All That Terrible, Beautiful Music


What can I say, my daily mood is underscored by intense sadness. I lose my son every minute of every day—in the grocery aisle, at a red light when a BMW 350 xi passes by while an NPR guest discusses how breathwork and yoga changed her traumatized brain, saving her life. In every store I enter, the aisles blaring Christmas tunes, and the television shows we never tired of: Rudolph, Frosty, Charlie Brown’s Christmas— all that terrible beautiful music. The melodies that flowed through his fingertips to the Grande soundboard sleeping under the polished lid, across from the chair where I sipped coffee with Gilbert, and A. Rich, and the Purple Finch mining safflower. Every sensory experience is plaited into the life we created, together. The life I created with David, with Richard and Shina, with grandparents and cousins…

            This loss is cinched to the loss of my husband, and second marriage, like a stringer chain of slayed Bunker fish immersed and kept alive in an ocean of longing. Bunker being the most important fish in the sea, convert drifting living matter into packages which are crucial nourishment/sustenance for others to survive.

            I remember when Davin was two-and-a-half. It was 1995. Daddy and Davin wore matching argyle sweaters. Davin came down the stairs Christmas morning, clutching his Teddy bear, to unveil his first set of wooden trains. Dave and I had set it up in the living room on a lauan plywood board that he cut, mitered, and sanded as smooth as a fine rubbed carving board, and I painted a colorful country scene of grass, sand, and water. The entire miniature world was set in the center of the room atop the pine slab coffee table he had belt-sanded and sealed with several pourings of polyurethane, the reminants still evident on the basement floor.

            1996 was the year of our first live Christmas tree. I was 37-weeks pregnant with Dylan and Davin and I made all of the ornaments from pinecones, paper, and dough so we could chuck the entire spruce, with all of its environmentally-friendly trappings, to the curb when my water broke.

            All those Christmastides felt like a blur; school assemblies, gift shopping, baking pecan pies and painting sugar cookies, wrapping gifts and stuffing stockings past midnight, while maintaining a busy Speech therapy practice. Then suddenly it was over. Five-years later (2001), I was mail ordering the boys gifts to be sent to their cousin’s house 400-miles away. Joy had left our home and we escaped, leaving our house unadorned. Today, twenty-years later, I’m trapped in the void of their absence.

            The high holiday season scales the protective crust that forms over my wounds, exposing the most tender parts of me, opening the gash to weep into the dawn. It’s exhausting.

            The current buzz feed on many people’s minds concerns holiday plans. There’s chatter on the walking path of the many spiced Christmas cookies—whether to bake them before or after the kids and grandkids arrive, “Do you think I could put candied ginger in the gingerbread?” Some friends are baking sweet breads and pies with sisters and daughters, and whether to serve a turkey, or spiralized ham, or both. The thoughtful husbands who photoshop holiday cards and scale ladders to string synchronized light shows around their homes. (Which both, by the way, had always been my job.) Others said, “I ordered the cutest ornament for babies’ first Christmas.” “I’m worried that the matching Christmas pajama’s I bought for the entire family, may not be delivered in time for Christmas Eve.”

            And there’s no dismissing the inter-familial cold wars regarding vaxers inviting, excluding, or carding non-vaxers under the mistletoe.

I wish my son was living. I wish my surviving son wasn’t hurting. I wish both of my sisters and I could share recipes in a kitchen together. I wish my sister wasn’t waking up in a shelter. I wish I’d had my own mother to sip wine with. I wish I had a person, to hold my hand on a beach, warm sun on my skin. Someone brave enough to be with me even though I don’t have the perfect circumstances. Willing to rub the many colored salt-smoothed shards of bits. Someone able to see the beauty in the brokenness with a kind heart to go easy on me. I don’t need sugared cookies, flashy lights, or filigree hooks to hang my ornaments from. To be known, to live a meaningful life with purpose, to belong to something with continuity and caress a fragment of joy swaying from the mantle, are the miracles I long for.

            From 1993 to 2018, I too had created photo cards and one page synopsis’ highlighting the kids’ milestones and our family ventures. And although I fully understand how nauseating these types of things can be for others to read, especially now that 50% of my cast are gone, I am glad I wet stamps through all those hiemal midnights, because that 25-page collection of family cliff notes comprises the one true palimpsest of our existence. Evidence that our story was real. We had thrived.

