Tulips in January

January 9, 2014
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Tulips in January are most often wilted where we lived. It seems like yesterday that I could turn and see your lips twisted in the most adorable of frowns as you pondered how to keep the tulips we’d planted alive – as if to spite the winter that had been so cruel. Your mother and I have still planted tulips over the years, you know, and fight, often to no avail, to surmount a dark winter’s frost.

I remember how you favored tulips more than any other flower, “Get me tulips for Valentine’s Day; Roses are cliché, mon amour.” I truly regret not having had the chance. I often find myself refusing to accept what I cannot deny: that you’re gone. You and I were supposed to have sheltered the tulips through winter and should worst have come to worst– which I, the eternal cynic, certainly expected– we would have simply replanted in the spring. Yet as the once vibrant pink and yellow of our tulips faded under winter’s touch; so did you. It’s perhaps fitting that I never actually know what the catalyst for your unraveling is, for it is I that took far too much liberty in your care. I’d known you’d disliked your medication and were willing to simply cease taking them because you figured you were doing fine. I ignored the smallest yet most telling signs of the storm to come: rubbing skin on the bridge of your nose raw because you thought it was dead.

The tulips were doing well, as you recall, until the first day of the blizzard. We’d been so happy to see it. You were making snow angels and riding our sled down the slight hill behind your home and I smiling slightly of what an angel you were, an observation that, sadly, you never quite believed. But then the tulips died and I think something of you died with them for certainly the rest of you was snatched away shortly thereafter. I think the cruelest part of the entire ordeal was that it was your mother that found you laying amongst the shattered glass of your mirror. That it was your mother that called to tell me you’d taken your own life. That it was your mother who’d had to make funeral arrangements while your father drowned himself in his work.

You have tulips around your grave, you know. We, your mother and I, planted a veritable rainbow. It’s January and they’re still alive. I think they’re going to make it through the winter.

Votre âme sœur

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