We remember the days that people die more than birthdays. Why? Because we weren’t there for the birth of our friends’ and loved ones. But we do remember where we were and what we were doing the moment that we received the news that they are no longer with us on earth.On Monday December 8, I received a notification on Facebook from a photo I posted a year ago that same day. It was a picture of Timile and I standing in front of the Christmas Tree at Atlantic Station in Atlanta on December 8, 2007: our one year anniversary. It was one I hadn’t posted any time before so I thought it would be nice for Timile’s/my family, friends, and followers of the blog to see. Here’s a picture of it.
December 9th is the day Timile Brown’s fight with cancer had ended and God saw fit that she came home. It is one of those days I will never forget not just because of the loss; but how I found out and that it was the beginning of a new life for me.
I have been doing the best that I can to move on; yet somehow I always felt stuck. I have said that I have healed from the loss but the truth is you never fully recuperate from this. Accepting that has been integral in pressing on like I have.
I felt relieved that someone had commented on the photo. Facebook’s algorithm placed it at the top of time lines so I didn’t have to say that it wad coming up on three years since her death. I didn’t have to say or do or even post on this blog about it to honor losing the person who at one time was closest to me…Facebook and the mother of my best friend in college did it for me.
I remember exactly what I’ve done each December 9 since then. I spent time with our daughter Cydney and kept busy. This year I was at home. All I could think about that morning and virtually all day was of someone else I had loved. I even gave them a call to say good morning. Coming to a realization of what and how I felt gave me peace. I wasn’t thinking so much about my past as I was the future.
This morning around 1am I went outside on the back patio and I did something I hadn’t done awake since November 19, 2011: I talked to Timile. I apologized for not reaching out and hoping she understood. I told her how eager I was to move on; but was feeling stuck with facing this and it wasn’t because I wanted to forget her…it was for me. I told her that I’m doing the best that I can with our little girl, how smart she is, and that she would be tickled by her antics that are a nice blend of the two of us (she might be a little ticked that I’m essentially raising a girl version of me).
Then I paused because I realized what I really wanted to say was “Thank you.” I thanked Timile for pursuing me when I didn’t think we were a good fit, for teaching me how to love unconditionally, for Cydney, and for all of the things that I had learned during our five years together.
After saying that I will make an effort to talk to her more often and goodbye it dawned on me what I really wanted to thank her for. I wanted to thank Timile Denise Brown for fearlessness. I didn’t learn this directly from her. I acquired-or refined-this behavior in everything that I have been through since. I’m not afraid to try, fail, love unabashedly, lead, speak my mind, or run from conflict because immediately I’m looking for restitution. That was the “Aha!” moment I was supposed to be taking from this all of these years. But you gotta go through the gauntlet in order for the lesson to be learned.
I went to bed around 2:30am. I had a dream in which my phone rang. It was Timile calling me. I asked where was she as if she were on earth but I knew where she was calling me from. I asked her how is it up there and she said she can’t stand playing Taboo with some of these people, inferring to how well she and I played as a team. She then said “Oh well.” The conversation was as casual as the one I’d had with my friend on the morning of the 9th.
We didn’t talk about Cydney. I told my mother about it this morning while Cydney and my nephew were eating breakfast and she asked “Did she say anything about me?” I said no wishing that wouldn’t disappoint her; but I think that’s because Timile, Cydney, and God got their own thing going on. If I wasn’t or don’t do right by her then she’d step in and ask me “What the fuck are you doing?”
We actually got into it about placing stuffing in a two-chambered tupperware container and I was telling her “Nah, I gotta make room for turkey.” I think this was symbolic of me saying that in this I have to make room for someone else in my heart. Stuffing is the bomb and all; but turkey is the meat everyone is really into. And I think this came up because when I talked to Timile earlier in the morning I had told her I was ready to fully love someone else and that the spot that was once hers I want to give to someone else. You know, it was hard as shit to tell the deceased wife they’re no longer number one but it was necessary to say for my healing and moving on. By the end of our talk she understood.
Actually, right after that the conversation ended because I sneezed. The call had been dropped and all that needed to be said happened. While I will always remember Timile, who she was, and will even continue to talk to her I think last night was about beginning the rest of my life with someone else whenever that day comes. If I wasn’t before or logically was before and not emotionally capable I can fully say that my mind and heart both agree and I have peace.