  I used to cherish seeing the traditions carry on from my mother through me, to my boys. Especially, because they would ever know her. And I’d imagined the delight of seeing the continuity through grandchildren. Now, no tradition makes my heart sing. I feel disconnected from the joyful noise in the beating drum of my collective losses. It all hurts.

            So, following a two-year hiatus, this is my holiday greeting. The Garcia Express-ion of 2021: Dylan is thriving, I’m surviving, the house will be sold, and the ornaments of Christmas will remain tucked in our hearts. This year, Dylan and I will fly away to vacate in a place where we have no memories. To leave the trappings behind and venture to a place where we can begin to create our own peace on this Earth. Maybe.

            Meanwhile, the Christmas photo album lies on the pine slab table David sealed with a pouring of polyurethane twenty-five years ago— the spine broken, images scattered within the folds, calling for new pages to be bound to.


© Deborah Garcia, 2021, All rights reserved
Images by Deborah Garcia


365 days ago, fifty close family members and friends gathered on a rainy morning in Poughkeepsie, New York, during a pre-vaccinated pandemic, to pay tribute to my beautiful boy, Davin Richard Garcia. 8,760 hours ago, my tears washed over a white granite box, containing the fragments of a mother’s, and father’s, love and dreams for a beautiful life.

In moments where I feel I’m not strong, and when I feel alone and sad, and that no one gets it, I still wake up and I think it’s impossible that this is happening. I’ve become trapped, again, in a version of my life I hadn’t anticipated. And I know, that the only ones who can understand this, are those who are in their own version of darkness. What I’ve lost and what I continue to live through are two opposing things that exist simultaneously for me. There’s no returning to a previous version of myself, and I am expected to create a new one. I can’t claim deftness in how to accomplish this, but what I have learned is that when your architecture collapses in on you, you have to learn to live along the fault lines.

I’m always asking, what is the lesson? It will take the span of my lifetime to know this. Over the past twenty years of surviving with my sons, the unceasing life interruption of September 11th, 2001, I’ve felt conflicted over the need to be fully present for the boys, and the desire to create a life worth living for myself. What I do know is that for me, the survival and re-imagining of a life is its own creative act. Putting language to my thoughts and feelings in conversation with a friend, in a journal, or in a post, is a way for me to get unstuck. It’s my way of catching myself before I fall, so I can step toward my reckoning with it all.

I invite all readers to visit Davin’s tribute and add language to the page, in Davin’s memory, here.

 My sweet, beautiful son, 
 I have loved you for twenty-eight years. 
 From the moment I heard the eager beat of your heart, 
 when I saw the shadow of the shape of you 
 in my womb, 
 I was changed. 
 You gave me a name,
 Holding my hand, 
 you walked the bewildering journey beside me, 
 through this vague
 What can a mother say
 about her beloved son 
 so injured by the World, 
 that his spirit could no longer 
 endure –
 I pray for your soul 
 to find peace 
 in the resolve it seeks, 
 that you curl 
 in the loving arms of your father, 
 that you feel 
 comfort in the warmth of the glow 
 emanating from the hearts
 who’ve been touched
 by your –
 brilliant light. 
 This mother 
 wants you to know that 
 your life matters. 
 Your cast is wide, 
 extending deep 
 into the mortal expanse. 
 I long for your arrival in my dreams, 
 my dear sweet boy,
 to hear your beautiful music as 
 I draw you into the fold 
 of my loving bosom and 
 cradle your tender soul. 
 I love you forever,

© 2021 Deborah Garcia, all rights reserved
Images by Deborah Garcia


I am a sumptuous delicacy raked from shallows of brackish bays,

shucked through mantle by twisting blade,
popped hollows of creamy white meat
gulped—raw. If you wet your hunger with my tenderness,
you cede to be ruined. I will tranquilize your frailty
and cut you with my truths. To be vital, mustn’t one be capable of
keeping secrets--secure in their shell? The fraudulence
is what makes the presence of the naked soul
to the mourner necessary. Because grief is intoxicating
and it calls for a surreal response.

I am shaped by the bottom to which
I was originally attached—coarse, vociferant,
ardent—bone with crags, irregular surface
of shelters for others to reside—
clinging, tenacious. Outgrowth of body wall conceals
the exquisite inner surface—filtering pollutants, rebalancing ecosystems,
adhered to rock and berth--always orienting, with outer shell tilted
upward toward the verge. Splayed over a surface, like a nymph over an altar.

