BY CHRISTOPHER ROBIN
A question that I have pondered over and over again without any obvious answer appearing over the horizon is, in the event you could only save one really important love, what would it be? If you managed to choose your own talent over another’s peace of mind, what would you have had to give away? In the very last moment how do some of us become heroes and others cowards? I once blindly suggested to a dear friend that in order to win sometimes one has to be willing to lose. He suspected, rightly, that I was making excuses for being bad at tennis. How we would laugh together today if he was here. How we would laugh and cry, drink and dance, and hope to be joined by the laughter of the uncontrollably happy.
A related question that troubles my weary mind is how, when the smiles that you can cling to, all find somewhere else to warm a hearth, what is left? As a child I was drowning in a public swimming pool while the lifeguards smiled and waved. Now I miss the company. I have been missing my wife for years. I miss how we were. It’s at its most acute every time I come home and look in her eyes. I miss my children needing me now that their beauty and their genius is on the cusp of taking them everywhere I wished for them to have the freedom to go. I missed my children most intensely when I was a child and needed me to be there.
I was driving as fast as I could to get to my mother’s death bed. My Mac skipped a track and I knew she was going to spare me the pain of watching her leave the stage. I’ve missed her every moment of every day ever since.
So what do we do when we are at our lowest? When fear is tearing us into tiny fragments? In my experience we try desperately to forget those we love and cling to those closest to us. I have lain in ditches and prayed to every deity I could muster to just let anyone and everyone have a few more seconds to get away so that I could face the Devil alone. The Devil is a coward. He never showed. Is it a mark of broken man that he can’t be the one to stand and fight shoulder to shoulder? That he stumbles in the hope that the fight won’t come?
When Alice was coming with me to look at the Busbys, my secret was to think of the dancing sea horses. The pain doesn’t go away but it still gives my heart a lift. Be careful of the really beautiful similes. They will haunt you.
Christopher Robin is a Guest Writer for Country Squire Magazine