My mother always said ” You choose who you’re going to love”.
I chose Francesco.
Tonight as I walked the park alone I could hear his voice in my ear.
His perfect English without an accent.
I walked along the street with Celestino realising that instead of four we are now two.
My beautiful boys both gone.
I didn’t feel alone but something about that street left me with tears streaming down my face.
I don’t try to hide my grief, my shame, my emotion, anymore, I just let it pass through, often it makes for a wet mask or panda eyes covered in mascara.
This was the walk we did daily with the dogs.
My ability to hear Francesco’s voice is what caught me off guard.
I had no idea how strong communication played a part in our union.
He picked up all my Irish nuances.
He repeated them to me daily.
I thought nothing of it.
Not so, now I meet the rest of Italy.
As tears rolled down my eyes in the dark of that street , I realised I missed our language.
I’m so afraid to play that final voice message on my phone.
It sits there like a cobweb I just can’t erase.
A cry for help? I’ll never quite know.
I miss how much he was my champion.
“Baby you’re beautiful”
I miss how much he copied my words, my expressions.
“Look at your man” Irish for “What’s he wearing”.
I miss so much of our connection.
Sadly my mind was often elsewhere.
On succeeding, on achieving, on being better than I was that day.
He told me I was the love of his life every single morning.
Why wasn’t that enough?
Now when I wake up in the morning I don’t hear anything.
“My lady, coffee is ready” he’d say at 8am…. pretending to be Carson,the butler from Downtown Abbey.
Then he’d serve me coffee in bed and get back under the duvet with me.
Any excuse …
Another world we’d live in before we’d truly start the day.
I always woke up later than him.
“Sleeping beauty” he’d say.
Now when I’m truly low I beg his return.
“Please come back ” I cry.
“I’ll be a good girl”
As if that would make a difference.
The tears continue to roll, sometimes so far down my face they end up in my neck or ear.
“You choose who you’re going to love” my mother said.
I chose him and I wouldn’t change a thing not even with all these tears.
Hard to believe it’s approaching one year.