeo and juliet passion, their to hell with what people think mindset. I was little, living in their home, listening to the beautiful, tragic ending of this couple again and again. She’d wear a fancy long silk nightgown and robe, he’d wear two piece striped pajamas, they’d take a long nap, side by side for eternity. It was death, but they made it sound so beautiful.
Being told this story for so many years, I knew it was coming, I know people die, I know grandparents won’t be around forever, I know. And the sadness isn’t the helpless feeling that I had when friends or friends children die. It’s not the shock and pain of sudden loss or the agony of a drawn out illness. It’s the end of the best story I ever read. It’s the closing of the book. The selfish sadness of not being able to show her my purple office decorated in her eccentric style or have her ooo and ahh over a new painting, or share words, one poet to another.
Shirley, the poet, songwriter, artist, birdloving gardener. The one with the solar powered house, in the middle of michigan wilderness, with homemade security systems and flowers galore. Trips to Nashville to plug demo tapes and accept awards. Black coffee, dark chocolate, jump ropes, suntanning in the buff.
The world didn’t exist for her most of the time, reality wasn’t necessary, she built her world, she wrote the story, she played the beautiful leading lady, her deep blue eyes and black as night hair, shy, but certain. She knew the end. She wrote it.