Anniversary Poems - Poems For Anniversary

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After considerable deliberation

I e/mailed my estranged husband

and invited him round - anytime that was

convenient to him, to dinner.

We hadn't met in over a year

and, I was uncertain as to whether

or not, he'd answer.

We had separated in hostility - I'll admit

But, when I come to think of it- neither of

us were able to cope with what life suddenly

threw our way, at that particular time

Prior to that, our existence had been chugging along

on an even keel

I saw no cloud whatsoever that would mar our


Then life dealt us the most crushing blow of


But, let me start at the beginning

It was a Saturday morning. I was out shopping

with my three year old daughter

Tim had agreed to pick us up at ‘Deal's'

vast car park at twelve o'clock.

Nearer the time, I glanced at my watch,

then looked for my little girl.

Anna...? Anna...? I spotted her behind the

sweets counter

She was busy peering at jars of lollypop

and what-not

Oh, there you are...

She gave me a startled look

Come darling...Mummy's finished

She came rather reluctantly. There was

so much for her to see and explore in

that vast Superstore

Let's go and see if Daddy's waiting outside

for us.

She took one last look at some trinkets

Then tore her eyes away and nodded,

timidly. Okay, she said

I got behind my jam-packed trolley

She positioned herself beside me

as she always did

Good girl, I appreciated and off we

trundled out of that humid cavern and

into the fresh air

As if on cue Tim rounded the corner

and, tooted a cautionary blast from his

car horn to alert a slow-moving shopper

Before I knew what was happening, Anna

had left my side and darted off to greet him

Wait! I yelped, when I realised.

But, she was already in the path of

a reversing car.

Driver watch-out! I hollered

abandoning the trolley and charging

after her

That unpardonable Driver finally came to a

belated stop

What can I say...? I was forced to

witness in paralyzed horror as my

blood splattered baby, lay dying before


I unfastened my legs and ran to her

I cradled her in my arms

Anna! Anna!

Somebody help! Please help!

Tim -where are you?

Here, he gulped, breathing hard - Here!

He crouched down beside his daughter


Tim! I called blindly

Stay calm, he uttered in a panic


The immediate aftermath is a blur. I'm sorry -

but it is.

Pandemonium. Me paralysed and beside myself

Accursed culprit Driver very shocked and


Tim, incoherent with grief on cell phone when

summoning the ambulance

Anna's doll lying face down in the drain

Both of us crouching helplessly at our

baby's side babbling endearments to her

as we waited anxiously for the Ambulance

to arrive

Crowds in semi-circle

More crowds gathering

Expressions of remorse and regret in hushed


by everyone to no one in particular and to each


Police arriving


Repetition of explanations when ambulance


That fiendish Driver reruns his lament to any

and everyone:

This Lady's little girl shot behind my car

Right out of my line of vision - I didn't see her

Tragic...! all agreed

Meanwhile, the paramedics tried and tried to

revive her - but, my baby died in my arms

Tim and I were absolutely devastated

Is this a horrible dream? he asked of me

whilst the spectators looked on in sympathy

Not really taking in the instructions of the


we accompanied them in mute silence

as they rushed Annas body to the hospital

We hoped against hope for a miracle.

By this time I was inconsolable

Poor Tim kept watch over his daughter



Admist the bedlam and confusion of Emergency

the Doctor only confirmed what we already knew.

I'm very sorry.

Can't you...? I tried.

I'm sorry, he repeated, shaking his head

Surely....Tim began - and couldn't carry on.

It's too late, sympathised the Doctor

His pager buzzed. He took it out of

his breast pocket. Please, excuse me...

he said. Then, wandered off.

A thoughtful Nurse steered us into a private cubicle

where we clutched and hugged and kissed our little girl

one last time

Later, Tim told me that the Nurse and he had to coax me to

give Anna up

I remember that vaguely

But, I'll always be eternally grateful that

I was given a chance to hold my sweet, sweet baby

one last time in my arms

And bid her a proper ‘goodbye.'

It meant so very much to me

Once she had gone

Tim and I stared at each other

and, drank in the others misery,

shock, and disbelief

The light of our lives has been extinguished

Tim uttered, brokenly

I nodded, not trusting myself to speak

All we wanted at the time

was to fall into each others arms

and, comfort one another

Just then, a distraction caused me to look over

his shoulder

and spot my distressed and distraught In- Laws

vending their way towards us

Your Parents are here! I gulped, trying to quell my


Where? he croaked, attempting to suppress his

This way. I grabbed hold of his arm. Come on. We joined


Their eyes were puffy and red rimmed - just as ours


Son, we came as soon as you called, Dad uttered.

We're so very sorry, rushed Mother

We fell into each others arms and commiserated

all round

I can't recall anything much of what was said

except that, Tim kept bemoaning the fact that he

had blown his car horn, and, attracted his little

Darlings attention. If I hadn't done that - my

unthinking baby would still be with us

Meanwhile, I kept insisting

I should have been holding her hand in mine

My Mother-in-law being a deeply religious person

entertained a theory of her own

It was cast in stone: she pontificated and castigated

both son and daughter-in-law:

Neither of you should blame yourselves

It was God's will. If she was meant to live

no power on earth would have been able to

prevent it

Tim and I strongly disagreed

But, we were far too exhausted to argue

Instead, we appeared to be listening to her

drone on

while, most of the time, shut down and completely

consumed by our own desolation

the enormity of which was - only now beginning to hit us

in ever increasing bursts

Eventually, my Father-in-law cut her short

by saying: Mother-these two are too broken

to hear your lectures-for God's sake! There's a time

and place for everything!

Yes. I'm sorry! apologised Mother claming up.

Father turned to us. Why not go home and rest?

But...worried Tim.

We'll take care of anything that needs to get done, here.

Go - There's nothing more you can do.

