I didn’t want this job. Never. Not at all.
I didn’t want to be the one left behind. The one who has to pick up the pieces. The one who has to be the glue.
I’m not her.
But somehow that has become my role. That is what I do now. That is me. I am an adult, at the Grownup Table, although I keep thinking that it’s not possible that this is true.
I’m not ready.
I spent several hours this weekend looking at pictures. Pictures of Ghosts. Well, most of them anyway. Pictures of my parents, and my Aunts and Uncles, and my cousins and me. And it seems like those pictures were just taken a week ago.
Really. Just a week. Not 30 years.
Thirty years, how can that be? They all looked so young, so confident, like giants. To me that’s what they were. And are. They were the grownups, at the Adult Table, laughing and talking, and we were not. We were the members of the club known as The Children’s Table. Because we were the children, best seen and not heard, and they were the adults.
They were legendary to me.
And back then, as I sat at the Children’s Table, I looked so longingly at the Adult’s Table, and I wanted so badly to be able to sit there. To be able to be in their club. It looked like it was so much more fun. Like it was much more magical. To sit among Giants. To sit with them. And sometimes you get your wish, but the way it is granted hurts so badly that you don’t know why you ever wished that wish to begin with. Because those Giants are almost all gone. And we are sitting in their seats, pretending to be grownups, pretending to be Giants.
We are not.
We’re not adults, we’re not giants, we’re the people at the Children’s Table. We are not them.
But this is our time, that is our table, and life moves fleetingly fast. In what seems to have been seconds we populated our own group for the Children’s Table. The Giants at the Adult Table moved aside for us. But I still see them sitting there, laughing and talking, just as powerful in death as they were in life.
Memories. That’s what life is made of. And changing seats. And somehow through the sands of time I have emerged as that person. Putting it all together. Holding it all together. But please remember that I am not a Giant. Not like them. But I know what Giants looked like. They looked like that. And if I can one day be half the person that the generation before me was then I will die happy.
But let me die at the Children’s Table. Because I don’t want to be in charge. I don’t want to be a Giant.
I’m just doing what I must. Being what I have to be. Living in the midst of death.
Because I must.