Saturday, September 12, 2009

Reflections in the Rear View Mirror

Seventeen hours ago a friend of mine updated his status on Facebook as follows:

" sad, chatsworth Metrolink accident was one year ago tomorrow. It was one year ago today I last talked to my brother Mike"

So that would make it a year ago today that Mike died. I remember it well. The day.

What a difference a year makes.
I have pondered that a lot of late.

A year ago today I was in my house in Muleshoe, Texas

The freezer was filled with meals for one - enough for 3 months.
Meals all cooked with love.
By me.
Bobotie; Chicken Curry. Cottage Pie. Macaroni Cheese. Lasagne. Hand made Ice cream.
As I hit the start button on the dishwasher I knew it was time.
Time to face the fact that I could no longer put off packing my suitcase.
But I would be back. In 3 months. Surely.

A year later the memory of this still makes me cry.
And then I think of my friend losing a brother and my tears dissipate like bathwater down a drain.

I reluctantly said my goodbyes to the Lone Star State. Promised my newly acquired friends that I would be back and set off for Amarillo Airport in my beloved little Jeep; with my beloved Cowboy.
The flight to LA took us via Denver, CO – one of the prettiest airports I’ve transited through of late.

And there have been quite a few.

My brother collected us from LAX and on the way to his home where we were to spend the weekend, he told us about the horrific Metrolink accident and how the housemate of one of his employees had lost a brother.

The grimness of the event was acknowledged and then my focus shifted back to what lay ahead of me.

In physical terms it was to be an insufferable journey – a flight from LA to London and a 12 hour wait there before boarding another long haul flight to Cape Town

In emotional terms my heart was being ripped apart as my Cowboy was to return to Texas to work out the remainder of his contract - a contract for which he had a work visa; a visa which we had applied to extend for another year.

My visa might have a fabulous validity of 10 years but it only allowed me to remain in the US for 6 months at a time.
And of course at no time whatsofuckingever could I even consider employment of any kind! Not even voluntary work!!
breath in breath out…find a pressure point to slow the heart rate
Suffice to say that by the end of my 6 month visitation period I was am an expert on the ins and outs of US Visas.

I tend to digress when the word Visa comes up!

It didn’t help that I nearly missed my flight out of LA – actually it probably did as it precluded me from having time for sharing anything more than a perfunctory hug and goodbye kiss with the Cowboy, and the need to R.U.N to the departure gate quelled any tears.

And so, as I R.A.N through the concourse of terminal 6 little did I know that that departure would signify the beginning of a year long losing battle to get back to my Cowboy.

It has been a journey that some have labeled an adventure, exciting; others have called me a lucky Possum. But as I sit here trying to deflate the balloon of grief frustration anger pressure that is threatening to burst in my chest I ponder about the different journeys life takes us all on.

Parallel journeys.

More significantly though I’ve pondered all those whose paths have crossed my journey.
and with that thought the balloon deflates

Yes, I had forgotten about that tragic train crash.
But until a short while ago I never knew that this friend of mine – a friend whose path only crossed mine in May - had lost his brother.
Or that the crash and the loss were the cause and effect.

I must say it puts things in perspective.

R.I.P Mike


  1. Hey Possum

    So glad to see you writing again.
    So mad it's about soreness.

    Big fat cyberhugs on the way.

  2. Erm.

    Should have been 'sad' you're writing about soreness.


  3. That was very sad:( Sometimes it is good to write about sad things, it helps us remember.

  4. You're right about what a difference a year makes. There are a lot of things time can take away, but the memories of loved ones who passed away is something not even a millennia can erase. It does put things into perspective.