Yes-go., Mother, agreed hastily We'll talk further,

in the morning

My tortured husband exchanged a look of relief

with me

It had been a long - confusing... and, very crowded


Yes-okay, he muttered

We kissed, Mother, dutifully

Bade Dad, `goodbye'

And beat a hasty retreat


We drove home in silence

our bodies racked with anguish

our souls lost and bereft

We felt badly cheated

and defeated

by God

and life, itself

By the time we got home, flowers, cards and toys

were already beginning to grace our doorstep

We overstepped them all and entered

the house

It's unusual quietness hit me like a body


Thank God, the lull was soon shattered

by the persistent ring of the phone

Both, Tim and I ignored it

We were thoroughly drained

and, utterly, utterly exhausted

We didn't want to talk to anyone

Anna's toys were everywhere

on the ground, on the stairs

Tim, unconsciously stepped on her

rubber duck. It squeaked. We looked

sorrowfully at each other

then, burst into uncontrollable sobs and tears

Somehow we made it up the stairs

sank onto the bed

and clung to each other

for - perhaps - an hour

Then, Tim suddenly said

Before I unplug the phone - speak to your Parents

I started

as my thoughts turned to them

Both were now elderly and frail

neither of them kept very well

And, for them to have to live to hear me tell them....


Tim! I delivered shrilly, I can't break their hearts. You tell


Calm down, darling - calm down, said he, holding me, tight

They'll want to hear it from you

No, I cried, no.

Take a deep breath...I'm dialing the number for you - I'll hold

your hand.

What do I say?

Just tell them straight...

It's ringing, I gulped. I hope, I don't break down

You won't! You won't! assured my husband

Hullo Mother...I-I-I...

I concentrated so hard on not breaking down or becoming


That, I'm afraid, I pelted out the bare facts rather too routinely

My poor parents

But, with that burden out of the way -

we cried and cried through the night amid fitful

bouts of sleep

The fast-paced events of the day hadn't left

either of us time to think

We had moved like zombies

and, done whatever was required of

us - mechanically

But, now that we were alone, and, able to let

our guard down we ran through the last family

movie of The three of us, together

as many times as we wished

And, gave full vent to our grief and anguish


My sympathetic sister came over the next morn

and, took over

Bless her

She answered the constantly ringing phone

She ushered in the neighbours

She saw them off

She answered the door

She saw to the cooking

while we stayed cloistered upstairs

completely switched off from everyone

and, everything

and, just, comforted each other


Over coffee

at a round table conference with Tim's parents

the funeral was set for Saturday

Tim and I hadn't discussed anything

I assumed whatever decisions were to

be made would be made together

So, imagine my terrible shock and distress

when my husband announced: The funeral

service for Anna must take place at All Saint's


What? I spat, almost spilling my coffee cup

Why ever not?

What do you mean-why ever not..? I objected


I mean...

I cut him short. Its associated with two of the

most joyous days of my life

I know, he nodded calmly. We got married


Anna was baptised there, too, I reminded quietly.

Or, have you forgotten?

I haven't forgotten anything, he derided. How

could I forget...? But, my connection with

All Saints began during my Grandfather's time.

Every significant event in my life has been

recorded there. I want Anna to be buried

beside Granddad. He'll make sure, she stays

safe and sound.

I was speechless

I looked at my in-Laws for support

Son, ventured Mother. You really must give

this decision of yours another thought

Yes-ofcourse! supported Father. Besides, you

must take Anne's opinions into account.

Anne will come round to my way of thinking!

huffed Tim with confidence, as he stalked

out of the room.

Because, she's so very in love with you,

muttered Father, rounding on me. Why,

on earth do you give in so easily to whatever

he wants?


Why don't you - for once in your life, put up

more of a fight with him?

Dad, I...

Saturday is going to be the most stressful day of

your life - if you object to the venue-insist on getting

it changed - why must you suffer in silence?


Aren't I right, Mother?

Yes, change it. Why pile on more stress in your

life? You have enough on your plate, as it is.

Mum-Dad, thanks.....I claimed. I'll get by. I'll be alright.

Listen...tried Father

I'll try to rein in my emotions, somehow, but...

Look...attempted Mother

...but, you're son's been terribly, terribly unhappy -

Only he?

I ignored Dad's question, and continued...and if

he derives comfort from his links to this particular

Church- I guess, I'll just have to give in to him.

Yet, again! grimaced Father.

That's very wonderful of you, darling, commented

Mother. But, you must consider...She suddenly fell


Tim had walked in with a bouquet of flowers

I wonder, who they're from? he uttered, handing

them over to me.

There's a note's hidden inside, said I, fishing

it out, as everyone else looked on curiously.

Lady, down the road, I announced, pointing

in the general direction.

Very nice of her, acknowledged Tim sliding

into the chair he had recently vacated.

Could I have another cup of tea? he asked,

proffering his cup to me

Sure, darling, I uttered as I took it

Meanwhile, Mum picked up a list

Son, are you sure you've got these

expenses right?

Instead of answering, he blurted

It's just not fair

What isn't? asked Mum

We should have enjoyed our daughter growing up...


...She should have been the one to bury us, insisted

Tim - Not the other way around

Yes, Son. But....

Sure, I know, snapped he. Don't challenge God's wishes!

Precisely, what I was going to say

Huh! He dismissed

In the words of the Anglican Priest - George Herbert....

I could do without sermons, right this minute! raged Tim,

rising and leaving.

What did I say? questioned his Mum of us. Tell me what

I said...?

Just, dropp it, Mum! I requested, hoping to close the subject

But, Father wanted to provoke her

Whatever it was you were going to say, it would

have been - tacky or tactless!

Excuse me! she cried, in fury. Whatever you to say, is

perfect. But, when I speak, its considered, tacky or

tactless, she groused as she stamped out of the room.

I cleared the table in near tears. Instead of the family

coming together at such a time, it was falling



My own Parents arrived the day before the funeral

Jane went and picked them up from the station

They were the complete opposite of Tim's parents

Very strait-laced, reserved and quiet

Whatever their own grief

they were here to provide solace and comfort

And, Tim and I really appreciated it

They, truly were the epitome of compassion and relief

And, so, the dreaded day dawned

I went through the motions as though I

were living a dream, or, should I say, nightmare?

