How old is one who finally understands the term bittersweet?
Does one ever truly get it?
Or does bittersweet finally take on meaning just as one takes their final breath?
The meaning grows deeper each year as my life passes me by
A traumatic childhood that is still hard to shake
A first time broken heart and realizing that he was not the one
The wedding with my true love and a shortened honeymoon due to my beloved grandmother’s devastating stroke
My beautiful, healthy child born and home for the first night and knowing that this was one bad idea
Being cured by a nap and in love with my newborn son once again the next day
Two more children with the same feelings
Losing touch with my much adored husband as ‘life’ gets in the way
Yearning for the sweet taste of a first kiss with someone new
But then feeling the sting of guilt for having had the thought when I am so in love already
I am human
My thoughts and yearnings evidently as bittersweet as my life
Children growing up and realizing that they won’t be under my roof forever or even much longer
Why didn’t I do more with them?
Spend more of my time with them?
Or cook them better meals?
Even if they were happy with TV and PB&J on many days?
Looking in the mirror at 44 years & thinking that half of my life is gone
18 years of marriage
So long and difficult, yet so short and sweet and quickly passing in the blink of an eye
I don’t always like to think about the how, but it makes me grateful for what has been thus far
Yes, life is sweet. . .
At least the brilliant components:
The laughs, smiles, friends, children, lovemaking, kisses, successes
My favorite sunny warm, yet crisp breezed, serene days. . .
Living has been eventful and good and bad all at once so far
But I could have done better
Thinking about ‘the end’ more and if it will have all been worth it
And what type of stamp I will leave upon this earth
Life is sweet at times, but have I done enough?
Will I do and be enough for those I will leave behind when my days are over?
No, life is bitter. . .
Dark days spent in bed frozen in fear
Unable to move, lest I shatter completely beyond superglue repair
Beloved people leaving my life or dying on purpose by their own hand
Yes, bittersweet means more and more each year
It is my life’s theme word
I wish to have more days to understand this word, this concept, more fully
A new year bittersweetly starts
Just as the past year bittersweetly passes away
Like people I have loved
I wish to travel more
See the good and the bad
Be moved to laughter and to tears
Soak up more of this bittersweet earth
And it’s bittersweet people
Especially the ones I love
Before I am called home to its rolling seas and fertile soils as bittersweet dust
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Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: elephant archives