I sit upon the polished hardwood floors with my legs crossed and my eyes wide open, gazing upon the season as she takes flight. The blue skies and wisps of clouds, where I wish you’ve finally found peace, reach out to me with their vibrancy. Inhaling deeply, I breathe in the freshness of what’s to come. A little damp, a little cool, and wholeheartedly calming. The sweet humming of birds and the buzzing of cicadas whirl in the breeze as it rushes through my hair and grazes my skin. A soft smile touches my lips, and, in that moment, I know…
When you left me nearly a decade ago, I wept. I wept into the very foundations of the home you gave me. The wood absorbed my pain and this grief became my protector. Day after day, month after month, year after year, it has sheltered me from the reality of your loss while never allowing me to forget that you’re no longer here. Every breath that I took ached with the presence that you left behind, reminding me of the emptiness that had enveloped the core of my soul. Yet…
I rise from my place on the floor and slowly find my way to her, where she has rested untouched and unloved for nine years. Small fingertips leave a trail of purity in the grey dust. A sheen of black to lead me from my grief back to you. Lifting the lid, the rush of spruce and ivory intoxicate me immediately. A fire burns behind my faded brown eyes, recalling the elongated, slender fingers that would waltz across these keys like pure magic.
Taking my seat at the bench, I close my eyes. The chill of these dampened lashes pricks my skin as if testing my resolve to continue. I breathe in the scent of this pianoforte—the scent of you, the scents of comfort and of family—and immediately your most-favoured song resonates in my ears. The rush of emotion and longing, the dip and sweep of a broken heart, the melody of bittersweet melancholy—they all invade my mind and my heart pushing me onwards. Before I can stop it, my hands have risen to the occasion. The music leaves my ears, wrapping around me like a tight, black shadow. Every note is laced with memories of you.
As I lose myself in emotionally pulsating thoughts of you, the heat of tears pool around my closed lids and trickle down my cheeks. Drip, drip, drip they go from my chin straight into the depths of my heart, like a knife of sorrow. Even so, I smile. I smile so brightly. Incapable of stopping it, the smile widens as I relish this gift you’ve given to me.
No matter how much I have missed you, regardless of how hollow this life has become, I know that you’re still there. In the sun that shines with a fresh start. In the breeze that hugs me amid loneliness. In the rain that washes me clean after the worst of tides. You’ve always been there, watching over me, ensuring the gift given and the hope planted shall help me blossom.
When you left me so many years ago, I never knew that I would awake one day to find you in my life again, in the depths of my heart as a will to live, as the fortitude to keep fighting. Yet, here you are. On this day, amid the harmony of my acceptance, I thank you. I thank you for raising me, protecting me, loving me. With this song, I thank you for being my guardian and for being my brother, always.