Tim, pale and quiet' stood beside me

at all times, and looked as though he

were sleep walking too

I couldn't help noticing, though

what a simply bright and sunny day it was

London, often had cloudy and sultry skies

It had rained on our wedding day

But, now, as I stepped out of the house

I could have done without the glare of

the sun

Bleak is how I felt

And, bleak, the day - should rightly have


Instead, the flowers were blooming

I glanced at the children across the street

They were laughing and joking

and, playing hop-scotch

Whereas, they should, at least have been subdued

and respectful

We got into my Father-in-laws car

Mum sat crying, uncontrollably, beside him

But, I sat dry eyed, behind

I had done with tears for the time being

Tim sat immobile beside me

clutching hold of my hand

I squeezed his tenderly. At least, I had him

my one and only consolation

My parents sat at the back

grief-striken but dry eyed too

They were probably amazed and embarrassed

by my Mother-in-law's unsuppressed display

The vehicle fell into line behind the hearse

and, we drove through the busy streets of

London to my little girl's final destination

(That thought was a real gut wrenching


Was I unbound by the cars

the cackle

or, the melee of activity around me?

No..! .


is what I was


Life has to go on

Fight it as much as one might

Unfortunately - there is no other choice

As I looked around me

All I can say is

humanity seemed extraordinarily happy

As though it were completely immune from death or


Soon, the beautiful little medieval Church

complete with its cold grey stone

hidden neath a mass of climbing roses

came into view

How we drove up the gravel drive

or disembarked

I'll never know

But, bare snippets of that day will stay with

me, forever

The same Deacon, the same Priest from

happier days were on hand, to usher us in

The Bier had already been placed close to the alter

We waited for our guests to take their


Candles were lit amongst an overwhelming

number of flowers


Then, a requiem mass was said

Part of the Gospel read

Hymns chanted

Did I hear Psalm 23...? :

I will fear no evil.

For thou art with me. Thy rod and thy

staff, they comfort me....

The sprinkling of holy water



Once outside

I nearly passed out at the sight of the newly

dug grave

Steady on! directed Tim gripping me firmly by

the waist

Jane and Mother were on hand to help prop me up

This time, the sermon was brief - thank God

I kept my eyes averted from the gaping grave,

the spade

the bier


All I remember was the Priest reading:

Grant this mercy, O Lord, we beseech Thee,

to Thy servant departed...

< br>

Family and friends gathered in our house that

evening for what I thought was going to be a

quiet drink

Instead, my Father-in-law, who tends to be

full of sentiment insisted on giving a lengthy

speech about Annas all too short life

Tim objected. Dad-no!

But, his Dad was determined. Don't worry, Son

We're amongst friends. They're genuinely

interested in what I have to say about my

little Grand daughter

Poor Tim - He slunk away to the far end of the

sitting room

My parents looked none too happy, either

but, sat aside, politely - to suffer Dad, in silence

I too, determined not to listen

withdrew into the sanctuary of the kitchen

When it came to thinking of God - I thought little.

But, now I chided him.

God, why are you doing this to us? Haven't we

suffered enough?

I won't hear this, I swore

I'm determined not to hear any of it

My sister followed me and insisted on helping

out, without saying, listening to my Father-in-law

was much too distressing for her, too.

We busied ourselves unpacking extra glasses

Chilling wine - crushing ice

And, arranging tidbits to nibble at on plates

Jane and I returned to the sitting room bearing

trays of wine

And, just in time to hear Dad say: She was a

very bright little girl- as all of you know. She

could recite the whole of Twinkle,

twinkle, little star - unaided, mind you - long

before she was two years old..

Everyone murmured appreciation

Look! Look! whispered someone....It's so

heart-breaking. Poor Tim. He's crying

Along with the others I looked. There was

Tim being comforted by his ex- girlfriend

(my rival, who - i knew for a fact - still

had designs on him!)

I gave Jane a despairing look and dived

right back into the recesses of the kitchen

Who was I to him? I griped

Couldn't he have blubbered all over me

Instead of making a spectacle of himself

with that woman - of all women? !

And, did he have to make my grief - even

more complete? !

Jane re-entered to say: Some of your friends

are ready to leave

Okay-thanks! I said. Dried away my tears of rage

and followed her out with false bravado

I think, I put on a reasonable show after that


Well.... at least, until we saw everyone off

Then my plastered smile disappeared

and my face crumbled in an instant

My mind was free to unleash thoughts of

my precious

my irreplaceable



Jane had spent a week with us

But, now, she was leaving

Over breakfast, Tim and I thanked her

profusely for all her help and support

Not at all, she beamed

Without you running things - nothing would

have gone so smoothly, swore Tim.

Thanks, darling, I laughed, as I

agreed with him.

Is there anything else I could do for

you, two? insisted Jane. I've finished

my packing?

Nothing, said Tim

Nothing-thanks reiterated I.

Perhaps, she hesitated, I could pack away

Annas things -

What? spared Tim. His face growing dark in

an instant

I-err- mean, .continued Jane, nervously.

You'll do no such thing! thundered he, rising

from the table.

I-didn't mean to hurt you-or-or

She isn't even cold in her grave, yet -

I didn't mean, my sister tried to repeat

- and, you want to get rid of every last

semblance of her?

I'm sure, she didn't mean that, dear. (But,

I was ignored.)

Ofcourse not! assured Jane. I thought...

You, thought you'd tell us what

was best for us!

Jane was shaking her head and in

near tears. No, I...

Tim! Please, darling, I pleaded as I rose to

comfort her. I'll put away her things, I whispered

as I embraced her.

I only offered, she explained, turning to Tim,

because I know how painful it'll be later - for you

and my sister.

He glared at her. When he spoke, his voice was

full of emotion. You'll never, ever, know, how

painful it is-and, always will be

The force of that made me flinch

I didn't mean to upset you - she said quietly.

I'm sorry. She left for her room.

When she was out of earshot I

couldn't resist, Tim, how could you?

He gave me a wounded look. I suppose

you've never known frustration or unhappiness

in your entire life?

I almost fell back on my chair at that blow.

Don't be cruel to me Tim. You know, I can't take any

more, right now!

Sorry, he uttered, suddenly embracing me.