Sometimes when I’m careless, I think survival is easy.
Through the intercourse of daily life, you savor
what you have, or wrap the broken fragments with an inner nacre
until something manifests—strong, resilient, opulent.
I never expected to find art trapped in the word heartbreak,
to knife it open and lift it out like a wet pearl,
an invasive nucleus of inner-shell opulence, whose spectrum depends
on the shape of the irritant. Isn’t she a visionary spectacle of colorful surfaces,
changing with the angle of the view? Don’t you admire my transparency?
If you put a hand to the milky dappled vault in the margin between my shoulders
you can feel a smooth, rounded jewel.
I am an opaline mother-- phenomenal.

About this poem:

I wrote this poem as an exercise from a virtual writing workshop during the second phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, when entering vaccine queues was an extreme sport. April 2021, was also the impossible time of my son’s first birthday following his suicide, six months prior. I’ve chosen to publish on the solemn occasion of my own birthday, the last time we took a photo together. I am reminded of a time when my little boys plucked oysters from a bath, then held pearls in their palms–the violent surrender of it. Growing up on the Atlantic coastline in the east end of Long Island, I’ve always had a strong strong connection to the sea. Slurping the sweet brackish flesh always returns me to the turbulant waters from whence all life was formed.

About the image:

To break out from the isolation of my exteme grief, I took a Saturday afternoon collage-making class at a local art studio in Burlington, Vermont. There wasn’t a plan, just stacks of magazines, random paper scraps, a canvas and glue. It’s what happened. It’s all there, me. I leave it to the viewer to interpret.

© Deborah Garcia 2021, All rights reserved

David Garcia Memorial Service, October 13, 2001

On a severe clear Saturday, two-decades ago, my family and I remembered my love; husband, daddy, son, brother, uncle, cousin. Three weeks planning a funereal service on a barrier island in a public State Park and with the iconic Boardwalk restaurant, culminated in a beautiful celebration of life with violins and butterflies.

Funerals and memorial services are a fact of life which we’re all called upon to arrange and attend, however, this event deviated from the ordinary course of requiem. There was no body. The only proof that Dave wasn’t living was that he wasn’t on the boardwalk with us. He was, not so simply, missing. This service was on a much larger scale. My family was grieving on a public stage, during a time when nearly all of humanity was steeped in collective mourning. Hundreds of similar services and funerals were taking place across the tri-state area and beyond, some people were attending several a week, even two in a single day.

David’s cast in life was a wide as the ocean. The news of his service, spread by word of mouth and the obituary section of the Newsday, which was the largest section of the paper for several months. The notification reached over 500 known people who stood with uncountable drifters upon the salt-air-weathered planks. The lyrics of Beth Nielsen Chapman, chanted by friends, carried on the breeze to where our young family spent untold hours building castles in the sand and splashing in the shoals of Fire Island, as crimson sunsets dipped below the horizon.

This post is more than a simple reminiscence of a single day in my history, two-decades ago. It is an invitation, for all those who could not attend that day and who have come to know David through their visits to the fountains at the September 11th National Memorial and Museum, and my writings in this portal.

Your life was so precious and gracious.


You are in every breath I take

Sandor and Joyce Balint (family members)
Butterfly Release (following 3 weeks of butterfly incubation)

© 2021 Deborah Garcia, All rights reserved
All Images by Deborah Garcia
Location: Jones Beach State Park, Wantagh, New York


Beauty is the internal living flame that illuminates what we belong to.

Remembering the beauty of my mother, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Teseny Rieb, on the occasion of her birth, 78 Septembers ago. Though the hangers in her closet hung bare, disrobed of her flowery pleated dresses and soft cotton cardigans weeks after my 18th birthday, her presence lives inside of my own inner recognition, beaming in the eternal candle’s glow.

Beauty is…

the twirling baton on a warm spring day…

the gentle smile that softens troubled hearts…

leaning quietly on the edge of what promises to steady us…

and gracefully shifts within the bright folds, poised above the shadow self, pure grace draped in pearls…

it is the buttery yellow cardigan embracing our curves, inviting us to open only as deep as we’re willing to reveal …

the small treasures we hold too precious to be left behind.

“Beauty is the harvest of presence that lives inside us where the imagination becomes a bridge between the here and the there, between then and now”

David Whyte

© Deborah Garcia 2021, All rights reserved
Images by Deborah Garcia private collection

Thank you

Image by Deborah Garcia

WAKING INTO SEPTEMBER 12TH, 2021 Continuing Beyond Twenty-Years of My 9/11 Life

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I sat in my living-room 25-miles west of my Freeport, Long Island home, transfixed to the terrorizing drama unfolding on every television station. My mood was one of disbelief, overwhelming anxiety, and hope, that one of the thousands of people racing through the streets of lower Manhattan and spanning the Brooklyn Bridge, were wearing green khakis and a striped oxford shirt with my husband’s face of determination. At 9:59 AM, as Tower Two imploded in a dust cloud, I fell to my knees screaming into the 32” curved window, “Run David, RUN!

