Friday, December 11, 2009

December 11th - Again

From the moment of Britt's death, I've struggled with verb tense; past or present? Britt is or Britt was? She loved or she loves? In the early days of my grief, the past tense enraged me. In some instances it still does. I have a daughter - not had. She is my only child - not was. It may seem a small thing, but it's important to me to acknowledge in the most precise way possible her continuing presence in my life.

In other ways, the past tense is just what comes naturally; she loved animals and books and Mexican food. She was a talented writer. And then there are those moments where the rules about shifting tenses do not apply and I slip and slide among them. What is, what was, what would have been.

Today is her birthday. She loved chocolate cake. She would have been 24.

9 comments:

Lisa said...

Happy birthday to your beautiful girl, Debi.

Kaethe said...

She was a talented writer. I would have loved to read more by her. Thinking of you, and Britt, and all your loved ones.

Karen said...

Happy birthday to Britt, Debi. I just found your blog through Goodreads. Beautiful tribute to your beautiful daughter.

Emily said...

Happy birthday to Britt, Debi. And much love to you.

Chris said...

She is beautiful. I would have liked to have known her. Happy Birthday to Britt.

Sue Dickman said...

Aw, Debi. Happy Birthday to Britt and thinking of you. We don't have to wonder where her writing talent came from.

Katharine Weber said...

Happy Britt's birthday to you, dear Debi.

Mary Catherine said...

Happy Birthday to your darling girl, Debi.

Greg Hyduke said...

The World Without. I must've read that a dozen times, and yet I don't think I thought about the double meaning of the term "without" in conjunction with what you're doing here, Debi, until just now. I am referring not to "lack" or "unaccompanied," but to the word beyond. Beyond limits, range, or scope of. Now somewhat dated ("'Your carriage awaits without, darling," he said in a fake British accent, whilst standing in the parlor.'), but a great word nevertheless. The great big world. Out there. The opposite of within. Not only, then, "The world without Britt," but "the world without, in which Britt lives on." I don't know if it was intentional or unintentional, but in catching up all in one fell swoop, in reading old posts about gardens and Mojo (and mojo) and timeless taupe and, of course, memories of Britt, always memories of Britt, this finally dawned on dense old me.

I love what you said about sometimes feeling lost between and among the tenses.

Happy belated birthday to your shining daughter, and may your Christmas be as merry as you can manage.