After a pause, I managed. We've both been

shot through, darling. Please, don't take It out

on her. What can she do?

He nodded, sighed heavily

rubbed the tears out of his eyes

and drifted away

How quickly mirth turns to sorrow


From that day on, Tim virtually stopped speaking

to everyone

especially me

If he spoke at all it was a rare occassion. And, even

then his response was usually a mono syllabic:

Please or no.

Otherwise, If I announced: Dinner's ready. He'd

nod, leave what he was doing and follow me into

the kitchen where we'd partake in a silent meal

Come to think of it, in those very grim and dark

days I didn't have much to say to him - or, to any

body else, either

So, I mustn't be unfair to him. I was an equal culprit

When Tim suddenly took himself off - without consulting

me - to sleep in the Guest room

it didn't matter much

We had grown so far apart

Gradually, if we met at all, it was purely by chance

in - somewhere like, the kitchen, the staircase,

the sitting room, the hall, garage or driveway

Otherwise it was either when our friends or my

In-Laws visited.

No one saw the turmoil our lives were confronting.

No one cottoned on to the fact that I - or, probably

both of us were battling our way through prolonged

bouts of searing depression (both in gaping view of

one another. But both, too woefully inadequate, and

too incapable of reaching out to the other.)

True, we were very careful to give the impression

that - despite, everything - life had to go on.

It wasn't difficult for Tim to deceive his Mum and

Dad. They were our most frequent visitors

As soon as Tim heard their car on the drive

he'd clatter down the steps and greet them,

outdoors, with: Hullo! Hullo!

His Mum would disembark and kiss him: Hullo, son.

Nice of you to come all this way.

The traffic was horrendous Father invariably said....

Anyway, you look well.

So, do you two-Tim would return. Let's go indoors.

Where's Anne?

On her way, downstairs, Tim would say with confidence.

Within minutes, I'd go and join them

Hullo, Mother. Hullo, Father. Smiles allover.

Hullo. Hullo, dear. Kisses dispensed with.

Preliminaries over. Drinks and snacks offered.

we'd pass the time in convivial mode

When friends came over, I'd greet them amiably:

Justin-Susan, come in-come in.

We were just passing, Susan would begin.

And, we thought we'd dropp in, on the off-

chance, Justin would end.

You're very welcome, I'd say, leading

them into the sitting room.

Where's Tim?

On his PC.

Then, perhaps.......Susan would hesitate..

I'll just call him, I'd say. Please excuse me,

I'd excuse, leaving the room, and calling up - Tim!


Come downstairs, darling. We have guests.

Coming, he'd sally pleasantly.

I'd return to our guests and confirm. He's coming.

That's great.

Everyone left our house satisfied that although

Anna had left us, we still had each other

How very nice!

However, as soon as our guests were out of sight

the temperature changed. Tim and I went our separate

way - him, to his room - and me, to mine.

10 .

The date to commemorate Anna's death

anniversary was nearing

I waited on our driveway to collar Tim, as soon

as he came home from work. There was so much

to discuss with him.

The obligatory Thanksgiving ceremony. Invitations

to friends.

etc. etc.

But, before all that - there was another delicate

matter to confront

(Pack away Anna's things and store them away

in the attic.)

I dreaded Tim throwing a fit. I didn't like it either.

But, somebody had to do it. And, the longer we

put it off...

I didn't see Tim's car arrive till it was almost

alongside me.

Anything wrong? asked a worried looking husband

No, nothing! I assured. I just wanted to have a few

words with you before you went upstairs.


See you in the sitting room.

I went indoors and began to deliberate as I waited

What was I going to say?

Take a deep breath

and plunge right into it - I decided

Because there is absolutely no alternative

Why are you looking so worried? quizzed

Tim as soon as he came into the sitting room

Because, you're not going to like what I'm going

to say.

But, you're going to say it, anyway? said he, lightly, as

he went and sat down in his comfy chair.


So, fire away, he invited. Don't mind me?

I hesitated. In a few weeks time, it'll be Annas

death anniversary.

Do you have to remind me? he shot, with


I ploughed on. I want to pack away her things.

No! ! he interrupted, violently, and got to his feet.

We'll never move on- I tried to convince-as long as -

Move on to what? he questioned with venom.

Look -

What's the use? You're like a hollow piece of wood!

O-thank you, very much!

There's no way, whatever I can relate to you

Darling, I pleaded gently. I, so much want us to -

But, he rejected me completely

And, don't you dare blame Anna's `things', lying around,

for your own shortcomings!

I had no intentions of doing that, I defended. I was

only saying...

I visit her room every night, he explained, quietly.

I know

I don't want you to move a thing...


I almost feel her presence there, he said sadly. She

gives me such peace...such peace-Believe me, she

absolutely does.

I'm sure.

How come, you never go to her room?

I don't need to go to her room.

She's constantly inside my entire being.

I could have kicked myself for having said that.

Tim gave me a striken look. He was silent

a moment. Then, he struggled to say: She's

constantly within me, too.

He left the room. I looked after him.

Then realised - we hadn't resolved anything

I hurried after him. Tim - I haven't finished.

He was already halfway up the stairs. He

turned and gave me an irritated look.

Now, what?

I want to discuss Anna's death anniversary.

Why? His back was up. We're not marking the


Please, I cajoled. Just a small commemoration?

There's no need, he insisted.

Just the two of us -


- and our parents?

At her graveside?


I hate such occasions, he said, refusing.

Please? He shook his head, again. It'll be

very brief? My parents are coming here especially to -

He sighed. Do whatever you like.

But, count me out. He turned to resume his

flight up the steps. Then, stopped, and turned.

In fact, I find this whole setup stifling.


This whole setup, he repeated, violently,

flinging his arms about- I find it absolutely


It was obvious what he meant

but, I wanted it spelled out

You mean, you find me stifling?

Yes! He said, without hesitation.

Then, say that!

I'm going upstairs to pack. And, I'm leaving

this house, tonight!

I nodded sadly. I had been expecting it.

He seemed intrigued. You're not even going to try

to stop me?

I shook my head. What good would that do?