I witnessed New York City drenched in chaos. Camera crews fled up avenues chased by rolling cancerous clouds, with lenses wide-opened to the ghosted individuals caught in the aperture. I witnessed news anchors weeping from their midtown studios, choking for words. All were one masked in white dust, moving in two contrails stretching north and eastward from lower Manhattan, like a long expression of vaporous energy scoring the blue sky. Suddenly, Tower One quaked with a tremulous chill, folding into itself in a total progressive collapse, in 15-seconds. So too did my life. Although the initial shattering can be measured in seconds, the healing stretches over the course of a lifetime.

The only way to move forward is to lean into the tenderness loop

Waking into September 12th has always felt like the clicking of a refresh wheel, resetting my life into another year, to begin again. Each year, as the summer tilts toward leaving, I lean into the grief, shrinking toward the same horizon of September 11th. There is a rising crescendo of happy memories knotted with an overture of haunting re-played images and bids to memorialize, along the passage moving me toward the day I watched my husband explode into the forget-me-not-sky. When the name David Garcia resounds in the symphony grosso, it’s like releasing a pearl held firm in my lips, and each year as I exit the stage, everything in my life shifts. I am forced to continue into the future of my 9/11 life.

Every year on the 11th of September, my sons and I lean into the reflecting pools, snap a selfie, cross West Street to walk the Esplanade and sit down to lunch. However, this time is different. This year I am mourning one more. Beside my 24-year-old son and I at the great fountain will be an unembodied shadow, the son who 365-days ago, wore a mask as the nation captured our embrace. The tunnel of lasts lengthens—the last Maine vacation, last memorial ceremony, last birthday celebration, without him—from the footprints of shattered dreams to the day my beautiful boy ended his life on October 31st, 2020.

Children raised in the footprints of 9/11 are locked into a continuous discontinuity, with constant reminders to never to forget. A forced vulnerability that ripples in the undercurrent of the war on terrorism and keeps them teetering on the edge of developing strong identities in a fearful world, and not. My children (8- and 4-years-old in 2001) have never known a world without the war and threat of terrorism that was ignited by their father’s murder on the 97th floor of One World Trade Center. It is the ceaseless death.

Although the initial shattering can be measured in seconds, the healing stretches over the course of a lifetime.

Over the span of two decades, through fierce love and fervent vigilance, I’ve provided my sons with positive life experiences through maintaining connections with extended family, mentors, education, extracurricular activities, and therapeutic support. The hope was that I had done enough to unravel the darkness so they could restitch their worlds. But the Fates weren’t having it. The pandemic pushed its heel into the tenderness. With the sudden suspension of employment that fueled aspirations, sporting and fitness activities that brought joy, and social engagements that instilled emotional balance, the unceasing life intermission of COVID-19 drew my boys into the maw of anxiety, isolation, and hopelessness. “The world is not a good place, and it doesn’t look like it’s getting any better,” are the words my 27-year-old wrote in the letter he left on the hotel room table.

Seven weeks later, my 24-year-old son, who had believed he had been too young to have suffered from the personal traumatic effects of 9/11, was hospitalized for an emotional breakdown, sending him home to Vermont for a long winter’s rest.

Today, I stand in the interval, of where the tunnel of last family memories lengthens the darkness toward a final passage through death’s days of firsts without our son. As I advance into the 49-days toward October 31st, I feel the life I had fought so hard to re-create, shrinking into the infinite expanse of my beautiful boy’s absence.

During this twentieth year, trembling alone in the dark, I’ve felt myself wavering on the edge of my breath. What evil has taken my lover? What force destroyed my son? Why wasn’t I enough for my second husband? What had I missed? Where am I and where do I go from here? How have I moved forward through the lengthening tunnel? How do I continue without getting lost in the darkness? As reminders of the losses persist through the coming years, I can never expect a smooth sheath to close over the wounds. I can recognize that pain is my constant companion, and I will never let the lives I’ve loved go. Thus, the only way to move forward, is to lean into the tenderness. To mourn, to remain present, to show myself the same compassion I extend to others, and find the courage to share my journey.

