White snow had blanketed the alleys through its ins and outs as we led the casket towards the dug grave. Strange? Isn't it? We go about our lives escaping narrow ridges and trenches along the way when destiny itself has tied our eternal place of rest to a pit. I braced myself for her farewell and yet, I couldn't shake off the feeling that it wasn't just any other funeral she was supposed to accompany me to. I darted my eyes here and there and drew my hands tightly around my torso. Somehow, the winter of 2015 seemed more chilling, as if the wild winds had finally managed to penetrate through the crevices shielded by our love for fifty years.
The rest of the morning scooted away like a hazy, bad dream one deliberately tries to ignore till it is lost behind the curtains of daily chores.
The sidewalk quickly washed away my footprints in the snow for the fear that loom might follow me back to our home as well. I twisted and turned my hat in my hands and hesitated to walk through those doors alone when I knew it wouldn't yell 'It's open!' anymore. I decided to warm myself on the front porch and wile away some time before I entered into the world she didn't even say goodbye to when she rode to the hospital in the ambulance .
They don't know she's left them, you know. They will want answers.
I try to push my 60 kg weight with all my might, to heat up the frozen blood in my veins, till I finally figure out what's weighing me down. I pull out the crumpled parchment, now just a commotion of ink on yellow paper, from my front jacket pocket. The button has already started coming loose, a personification of what my life is going to be like without her. Old age has certainly robbed me of my photographic memory but I shall never forget those words, her prudent letter that had coerced me to burn the divorce papers in the elderly florists' dying fire and bring home a rose instead that evening.
Even after a decade of dirt laden sprawled shoes, wet towels dripping over the furniture, memory lapses on birthdays and anniversaries, innumerable mood swings day in and day out, bouts of cold in sunny weather, of hushed backyard squeals and early morning drills,
I will not give up on you.
Because you don't desert and dismantle your beautiful castle nurtured by years of love and care when it has been shambled by a few broken windows.
You don't abandon it.
You fix it.