You'd only have started telling me again about

how hollow and wooden I've become-


- things we both know to be true. Whats the point of

harping on it...? Nothings going to change, overnight!

No, nothing, he agreed

And, by the way, I could say similar derogatory

things about you.

That I've become hollow and wooden?


Then, say it? he goaded, coming down the steps, and

gearing for a fight. Why, don't you?

Because, I prefer discussion and compromise-

Huh! Discussion and compromise - he derided.

Laugh, if you like - But, that's what I

believe in

W\e eyed each other seriously. I told you, unless

you changed your attitude...Unless you were

prepared to, `think' about your immediate

past- there would be no salvation for you....

And, no healing, either!

I nodded sadly as I squared up to him and,

repeated: I told you, my memories are still far

too raw to `think anything through'


I'm not as, ‘ all together', as you are-I'm sorry.

I'm not, ‘all together', either, he admitted. But,

at least, I try.

I know, I don't try hard enough, I said, feeling

sorry for myself.

By now he was close enough to touch me.

The question is, would he?

I waited, in hope

He hesitated, Oh! Whats the use? he uttered,

shrugging wearily - as, he began to retrace

his steps.

I wanted him to stay. But - he didn't stop - I

request you not to leave. At least, stay, until the

Commemoration takes place. You needn't

attend it, I added with haste... Do what you

like, after that...? Tim...? Tim....?

He finally turned to face me at the head of the

stairs. Please! he said, patiently but firmly

I'll commemorate my daughter's brief life,

in my own way. Not with a graveside comm-

emoration Not with anybody's commiserations

Just quietly. In my own way. Is that clear?

You can't do this to your parents-or, mine?

Call me a coward! he suddenly harangued.

Go, tell them, when they ask.....Your Son is

a coward.. Because, that's exactly what I am.

No, you're not!

An unmitigated coward! he insisted. Not, only am I going

to let my Parents down, I'm going to let my wife and her

Parents down, too!

So saying, he was gone.


I had got into the habit of staring into space for hours

on end

chasing a litany of erstwhile

melancholy recollections

So, whenever the phone rang

It took me an age to resurface

and rejoin civilization

T'was on just such a day that I answered

an incessant ring


Darling - said Mother. I seem to have dragged you away

from something Important

No - I was just-err-reading,

Anything interesting?

I blinked. Actually, I was flicking through a


I see., she read. And, how are you?

Fine, Mother

And, Tim?

How could I tell her, I hadn't seen him in a while?

He's fine, too, I cruised. I've just sent him out on an


Give him our fondest regards

I will - And, how are you and Father?

I'm fine. But, Father.. she hesitated

Yes? I worried

...Remember - Father and I were meant to condole with you

two, on Sunday?

Yes, Mother?

Father strained his back, last night.

Oh, no! I sympathized.

He can't do very much for himself

Tch! Poor darling...

Obviously, I can't leave him, and -

No-no. Ofcourse not.

He's totally dependant on me.

Mother, you look after Father. Don't worry about

Tim and me. We're both determined, people - and

we're totally, totally unsinkable

Bless you, darling...

Et. al

Anyway, the upshot of that conversation was

further proof that

Since life as I knew it had prematurely ended

I could expect no more cheer from it - ever!

And, in the end, there was no Service of


no, commemoration

Just a simple visit to Anna's graveside

with my In-Laws

some flowers



T hat was all I could manage without Tim

My Father-in-law was furious with him:

He's always been like this -

Now, now, Herbert...

Don't think of defending him, her husband

interrupted. He's selfish - He only

thinks of himself. Not his wife. Not his parents.

No, Father, actually - I tried to defend...

There's no need for you to say anything,

either! First, his Mother spoilt him -

I didn't! She defended, stoutly. But, just

remember, he's also been through a

hell of a lot.

Yes, well...

Let's make some concessions towards

him.- for a change... Not just - recriminations!

Hmm, conceded Dad, thoughtfully.

Come on - we're going to see him right now.

Suits me, accepted Dad, unenthusiastically

Mother kissed me. Goodbye, Darling

Thanks for everything, Mum

Bye dear - said Dad, giving me a peck

on my cheek. Take care.

You too, Dad - I uttered. fondly. Bye.

Once they had gone I returned to my

humdrum life

12 .

After much persuasion I had consented

to visit my parents

I had wanted to visit them ages ago

But, thus far, certain memories -

memories I had absolutely no control


had prevented me

Tim used to love going there with me

And, after Anna birth - to my Parents

delight - we drove over regularly

Unfortunately, that came to an abrupt end

And, my elderly Parents had to come up to

London to commiserate with us.

We hadn't met in a long while and I really missed


Besides, , I considered

If I don't reign in my thoughts - my feelings -

and my emotions, now

tackling them at a later date would be

next to impossible

So, I got out my suitcase with determination

placed it on the bed, and started packing

While doing so I couldn't help opening my

dressing table drawer

removing a diamond encrusted trinket


that was safely ensconced in a corner

Lifting its lid

picking up the precious treasure within

removing its packaging

and feasting my eyes on tt's contents

I gently lifted up the small triangular

Venus shell

that held my eyes so mesmerized

And, inspected its smooth and shiny

surface-and, its brownish irradiating rays

From the corner of my eye I could see

myself taking a video of my baby, holding

Tim's hand and taking faltering

steps towards me

All of us were laughing

Look, at me, baby, I called.

Good girl-

Oopps! sang Tim


Not so close, baby - I said, hastily putting

away my video

Mama, she repeated stretching out her hand, to

present me with the shell

How beautiful, darling, I appreciated, as I studied


She gurgled with delight

She spotted it in the sand, beamed Tim

I picked her up and kissed her

The picture faded

It took me a moment to reflect that

my reaction hadn't been one of near hysteria

I hoped, I was beginning to accept life as it

really was

And, not, what I fervently wanted it to be

I wanted everyone - especially my Parents

to see that I was coming to terms with my loss

I had to be positive and cheerful in their

presence - no matter what happened

I kissed the shell - rewrapped it carefully,

returned it to its box and put the box back

exactly where it had been before....

nestled beneath my slips and nighties


I drove down the A30

Past suburbia

And, the out of the way Shopping Centre

Into a clear stretch of road

Green fields as far as the eye could see

Clumps of trees

Thick woodland

Turn right at the traffic island

And, here we are -

In the realm of Celtic culture

Wide rolling hills

Rugged cliffs

An endless expanse of clear blue sea

And, finally - my destination


I wasn't born here

But, here's where I grew up

My parents adopted us - Jane and me -

rather late in life - When in their fifties

We love them dearly, ofcourse

They're the most wonderful human beings

I'll ever know

I stopped my car on the ridge, got out

and, admired my surrounds

There! I pointed before me, is, Mounts Bay

And, there - in the distance -

on a hill jutting out of the sea

is St. Michael's Mount

The panoramic views

Breathtaking - aren't they?