At the end of this epoch, the immediate shattering has ended: Bin Laden is dead, the footprints have been memorialized, the families have been compensated, my son’s ashes have been placed beside his father’s pulverized bones, and the author has moved through two decades of her narrative. But the continuous disquietude is interminable. Efforts to identify remains, the cancerous cascade of death, the pursuit of justice and national safety tag 9/11 as a current event.

What I hope for in my generation and the generations to follow is, within the interfold of simultaneous human dissonance, there exists a universal sympathy. A sympathy woven so deep in the fabric of our collective consciousness, that long after the witnesses are gone, a common hope threads through our differences, strengthening our resolve to continue the story.

© Deborah Garcia, 2021 all rights reserved
Reflection Pool image by Deborah Garcia
Tribute in Lights image by Dylan Garcia


One single day
In the month of September
Changed our lives in a way
We will always remember,

As the bright morning sun
Lit Heaven's blue with grace,
A mosaic of peple
Hustled a Tuesday's pace.

With briefcase in hand
He bid us good day,
He ran for the bus
In his usual way,

His back the last sight
As he raced up the street,
He had somewhere to be
Someone to meet.

One single day
Became like no other
It shook up our world
Stealing my lover,

Out of the blue
Of the bluest of skies
Four missiles plunged forth
As planes, their disguise.

The brave souls on board
Tried to turn them around
For they knew in that moment
Their fate was profound.

He made it so well
The trains all on time
He was happy, I know
He was in before nine.

The elevator he boarded
Pushing floor ninety-seven,
Tunes piped through his earbuds
He went straight to heaven.

He wasn't a soldier
Famous scholar or king,
Simply a loving family man
Doing the right thing.

That one single day
A ceaseless search for our missing,
The T.V.'s and papers
Never a moment dismissing.

We could not cry alone
Nor could we hide,
His leaving this place
Was announced world-wide.

The evil that took him
A force misunderstood,
That in spite of their efforts
The result would bring good.

We banded together
We held our heads high,
We climbed from our grief
New bonds we did tie.

Folks don't like to linger
Dwell in pain for too long,
Put them in crisis'
They'll always grow strong.

Each day we strive
To keep things in place,
We stand for our freedom
We keep up the race.

A brief moment in tme
Brought us together to pray
For healing and peach
On one single day.
One World Trade Center Photo ID

© Deborah Garcia 2011, all rights reserved
Images by Deborah Garcia

Participate In A Global Remembrance Of September 11th

The 9/11 Community invites all citizens of the world to point their cameras into the September 11th sky, snap a photo and post to your social media by typing #neverforget to share in a collective remembrance of the day that changed all of our lives.

Feature Image by VOICE Center for Resilience

As I Approach the Twentieth Anniversary of September 11th

The pressure begins mid-July, with the surge of email, postal letters, and ramped-up 9/11 media aggrandizement. On August 1st, the tunnel of lasts and memorial making opens its dark eye, drawing me into the force that always unfurls my sons and I into the bedrock, with the others, to gather, to mourn, to embrace, to pray. It’s good not be alone.

We’re preparing for the 20th Anniversary events. If you would like to read names at the ceremony, please respond to the link to enter our lottery.

As we approach the 20th Anniversary of September 11th, please join us for a presentation: Ways to cope with and prepare for the commemoration of this important milestone.”

We are hoping to interview select authors to create content that would be shared by the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and other organizations.

Your local Public Radio is interested to know how 9/11 has impacted your life…

Engrave a brick for our new village memorial.

In the aftermath of 9/11, the Office of the NYC Chief Medical Examiner made the long-term commitment to identify the remains of 9/11 victims as new advancements in DNA techniques were available.  Please indicate if you would like to continue to be notified of remains identified of your loved one in the future.

Please do not sign a statement that President Biden is not welcome at the Ground Zero 20th memorial.

Join us for a rally next week in Washington, D.C. to demand transparency of documents detailing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s role in the terrorist attacks.”

After two decades, I’ve had to reconcile with this darkness, my old friend, moving through the endways of an epic life like a Disney coaster through Magic Mountain —the last boat ride, the last Little League pitch, the last kiss. Though each year the course shared with fellow mourners is the same, there is a continuous progression of change in relationship to my late husband, the Fates, and the tasks that I’ve been given, shaped by time into a long poetic composition which is uniquely my own.

