never mine to keep

She spoke quietly:

“I miss laying my head upon your chest, as I feel it

rise and fall; your breath steady but sometimes not.

Our legs intertwined, your arm around mine, your fingers gently brushing by.

You were warm, you were safe, but I suppose never mine to keep.”

 

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writing letters to the ones i miss

Processed with VSCO with t1 presetYou’d sit cross-legged and keep your foot up like a hook. Each of us took turns sitting on your hook-held foot as you swung us back and forth, holding our hands in yours. All the while singing…

Κούνια, μπέλα, έπεσ’ η κοπέλα. Έσπασαν τα πίατα, τα ‘καναν κομάτια… (and then slowly:) ένα, δύο, τρία — 

ΌΠΑ! you’d say a little louder, as you popped your foot up and pulled us into your lap. You must’ve done this a thousand times in your lifetime. I must’ve watched you do it to my sisters and cousins too many times to count. It was a sad day when I was too big to let you rock me and then pull me up to your embrace.

Oh Pappou, it’s been a year. And somehow, I thought goodbye would be easier. Somehow I thought, that surely in a year, I would somehow not feel you still lost. I think you were this stronghold in my life that I felt would never change. You would always be home when I came to visit. Always sitting on your couch and waiting for a kiss on your cheek.

You were the only person who ever called me Christina (as a nickname) and I was okay with it because that’s how it was. I mean, I knew without a fault that when mom put you on the phone for me to say hi to, you’d ask me two things: 1) how are you, and 2) βρήκες σκορδόσπιτο? With me always answering good, then with a roll of my eyes and laugh, not yet.

Or what about that time last summer when you weren’t doing too well and I was with you? I was literally sitting in the chair right beside you and then, OUT OF NOWHERE, you stood up and rushed over to the table across from us. Apparently looking for your watch! You scared the life out of me because I was sure I wasn’t going to get you back in your chair without falling. Yet, we managed and then later, when you asked for your shaving machine… You told me in humor, “I promise I won’t get up and scare you again.”

Despite your quiet self, you knew how to get in a good tease. Oh gosh, you loved to tell your Greek jokes to visiting Americas! Bless their hearts because the jokes were never funny in English but they tried. And we all loved hearing you share them.

It doesn’t seem possible that it’s been a whole year since I’ve been able to give you a hug, kiss your cheek, sit in your living room with you.

So many things have changed.

I want to go back to December 31, 2015 when we all sat in our dark (the power was out in our neighborhood in Thessaloniki, on New Years Eve!) living room together. I think we had the fire going, maybe. As darkness filled the house and the new year approached, with many challenges in store… I don’t know, there was a peace in my heart that night. With no interruption from any sort of technology we sat in darkness and sang old hymns with you in the lead.

I can still picture your brows knitting together as you would sing. Always so concentrated. Always so faithful. Always so loving.

It may be a year and almost two days since you passed away, but… you are not forgotten. I think about you so very often. Though, I am thankful that you are no longer in pain – nor missing yiayia either. Gosh, this missing I feel for you really puts into perspective how much you must have missed her after you lost her. Thank you for being such a good pappou to your kids and grandkids.

We all miss you dearly.

i miss you tonight

It’s the type of miss I wish I could share.

Like back a few months when you’d say it and I felt my feelings get all giddy.

But no,
this one is the type of miss that bangs against my heart and scratches it to pieces. Why? Because it can’t be shared.

It stays hidden in my thoughts as tears fill my eyes and my nose gets all stuffy.

That’s the type of miss it is…
the one that hurts.

the way he looks at you

It ought to change things,

the way his eyes find yours and you stand a little uneasy, unsure. His look holds a small quiet promise that perhaps it’ll ignite something. That maybe, if he keeps looking at you and you keep catching his gaze, he’ll move toward you and say the things your heart longs for him to say.

But,

sometimes looks are just looks and they aren’t strong enough to move mountains.

goodbye january 2017, hello february 2017

Oh January. You have been a month full of loss, hurt, and pain.

You’ve been hard.

Harder than I predicted. You’ve been hard on the world too.

2017 you did not start with a shiny new beginning. Instead, you followed closely in the footsteps of 2016. Not surprising since we put way too much pressure on you.

I won’t lie – part of me wishes for a do-over; rewind time and maybe get it better the second time around.

But.

Maybe February 1st can serve as a do-over. It’s tomorrow after all. New month, new day, new 28 days to live. New prospect that maybe this whole month will be easier and lighter and freer.

Tonight January ends and tomorrow February begins.

May it be good.

growing up

She wasn’t ready for time to pass by so quickly.

It leaves a wake trailing behind even as the dust settles underneath her toes. Glancing down she notices new scabs and bruises coloring her pale skin.

Hadn’t she just cleaned them yesterday?

Or was that the day before yesterday…

She blocks the sun from her eyes and takes one step forward. Sometimes, growing up means walking even when it hurts.

i want a turn off button

I’m pretty good at filling up my time with nonsense and although, this nonsense has decreased it’s still nonsense.

It’s still there keeping me from thinking.

It’s the reason I’m up so late when I should be fast asleep.

I actually thought I’d given myself a good amount of time to just think and ponder and discover, but it’s past 1:30 am and I recognize, I didn’t give myself enough time.

I’m not a good wait-er.

I’ve never been.

When I want something, I want it to happen now.  Which is fine, but it’s not at the same time.  It causes me to stay up late and think, but not think at the same time because I don’t want to be thinking.

Confusing enough?

I guess my problem is that I can be so inconsistent with myself and I’m not sure how to stop.

I wish I had a button and I wish I could press it.  This button would then swipe away all my worry and doubt.  It would simply cause me to focus on today and live in today.  I don’t want to be swept away by maybes but stand firm on the ground I currently behold.

I thought today would clarify things for me and it did, but not as I would have liked.  At first, I thought this new idea would be okay to add to the back of my head, but really it’s just causing me more brain problems.

I don’t mean to complain – I just wish I could switch the off button and ship this uneasiness away.