I wish we could choose the weather. It’s hard to wallow in your own self-pity when the skies are a glorious cobalt blue and the sun is beating down upon your face. The way I feel today is better suited to the bleakness that creeps into the corners of a grey and listless day; the type of day that sees a wind whipping through the weeping willows, tangling their delicate branches into something wild and untamed. These feelings belong in black and white films or old theatre productions with curvaceous women, their lips stained deep red and their cheeks porcelain beneath two circles of blush. I am melancholy and grey, my heart searching for answers I know I will never find.
The summer before my mother died we visited a fayre together. She knew by then that she wasn’t long for this world, but she wanted to see the palm reader, in one of those beautifully decorated gypsy caravans. To this day I wonder if the lady behind that gaudy beaded curtain was able to tell her future. I regret not having the courage to ask my mother.
I want to see the future, to know how much pain I will have to endure, how much heartache. I want to know that my children will be safe and healthy, always. The uncertainty scares me. It leaves me with a knot of fear in my stomach and an ache that weaves through my body, immobilising everything in its path.
Maybe one day I will visit a palm-reader and see how much truth she can afford me.
On days like today I cannot see the good in life. When some of your favourite people are fighting the grief, watching loved ones suffer and knowing there’s no happy ending to cancer, of loss and despair and the approach of devastating anniversaries – it’s hard to acknowledge that sometimes life just hurts. It. Just. Hurts.
Plainly and simply, I am afraid. I’m afraid of what the future brings and whether or not I have the capacity to change it. I have a friend who believes everything in life is determined by God, that every last nuance of our lives is pre-written and we can do nothing but accept our futures from the Lord. Yet I do not know which is more frightening: knowing that I can’t do anything to change what happens tomorrow, or finding out through hindsight that I could have changed the future, but I never did.
Tomorrow will be a better day.