St. Michael's Church is where Tim and I first


My parents worked in the capacity of warders


and, I happened to be home on holiday

from University

I smiled as I recalled our first meeting:

One morning, I unbolted the Chapel door

in answer to a persistent knock on the knocker


I'm sorry to disturb you - but, isn't this place

supposed to be open? asked an impatient


I looked about me for help.. I don't know... Is it?

Look here! he said, indicating a sign

board. It says here clearly - 10am to 5pm...

Yes, I see.

He displayed his watch. Its now 10.30

Then, I guess, I said, stepping aside,

you had better come in

Thank you, he smiled, as he entered

Not only did I end up showing him the

three famous alabaster panels behind the

Alter, but, I gave him a Personal tour of the entire place

He kept me talking for roughly three hours

Or did I keep him talking?

I honestly can't remember...

Anyway, he rang me up the next day

and -

I checked my wristwatch - Is that the time....?
Before I get carried away - I'll continue some

other time

I returned to my car, started it up

and hurried on, home.


As I said, I was really looking forward to meeting

my Parents

Ever since Anna's death I had begun to feel more

and more, just how much it must mean to them to

see Jane and me

Really, I contemplated, I must come down here

more often

By the time my car trundled up the drive

my Parents had meandered outdoors to greet me

Hullo, darling, hailed Father

Hullo, I waved as I parked the car.

Mother glanced at her watch. You made it in good time

Not, much traffic, today, I noted, getting down

and embracing them in turn

Hullo, Mother

You've become so thin, she complained.

You always think that, I tried to brush off as I kissed


She's right you know, he said gravely

I was determined to keep it light. But, you look well

Actually... he began, ready to give me a list of his

deteriorating health.

But, Mother had other ideas. First, come indoors,

she ushered. Father can tell you all about his

ailments over tea. She turned to Father and teased.

Your daughter will be most Interested, once she sits

down and relaxes.

Right! he agreed with a laugh; as. he, put his arm

around me and walked me indoors. .


I had put off informing my Parents about Tim's

departure from the nest until practically

the very last minute.

Why cause them extra worry and anxiety?

But, I expected his name to come up at some point.

My Parents were very fond of him.

Still, I dreaded it.

They choose mid-dinner to quizz me

How‘s Tim? questioned Father.

I have no idea, I admitted frankly. I haven't

seen him, in-ah-over a year.

Over a year? he asked with a start.


Hmmm, Father considered as he chewed his food

But, you have mutual friends, observed Mother. Surely,

one of them mentioned him...? ...

No! I said, shaking my head vigorously. No one mentions

him to me. He could be living with another woman -

No! exclaimed Mother.

But, I ploughed on...for all I know.

My Parents exchanged looks of distress

I instantly regretted having given them the

impression that Tim was so shallow.

So I quickly added, Sorry. I didn't mean to slander


The clock on the wall of the dining room chimed as my

Parents waited for me to complete my sentence.

....I'm just hurt because-because he left me in the

lurch when-I needed him to stand by me.....

Perhaps, reasoned Mother, he was trying to get over

his own grief and couldn't help you.

Perhaps... Anyway, I completed lamely - I keep to myself. I

hardly see any friends..

O Darling, disapproved Father

Sweetheart, I know, its difficult...began Mother, but, you

really must try to face life...

I try. I'm trying, all the time, Ma. I argued. I swear, I am

I'm sure, you are, accepted Mother.

I even got myself a job.

Really. I nodded. When?

A few months ago.



Then, you don't expect Tim, back? asked Father,


Well...I shrugged....a year ago, I tried to persuade him that a period of

reflection - on both sides - rather than an outright divorce -

(There was a sharp intake of breath from my Mother

I couldn't look at her)

-which would be difficult to reverse, if ever we wanted to

get back, together...was what was called for. But, the longer he

stays away...I doubt, he'll return.

If he does return, advised Father, please make concessions to him?

I nodded. If, is all I said.

I don't think, my kind Parents wanted to probe further.

At any rate, they changed the subject

Could you pass me the salt, please? asked Father

Sure, returned Mother, handing over the salt seller

While I choked back my own tears and chased a potato

round my plate


It was late before I returned to my sanctuary

I looked around it

How I loved this room

It held, O so many happy memories of my childhood

And, later, on

I considered thoughtfully

Some tender - some, poignant moments too

I began to unpack and fill up the already, cluttered

drawers of my bureau

I deposited my toiletries in the bathroom

Then returned

Took out the family album

And settled down to leaf through it

Mother - Father - On their wedding day -

Family members-I think. I recognise some of them

My parents on holiday - oh no - this picture is fading


That's Jane. She was a baby when we were adopted

That's me. I was about three


Something fluttered out of the album and landed on the floor

I looked at it, and, nearly - froze

It was the most precious memento I will ever possess

I scooped it up and studied it

It was a deep pink bougainvillea flower

encased in its transparent sheath

I flipped over some pages of the album, feverishly

as I sought to match my flower with a certain picture

Here we are. As I poured over the images of us three

the scene rose before me:
Tim in casuals and trademark polo neck

carrying Anna in her Princess dress

whilst holding me - with this flower in my hair-

close to him

It was taken inside the restaurant. All of us

were laughing -

For almost the very last time

Another scene replaced it

The one preceding this:

The three of us were pottering around in my Parents


when Tim suddenly suggested: Lets go and eat out today?


