“Tell a story about blue topaz that makes u feel joy and then you will get clearer!!!”
You needed a lot of things for your journey. The cuddle quilt your mom made after you were diagnosed. Your UtiliKilt. Fleuvog boots. Incredibeard t-shirt. Purple MeUndies. You were going out branded.
I packed your shoulder bag. Pens, sticky notes, a capo for all those guitars you will play. Your rolling tray. “I Fucking Love You,” it says.
You would wear your rings. You asked about them and seemed satisfied with my answer. But my ring. My wedding ring. I wanted it to go with you too, but didn’t think the pocket of your kilt was the safest place. Safe? Loved.
When they took your body, your mom and I watched. Helped, mostly with our eyes. You weren’t particularly cooperative, much like any time I attempted to make you more comfortable on that spot in our bed.
Just as they were covering you, I asked your mom if she thought my ring would fit on your pinkie finger. Then I asked the two people from the funeral home. Clearly nothing surprised them, as they uncovered you, took my ring from me, and placed it on your pinkie finger beside your own blue topaz.
I was told to keep helping you pass, but I already knew this to be true. Your clothes, your blanket, your fully packed shoulder bag. After your body left I fully stripped the bedding and put it in garbage bags. Gone. And the suffering with it. I’m still waiting on a custom duvet cover but the blankets I found in the closet are warm. And my new buckwheat pillow is as comforting as the salesperson said it would be. So is your side of the bed. The peace I feel each day is deepened when I sleep as you did. Where you did.
Blue topaz. You picked the stone. I think it was less than a week after you were diagnosed, and we had already both decided on our own that it was time to get married. I then decided that we needed to see a particular new friend who works magic with stone and metal. But we didn’t need to see them just about rings. I wanted you to talk with them. Hear them. I knew my voice was not enough.
I didn’t realize you liked their blue topaz ring. I suspect you first spotted it when we met our now sacred friend, at the Powell Street Festival. I had African turquoise on my mind that day, and onyx for you. But when we met to talk cancer and weddings and rings, you said blue topaz. I said ok.
We put those rings on each other’s fingers on an aquabus off an island. Our village was watching via Facebook Live. “Just throw it out there and see who shows up,” you said, before we decided on the boat. Live feed and a handful of present family was the perfect wedding of an extrovert and introvert.
You stopped wearing both your rings – topaz and onyx – as you began to let go. You stopped brushing and oiling your beard. You stopped eating, much. You stopped.
“Maybe some moonstone would be great.” I thought there would be another blue topaz. But I’ve been told I’m supposed to grow, not carry your burden. I’m glad it fit your pinkie.