Part of the THIS IS THE MOMENT series.
We Built a Cathedral –A poem by Michelle Payette-Daoust
Thoughts about the marriage I have let go of
and words to the husband who, like me, continues to move on…
I look at my hands,
thinner and made darker and damaged by chemo:
These are not the hands you knew.
I look at my body, frailer,
and hiding just beneath the skin of my upper right chest, a port for chemo:
This is not the body you knew.
I look at my life, now lived in this country town,
in this new house in which I feel no ghosts, no memories, no shadows and no sadness:
This is not the home we knew.
On a clear and cool September day in 1980, I said—
filled with tender love and hopes for the life that awaited us—
I will love you always, till death parts us.
taken and uttered with such purity of heart,
have not weathered time and storms and exhaustion.
We built a cathedral that we cannot live in together
—our family—our magnificent sons and grandchildren;
yet it stands, solid, sacred and majestic. It inspires many.
I am sick. My time may be short.
Here is my life. It did, and didn’t, go to plan.
In most ways though, it chimes. It rings. It peals. It tolls as loudly as it ever did.
It resonates in me and through me, transcending the birds.