We'll invite your parents as well.

Fine. Let me go and invite them...I'll fetch Anna a jersey too. Its

getting rather chilly.

Don't be long

I won't. I went indoors.

When I returned Tim was showing Anna the bougainvillea tree

He broke a flower and asked her

Should we ask Mummy to wear this in her hair?

Anna was very enthusiastic.. Yes, Daddy

You give it to her, he said, proffering the flower.

She took it in her chubby hand. Looked at it. Mummy, she said,

giving it to me.

Thank you, darling, I appreciated. I kissed her and kissed my

Tim, too.

I don't know how long I sat and reminisced

But, a sudden knock on the door shook me out of my reverie

Mother entered. Darling - it's late.

I rose. I was just going to bed.

She took the album out of my hand and glanced through

a few pages, absently.

She hesitated in such a way

I knew, she wanted to say something to me. I waited.

She suddenly said, Anne, I've been waiting for a chance

to say this to you -

Yes, Mother?

She looked at me gravely. Darling - all Father and I pray

for - if God hasn't granted it to you, already - that is - all

we pray for is, that He grants you - plenty of - resilience

and fortitude.

Wasn't that a lovely thing to say? I was so moved. I wanted

to burst into tears.

Instead, I kissed her. Don't worry about me, Mother. I'll be

alright, I assured.

She hesitated. And, you're on the mend?

I smiled at her

I could fairly honestly, nod and say. I think so.

She embraced me. That's what I've longed to hear. Her eyes

were wet. I'll say, goodnight, my sweetheart

Goodnight, Mother.

She shut the door, noiselessly, behind her.

And, I was left to brush aside a tear and consider the

exact meaning of resilience and fortitude.

17 .

We were at the breakfast table

discussing whether a trip together to St. Michael's Mount was

feasible or not

If you don't want to walk, we could wait for high tide. Then, go

by boat? I suggested.

My Father shook his head. I couldn't face that steep climb, later.

Oh, yes, I forgot.

We spent nearly thirty-five years, there, reminded Mother. We-

neither of us want to go back there. Memories are enough..

But, you go ahead, encouraged Father.

Yes, agreed Mother. Don't let us stop you


So I walked down the causeway with the Tourists

and made my way up to the top of the hill

I stopped to survey the place

Nothing had changed in the two years since I had last

visited it

But, while I was growing up change kept coming and

going with regularity

If it wasn't the pub changing hands

It was something like a souvinier shop coming into


The one permanent fixture used to be my Mother's

tea shop - My cousin took over where she left off

I scanned the place to see if she was in

Thank God, she wasn't

I was in no mood to see anyone

Alone with my thoughts is where I wanted to be

I entered the Castle, walked down its passage

and entered the Map room


then, withdrew-and walked into the Chevy Chase

It was packed with tourists studying its plaster frieze

portraying various hunting scenes

I took in, its stained-glass windows

But really, it's familiarity didn't charm me

And, I was soon out on the terrace

What had I come here, looking for...?

Whatever it was, I didn't find it

All I'm going home with

is a bitter sweet taste

They say

It's a grave mistake to go to old haunts-in search of...

I don't know what-exactly

One, only comes up against a blank wall...But, do

any of us, ever listen...?

I gave a hollow laugh

Because, we still search and search....but, rarely

do we find-anything

I looked down the craggy hill and, it's sub-tropical garden

My Father had been the head Gardner here once

Come to think of it, he wore many hats

He was the door keeper when required

The Postman

The alter boy

etc. etc.

I got lost in the Crowd returning to town

And after saying goodbye to my parents

drove back to London


Months later

on my return home after a most satisfying day at work

I parked the car in front of the house

Got out and took a good look at my environs

I quite liked what I saw

Hmmm, I considered. My life isn't as rudderless as I

once, thought it was..

It finally has direction

I still feel as though my life has been wrenched out

of my body

I'll always feel torn to pieces

I can't help it

But, I'm resigned

Yes, resigned

.....What else can I be?

I went up the steps and let myself in

Switched on the hall light


Sent the aforementioned email to Tim

While I awaited his reply

I marched up to Anna's room with resolve

I stood outside, hand on door and hesitated

Ofcourse, I had been there several times before

either, to dust or air the room

But, not to think

Never to think

If I thought at all, whilst there

I always made a concerted effort to think of something else

and, always made sure I left the place as it was on Anna's

last day -

But, this time I was determined to pack her

things and store them away in the attic

After a moment, I plucked up the courage to turn the handle,

switch on the light, and survey the room

A family picture was sitting on her bedside table

waiting to greet me

I didn't flinch. But, I was keen for it not to let it effect me

so I swiftly appraised another spot

Unfortunately, it happened to be the - now abandoned

crib she used to sleep in, whilst in our room

I went over and touched it

My fingers lingered on her little quilt

and, I remembered:

One day, she cried and cried

I was carrying her and trying to calm her down

Tim was on the computer. What's she crying for? he asked

in irritation

I don't know, I insisted as I patted her.

He moved over to the record player. I've got just the

tonic for her, he announced

He looked for a particular record and put it on

I remember the scene so well

Anna-listening-then whimpering

Falling silent and finally sleeping to someone


You are so beautiful to me/You are so beautiful to me/

Can't you see/You're everything I hoped for/Everything

I need/You are so beautiful to me....

Tim took her out of my arms and returned her to her crib.

We tucked her in, then, stood back in one anothers arms

full of admiration of her.

We embraced and kissed and thanked our lucky stars for

our beautiful, beautiful little miracle

The picture faded as I considered

Nevermore would I lull my baby to sleep

Nevermore would we watch Teletubbies together

Nevermore would I read to her

I think the tears rolling down my cheeks

alerted me to the fact that: going down memory

lane only meant intense grief and pain

I sat down abruptly on Anna's bed and reflected

If I don't want the past to consume me, I must

try to consume it!