However, this time is different. This year flags the punctuate slash in the pre- and post- mortem continuum of mine and David’s relationship—twenty-years together, twenty-years apart. Beginning in 1988, Dave began filling my birthday cards with fractional analysis’ of the narrowing difference between our ages: “When I was 4 and you were 2, you were 2/4 (or 1/2, 50%) my age. Then when I was 8 and you were 6, you were 6/8 (or 3/4, 75%) my age. Now you’re 27/29 (.93%). “you’re catching up!” How did he know?

Because time is a relative concept invented by humans as a measure of our existence, perhaps we cling to the succession from our past experiences to cede to the present in order to move ourselves into the future. However, time is an intangible ruler of life. We can’t touch it, taste it, nor control it. It is unmalleable and irreversible. So, what is the metric of our existence? If Dave and I continued to exist together in this life, if I hadn’t chosen the second Tuesday in September to begin my new work arrangement which altered his schedule on September 11th, how long could we have continued before the figures cancelled us out?

When we met on a college campus twenty-years ago, I thought there was an infinite measure of time ahead of us to create our lives and live out our dreams together, that the hands of time were moving the union of David and Deborah forward into a future expanding toward an unseeable horizon. We hadn’t known that our clock had been wound in elapsed time, shifting the measure of our existence. In September of 1981, we had 100% of our life left together, 20/20 years. When we married in 1987, we had already lived through 30% of our history. In 1993, with the birth of our first child, 60%. In 1997, with the second birth, 80%. August 27th, 2001, on a ferry crossing the Long Island Sound returning from our Maine vacation, 99.33%, fourteen days remained.

In the mad chaos of career building, home restoration, funding IRA’s and 529’s, and piano lessons, we were unaware that we were receding toward the tolling bell, rapidly. On September 11th, 2001, we were startled awake by the morning sun blazing through the bedroom window. We thought our alarm had not gone off.

Beginning September 12, 2001, a clock re-wound, beginning the life of Deborah, without David, single with children, parted by death. The betrayal. The endlessness. This clock also had a specific measure of time, like lemon bars setting in a temperate oven. In 2002, we were 95% together, 5% apart. This somehow seemed like a banner of validation that the lifetime of Deborah and David was so much longer than the contrary. Together more than apart. I somehow felt deeper in the union than not, more wed than unwed. In 2011, we were 50% together and 50% apart. As of August 20th, 2021, we are .66% together, and 99.33% apart. Future and past reconciled. On this important milestone, what remains? A narrowed groove on my ring finger? A familiar wrinkle in my son’s brow? Perhaps what’s most binding is the ceaseless pulse in my core. An energy which flows through everything. A Chi.

The tenth anniversary of 9/11 marked a midpoint in this slide rule of time, which expounds the power of something intangible. Perhaps the metric is a shifting of relationship, from the ebbing of an earthbound union of physical bodies to a boundless evolution of souls. That heartbreak is a passageway to what we love and have loved. Even though I had remarried by this time, I relaxed into the solace of self-forgiveness to love and be loved in both my physical and spiritual relationships. I had become comfortable accepting that I could embody both simultaneously—the love that lived beside me and the one tucked deep inside.

Just as this year’s twentieth anniversary marks a significant time-stamp in history that has changed all of our lives over the span of a generation, it also marks the transition unfolding toward another measure of time, the beautiful cadence of David and Deborah. On September 11th, 2021, the metric of our relationship slides beyond the shrinking fraction of our tangible existence toward the inevitable expanding ratio of the intangible. Has the time we were together been cancelled out? Today, the ratio of our ages is 58/40 or 29/20, I am currently 145% of David’s age, and the dimension that divides us is expanding.

I believe that I’m not alone in defining a relationship that is no longer tangible, by articulating the essence of our loss in countable increments. It’s a normal phenomenon of mourning. I recall doing this in August of 2001, feeling a clock was unwinding in the days leading up to my 38th October birthday, the age at which my mother died from breast cancer twenty years past. After receiving a negative mammogram, I exhaled my beastly portents on a lengthened breath and celebrated in David’s arms. My life would not be cut short. I would live beyond my mother’s age!

A deceased loved one can’t be seen, nor heard, nor touched, however maybe, we can conjure a life with a measure of their essence. Assign a #hashtag as a form of user-generated cross-referencing to contextualize our existence, as a meta-expository. David and Deborah from 1981 @WTW #lovestory #911 #timeless #Chi.

© Deborah Garcia 2021, All rights reserved

[Images by Boynton, Deborah Garcia]

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