I came home from work late last night and quickly checked my email. I opened the first one, from a friend, and sat there stunned. Staring back at me was a picture of Daphne and myself from a trip we had taken to Europe.
To understand the depth of my reaction you would have to know that I have no pictures of her. When her parents came to get her, they loaded up the entire contents of her apartment (that we shared) and took it all away. Including almost everything I owned. My clothes, my possessions, my memories. I was left with nothing. Not one photograph or memento to remember her, except for three Billie Holiday albums that a friend had borrowed to copy.
I have been staring at this photo for most of the night. Me and Daphne on a street in Brugges. I am not sure how my friend came to be in possession of this photo. She says she decided to share it with me when I let it be known that I was trying to deal with these issues and it was okay to talk about her.
For a long, long time my last memory of her face has been an expression of extreme pain and torment and it has haunted me ever since. Now I have a picture of a happy, whole person in the fullness of her life.
I am about to write the most grateful ‘thank you’ note of my life. But how do you adequately thank someone for giving you back that?
Baby steps, baby steps. And then one huge, twirling, amazing leap. I am bubbling over with weepy joy here today.