Yes, thats what I must do

I dried my eyes as I rose

Decided that tonight was not the night

to put away Anna's things

If they had waited this long

another day or two wouldn't matter

I turned off the light

clicked the door shut

and was halfway down the stairs

when the doorbell rang

I quick-stepped it to the porch light in the hall

and switched it on

Glanced at myself in the mirror

then, opened the door

Tim! I exclaimed in surprise

Hullo! He returned giving me an uncertain smile

I just sent you an e-mail. I didn't expect -

An e-mail? he asked in surprise. When?

I glanced at my watch. About an hour ago.

He shook his head. I've just got in from Paris

I must have looked nonplussed, because he added,

I was just passing. I-err thought, I'd dropp in -

to see how you were...?

It didn't occur to me to move.

Ofcourse, if it's inconvenient - I'll err -

I remembered to step aside, Please, come in

He went ahead of me into the sitting room

And, as I followed, I chided the Heavens:

Did he have to come today?

Did he absolutely have to come today?

Couldn't he have come another day?

And, did I have to go into Anna's room, today-of all days?

Look at my face! It must be all botched up!

And, look at my hair!

Oh, well...!

What does it matter?

We can barely look directly at one another

When I entered the sitting room

He was standing awkwardly in the centre of it

I eyed him, somewhat, resentfully. Please, be seated

Thank you, he said, formally - and sat down

I sat down, primly - opposite

Now what? I wondered

You haven't been using our joint account?

I have, I promised. All the Standing Orders go out of

there-as always.

But, you used to go shopping -

I nodded. To buy useless things-

Yes, but -

-according to you

Yes, but - you loved going on holiday...

Somehow those things hardly matter very much,

anymore-do they...?

No-no, of course, not. They don't! he acknowledged

After a moment, I rose

because I wanted him to go

I hope, I answered your question, satisfactorily?

He rose too

Are you asking me to leave?

I looked at him full in the face

Tim, why did you really come...?

He suddenly flared up. I knew, you'd behave like this.

Like what? I asked calmly.

Make it absolutely impossible for me to approach you.

In what way, do I make it impossible? I asked infuriatingly.

He tried to stay calm - I'll give him that.

I know, you're still angry with this coward.... I let you down.

Instead of standing by you - I'm sorry. I can't apologise,


Tim - dropp it!

I can't! Because, I haven't been forgiven.

Tim, I said....!

What did you eventually do on Anna's death anniversary?

I winced and looked away. Then looked back and defied:

What good does it do to rake up the second most painful

episode in my life - that can never be erased?

Tim bit his lip. He looked very shaken

Please Tim - Don't let me hurt you.


And, I don't want to talk about Anna right now.

I've just come home from work - and, I'm rather tired.

I'm sorry, he apologised, and, made to leave. I'll leave

you to...

Tim, I began, coming forward.

....I'll come some other time

I placed my hand on his arm and tried steering him back

to his seat.... We could both do with a drink...Sit, down.

He hesitated


Thanks, he said, without looking at me - and, sat down

You must be very tired, yourself, I said, opening the

drinks cabinet

Yes, I am. I've been working hard, all week

I poured two bourbons and gave him, his.

Thanks. Did you say, you sent me an e-mail?

Yes, I replied, re-seating myself before him.

What did it say?

I invited you to dinner-at your convenience

Dinner, huh? he commented vaguely. And, you also

said, you had just come back from work?


I didn't know you worked.

\I must keep myself busy.

Yes, of course! But, what exactly, do you do?

Edit books.



After a silence. Tim managed, I keep busy too. I don't see any

of our old friends. Do you?

Very seldom.

He got up abruptly. Its late....

I rose too.

...I have a lot to do, tomorrow.

So, do I.

He hesitated. Before I go - unless you've made a bonfire of

my clothes...

I haven't! I smiled with him, for the first time, in a long time.

...I want to check out a suit...?

Sure. Your clothes are still hanging in the guestroom.

I returned the bottle to the cabinet as soon as he left

I scooped up the glasses.

Things have to be spic and span for me as quickly as possible

I can't stand unwashed cutlery and crockery lying around

after having any kind of fare.

Sorry, I can't help being finicky. I'm like that....

Impossible to live with....According to Tim!

I entered the kitchen

and, put the glasses in the sink

I looked in the fridge

without really knowing what I was looking for

I spotted this half drunk bottle of wine

Took it out and sat it down on the kitchen table

I'm too tense. I must loosen up, I told myself getting a

glass out of the cupboard

I sat down with the intention of polishing

the bottle off

Tim entered the kitchen carrying a suit

I looked at him

Nothing's changed, upstairs.


But, you were threatening to pack up Annas things

and store them away in the attic?

I know, but....

I thought of an explanation as I toyed with the bottle

of wine.

....I must be a coward like you.- I tried several times -

I couldn't!

He put his hand over mine. I was genuinely startled. I

wasn't expecting it.

He smiled into my eyes and said: Why don't we

two-cowards both, get back together and fight our cowardice?

I looked at him searchingly

After so much misery - was I really being offered a fresh start?

Please darling, he cajoled, we're in this together - We'll

always be in it, together....forever and ever?

We can rekindle the light - can't we...?

After a moment, I rose and embraced him.


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Poems About Anniversary

  1. 451. Moving On , NAYYAR SHABBIR AHMAD
  2. 452. Hypothetically (Starting New Love) , Randy Bullocks
  3. 453. Happy Birthday, Mother , Cat Tiger
  4. 454. Happy Anniversary , Niken Kusuma Wardani
  5. 455. Unforgivable Forgetfulness , Yor Nella
  6. 456. Gold , Holly Jamestone
  7. 457. This Ring , Lamar Ingraham, Sr.
  8. 458. Pa And Ma, A Tribute , Lilibeth Sacmar Apat
  9. 459. Happy Anniversary , Lawerence Mize, Sr.
  10. 460. Dandy Andi , Maria Diaz
  11. 461. Zzz 6. First Anniversary , Mason Maestro
  12. 462. Gangsta Whispher..There Anniversary , kiki KEYKEY amador
  13. 463. 'X' Change Vows.. , TheBigThinkg Human
  14. 464. Starstruck , Karen Touzalin
  15. 465. As I Did , Sydney Rose
  16. 466. Cards With No Meaning , Sapphire Gordon