Dad slipped away quietly in his sleep today. He was 88. Now he and Mom are reunited and as joyful as two butterflies I watched circling each other as they rose straight up towards the shining sun. I wrote this poem in April 2003.
Intersection of Timelines? The air smelled fresh on a cool but sunny Autumn day in Kirkland Lake. There, the sky can be more beautifully, vibrantly blue than in so many places I’ve been.
That day my husband was working out of the New Liskeard office of a company where he was employed as an insurance claims adjuster. Our teenage children were both at school in Englehart where we lived. I decided to visit my parents’ home in K.L. after experiencing an unusual feeling of nostalgia.
It was a perfect day for family tea and conversation, then a solitary walk through familiar places. I marvelled at the clarity and blueness of the sky as I strolled the same streets I’d walked so many times before. The familiarity of those streets and sidewalks felt so safely ‘comfortable’ and ‘predictable’. I sipped those feelings like a cup of favoured tea as I came to the intersection of three streets close to my former home.
As I began to cross the road, I saw something that remains vivid in memory to this very day.
I stopped to watch as a car drove by. Waiting for a car to go by so as to cross a road without cross walks is nothing out of the ordinary but this was different. As this vehicle slowed down at the intersection, I faced the driver’s side with a clear view of the man driving. He seemed completely oblivious to my presence as I waved enthusiastically to acknowledge my husband at the wheel of that car just a few feet away. I thought ‘How strange! He’s supposed to be in New Liskeard today.’ Just then I noticed that he was wearing a different coloured suit. Gray, not the navy blue suit he wore when he left that morning. ‘Why would he need to change suits?’ The car held a surprise for me too. It was the same make, model, and colour of our car but as it passed I clearly saw that the license plate was not ours!
I stood at that intersection transfixed with overwhelming feelings of bewilderment, and all the ‘what ifs’ of past and present choices speeding through my mind. Years later, after watching the movie ‘What The Bleep Do We Know’ about Quantum Physics, I wondered if I had played the role of ‘the Observer’ witnessing a ‘Timeline’ of different life choices on that truly strange Autumn day. I wonder…
(A true tale that still puzzles the family—Shelley Wilson)