These words were spoken in earnest by the three-and-a-half year old Hannah as I attempted, yet again, to shakily explain where Gampy had gone… four long years ago now. And as this memory comes oozing back to me, I see it so clearly… it was her entirely appropriate declaration of ownership over Robert. She knew with certainty that he was hers; she simply owned him. She owned him, heart and soul. Surely no man before or since, has been more devoted to a child, or at least that’s how we see it. He made her feel so confident in his love and affection, that she was confused how he could do something so wrong, and without her permission.
Well, that’s just how Robert could make you feel… and his inner circle basked in the glow. But his open heart reached well beyond our little patchwork of family and friends, it seemed to know no bounds… seriously, he even became besties with my ex.
So when I think of Robert today, I can see that he probably did learn all of this world’s necessary lessons. It’s those of us remaining who have work to do… so I can only hope that he sees the rippling effects that remain, and that some days he is proud of me.
When he worried about dying, and about leaving me on my own, I would look him in the eyes and tell him with complete certainty that in no possible way could our love story be ending. In full denial, I was the last person to see that he really was dying, but my words turned out to be true anyway. My heart’s relationship to his heart is still going strong; our connection could not be destroyed by mere death. I suppose it’s why they sing songs about it, but I’ve learned that love, in fact, does not die, and that in death we do not part… however I did not tell him he could go either.
… so here’s my poem for tomorrow, after four long, lonesome years:
Although gone from my gaze
you’re large as life
in my heart,
I’ll not be convinced
that in death do us part.